information
Impacts to City Services

Find information about city services during this Emergency Declaration for Work Stoppage

Phase II: Work of the Charter Commission

Information
A picture of a talk bubble with a pen writing within it next to the words "Other Reforms"
On this page

Phase II: Ongoing Work of the Charter Commission 

The Charter Commission, as part of their phase II work, voted to refer nine proposals to Portland voters in November 2024, and recommended six proposals to Portland City Council. The proposals referred to the November 2024 election will appear in the form of five or six ballot measures, pending further review by the City Attorney’s Office. With the proposals being referred to City Council, Council will decide whether to refer those recommendations to the ballot as-is, modify them, or do nothing.

Proposals advanced

Proposals referred to the November 2024 election: 

  • Delete the prohibition on mandating the weatherization of structures built before September 1, 1979. 

  • Clarify language to reflect the City’s existing role to protect recreational and natural resources. 

  • Clarify language to reflect the City’s existing role to protect and manage water, sewage, and stormwater.  

  • Delete vague and archaic language: “roaming the streets at unseasonable hours”.  

  • Delete vague and archaic language: “offensive” businesses. 

  • Delete outdated, burdensome, and redundant requirements for franchise agreements. 

  • Update, and make consistent, references to “protected classes”.  

  • Replace “disability” with “incapacity” when referencing an elected official’s inability to perform their duties.  

  • Create an Independent Portland Elections Commission.

Proposals recommended to City Council:

  • Remove the 5% cap on the City’s transient lodgings tax.  

  • Create an article dedicated to environmental issues that includes environmental justice as a core value of the City, requires the City to assess the climate impact of its decisions and establishes a right to a clean and healthy environment.  

  • Establish meaningful public engagement as a core value of the City.  

  • Require the City to create by ordinance a participatory budgeting program open to all residents.  

  • Expand right to vote in City elections to the fullest extent allowed by law. 

  • Create an Office of the Transparency Advocate. 

Next steps

DateActivities
12/03/2022Charter Commission final work session 
01/05/2023Release final phase II progress report
01/19/2023Charter Commission Presentation & Auditor's Report to City Council
No later Than 01/30/2023Ballot titles & explanatory statements to Auditor 

Background information on phase II

Background context 

Early in charter review, the Charter Commission voted to approach charter review in two phases. Phase I focusing solely on changes to our City Government and Phase II on an additional set of issues yet to be determined. Over the past 18 months, the Charter Commission heard from thousands of Portlanders about their priorities and ideas for charter review. Any phase II recommendations agreed to by a supermajority of Commissioners would be advanced to voters to a future ballot. Some topics considered included:

  • Climate and environmental justice
  • Participatory budgeting
  • The role of the Auditor’s Office and review of Auditor-proposed amendments
  • Community safety and police accountability
  • Campaign finance: governance and reform
  • Bureau-proposed charter amendments
  • Expanding voting rights and eligibility
  • Reviewing and updating the Prosper Portland charter chapter
  • Service alignment and bureau coordination including houselessness
  • Increased access to information, and civic engagement and education
  • Infusing equity and Portland’s core values in the charter
  • Government transparency and access to public records

Subcommittees

On June 30, the Charter Commission held the first meeting focusing on Phase II work. At the meeting the Commission agreed to establish three subcommittees focused on these topic areas. 

Climate and Environmental Justice

This subcommittee was charged with studying a priority topic identified by the Commission – climate and environmental justice – and making recommendations to the full Commission for its consideration. With the full Commission’s approval, the subcommittee may choose to address additional topics.

Subcommittee membership: The following Charter Commissioners served on this subcommittee: Amira Streeter (Chair), Candace Avalos, Brenda Ketah, Bryan Lewis (Chair), Dave Galat, Debra Porta, Debbie Kitchin, Gloria Cruz, Hanna Osman (Chair), and Raahi Reddy.

Bureau & Office Proposed Amendments 

This subcommittee was charged with studying a priority topic identified by the Commission – the bureau and office proposed amendments and consideration of technical clean up to the City Charter – and making recommendations to the full Commission for its consideration. With the full Commission’s approval, the subcommittee may choose to address additional topics.

Subcommittee membership: The following Charter Commissioners served on this subcommittee: Amira Streeter, Andrew Speer, David Chen (Chair), Dave Galat, David Knowles (Chair), and Hanna Osman.

Expansion of Voting Rights

This subcommittee was charged with studying a priority topic identified by the Commission – the bureau proposed amendments and consideration of technical fixes to the City Charter – and making recommendations to the full Commission for its consideration.  With the full Commission’s approval, the subcommittee may choose to address additional topics. 

Subcommittee membership: The following Charter Commissioners served on this subcommittee:  Anthony Castaneda, Bryan Lewis, Salome Chimuku (Chair), and Yasmin Ibarra,  

Engagement 

Even though the Charter Commission approached their work in two phases, engagement has been continuous. The robust community education, engagements activities and public input received throughout phase I helped inform and built the foundation for the proposals of phase II.

Charter Commission phase II public hearings

Charter Commission Climate & Environmental Justice Community Listening Sessions 

Engagements

Note: The total to date includes engagements through November 10, 2022. Phase II engagements are distinguished starting on May 30, 2022, when the official public comment period of phase I work closed.

EngagementsPhase IITotal to Date 
Survey responsesN/A4,022
People receiving monthly email updates3811,423
Community listening sessions (partner & Commission hosted)228
Participants at listening sessions (partner & Commission hosted)93673
Public comments received2061,806
Hours of verbal public comment318.5
Public meetings + hearings26104
Charter review briefings & presentations23133
Policy discussions with community organizations640

Contact

Sofía Álvarez-Castro

Charter Commission Engagement & Communications Coordinator

News and notices

Published
Published
Published

Past Events

Available Online
Available Online
Available Online
Available Online