About Civic Life

A group of Portlanders pose for a group photo during a community listening session.
The Office of Community & Civic Life (or just Civic Life) was founded in 1974 as a way for members of the Portland community to get involved with their local government.
On this page

What We Do

The Office of Community & Civic Life (or just Civic Life) was founded in 1974 as a way for members of the Portland community to get involved with their local government. Today, our bureau’s programs continue to invest in building strong civic engagement, community leadership, and support for businesses and their neighbors.

We work every day with a wide range of partners to build systems that serve the needs of all Portlanders, ensuring equitable outcomes for our communities by:

  • Supporting communities in creating safe, fun, and inclusive neighborhoods.
  • Providing resources for immigrant and refugee communities.
  • Investing in community power by reinvesting cannabis tax funds into communities targeted and harmed by past cannabis prohibition.
  • Teaching communities about and providing resources for conflict resolution.
  • Supporting leadership development for Black Indigenous, people of color, immigrant, and refugee communities.
  • Helping businesses grow while protecting patrons and communities by leading safe, sensible, equitable, and environmentally-friendly regulation.
  • Building stronger communities by connecting neighborhood groups to resources and funding.
  • Connecting people to local government by inviting Portlanders to join advisory committees that impact policies and budgets.
  • Investing in programs to train diverse young leaders to engage in and lead on civic matters and creating a more representative local government.
  • And more…

Read more about us in our Civic Life brochure:

Addressing Equity

We recognize the importance of acknowledging and addressing systemic problems that harm our communities. In 2016, Civic Life adopted a 5-Year Racial Equity Plan outlining the ways our bureau is committed to fighting for equity for all. You can read the Racial Equity plan here:

Civic Life's Equity Team is currently working with staff to evaluate the Plan, its outcomes, and our next steps. We will continue to update our website with our progress.

Civic Life Organizational Chart

We aspire to post the most up-to-date staff organizational chart. The below chart is current as of June 11, 2021.

About Interim Director Michael Montoya

Portrait of newly announced Michael Montoya. Michael smiles for the camera in front of a bright blue wall.

Michael Montoya is a well-rounded and deeply experienced community practitioner, manager, and scholar with more than 20 years of experience designing and implementing equity-based service programs and policies. 

Prior to joining the City, Montoya held academic appointments at the University of California – Irvine in the departments of Chicanx/Latinx Studies, Anthropology & Public Health, where he was a champion of community-driven research and authentic community engagement. Prior to graduate school, Montoya held an array of positions in the nonprofit sector. Throughout his career, Montoya has worked with environmental justice organizations, hospital community benefits programs, neighborhood associations, universities, government departments, national and regional nonprofit organizations, school districts, and foundations working directly with planners, senior administrators, workforce developers, organizers, educators, and law enforcement. 

Director Monthly Calendars

Civic Life is committed to transparency in how we operate. The calendar of our director is available to the public. Please contact us if you don't see a calendar month that you are looking for.

Civic Life Organizational Chart

You can find our most up-to-date staff organizational chart here.

Promote the Common Good: Civic Life is building stronger communities by supporting and empowering Portlanders. We think, act, and partner with our communities to better understand and take care of their diverse needs. We invite you to join us in this continuous, much needed work to make our communities safer and more welcoming for all.