SJAC presents: Holding Ground, Oct 4

sjac-holding-groundor, How community organizations can resist rent spikes, together!

Tues, Oct 4: 5:30p doors open, 6:30p program.

Speakers: Margot Black, Portland Tenants United; Robert Van Pelt, Tututni Siletz & Umatilla (SJAC board); Grant Neal, Casa Wovoka Native NA; Jonny Cool, local musician, and more!

Rents in Portland are rising, and long-term grassroots institutions are being forced out. But the Social Justice Action Center is bucking that trend!

Join us for a special open house at the Center where we share our model for grassroots organizing in the heart of Portland, especially by and for marginalized communities and organizers of color.

We’ll have a silent auction, friendly music, and timely conversation about how to build long-term places for grassroots groups to share.

Learn how you can get involved in this important moment as we raise the $20,000 we need to save our building and purchase it for community movements. Contributions to SJAC are matched dollar for dollar till we make our goal!

It’s a commonplace that rents in Portland — for housing and for organizations — are through the roof, with landlords and developers making bank on affluent incomers, and the rest of us pushed to the brink.

Many community groups that have played a vital role in creating the Portland that has attracted so many, are now forced to move or close. From radical bookstores to artists’ co-ops, from underground publishers to alternative cafes, many of those that don’t hew to the Division St. veneer (and have deep pockets) are being pushed out.

This won’t last forever. But to keep community organizing strong — whether among marginalized communities that are increasingly forced to the perimeters of the city, or among creatives and radicals scrapping to keep the spark alive closer in — we need places in the heart of Portland as permanent homebases.

Our conversation will feature people who’ve experienced the recent changes firsthand, and will discuss various approaches to keeping community places open and available. We’ll especially look at opportunities for our movements to own properties, protecting them from speculation, and how we can best get there — showcasing SJAC’s own current campaign to buy its building.kboo-logo

Join us! And join the struggle…

Co-sponsored by KBOO, 90.7 FM.

Capital Campaign to save SJAC

Free political prisoners, at SJAC

Event at SJAC: Free political prisoner Jalil Muntaqim! Left to right: Chauncy Peltier, Walidah Imarisha, Ahjamu Umi, Blaque Butterfly, Mic Crenshaw (SJAC board member), Kent Ford, Mike Libretto Jackson. Credit: Adam Carpinelli.

Update 10/6/2016: YES! Together, we did it — we made the minimum needed to #SaveSJAC. Now, let’s keep the momentum going to ensure we have the best mortgage possible, and grow the programs that SJAC is so well-placed to offer movement-building in the heart of Portland.

Click here to learn more about our next steps. Thank you, Portland!


Upscale blight getting you down? Then help us! 

SJAC is threatened with foreclosure. But we have the opportunity to save the building for good! To do it, we need community support to raise $20,000 by October 5th. Let’s buy this building — protecting this invaluable resource from rent spikes and the whims of landlords — forever! Si, se puede!

(See Testimonials.)

Marginalized communities are being pushed further and further from the heart of Portland, and from each other. The Social Justice Action Center (SJAC) is a community organizing and low-income housing non-profit committed to remaining a central, accessible location for grassroots gatherings.

Located on SE 12th and Oak, SJAC has over the last year provided a wide variety of groups low-to-no cost use of the space: KBOO, Portland Tenants United, Native Narcotics Anonymous, the Colombia Solidarity Group, Jericho political prisoner support, Strike Debt, the Jacobin reading group, and many more.

How You Can Help
For a limited time, we have an option to buy the building for well below market value. We are on track to secure the bulk of our financing, but we need your help for the down payment.

Here are three big ways to help:

  1. Make a donation to our capital campaign (or use this direct link to our crowdfunding site)! This contribution* is an investment in the grassroots future, and is crucial to demonstrate to lenders that we have widespread community support.
  2. Make a mortgage-backed personal loan to SJAC for a larger sum, on favorable terms!
  3. Spread the word to your friends and family. Use email or social media — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pokemon Go (lol). Whatever works, get this opportunity into the hands of as many people as possible.

* To be sure it’s tax-deductible, make your donations via our fiscal sponsor, the Alliance for Global Justice. See http://sjacpdx.org/contribute for more.

We’re counting on you!

Background
The building we’re buying was built in 1873 and according to local stories was a safe boarding house for women. More recently the ground floor has been used as a series of restaurants, while the upstairs houses primarily POC and/or queer low-income residents.

For over a year, SJAC has been running programs supporting our purpose of supporting marginalized groups building grassroots power amongst themselves and with each other. Our board and advisory council include prominent and respected members of these constituencies.

SJAC now has the right to buy the building for about 75% of its market value — this is known as a charitable “bargain sale”. We are seeking $100,000 in personal mortgage-backed loans at 0-4% interest, and $30,000 in direct contributions to support the purchase. The remainder will be financed through a local credit union.

We have demonstrated our capacity to generate ongoing money to pay such loans — we have been using the former restaurant kitchen to host food cart prep, which provides the bulk of our monthly income. In addition, we hope that many of our capital campaign supporters will become monthly supporters at the level of that “cappucino or three”, allowing us to grow our organizing to scale with the need! Request our business plan and pro forma for more details.