Appoint Cleo Davis to the Portland Historic Landmarks Commission for a term to expire April 4, 2027


As Mayor, I request Council confirmation of the following appointment to the Portland Historic Landmarks Commission (HLC).

The Portland Historic Landmarks Commission (HLC) has one vacancy that needs action. The HLC is a 7-member volunteer commission which provides leadership and expertise on maintaining and enhancing the City’s historic and architectural heritage. The HLC reviews new development within historic districts and major alterations to historic resources. Members must have a demonstrated interest, competence, or knowledge of historic preservation.

I am recommending one candidate for appointment to a vacant position on the HLC for a 4-year term running from April 5, 2023 through April 4, 2027. 

AppointmentMembership Category1st Full Term
Cleo DavisPublic-at-LargeApril 5, 2023 through April 4, 2027

Cleo Davis is a social design artist who combines disciplines of cultural and creative arts while utilizing design, historic preservation, economic development and city policy. Cleo’s work takes a critical view of social, political and cultural issues, reproducing familiar visual signs, arranging them into new conceptually layered pieces, while advocating for tools of economic growth and policy change.  Cleo is currently engaged in work as a co-instructor of a Portland State University architecture studio looking at the creation of an Albina Monuments Plan, working with Albina Vision Trust on their Community Investment Plan, and running a design-oriented business, Soapbox Theory. Cleo also works as a spatial justice consultant with BDS.

Statement from Cleo Davis:

The history of Portland, PDC and the Black community has affected the community at large and also myself and my family. When it comes to historic preservation, it has been a tool that has gone against the Black community. It’s a tool that is used on a higher level and has kept Black people out of the system. I am interested in historic preservation and cultural preservation; there have to be new voices that can drive the conversation. I would like to challenge the way things are done and be someone who has a voice in making that change.

This candidate will bring a fresh perspective to the Historic Landmarks Commission. As the Commission looks to extend its reach and be more connected and relevant to the broader community of Portlanders, Cleo’s experience with engagement and artistic exploration of historical themes and untold local stories will allow the Commission to forge deeper connections with the community and identify places that matter to Portlanders who may not have historically participated in the bureaucratic processes of the City.

With this appointment, all vacancies on the Historic Landmarks Commission will be filled.

I recommend that Cleo Davis be appointed to the Portland Historic Landmarks Commission for a first term dated April 5, 2023 through April 4, 2027.

Respectfully submitted, 

Ted Wheeler


Impact Statement

Purpose of Proposed Legislation and Background Information

The appointment of this Commissioner is required by Portland City Code [Title 33] to fulfill quorum requirements for Type 2 Appeals and Type 3 Land Use Reviews.

Financial and Budgetary Impacts

The HLC appointments are citizen-volunteer positions, so no revenue or expenses are incurred by this legislation.

Community Impacts and Community Involvement

The Bureau of Development Services continually advertises positions for the Commission through its webpage, City of Portland job opportunities webpage, NeoGov, through media announcements of upcoming positions, and through phone calls and outreach by Staff. Media announcements are widely circulated in the design, development, and neighborhood community news outlets and web pages.

100% Renewable Goal

This proposal is for an appointment of an individual to a volunteer commission; therefore, this goal is not applicable to this action.

This legislation appoints citizen volunteers to serve on the HLC and will therefore have no impact on the City’s energy use. This legislation neither contributes to nor detracts from the City’s goal of meeting 100% of community-wide energy needs with renewable energy by 2050.

Agenda Items

255 Time Certain in April 5, 2023 Council Agenda


Motion to accept the report: Moved by Ryan and seconded by Mapps.
  • Commissioner Dan Ryan Yea
  • Commissioner Rene Gonzalez Yea
  • Commissioner Mingus Mapps Yea
  • Commissioner Carmen Rubio Yea
  • Mayor Ted Wheeler Yea

Requested Agenda Type

Time Certain

Date and Time Information

Requested Council Date
Requested Start Time
10:40 am
Time Requested
10 minutes
Confirmed Time Certain