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About the committee

Chapter 2 of Portland’s new Comprehensive Plan calls for the creation of a volunteer body to oversee the City’s community involvement efforts for land use and transportation planning projects.
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Purpose of the committee

  • The CIC will review and advise City staff on their engagement with the public in land use and transportation planning projects and programs.
  • The CIC does not review content of planning projects; it focuses on the community involvement process.
  • The CIC will work with planning staff throughout the City to ensure that projects have strong community involvement practices.
  • The CIC will maintain and update the Community Engagement Manual.

Projects related to the Comprehensive Plan that are large in scope or that may benefit and/or burden different communities will include CIC review and feedback as early in the project as possible. These projects will also check in with the CIC during the project and present an evaluation after the project is over.

Other projects related to the Comprehensive Plan may come to the CIC for review if the Committee requests it or if staff choose to. The CIC will be kept updated about the status of all Comprehensive Plan-related projects. Planning projects that do not amend the Comprehensive Plan may also ask the CIC for review and feedback at staff’s discretion.

Community Engagement Manual

The Community Engagement Manual will guide City staff when implementing the goals and policies established in Chapter 2 of the Comprehensive Plan.The manual establishes the baseline expectations for all relevant projects. It also supplies a framework for staff, community members, the CIC and others to use when designing and evaluating projects to help keep community involvement work on track.

Background information

The role of this committee is shaped by Oregon Statewide Planning Goal 1, and Policy 2.19 of the 2035 Comprehensive Plan.

  • Oregon Statewide Planning Goal 1 requires that “(T)he committee for citizen involvement shall be responsible for assisting the governing body with the development of a program that promotes and enhances citizen involvement in land-use planning, assisting in the implementation of the citizen involvement program, and evaluating the process being used for citizen involvement.”
  • Policy 2.19 of the 2035 Comprehensive Plan states that “(T)he Community Involvement Committee (CIC), an independent advisory body, will evaluate and provide feedback to City staff on community involvement processes for individual planning and investment projects, before, during, and at the conclusion of these processes.”

Application and Selection Process

The first seven members of the CIC were appointed in May 2018. A second recruitment in 2019 resulted in the appointment of seven new members.


Both the CIC and Public Involvement Advisory Council (PIAC) are charged with improving the City’s involvement of the community in government planning and decision-making. Both do their work by setting standards (the City’s Public Involvement Principles and the goals and policies of Chapter 2) and supporting staff to meet those standards.

The PIAC provides citywide support and guidance on public involvement guidelines, policies and practices. In this role, PIAC focuses on specific issues with citywide application and provides input to individual bureaus on efforts to engage the public. Based on its charter and the capacity of volunteer members, PIAC does not work on individual projects within a single bureau, nor does it have any monitoring or oversight responsibilities.

The CIC’s role is limited to oversight of projects related to the Comprehensive Plan. It works on individual projects and has oversight and evaluation responsibilities. While the two committees’ roles are different, they are complementary. The CIC will benefit from ongoing communication with PIAC to share lessons learned and inform each other’s work.

Will the CIC act as a watchdog?

The CIC will not take on an ombudsman role or a policing role, but it will be sensitive to issues rising up from individuals and organizations. Community members with concerns or suggestions about community involvement in Comprehensive Plan-related projects should first contact project staff. This will allow concerns to be addressed more directly and efficiently and give the CIC room to focus on the main body of their work. However, if these concerns are not addressed at the staff level, community members may bring their concerns to the CIC. The objective of the CIC in these situations is to identify what can be improved at a systemic level and support staff to make those improvements.

Committee members

City Code calls for the CIC to have 5 to 12 volunteer members, serving three-year terms.

Current members

Janette Clay Janette Clay lives in North Portland with her family and works in higher education in the Portland area. Her goals for wanting to join the CIC are to gain a better understanding of urban planning and to be involved in making change for the city she calls home. She has a passion for working to remove systemic and long standing inequities and rethinking how community operates to be more inclusive and meaningful. She strives to listen, learn, and engage in opportunities to unite people near and far. .

