According to new 2020 U.S. Census data, Fairview is the fastest-growing city in East Multnomah County. Between 2010 and 2020, we grew 17 percent, much higher than the 11 percent growth rate in the rest of the county and state.
What's also true: The new folks moving in are, on the whole, people of color. In Fairview, the White population grew 11 percent - but both our Black and Latinx communities grew by 45 percent and our Asian Pacific-Islander community grew by 38 percent.
My friend and Wood Village city council colleague Jairo Rios-Campos is a champion for the Latinx community in his city and all of East County. As the leader of our PlayEast! recreation program, Jairo led a project aimed at engaging our Latinx residents and – literally – making their lives and their culture visible in our communities.
The Mobile Mural project produced just that – a gorgeous, vivid, four-panel mural that can go anywhere. The mural debuted last month at the grand opening of the new Wood Village City Hall and can be seen at events like the Wood Village Pumpkin Fest and National Night Out events in both Fairview and Wood Village. Anyone interested in reserving the murals can contact Jairo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s what’s really cool about the Mobile Mural. Its design was conceived by 10 Latinx residents – five from Fairview, five from Wood Village. All of them are parents at either Fairview or Woodland elementary schools, and all belong to the Lideres Naturales or Natural Leaders community group. The parents got leadership training through the Multnomah County Health Department’s Community Building and Partnerships program and developed a concept for the mural based on the theme of “How I See My Community.”
The result, painted by local artist Mario DeLeon Jr., are four panels that include a rose (for believing), a cactus (for culture), an ear of corn (for agriculture and connection to the land) and an Indigenous face (for progress and hope for the future). The project was made possible by Lideres Naturales, Metropolitan Family Services, and a Metro community placemaking grant.
“This is like pop-up pride,” Jairo said. “The project gave voice to parents, and in our culture, they are the leaders of the family. They’re the gatekeepers. So by building trust with PlayEast!, and through this project, we hope more people in my community will get involved in city events and city affairs. We need to give communities of color a feeling that they are listened to, and welcomed in, our cities.”