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Create the Sustainability and Climate Commission (amend Code Chapter 3.33)


The City of Portland ordains:

Section 1. The Council finds:

  1. In 2010, City Council created the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) (Ordinance No. 184046). At the same time, the Planning Commission and the Portland/Multnomah County Sustainable Development Commission were dissolved.
  2. Since 2010, the PSC’s oversight responsibilities related to Portland’s land use planning, sustainability, and climate action became more work than one commission could undertake effectively.
  3. In addition, sustainability and climate change became more prominent and urgent.
  4. To ensure land use planning and sustainability and climate action could be addressed with the focus, time and attention warranted, Council decided to create two separate commissions. 
  5. In 2023, Council created the Planning Commission and directed the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) to bring Council a proposal to create a Sustainability or Climate Commission (Ordinance No. 191150).
  6. In April through June 2023, BPS’s Chief Sustainability Officer and Climate Commission Coordinator researched 14 climate commissions across the US. 
  7. In May and June 2023, the Chief Sustainability Officer and Climate Commission Coordinator briefed Commissioner Rubio and BPS staff on the research findings (See Exhibit A, Appendix A).
  8. In August 2023, BPS held two City employee workshops to collect feedback on a proposed Sustainability and Climate Commission (SCC). Over 30 employees attended and contributed over 330 comments.
  9. In September 2023, BPS staff held three workshops with key community members to form a SCC work group. Workshop participants contributed over 160 comments.
  10. On September 6, 2023, BPS staff and leadership, including Commissioner Rubio and Director Oliveira, hosted an in-person event to collect public feedback on the proposed SCC. Over 50 comments were collected.
  11. On November 1, 2023, BPS staff held two virtual information sessions to collect public feedback on the proposed SCC. Participants contributed over 150 comments. 
  12. In January and February 2024, BPS staff reviewed comments and updated the proposed SCC. 
  13. In February 2024, the Chief Sustainability Officer and Climate Commission Coordinator hosted a fourth workshop with the work group to review the updated SCC proposal, collect feedback and incorporate the feedback into a proposal for public comment.
  14. On March 1, 2024, BPS released the proposal for a 30-day public comment period. Over 20 comments were collected.
  15. In March and April 2024, BPS staff analyzed public comment and updated the SCC proposal (Exhibit A).

NOW, THEREFORE, the Council directs:

  1. Portland City Code Chapter 3.33 is amended as set forth in Exhibit B.
  2. BPS to lead the formation of the new SCC, coordinated by the Climate Commission Coordinator reporting to the Chief Sustainability Officer, as outlined in Exhibit A.
  3. BPS to help coordinate a full recruitment process for SCC members in Fall 2024 so the SCC can begin meeting in Winter 2025 or as soon thereafter as reasonably practicable.

Documents and Exhibits

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 by Council

Auditor of the City of Portland
Simone Rede

Impact Statement

Purpose of Proposed Legislation and Background Information

In 2010, the City of Portland combined the Planning Commission and the Multnomah County/Portland Sustainable Development Commission to create the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC). In the intervening years, the oversight responsibilities related to both land use planning and sustainability in Portland have become more than one commission can undertake effectively. In addition, issues related to sustainability and climate change have become more prominent and urgent. 

The Planning Commission Code Amendmentsprojectdissolved the PSC and formed the Planning Commission in February 2023. The new Sustainability and Climate Commission will:

  • Reset the scope, expectations, and establish a new authority on climate and sustainability.
  • Create accountability for the City and its service areas, as well as the Portland community​.
  • Create the City's Climate Action Plan and other guiding documents on climate.
  • Advance the City’s efforts to mitigate the human made climate crisis and prioritize environmental justice initiatives.
  • Ensure the City is on track to meet established climate goals.
  • Balance advisory, advocacy, and action in its charge.

Financial and Budgetary Impacts

The SCC will report to the Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO), currently in BPS, though this position will be realigned to the City Administrator in the 2025 City Organization. The SCC and the Climate Commission Coordinator will transition with the CSO into the new organization structure. The Climate Commission Coordinator will be reclassified to a permanent position as the SCC Coordinator. The City will provide SCC commission members (20 total) with a yearly stipend of $500 in alignment with the City’s Advisory Bodies Program.

Community Impacts and Community Involvement

The SCC will be transparent to the public by providing long runways of information and discussion with stakeholders. All meetings will be publicly accessible with clear communication and opportunities for public comment​. To stay accountable, the SCC will follow through with actions and follow up on concepts and work and recommend processes for evaluation of past policies and programs.

City staff involved the public and integrated their input into the SCC proposal (Exhibit A) by hosting workshops, events, and public comment periods. City staff presented twice for and received feedback from the Community Involvement Committee (CIC) which reviews and advises the way City staff engage with the public in land use and transportation planning, supporting the goals and policies of the Comprehensive Plan.

City staff hosted four workshops with key community members to form a working group made up by:

  • Tana Atchley Culbertson, Nesika Wilamut
  • Jackie Kirouac-Fram, Rebuilding Center 
  • Kristin Leiber, Lloyd EcoDistrict
  • Bryan Lewis, environmental advocate and volunteer
  • Micah Meskel, Bird Alliance of Oregon (fka Portland Audubon)
  • Tim Miller, Oregon Business for Climate 
  • Damon Motz-Storey, Sierra Club Oregon Chapter 
  • Sara O'Brien, Willamette Partnership 
  • Sasha Pollack, Multnomah County Sustainability Commission 
  • Beth Vargas Duncan, Portland Haulers Association & Oregon Refuse and Recycling Association

 *Organizational affiliation given for identification purposes only.

This working group contributed to the overall design of SCC, including structure and function, and participated in activities to depict SCC processes for potential projects, programs, and polices that may be seen by the SCC.  The group provided perspectives from nonprofits, indigenous groups, external advisory bodies, and industry.

City staff also hosted in-person and virtual events to prompt the community, stakeholders, and area partners to explore their climate-action values and vision for Portland’s climate future via an interactive brainstorm activity. The feedback, including over 200 comments, informed the formation of the SCC proposal (Exhibit A). Feedback from a 30-day public comment period was incorporated into the final SCC proposal and showcased at three public events two in-person, and one virtual. 

100% Renewable Goal

N/A. This action does not increase or decrease the City’s total energy use and does not increase or decrease the City’s renewable energy use. 

Budget Office Financial Impact Analysis

In order to support the commission, a limited term position would need to be supported ongoing. Further, each commission member (20 total) receives a $500 annual stipend, resulting in $10,000 in expenses to support the commission. In order to support the commission, a limited term position would need to be supported ongoing. Further, each commission member (20 total) receives a $500 annual stipend, resulting in $10,000 in expenses to support the commission. 

Agenda Items

Passed to second reading

Oral record is closed. Written record closed Friday, April 26, 2024 at 5:00 p.m.
Passed to second reading on May 8, 2024 at 9:30 a.m.

367 Regular Agenda in May 8, 2024 Council Agenda


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



Vivian Satterfield

Chief Sustainability Officer, Planning and Sustainability

Requested Agenda Type


Date and Time Information

Requested Council Date
Changes City Code