Term: October 2022 – October 2025

Calvin Hoff  Calvin has a passion for empowering community members to participate in processes that impact their own communities. After moving to Portland from south suburban Chicago in 2016, they spent four years working at Venture Portland supporting Portland's 50 neighborhood business districts. As a recent graduate of the University of Oregon's Master of Regional & Community Planning Program, they are currently conducting research on immigrant experiences on decision-making bodies in Oregon. In their free time, Calvin enjoys watching live music and riding their bicycle.

Term: October 2022 – October 2025

Brian Romer My personal mission is to help create a more sustainable society.  I’m a consulting editor with a 35-year career in academic book publishing. I specialize on the intersection of science, technology, and the environment. I also work with nonprofit advocacy organizations on climate education and policy at state and local levels. I’ve lived in Portland for 25 years with my wife and two children.

Term: October 2022 – October 2025

Susan Novak - Deferred membership to January 2020

Term: January 2020 – February 2023

Hannah Waters (she/her/hers) was born in South Korea and spent much of her life in Central Pennsylvania. She recently moved to Portland with her family and her daughter is a freshman at David Douglas High School. Hannah has a B.A. in Political Science and Government and has spent the last decade working in the nonprofit sector advocating for those that feel they do not have a voice. She is looking forward to being a member of the Community Involvement Committee and volunteering her time to other organizations that focus on marginalized communities. 

Term: October 2022 – October 2025

James Gorter As a lifelong resident of Portland, Jim enjoys working with others to shape the city's future for all Portlanders.  He was raised in Southeast Portland and currently lives in the Southwest.  He spent his career in environmental education and since retirement has served on city projects including the Residential Infill Project Stakeholder Advisory Committee, the Citizen advisory group for Willamette Park, and has served on a variety of other civic organizations.  Through the Covid 19 pandemic he has worked to ensure that renters in vulnerable populations were able to stay in stable housing during a time of crisis.  In his spare time, Jim enjoys travel, gardening, birding and is still trying to learn a little bit of Swedish.

Term: October 2022 – October 2025


headshot of Nikoyia Phillips

Nikoyia Phillips (she/her/hers) Nikoyia is a multi-disciplinary equity practitioner currently serving as the Equity and Engagement Manager for the City of Portland, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS). As a member of the executive leadership team, she is responsible for two major bodies of work including anti-racist organizational development and building transformative community partnerships. While her current priority subject matter is long range planning and climate justice, her equity applications and outreach work span across the public and private sectors, education and nonprofit community organizing. Her years as a community organizer in N/NE/East Portland have been spent advocating for increased access to resources, displacement mitigation and neighborhood investment. Her diverse experience manifests as a special interest in creative collaborations and art-based engagement. Nikoyia is a second-generation Portlander and proud graduate from Roosevelt High School and Portland State University. She currently lives in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood with her two dogs, Gemini and Aries.

Harmonee Dashiell headshot

Harmonee Dashiell (she/her/hers) is a Program Coordinator for the City of Portland – Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. She specializes in community outreach and has a passion for working with youth. Harmonee grew up in Portland and started working for the City of Portland at 15 years old and has been able to shape the work that she does to serve the communities that have historically been overlooked. She went to school at Linfield University and studied business with and international emphasis.

Former members

  • Valeria McWilliams
  • Daniel Hafner
  • Harranie Chavers
  • Rachel Bernstein
  • Beth A. Rubin, Ph.D.
  • Alexandra Degher
  • Jai Singh
  • Isa Dean
  • Caitlin Burke
  • Claire Carder
  • Tanaira Johnson
  • Kaitlin W. La Bonte
  • Sandra Walden
  • Christina Wienholz
  • Katy Wolf
  • Sofia Alvarez-Castro
  • Natasha Gaskin