Portland Charter Review Commission

Summer Updates

Every ten years, the City of Portland appoints a commission to review its Charter. The City Charter is the organizing document that structures the City and its leadership.  LWVPDX is following the Charter Review Commission, which  has been underway since late spring. Several of our board members are attending the public meetings. We are seeking ways the League can contribute to the discussions, considering our long-term commitment to improving local governance.

The Charter Commission identified early that two critical topics needing research by subcommittees are Portland’s form of government and City Council election processes. These are both areas important to LWVPDX. Our expertise was recognized in a presentation by Charter Commission Project Manager Julia Meier when she presented a chart from the LWVPDX’s 2019 study report on city government.

These two topics will be the focus of the first phase of subcommittee work, which aims to be completed in time to submit charter amendments to the November 2022 election. Three other topics (service alignment across bureaus; growth of democracy; transparency and accountability) will be researched in the second phase of subcommittee work, which will work toward amendments for later elections.

President offering testimony at June 2021 public meeting by zoom
LWVPDX President Debbie Kaye testifying to the Charter Review Commission

At the commission’s June 28 meeting, LWVPDX President Debbie Kaye provided testimony in support of the Charter Commission considering how to include transparency of city functions in their review (testimony by zoom pictured above). The League joined the Society of Professional Journalists, ACLU-Oregon, and Open Oregon in signing a joint letter proposing a new city position of Transparency Advocate to help ensure city bureaus are open and accessible to the public and to organizations such as news media that rely on public information.

The Charter Review is an exciting time to make a long-term difference to improve how our city operates, identifying key ways to make City Hall more responsive and more effective in implementing the changes Portlanders want.

To learn more about the Charter review process from the city, click here. You can sign up for email updates from the Charter Commission at this website. Oregon Humanities has shared a helpful comic strip by Beka Feathers and Aki Ruiz that makes sense of the process.

Please contact board member Audrey Zunkel-deCoursey to learn more or share your perspectives on the City Charter Commission.

“Portland’s Pressing Problems” January 16 Media Luncheon

Join us for our Annual Media Luncheon. Enjoy a delicious luncheon and hear a panel discussion on how to address and overcome Portland’s challenging problems.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018, 11:30am – 1:30pm

Multnomah Athletic Club, 1849 SW Salmon St.

Speakers: Israel Bayer, Executive Director, Street Roots, Anna Griffin, News Director, Oregon Public Broadcasting, Moderator James Ofsink.  

Luncheon $30/person with a choice of entrée:

  • Chicken Marsala (gluten free)
    • Pan-fried Chicken Breast, Mushroom Marsala Sauce, Risotto, Roasted Broccolini
  • Eggplant Osso Buco (vegan, gluten free)
    • Tomato Braised Eggplant & Leek, Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes, Carrot & Onion

Salad, rolls, dessert (Cranberry Pear Crisp), coffee or tea, gratuity and parking are included. (Special dietary needs usually can be accommodated.)

Reservations due by January 8; no cancellations after January 9. Please pay ahead and avoid the line at registration. Email events@lwvpdx.org, call 503-228-1675 and send a check to LWV of Portland, PO Box 3491, Portland OR 97208-3491. OR reserve your place and pay ahead online now here.