By Astrid Furstner, CNA Board Chair
Greetings Concordia! I would like to begin by reintroducing myself to you. My name is Astrid Furstner and I served as Board Chair in 2019 after Chris and before Peter and Kieran. I would like to thank those who came before me, the board members, all of you, and especially Brittany van der Salm for holding things together while a new chair was elected.
I am a Hispanic woman. I was born in El Salvador and immigrated to the United States when I was a little girl. I live in Concordia with my husband, Brent, and our daughter. We are a family of woodworkers and artists. My husband makes guitars, I make wood carvings, puzzles and portraits; and our daughter helps with everything! We sell our work and you may see us around town at local BIPOC markets such as the Portland Indigenous Marketplace, the Come Thru Market, or My People’s Market. If you see us, say hi!
I believe in finding common ground and having open conversations about the Concordia community and it is my hope that as chair, I can make a little bit of a difference in our neighborhood.
Currently, the CNA does a variety of things. Thanks to Javier and other team members this year, we have been successful with neighborhood cleanups, the Easter egg hunt, and various neighborhood meetups. These social events are a wonderful opportunity to bring our neighbors together.
We also contend with more serious matters, such as traffic, land use, in-fill, city projects and other issues that are important to us and our neighbors.
Like many of you, CNA has faced its challenges this year. We are, after all, a non-profit organization run by volunteers. We are looking for new volunteers who can help with social events such as yard sales, clean-up events, summer concerts at the park, and, as we head into the holidays, various holiday activities.
You don’t have to be a chair or take on a huge amount of responsibility, but if writing letters is your thing, help us out. If attending meetings and reporting back is something you can do, help us out. If writing an article on a favorite topic is your thing, help us out. Do you have time to deliver newspapers to a few local businesses in Concordia? Do you have ideas on how to improve our community or an idea for a group or event? Let us know.
I hope that each of you will reach out and help in any way you can to continue to makeing Concordia a welcoming and diverse neighborhood. I look forward to working with each of you once again and hope to hear from you. Juntos, (together) we make Concordia our home.
Astrid Furstner is a mother, a wife, an immigrant, a local artist and a woodworker. She lives with her luthier husband, Brent, and her artist-in-themaking daughter, Luciana. Together, they call Concordia their home.