information
COVID-19 Safety, Recovery and Resilience

Face coverings are required in indoor public spaces and many outdoor spaces. State policy
Access City programs, people and projects helping Portland recover. Portland United

Volunteer. Play. Stay. Shop. Show the Rose City a little love. Here for Portland

Phase I: Form of Government & City Council Elections

Information
On this page

Commissioners are currently focusing on two issues, Form of Government and City Council Elections. In phase II, Commissioners will focus on additional subcommittees on topics to be determined. To learn more about timeline and process, please read the Learn About the Charter Review process & Meet Your Commissioners. Here you will be able to find all the latest information about the two subcommittees. 

Phase I subcommittee desired outcomes:

The Charter Commission defined what it is trying to achieve through its review and reform of both form of government and city council elections. Our desired outcomes and some guiding considerations are here:

  • Participatory and growing democracy with more voices being heard in elections
  • Accessible and transparent government with Councilors who are easy to reach
  • Reflective government with Councilors who look like the community they represent
  • Responsive government with Councilors who understand your community needs
  • Accountable government with Councilors who answer to the people
  • Trustworthy government with Councilors who safeguard democracy

Form of Government

This subcommittee is charged with developing recommendations for the full Charter Commission on Portland’s form of government, specifically: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?

Membership:

The following Commissioners will be focusing on Form of Government: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 meeting have been scheduled so far, please check out events section of the website for meeting information:

  • Tuesday, October 5, 2021, 6-8pm
  • Monday, November 1, 2021, 6-8pm
  • Tuesday, November 30, 2021, 6-8pm
Key documents:

Read the Form of Government subcommittee charter here.

Subcommittee memo template can be found here.

Engagement:

Commissioners want to hear from you! Please submit your comments regarding Form of Government through our online public comment form!

The Charter Commission Community Engagement Committee is planning virtual listening sessions for community members to give feedback on Phase I issues, form of government and city council elections, More information with coming soon!

  • Listening session #1 Tuesday, November 9th from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
  • Listening session #2 Saturday, November 13th from 12:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Progress update:

The Form of Government subcommittee is currently focusing on the following research questions:

  • Legislative Authority: Who should have the power to make the laws?  
  • Executive Authority: Who should have the power to carry out the laws?  
  • Mayor is a member of Council: Should the Mayor be a member of City Council?  
  • Mayor votes with Council: Should the Mayor vote with Council?  
  • Mayor has veto authority: Should the Mayor have veto authority?  
  • Appointment & removal of Chief Administrative Officer and City Manager: Who should be able to appoint and remove a CAO and City Manager?  
  • Appointment & removal of bureau directors: Who should be able to appoint and remove bureau directors?  
  • Policy development: Who should be responsible for developing policy?  
  • Prepare budget: Who should be responsible for preparing the budget?

City Council Elections

This subcommittee is charged with developing recommendations for the full Charter Commission on Portland’s city council elections, specifically: 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?

Membership:

The following Commissioners will be focusing on City Council Elections: Anthony Castaneda, Becca Uherbelau, Bryan William Lewis, Dave Galat, Candace Avalos, Debbie Kitchin, Debra Porta, Melanie Billings-Yun, 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 events section of the website for meeting information:

  • Wednesday, October 13, 2021, 6-8pm
  • Thursday, November 4, 2021, 6-8pm
  • Thursday, December 2, 2021, 6-8pm
Key documents:

Read the City Council Elections subcommittee charter here

Subcommittee memo template can be found here.

Engagement:

Commissioners want to hear from you! Please submit your comments regarding City Council Elections through our online public comment form!

The Charter Commission Community Engagement Committee is planning virtual listening sessions for community members to give feedback on Phase I issues, form of government and city council elections, More information with coming soon!

  • Listening session #1 Tuesday, November 9th from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
  • Listening session #2 Saturday, November 13th from 12:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Progress update:

The City Council Elections subcommittee is currently focusing on the following research questions:

  • Elected offices: Which offices should be elected by the people?
  • Council constituency: What should the constituency of Councilors be? Examples include at-large, district, or a mixture of at-large and district. If the Committee recommends districts, how should districts be drawn?
  • Council size: How many City Councilors should we have to fulfill the work of Portland? 
  • Form of voting: What form of voting should we use to elect city elected offices? Should our system retain a winner-take-all/loser has none approach? 
  • Timing of elections: Should we have a two-round system that includes a primary and a general election? Should local elections be aligned with the presidential general election? Should the length of campaigns change?
  • Expanding democracy: Who should have the ability to vote on Portland’s elected leaders? Who should have the ability to take part in direct democracy ballot measures?
  • Campaign finance: How can funds be raised and spent? What is the role of public financing?

Contact

Julia Meier

Charter Commission Project Manager