About the Advisory Bodies Program

Image of a person sitting in front of his lap top taking notes while participating in a online meeting.

Civic Life’s Advisory Bodies Program offers resources for advisory body members to make sure they understand policies, practices and procedures for the body they serve; ensures that each member has been properly trained for their position; confirms that all advisory bodies follow and uphold their rules and bylaws; and provides recruitment information for current open positions.

An advisory body is any City of Portland board, committee, or commission tasked with advising city bureaus and special projects. They are a powerful tool for community volunteers and city liaisons to collaborate on government projects and provide valuable insights on our diverse community needs and interests. They provide a space for city officials and communities to come together to hear appeals and concerns, provide expertise and advocate, develop and implement code, review current practices, and plan future services.

Here are some examples of the many advisory bodies working with the City of Portland:

  • Cannabis Policy Oversight Team (or CPOT): CPOT provides insights and advises Civic Life on the development and adoption of policies to deliver diversity, equity, accessibility, and sustainability to the cannabis industry. CPOT is made up of 12-15 members from local communities with diverse views and backgrounds. Some members are cannabis industry representatives while others provide an understanding of matters that impact and are impacted by the cannabis industry.
  • Portland Clean Energy Fund (or PCEF): The PCEF grant program was created with the intention of supporting communities on the frontlines of climate change, especially those facing financial and racial barriers. PCEF is a nine-member Grant Committee responsible for evaluating applications for grants from the Portland Clean Energy Fund, making recommendations to Portland City Council on which applications should receive a grant, and ensuring that the fund is achieving its goals of creating clean energy and living-wage jobs.
  • Community Involvement Committee (or CIC):The committee advises staff on community involvement practices for Comprehensive Plan-related projects. The CIC, guided by the policies of Chapter 2 of the 2035 Comprehensive Plan, advises staff on the design, implementation and evaluation of community involvement in these projects and ongoing community involvement activities, and will review and amend the Community Engagement Manual.
  • Golf Advisory Committee (or GAC): The GAC advises the Parks & Recreation Director and the Commissioner-in-charge of Parks on golf program-related matters. These include the golf program’s strategic plan, operating budget and capital improvement projects, concession sales, management and lease contracts and proposals, marketing of the system, attracting more participants, and any other matter that furthers the public interest toward the development and operation of one of the best municipal golf systems in the country.
  • Historic Landmarks Commission: The Historic Landmarks Commission provides leadership and expertise on maintaining and enhancing Portland's historic and architectural heritage. The commission identifies and protects buildings and other properties that have historic or cultural significance or special architectural merit, provides advice on historic preservation matters, and coordinates historic preservation programs in the city.

Is there a difference between an advisory body, committee, commission, or city board?

No, the term “advisory bodies” includes boards, committees, commissions, and groups of all different names that involve community members and, occasionally, city staff.

Interested in learning more or attending a meeting?

Most advisory body meetings are open to the public. To find out more about when the meetings are held and how to join, you can visit the website for or email the advisory body you are interested in. If you can’t find what you’re looking for or have any other questions, email us at AdvisoryBodies@PortlandOregon.gov or visit the city job board!

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.