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News, News, News: Honors! Hot Peppers! Portland School Boundaries!

We've got some exciting news to share this week!

The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, recognized Oregon's Kitchen Table this week as one of four finalists for the Roy and Lila Ash Innovations in Public Engagement in Government Award. These initiatives represent the committed efforts of city, state, and federal governments to engage with the communities and citizens they represent and were selected by a cohort of policy experts, researchers, and practitioners. We're incredibly honored to be recognized – and that all of your efforts in being a part of this work are recognized, too. Oregon's Kitchen Table IS the over 13,000 Oregonians who have taken their seats and participated in important discussions, decisions, and projects around the state. You can read more about the award here. We're also not too surprised to see that a few other Oregon-based programs making up the state's tapestry of civic engagement opportunities are also included as Top Ten Programs!

As part of our partnership with Oregon Business Council's Poverty Reduction Task Force, we are working to support Oregonian-to-Oregonian micro-lending and help reduce Oregon's poverty rate. Our partner in crowdfunded microlending,Community Sourced Capital, has a new Oregon small business seeking funding to expand to new stores around Oregon, Washington and California. Hot Winter – a producer of fermented hot sauce – contracts with growers in the Willamette Valley to grow heirloom varieties not available in most markets. Interested in helping see small Oregon businesses prosper? Participate now in helping fund Hot Winter! Thanks to many Oregonians like those of us around the Kitchen Table, two other Oregon small businesses have already received their funding.

Tomorrow, May 8th, is the final day for anyone within the Portland Public Schools district – parents, staff, teachers, community members residing in the district – to weigh in on important decisions facing the district, especially around boundary changes. Today's second graders will be graduates in 2025: what do we want their schools to look like between now and then? Give your input now here at Oregon's Kitchen Table.