It is time to make Portland’s government more responsive, representative and effective.
At its June 29 meeting, the LWVPDX board voted to endorse the Portland Charter Commission’s proposed amendments to the City Charter. After in-depth studies of Portland’s government and of alternative voting methods, LWVPDX concluded that the proposed amendments will substantially improve our city government. The amendments will be included in a ballot measure for the November 8, 2022, General Election.
The main charter reform proposals are to:
- Elect candidates using ranked choice voting.
- Increase the size of the City Council to 12 members, electing three members each from four new geographic districts.
- Establish City Council as a legislative body, without its current administrative responsibilities.
- Elect the Mayor citywide to run day-to-day operations along with a professional City Administrator.
Why approve these changes?
- Proportional ranked choice voting can allow voters to elect a more representative council. A significant majority of voters will be able to elect city councilors who represent their interests and concerns.
- District elections with proportional ranked choice voting give Portlanders the power to elect a City Council that reflects the population they serve.
- A larger City Council will be more responsive to our growing city population. Our population is more than 3 times larger than it was when the current 4-member council (plus the mayor) was established.
- A legislative city council without administrative responsibilities can devote more time to setting policies and responding to constituent concerns.
- Delegating the administrative duties to the Mayor and a professional City Administrator provides more effective management of bureaus.
- Separating the legislative and administrative functions of government allows more accountability. The public knows who is responsible for policy-making, appropriations, and spending.
Learn more about the Charter Commission and LWVPDX’s advocacy with the Commission here. In the next few months, look for more information about how these changes would benefit Portland.
LWV and Advocacy
As a non-profit organization, LWVPDX balances advocacy and voter information. LWVPDX’s advocacy arm can endorse a campaign or advocate on an issue. LWVPDX’s voter services provide balanced, objective informational resources about all sides of a campaign. Across all its work, LWV is nonpartisan and will never support or oppose a candidate or party.