Meet a Member: Ashley Henry

We’re profiling the people who make Bridgeliner possible — our supporting members — and next up is Southeast Portlander and Business for a Better Portland executive director Ashley Henry!

Where in town might people run into you?

Hmmmm. A few places: BBPDX HQ. We sublet space from a renewable energy developer called OneEnergy Renewables. I also spend a fair amount of time at Cup and Bar talking with BBPDX members and community partners. My fave vintage shop in my neighborhood is Rebelle’s. Pat and Tausha are great at sourcing very cool clothes from sales from the Oregon Coast and as far away as Texas and Louisiana. If all else fails, you’ll find me at the makeshift dog park at Hosford Middle School in SE Portland.

What’s something you’re working on that you could use help with?

BBPDX is embarking on a new project to elevate the critical role that entrepreneurs play in the Oregon economy and the economic opportunities our state misses out on when it doesn’t invest in these entrepreneurs. We’re organizing an educational hearing for the Oregon legislature in mid-September, and we want to tell the stories of local entrepreneurs who are succeeding because of access to capital or those who struggle because of a lack of access.

What’s a local event you went to recently that you loved?

Not super local, but I went to Hood River for the 10-year anniversary of the Farmers Conservation Alliance. I got to see the founder Julie O’Shea and thank her for her work to bring farmers, ranchers, and enviros together. Hard to believe they started 10 years ago already. Time flies!

What’s a recent story you’ve read about Portland that you wish more people cared about?

The recent stories about the Point-In-Time count show that Portland and Multnomah County have moved or kept thousands of people in housing… but you wouldn’t know that from looking at our sidewalks. 

It’s understandable that the average person doesn’t think we are making progress on homelessness, but I surmise that’s because they a) don’t know about all the people they DON’T see and b) don’t have a good understanding about WHY folks are becoming homeless in the first place. 

It seems like a lot of media coverage (and social media posting) is about myths rather than facts about homelessness. Portlanders are missing out on the opportunity to be different than other West Coast cities… but it doesn’t have to be that way. 

What local business do you think deserves a shoutout?

See my reference to ReBelle’s above. Those ladies work so hard, are so creative and dedicated and yet don’t get the same attention as other vintage shops on SE Division and elsewhere. I am likely not the target market, so perhaps they are getting the attention they deserve elsewhere… but a shoutout from Bridgeliner would be awesome.

What made you decide to become a member of Bridgeliner?

I was so intrigued by the community-based approach to journalism. It’s been really frustrating and downright disheartening to see so much good work in our community dismissed by mainstream media (whatever that is at this point). 

I started dropping by Bridgeliner events and found that Ben and the team were/are genuinely interested in not only our work but the work of so many of our community partners. It’s refreshing to see a journalist actually digging into a story and uncovering the untold!