By Ron Glanville
The Multnomah County Community Involvement Committee presented its 30th Annual Volunteer Awards Ceremony on June 29, 2017 to Arlene Kimura in the Multnomah Building. This esteemed award goes to one person each year in Multnomah County, nominated by a member of the public, who feels that their nominee embraces Gladys McCoy's values and has carried out her legacy.
Gladys McCoy was the first African-American elected to public office in Oregon. She was Multnomah County Commission Chair until her death in 1993. Her commitment to increasing minority representation inspired the creation of an award to honor those who demonstrate leadership in increasing citizen participation in government.
Arlene Kimura was honored with this award for her continuing efforts to improve community and her environs of outer East Portland.
Long-time the chair of Hazelwood Neighborhood Association and one of the founding members and longtime chair of East Portland Action Plan (EPAP), she is well deserved of this honor. She advocates and works for so many programs and projects within the East Portland neighborhood community and especially close to her heart is the Mobile Playgrounds for kids in East Portland neighborhoods.
Kimura has demonstrated civic values by serving on numerous citizen advisory committees over the past years, including:
- Portland Streetcar System Concept Plan;
- Community Residential Siting Advisory Committee;
- Environmental Code Improvement Project;
- Gateway Regional Center Design Guidelines;
- Advisory Committee for Gateway Redevelopment, Urban Plaza & Neighborhood Park; and,
- East Portland in Motion.
Kimura also volunteers at numerous community events/projects, including neighborhood clean-up events, trail counts for both Metro and the City of Portland, on-site work parties and other events at Gateway Green, neighborhood tours, Rovers group and others.