Guest Blogger Bill Thaxton: Introducing Viva Village!

I am blogging for the first time for the new Viva Village! Serving Beaverton and Beyond. We already have a good number of folks participating in our Planning Group. We started developing the Village in early January when a small group of interested people got together. Rae Coleman and Jolinda Osborne are co-chairs and other volunteers are stepping up to take on responsibilities. Some of the more important decisions we’ve made thus far include membership age. We are focused on seniors wanting to age in their homes, as well as people with special needs from 18 and up in age.

The north edge of Viva Village! begins at 185th and West Union Rd on the west continuing onto Thompson Rd to the east boundary ofWashington County. Scholls Ferry Rd from about 175th up to the east edge of Washington County is the south and east border. Our west border meets that of Village Without Walls, the more developed of the two Washington County Villages. This is a wide area of responsibility and we are busy putting in place the organizational structure which will best support our developing Village.

The Planning Group has also agreed to develop a logo, informational brochures, social media, and a website. A group of us will be meeting on April 4th to discuss priorities and create project plans for work on various assignments. We are also discussing ways to reach other interested parties within the Viva Village! area to present information for them to learn about our plans. We are having a blast developing our Village and welcome anyone interested in joining us to come to an in-house Village 101. Our next in-house 101 informational meeting is scheduled for April 2 at 7:00 PM in Terra Linda. If you would like to come please contact Rae Coleman at rbarsottic@hotmail.com for details. Watch for more information soon on this blog.

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Addressing the Gap

I looked at the date of my last blog post and realize it was 8 months ago.  That’s a long time by anyone’s reckoning, and certainly far too long between blog posts.

So why the big gap?  Well, the short answer is that I’ve just been too busy to blog.  Since last July, the local Village movement has absolutely exploded.  In July 2013, there were only two spoke Villages in development: Eastside Village PDX on the east side of Portland and Village Without Walls out in Washington County.  Now, 8 months later, there are SIX (6) spoke Villages in development: Eastside Village, Village Without Walls, RISE Village (11 neighborhoods south of Powell), Northeast Village PDX (multiple neighborhoods north of I-84), Viva Village! (serving Beaverton and beyond), and  an as-yet-unnamed Village in Lake Oswego.

We are also doing lots of presentations in North Portland and in the South Portland/Multnomah Village/John’s Landing area, and it seems likely that, before summer, two more spoke Villages will have gotten under way.

All of this is great and exactly what we wanted to have happen when we created Villages NW to serve as the catalyst, incubator, and hub for Villages across the metro-area. But to say it is time consuming to be midwifing EIGHT Villages would be an understatement of epic proportions.

In order to make sure another 8 months doesn’t pass before my next blog post, I have decided to open up my blog to some of the other local Village founders, so they can do some of the writing.   So stay tuned for some new voices on this blog in the days/weeks to come.