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Charter Commission August 2021 Update

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Dear Community Members,

Charter Commissioners have been busy. In our June update, we shared that Commissioners approved the formation of two subcommittees, Form of Government and City Council Elections. Since then, more has happened that we want to share with you!

What's happened?

July information session

At the July Information Session with Public Comment meeting, Commissioners voted to approach charter review in two phases. Commissioners will begin phase I immediately with two issues: Form of Government and City Council Elections. In early 2022, the Commission will move onto phase II, which will include additional issues to be determined.

Why a phased approach?

Charter Commissioners chose a phased approach because it builds on the community momentum around form of government and city council elections, it recognizes the complexity of these issues, it allows us to know the recommendations around form of government and city council elections as we take on additional issues, and it gives time for community to identify other priorities for the Charter Commission to consider.

Some phase II topics Commissioners are considering include service alignment and bureau coordination, accountability and transparency, and democracy growth. Commissioners want to hear from you on what additional topics to consider!

August operations meeting

At the August Operations meeting, Commissioners voted on new rotating co-chairs for the Commission. Welcome, Commissioners Raahi Reddy and Amira Streeter! And thank you, Commissioners Salome Chimuku and Vadim Mozyrsky, for your service! Commissioners also voted on committee membership and co-chairs for the Form of Government and City Council Elections subcommittees (see below to learn more). Lastly, Commissioners formalized the Community Engagement Committee which is charged with co-creating community education and community engagement strategies for the full Charter Commission that promote transparency and public trust in the charter review process and meaningfully engage Portland’s diverse communities.


Phase I will begin now and phase II will begin in early 2022. Phase I anticipates reporting findings in late June of 2022 for Portlanders to vote on the November 2022 ballot. Phase II anticipates reporting findings in December 2022 and having those charter amendments considered by Portlanders on a future ballot. Please note that the timeline may change as charter review proceeds, but it reflects the Commission's current thinking.

Phase I Issues

Phase I is focused on Form of Government and City Council Elections. Please check out the Phase I section on our website to learn more.

Form of Government

This subcommittee is charged with developing recommendations for the full Charter Commission on Portland’s form of government: What form of city government should we have? What should the roles of the Mayor and City Council be? Should we have a City Manager? How should bureaus be managed?


The members on the Form of Government committee include: Amira Streeter, Andrew Speer, Angela Jones, Anthony Castaneda, Becca Uherbelau, Brenda Ketah, Bryan William Lewis, Candace Avalos, Dave Galat, Debbie Kitchin, Karol Collymore, Melanie Billings-Yun, Raahi Reddy, Salome Chimuku, Steven Phan, and Vadim Mozyrsky. Commissioners Candace Avalos and Andrew Speer will be serving as co-chairs of the subcommittee

Meeting times

The Form of Government Subcommittee will be meeting though May 2022, the following meetings have been scheduled so far, please check out the events page for meeting information:

  • Monday, August 16, 2021, 6-8pm
  • Tuesday, September 7, 2021, 6-8pm
  • Tuesday, October 5, 2021, 6-8pm
  • Monday, November 1, 2021, 6-8pm
  • Tuesday, November 30, 2021, 6-8pm
City Council Elections

This subcommittee is charged with developing recommendations for the full Charter Commission on Portland’s city council elections: What should the constituency of city councilors be, e.g. city-wide, district-based, hybrid? How many city councilors should there be? What form of voting should we use to elect city council members? How should we time city council elections?


The members on City Council Elections subcommittee include: Anthony Castaneda, Becca Uherbelau, Bryan William Lewis, Dave Galat, Candace Avalos, Debbie Kitchin, Debra Porta, Raahi Reddy, Robin Ye, Salome Chimuku, Vadim Mozyrsky and Yasmin Ibarra. Commissioners Robin Ye and Yasmin Ibarra will be serving as co-chairs of the subcommittee.

Meeting times

The City Council Elections Subcommittee will be meeting through May 2022, the following meetings have been scheduled so far, please check out the events page for meeting information:

  • Tuesday, August 17, 2021, 6-8pm
  • Wednesday, September 8, 2021, 6-8pm
  • Wednesday, October 13, 2021, 6-8pm
  • Thursday, November 4, 2021, 6-8pm
  • Thursday, December 2, 2021, 6-8pm


We are so thankful for all the individuals we’ve had the opportunity to hear from. Thank you to all who’ve submitted public comments or signed up to give verbal public comments. As of August 5, 2021, we’ve received a total of 187 public comments through our online public comment form, via email, and through verbal public comments. Of the 187 comments received, 63% of the comments mentioned form of government, 39% mentioned city council elections and alternative voting methods, 9% mentioned transparency, 7% mentioned police, 6% mention homelessness and 6% mention accountability.

Please share your comments

We encourage folks to submit public comment at any time through our online public comment form or via email to The Charter Commission wants to understand your perspectives on:

  • Form of government
  • City Council elections
  • Other topics you want us to consider
Sign up to give verbal public comment

Sign up to provide verbal public testimony. The upcoming Commission meetings when we take verbal public comment are currently scheduled for:

  • Thursday, September 23th
  • Thursday, October 28th
  • Tuesday, November 16th
  • Monday, December 13th
Attend a meeting

All our meetings are open to the public and are recorded, including the upcoming subcommittee meetings! Please check out the events section on our website for more information and to find recordings and meeting summaries.

Funding opportunities for community engagement

The City of Portland’s two funding opportunities have now closed for partner organizations to help design and implement community education and engagement activities to meaningfully engage Portland’s diverse communities in the City Charter review process. Applications for the community engagement cohort and proposals in response to the request for proposals for community engagement were due on August 6, 2021. Check back later on the Community Engagement section of our website to learn about these funding opportunities and see who’s been selected.