On November 12, 2019, the League submitted comments to the City Council about the process for changing City Code Chapter 3.96. This part of the City Code governs the way the Office of Community and Civic Life engages with people in Portland. Action Chair Debbie Aiona also testified at the Council’s November 14 hearing.
The City Council resolution calls for a multi-bureau work group to carry out the next phase of this process. The League urges opening the work group’s meetings to the public for observation. We also recommend following up the work group’s proposals with a thorough public process that includes a broad group of Portlanders.
During November and December 2019, League members are considering whether and how Portland’s city government should change. Their work is the final step in a process that began more than two years ago. In May 2017, members voted to restudy of our government. A summary of the results of the two-year study – The City That Works: Preparing Portland for the Future – was published in September. Then the study committee sent copies to all Portland LWV members. The study’s cover is shown in the photo above. You can read the online version of the study by clicking here.
After reading the study, members are gathering in groups to discuss its findings. In preparation for the discussions, members also attended or viewed the recording of a panel discussion. The panel explored the Portland government’s strengths and weaknesses. You can see the recording of that panel discussion here. The panelists were Mike Gleason, who served for 18 years as Eugene’s city manager; Chris Tobkin, who worked for Bud Clark during his two terms as Portland Mayor; Julia DeGraw, who is part of Portland Forward and was a candidate for Portland City Council; and Betsy Pratt, who was the chair of the study committee.
We expect that the members’ discussions will lead to a general agreement or consensus on how to make Portland’s government more effective. That member agreement will become the basis for a new LWVPDX advocacy position.
Portland League members voted to conduct this two-year restudy of city government in May 2017. Members realized that Portland’s voters needed more up-to-date and complete information to decide on possible changes to the City Charter.
The restudy looks closely at many parts of our current government. It examines strengths and weaknesses of the government’s structure and then explores different options for changing it. The goal is to provide useful ideas for how to improve the government so it serves the people of Portland as well as possible.
Read our carefully researched, detailed reports about the November Special Election ballot measures by clicking here.
The same info is also on our personalized voter information website, vote411.org.
Videos from Our Election Info event
Videos from the League’s informational program about these measures are now posted with each of the measures here. These videos provide additional information about the measures. They will also be broadcast on the following cable channels. See schedule below.