City seeks community input on future of Enhanced Service Districts in Portland

News Article
Community members pick up garbage in Portland's Central Eastside Industrial District
In response to a critical audit, the City is improving a program that allows property owners to fund extra services such as graffiti and trash removal, social service outreach and special events. Portlanders are invited to take a survey, attend listening sessions and sign up for email updates.

Portlanders are invited to help shape the future of the city’s Enhanced Service Districts, where property owners fund enhanced services such as trash and graffiti removal, social service outreach and special events. 

The City of Portland is launching a review of the program in response to a 2020 audit that called for significant improvements. This spring and summer, community members will have opportunities to take a survey, attend a listening session, receive email updates or request a meeting.

This fall the Portland City Council is expected to consider recommendations for improving the program, which empowers communities to develop and fund solutions to neighborhood challenges. Today, three enhanced service districts are operating in Portland’s central city: the Central Eastside Industrial District, the Lloyd District and the Clean & Safe District. 

“Enhanced Service Districts offer a powerful tool for communities to respond to the needs of local residents, businesses and visitors,” said Shawn Campbell, who was hired in August as the City’s first Enhanced Service Districts coordinator. “Working together, we can make sure that tool is delivering the results that Portlanders expect.” 

In August 2020, Portland’s City Auditor released a report citing issues with the program – including a lack of oversight and transparency, the need for guidelines to create and govern districts, and concerns about the use of private security to patrol public areas. 

In response, the City and the three existing service districts agreed to jointly fund a program coordinator position. Campbell, who filled this new role, is responsible for providing oversight, negotiating new contracts, acting as a liaison and facilitator between the districts and City bureaus, and coordinating a comprehensive review of the program. 

To create a shared foundation of knowledge, the City started by gathering information and data, which is available on an updated website for the Enhanced Service Districts Program. With this stage complete, the comprehensive review is now moving into a listening stage. 

Community input will inform recommendations for improving the program, which are expected to go to City Council by fall 2022. If the City Council approves any changes to City Code, contracts with existing service districts will be renegotiated to make sure they are in alignment.   

Here’s how to get involved. 

Sign up for regular email updates, to make sure you don’t miss important news and opportunities to participate. 

Take a survey. Before June 30, spend about 35 minutes to share your opinions in an initial survey. Additional surveys will be conducted later in the process.

Register for a community discussion session. Join City representatives during a series of community discussion sessions in June and August to discuss issues being examined in the audit response. Each session will focus on a different topic, such as governance or public safety programs. 

Meet with the coordinator. Email shawn.campbell@portlandoregon.g… to schedule a meeting to share your viewpoints, ideas and concerns. Meetings are available to individuals and groups.      

Provide written comments. Share your feedback anonymously by filling out this open-ended comment form.

Learn more on the Enhanced Service District Program’s Audit Response webpage.  


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