Thorough Public Process – Key to Code Change

Part of the League’s letter

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.

You can read our testimony here.

Promoting Public Involvement

Promoting public involvement is central to the Portland League’s mission. We believe our democracy works best when the public is involved in decision making.

Letter to City Council

On July 16, we advocated for more public involvement in the process of changing city code. (Click here to see our earlier post.)

Now, we are urging our City Council to involve the public when the City negotiates the next Portland Police Association (PPA) contract. 

 

Our July 30 letter says in part:

…we recommend a robust public engagement process leading into the 2020 negotiations. …we urge you to ensure that the upcoming process involves the community so that their input will have an impact on the outcome.

Portland is a stronger and more vibrant place when its people can bring their skills, knowledge, and lived experiences to the policymaking process.

You can read the entire letter here.

A Related event

The Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition for Justice and Police Reform is sponsoring a forum about the contract.  Here are details.

  • Community forum on the Portland Police Association Contract
  • Monday, August 26 from 6-7:30 PM
  • Maranatha Church, 4222 NE 12th at Skidmore.
  • A 20-minute presentation on background; then community input.

Civic Life – How do Neighborhood Associations fit?

The public needs more opportunities to be involved

The League of Women Voters of Portland has sent a letter to Commissioner Eudaly and Director Suk Rhee of the Office of Community and Civic Life. We are asking for more transparency and public involvement in the work of the committee proposing changes to the section of the City Code that governs community involvement and Neighborhood Associations. We believe most Portlanders don’t know about the Code 3.96 Committee’s efforts to change the City Code.  The public should have their say on changes to policies that may affect how the public interacts with our city government and the livability of Portland’s neighborhoods.

You can read the City’s information about the Code Change Committee and its proposal here: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/civic/77951

Our RECOMMENDATIONS

“The League recommends that once the Code 3.96 Committee determines its proposal is ready for public review, it should schedule one or more public forums to address questions and accept comments and suggestions from interested community members.”

Our Questions

“It is hard to tell from the initial code language available on the website what the proposed changes will mean for Neighborhood Associations and other community organizations.”

“How will the public be provided avenues to stay informed and participate in a way that ensures a conduit for public input?”

“We understand the existing contracts district coalitions have with the City may be reconfigured and other entities could be chosen to replace them sometime in the future. If that is the case, will those entities provide services to Neighborhood Associations that are similar to the services provided by the district coalition offices?”

Our Mission: Encourage Public Participation

The League works to inform all people about policies that could affect their lives and to help them have a voice in government decisions.  We believe the Neighborhood Associations have “the potential for serving the public good by providing important opportunities for civic participation and improving neighborhood livability.”  And, “If the current system isn’t working for community members, the League is interested in understanding why and how new systems would be better.”

You can read the whole letter here: LWV Code 3.96 committee 7-19