Pellegrino: Relations, Community and Housing

Many have not heard of the Office of Government Relations. But it does exist. The smallest of all of Portland’s city offices, the Office of Government Relations happens to be one of the most important entities of the City of Portland.

Serving as the lobbyist, representative and liaison between jurisdictions local, national and international, Martha Pellegrino is the head of these affairs. Pellegrino has been a longtime law, government and political force in Portland. With successes such as the new affordable housing power, that allows The City of Portland to buy housing units of newly built residential buildings in hopes of leveling the current, overly competitive and expensive housing market.

Pellegrino has made it her job to find ways to engage and be a supporting political force, for the empowerment of marginalized communities. Her honesty brings to light an emerging generation of community invested politicians.

This is Martha Pellegrino, the politician and the person.

Christina: Cultural Identity, Gentrification and the PDX Suburbs

Born in a suburb of people almost all the same and finding her multi-heritage skin the difference among the similarity, a young woman must find a way to fit in, especially when she is not even accepted by the very people she stands up for everyday at school.

Christina Spires (17), and a senior at Catlin Gabel, battles a fight that many people of color face as they attend private schools, while at the same time making an effort to be apart of their cultural community.

This complexity of cultural identity, finds it way in many of the issues our society faces, especially gentrification.

At first glance, her broad smile and witty charisma convey a sense of guaranteed happiness and joy, but as soon as her words process in your mind comes a surprise that someone of such appeared kindness possesses the ability to articulate feelings so personal and strong it could puncture the homogeneous, fluidity of the suburbs-- a break, her diverse family may have caused in their wake.

Yet, she has not allowed such negativity to bring her down, succeeding in academics and athletics, as her infectious spirit to never ceases to capture the hearts of all she meets.

Bring a smile and a notepad, as you listen to Christina’s Story.