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About Civic Life

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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.
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What We Do

The Office of Community & Civic Life (or just Civic Life) connects the people of Portland with their City government to promote the common good. Founded in 1974, Civic Life works to build stronger communities by supporting and empowering Portlanders to get involved with their local government through civic engagement, community leadership, and support for neighbors and businesses.

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…

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.


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.

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