City Charter – City Government

Following passage of Reforms for the Portland City Charter, The Portland League is working to Assist with full Implementation of the voter-approved changes. BElow are copies of our written communications and oral Testimony addressed to the City Council,Volunteer commissions, and/or the City Teams working to implement the approved changes.

Letter to Mayor Wheeler asking for additional funding for the Small Donor Elections Program – January 2024 This letter was sent by  the LWV of Portland on behalf of 16 organizations asking for funding in the 2024-25  City government to support the larger number of Portland City candidates who will be running in the November 2024  election.

Letter to the City Transition Team with recommendations for City Code, Chapter 3.02, on Council Organization and Procedures – August 2023

Letter to City Council opposing a possible ballot measure that would reverse charter reforms approved by voters in 2022- July 13, 2023

Letter to the Independent Salary Commission, with suggestions for their final report and compliments on their thorough process in developing proposed salary levels for Portland’s future Mayor, Auditor and City Councilors – July 7, 2023

Testimony to the Portland City Council urging the Mayor and City Commissioners to adopt the ordinance updating the City’s Election Code to implement Ranked Choice Voting – April 12, 2023

Comments on the draft City Code for the Ranked Choice Voting process to be used in November 2024- March 20, 2023

Letter to the Independent District Commission c/o Sofia Alverez-Castro with suggestions for the commission’s early work and their public comment sessions. February 26, 2023.

Letter to the Portland City Council supporting a Transparency Advocate Charter Amendment, February 22, 2023

the Portland league endorseD the Charter Amendment

The Board of Directors of the League of Women Voters of Portland voted on June 29, 2022 to endorse the Charter Amendment proposed by the Portland Charter Commission. The League based our endorsement on our study of  Portland’s city government in 2018-19 and position on city government adopted by our membership in 2020. We also based our support of the ranked-choice voting processes for electing the Mayor, Auditor, and members of City Council on the League of Women Voters of Oregon position on Election Methods and the League of Women Voters of the United States position on Voter Representation and Electoral Systems. The amendment will be voted upon at the November 8, 2022 General Election. The League will work to help voters understand how the proposed amendment to the City Charter will make Portland’s government more responsive, representative, and effective.

Throughout the Portland City Charter Review process, League members followed the work of the Charter Commission. We also testified to the Commission using the above positions that the League adopted after careful research and a member consensus process. Below are links to copies of our written testimony and other advocacy statements. You will find this testimony also on the Recent Testimony page.  Some of our early testimony is also described on the Portland Charter Review 2021-22 web page on this website.

Joint Letter to the Charter Review Commission on creating a position for a Transparency Advocate for Portland. December 2022.

Letter to Charter Review Commission on support for a charter amendment creating an Independent Portland Elections Commission, with sufficient financial resources and technical assistance from other city bureaus and departments. November 2022. 

Press conference statement supporting Measure 26-228 for Charter Reform. October 2022.

Letter to the Editor of the Portland Tribune regarding misinformation in an opinion piece published in the Tribune regarding the Oregon’s Constitution’s provisions that apply to voting methods.  The League’s letter points out the Oregon Constitution specifically allows proportional representation with ranked choice voting in multi-winner elections as proposed in Measure 26-228. September 2022.

Memo to Charter Review Commission regarding edits to the proposed wording of Section 3-102 of the City Charter. This memo provided detailed suggestions for changes to the wording. May 2022. 

Testimony to Portland Charter Commission  – March 31, 2022.  In this testimony, we underscored places where the Commission’s proposed reforms align with our City Government position statement, to make the following recommendations for charter changes:

      1. Establish city council as a legislative body, not an administrative or executive one.
      2. Institute a professional city manager/administrator.
      3. Increase the number of city councilors to 10-12, plus the mayor.
      4. Retain election of the mayor and auditor on a citywide basis with ranked-choice voting.
      5. Enhance proportional representation by creating multi-member districts and using ranked-choice voting to elect city councilors.

Testimony to Charter Review Commission Form of Government Subcommittee – October 2021. In this testimony, we recommended making the City Council a legislative body, without the commissioners’ current administrative duties. We also recommended hiring a City Manager.

Testimony to Charter Review Commission Subcommittee on Elections – October 2021. In this testimony, we recommended increasing the size of the City Council and electing them in a way that would more equitably represent city residents.

Testimony about adding transparency as a priority for research – June 2021

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