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Amend Public Art Code to establish public monuments policy and review criteria (amend Code Chapter 5.74)

Amended by Council

The City of Portland ordains:

Section 1. The Council finds:

  1. The City Arts Program is responsible for the review process for public artworks and monuments and provides recommendations to the City Council for consideration relating to public artwork.
  2. This process involves evaluating the historical context, artistic significance, cultural relevance, and any other pertinent aspects of each artwork to ensure that the works of art selected for display align with the City's artistic vision and community values.
  3. However, once a piece of artwork or a monument has been placed, there is no formal process for reviewing whether that artwork should remain publicly displayed.
  4. This ordinance creates comprehensive Public Artwork and Monument Review Criteria. These criteria articulate the various circumstances under which an artwork or monument may necessitate action by the City to determine if artwork should be reviewed.
  5. The ordinance further outlines when a piece of public artwork or monument may be subject to review.
  6. If the City Arts Program identifies an artwork or monument for review, it shall submit a public report to the Portland City Council. This report may include recommendations for the processes specified in the Public Artwork and Monuments Review Criteria, as outlined in Exhibit A

NOW, THEREFORE, the Council directs:

  1. Portland City Code Chapter 5.74 is amended as set forth in Exhibit A.

An ordinance when passed by the Council shall be signed by the Auditor. It shall be carefully filed and preserved in the custody of the Auditor (City Charter Chapter 2 Article 1 Section 2-122)

Passed as amended by Council

Auditor of the City of Portland
Simone Rede

Impact Statement

Purpose of Proposed Legislation and Background Information

The Portland Monuments Project is an inclusive community engagement initiative designed to foster educational discussions, community engagement, and public participation on public art in the City of Portland.

Historically, the City lacked a formal mechanism to address public concerns regarding monuments and public art.

The proposed policy introduces a complaint process for public monuments in the City's Public Art Collection.

In 2022, the City Arts Program launched the Portland Monuments Project to develop and implement a thorough and inclusive engagement strategy and action plan centered around community dialogue and public input, because 

In July 2023, the Portland City Council accepted the Public Engagement with Portland's Monuments and Memorials report from Lewis & Clark College and a $350,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Monuments Project to support community engagement and dialogues on monuments and memorialization in Portland.

On January 30, 2024 Commissioner Ryan released a draft version of this policy which introduces a complaint process for public monuments and designates the City Arts Program as responsible for producing a report to the City Council, including recommendation for two types of processes, both including public engagement avenues for creating recommendations regarding the specific monuments in question.

Following City Council adoption of a policy for monument review, the City Arts Program will deliver a report to council with recommendations for the monuments that were toppled, removed, or damaged, drawing on years of public engagement.

Financial and Budgetary Impacts


Community Impacts and Community Involvement

The four week public comment period of the proposal, invited participation from all Portlanders, increasing public engagement for three extra weeks to the usual period for public feedback, and highlights the project's dedication to a transparent decision-making process.

The City is committed to continuing extensive community engagement process as a part of the Portland Monuments Project.

100% Renewable Goal


Document History

Item 195 Four-Fifths Agenda in February 28, 2024 Council Agenda

City Council

Passed to second reading as amended

Motion to substitute Exhibit A: Moved by Ryan and seconded by Mapps. (Y-5)
Passed to second reading as amended March 6, 2024 at 9:30 a.m.

Item 209 Regular Agenda in March 6, 2024 Council Agenda

City Council

Passed As Amended

  • Commissioner Carmen Rubio Yea
  • Commissioner Dan Ryan Yea
  • Commissioner Rene Gonzalez Yea
  • Commissioner Mingus Mapps Yea
  • Mayor Ted Wheeler Yea



Darion Jones

Policy Advisor & Constituent Relations Coordinator

Requested Agenda Type


Date and Time Information

Requested Council Date
Changes City Code