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Portland Changes Government After 109 Years

News Article
The Portlandia statue kneels on the Portland Building, framed by bare tree branches.
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In a historic vote, Portlanders voted to pass Measure 26-228 and change Portland’s form of government for the first time in more than 100 years.
 
At least once every 10 years, the City Council convenes a Charter Commission to review and recommend amendments to the City of Portland Charter (City's Constitution). The Charter Commission is an independent body that sets its own scope of work.
 
After years of study and listening to the needs of Portlanders, the Charter Commission recommended Measure 26-228 which would change how our government works by:

  • Allowing voters to rank candidates in order of preference, using ranked-choice voting.
  • Establishing four geographic districts, with three City Council members elected to represent each district for a total of 12 members.
  • Allowing councilors to focus on setting policy and engaging with community by moving daily bureau oversight to a mayor elected citywide and a professional city administrator.

Over the next two years, the City will phase out the old commission form of government and build the processes for these changes. You can find more information and updates about these changes on the City’s Transition Team webpage.

As part of this transition, the City has created and is recruiting for three new advisory bodies to inform how this new government works for Portlanders.

  • The Independent District Commission will work to determine the new Portland districts
  • The Charter Transition Advisory Committee will oversee charter reform implementation
  • The Salary Commission will work to determine the salaries of the 12 council positions

Recruiting for the Independent District Commission has already begun, and the application deadline is Thursday, December 1. Learn more and apply for the advisory body here!

Measure 26-228 Passes - City of Portland Press Conference - Nov. 9, 2022. Interim Director Michael Montoya explains advisory bodies' roles in the government transition process.