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Community Engagement

Charter Commission Community Engagement
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Community education & engagement partnerships

The important work of charter review required engaging Portlanders across neighborhoods, lived experiences, and backgrounds. The Charter Commission was committed to a community-driven process informed by an equitable, accessible, and transparent community engagement process. The Charter Commission partnered with various community-based organization to support the design and implementation of community education and engagement actives to meaningfully engage Portland’s diverse communities​.

Community Engagement Committee

The Charter Commission established a Community Engagement Committee composed of Charter Commissioners to co-creates community education and engagement strategies for the full Charter Commission that promoted transparency and public trust in the charter review process and meaningfully engaged Portland's diverse communities. The Community Engagement Committee met throughout the charter review process to plan and evaluates engagement strategies for the Charter Commission.

Coalition of Communities of Color

The Charter Commission partnered with the Coalition of Communities of Color (CCC) on the design and implementation of community education and engagement activities to meaningfully engage Portland's diverse communities in the charter review process with a focus on Portlanders who have been historically left out of city hall decision-making.

The Coalition of Communities Color partnered with a 12-member collaborative that included the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO), Hacienda CDC, IRCO Africa House,Pacific Islander & Asian Family Center, Muslim Educational Trust, Native American Youth & Family Center, Inc., Slavic & Eastern European Center, Street RootsUnite Oregon, Urban League of Portland,Verde, and Next Up. All these partners brought a deep community relationships and cultural expertise, with extensive experience in community engagement sessions, outreach, and trainings. The primary focus of CCC's collaborative was culturally-specific outreach and community engagement sessions with partner organizations. The secondary focus was a broad multiracial outreach to the public at large while ensuring that all outreach materials are accessible to BIPOC communities, with anti-racist engagement strategies.

Community Engagement Cohort

The Charter Commission also established a community engagement cohort made up of seven community-based organizations. Cohort members spend about 12 hours a month developing ways for community members to provide input – and then engage the communities they serve to participate in charter review. This approach was designed to ensure that engagement is culturally relevant, reduced barriers to participation and compensated community organizations for their expertise. Participating cohort members include Taking Ownership PDX, Hygiene4All, Equitable Giving Circle, Rosewood Initiative, East Portland Action Plan, Rohingya Youth Association of Portland (RYAP), and Sunrise Movement PDX.

Previous engagements

Engagement by the numbers

The Charter Commission was committed to tracking and reporting its engagements. Below is a snapshot of the Charter Commission’s engagements as of March 31, 2022 and not an exhaustive list of all engagements.

Survey responses 4,022
People receiving monthly updates1,310
Community listening sessions (partner & Commission hosted)26
Participants at listening sessions (partner & Commission hosted)580
Public comments received1,600
Hours of verbal public comment15 hours
Public meetings81
Charter review briefings & presentation111
Policy discussion with community organizations34
Media articles, interviews, or inquiries109
Phase I Public Hearings

The Charter Commission hosted a series of hybrid (in-person & virtual) public hearings in May 2022 for community members to share their thoughts on phase I proposed charter amendments. To learn more and watch recording, click here

Phase I Community Listening Sessions

The Charter Commission hosted a series of Community Listening Session in November 2021 and January 2022. In both sets of sessions, community members had the opportunity to learn more about the charter review process and the issues currently being researched by the Charter Commission (form of government & city council elections) and give input. As the Charter Commission hosted Community Listening Sessions, the Coalition of Communities of Color and the 12- member collaborative that we've partnered with on community education and engagement concurrently hosted 24 community workshops. To learn more and watch recordings, click here

Phase II Community Listening Session

The Charter Commission hosted two virtual Community Listening Sessions in September 2022 on Climate and Environmental Justice. One of the sessions was hosted by the Charter Commission and the second by one of our collaborative partners, Unite Oregon. Participants got the opportunity to listen to an educational presentation on the charter review process, the work done in Phase II, and Climate and Environmental Justice. Afterward, participants joined small breakout groups to discuss folks' lived experience with the climate crisis and suggestions for ways the City can better address climate and environmental justice issues. To learn more, watch recording or read our summary, click here

Phase II Public Hearings

The Charter Commission hosted two virtual public hearings in November 2022 for community members to share their thoughts on the phase II proposed charter amendments. To learn more and watch the recordings, click here.

How community engaged with the Charter Review process?

Public meetings

All our meetings were open to the public and hosted on Zoom. Community members had the opportunity to follow along with the Commission's work and join the meetings virtually and engage using the Zoom Q&A feature or in-person by submitting questions through our public comment form. Please check out the events  section of the website to see past and upcoming meetings and agendas.

Meeting recordings

All our meetings were recorded and posted on our website. Please check out the past events and hearing section of the website, and you will find all our previous meetings, recordings, and meeting summaries.

Public comment

The Charter Commission accepted public comments via a variety of ways. Including through an online public comment form, via email to, or via phone by calling 3-1-1. 

Verbal public comments

Community members were invited to sign-up online to give verbal public testimony at one of our Charter Commission meetings. At each Charter Commission meeting, there was between 30 to 60 minutes of public testimony. Community members were given three minutes to share their thoughts. 


Charter Commissioners and staff were happy to connect with community-based organizations and community groups. Community members could request a briefing by email

Email updates

The Charter Commission sent monthly email updates to provide community members with transparency in the charter review process. Our email update list serv in now switching to transition related updates. You can still sign-up for email updates here

Community events

The Charter Commission and our community partner have hosted various community events and hearings—make sure to check out the events sections to see previous community events.

Key documents

The Charter Commission has thoroughly documented the Charter Review process and has issued a series of progress reports and summaries. Make sure to check out the Learn About the Charter Review Process & Meeting Your Commissioners and key documents & information section to learn more and stay up to date.


Sofía Álvarez-Castro

Charter Commission Engagement & Communications Coordinator