One Man’s Gift to His Community

April 27, 2017 By

It is hard to put into words how much I love Noho, how much I respect him not only as a friend and a person but as a member of our Portland community Noho is everything that is right about Portland Oregon he is everything that is right about business owners he’s everything that is right about friendship he is everything that is right about giving back and being a part of change in our community.

9 months ago I came to him upset and distraught saddened by the murders of black and brown people in our community in our country being shot down by the police a young boy at a playground a man reaching for the very I.D. the officer asked him for another man trying to run being shot in the back.

I was equally saddened by the officers in Dallas that were gun down or other officers sitting in the car doing paperwork and somebody just walked up and shot them and killed them, never giving them a chance to even defend themselves so much murder so much death and no reason for any of it all of that unnecessary all of it preventable if we could only just try to understand each other if we could just try to break down the barriers we could try to recognize the historical harm that has been done to our communities of color.

To come together with the police to have conversations honest uncomfortable conversation to build trust to at least try to make things better.

I asked Noho if he would host a dinner where we would invite our friends of color our police friends and asked them to come together for a meal we could charge them but Noho insisted that they could donate he would donate his food his space, his staff, and the money that we got from the events would go back into the community so those who can’t afford to come to our dinners can come regardless of if they have money and so they can feel comfortable and that they matter.

Nine months ago we began and we’ve grown and grown and grown we’ve raised a few thousand Noho has served hundreds of people.

There’re Community members and even leaders that have never experienced what is happening inside that restaurant between people and police but they will come eventually when the time is right when they’re comfortable and they can no longer hear about what is happening but want to come and see for themselves and more importantly when they feel safe because the reality is not everyone in our community and especially our communities of color feel safe in place with police, that’s why we’re here we’re trying to change that.

I am in awe when I see the people that we had tonight the police engage with the discussion and relationship building and All because one man without question gave everything He had to make our community better.

There is a Jewish saying Dayenu (Hebrew:דַּיֵּנוּ‎) is a song that is part of the Jewish holiday of Passover. The word “Dayenu” means approximately “it would have been enough”, “it would have been sufficient

If Noho had only gave us his space Dayenu, if he only gave us his food, Dayenu, if he had only given us his staff (And wow are they amazing) Dayenu. It would’ve been enough he gives everything he has.

I hope everyone at some point has the opportunity to come and experience what is happening and at least give it a chance and give us feedback where we can do better and I also pray and hope that Portland and leaders of Portland will recognize what an amazing human being we have in our community in Noho Marchesi.

We’re just getting started there is no end in sight even if there is not one more death we will continue to come together to break bread to break down barriers to build trust and to build relationships we don’t have any other choice because what we have been doing isn’t working we can’t allow for another person of color to be racially profiled and shot or harmed and we certainly can’t allow for the Men and Women who serve our community and protect us to be ambushed to be shot and killed for protecting our community.

If all you do is criticize my words then you’re missing the message because that would be E “Z” I’m sure there are holes in my words, not in my message.

To all of our community members of color who have come and shared a meal with us and trusted us I thank you from the bottom of my heart and I pray you will come back and bring more people. To the police officers that have come as well to answer the hard questions I also applaud you.

We cant do this without you we’re all in this together.

In August we will celebrate one year and never look back and we will celebrate big I hope to see each of you between now and then.

May God be with us protect us to protect the communities of color protect the police and give us the power the courage and ability to break down barriers to build trust and love each other.

Thats the Portland I want to live in.

Shalom / Mahlo

I love you Noho. Thank You so much my brother.