Yesterday's post looking at the boundaries of the city's (still-unenforced) gun-crime exclusion zones, and the data used to determine those lines, brought a solid point from commenter Number Six:

I can't see all the details on the map, but the northern zone looks like they have managed to capture the historically black neighborhoods of Portland pretty well. Was that the goal? Maybe the Mercury could add to Mr. Woboril's charts and get the census track data for those areas.

The U.S. Census Bureau has the most recent data, from last year, but told me it couldn't map it yet. So I turned to the New York Times, which has assembled interactive maps using data from smaller Census surveys, taken in 2005-09.

And here's how the North/Northeast gun zone matches up to where most of Portland's African American residents are clustered.


What's surprising, actually, is how much the zone doesn't capture. Nearly all the tracts in the zone, except for the tract at its southern tip, are majority/supermajority white (with the caveat that, because the zone straddles some census tracts, whiter neighborhoods west of Interstate Avenue, outside the zone, could be throwing off some of the numbers.) Also interesting: In all of Portland, there's only one other tract with the same concentration of black residents as in the map above, a small pocket bounded by I-84, NE 122nd, NE 141st, and NE Sandy.

But that doesn't mean we should be watching this unwarily. Because bigger questions on racial profiling remain: Who, precisely, will wind up excluded? And, once that list is generated, will people of color find themselves cited for trespassing at a disproportionate rate? One way to keep an eye out: Demand that Mayor Sam Adams make the list public.

After the jump, check out a map that elegantly paints Portland's demographics, based on 2000 Census data. Click here for a look at how rapidly the Albina neighborhood grew in the middle of the 20th century, after the Vanport flood.

  • Eric Fischer/Flickr