Portland Transition: Geographic Districts

People lounge and talk at Pioneer Square in downtown Portland.
Portland voters will elect three city councilors to represent each of four new geographic districts, expanding the city council to a total of 12 people.

Portland is establishing geographic districts for its city council – one of three major changes underway for the city’s election system and form of government.

Currently, all four of Portland’s city commissioners are elected “at-large” across the city, meaning a candidate for any seat can live anywhere in Portland. Under the new system, voters will select three candidates from each of four districts, expanding the city council to 12 people. The mayor and auditor will still be elected at-large.

How Geographic Districts Work

After geographic districts are established, each Portland voter can help elect three city councilors to represent their part of the city. City Council members will serve terms of four years.

This change is closely connected with Portland’s transition to ranked-choice voting.

The Transition Process

Proposed Geographic Districts

An Independent District Commission will create four geographic districts that meet voter-approved criteria:

  • Contiguous, compact, use existing geographic or political boundaries
  • Connected by transportation links
  • Equal population
  • Don’t divide communities of common interest
  • Don’t favor any political party or candidate
  • Don’t dilute voting strength of any language or ethnic minority group

Throughout the process, community members will be invited to learn about the Commission’s work and share their opinions. 


The Independent District Commission will begin its work in January 2023 and adopt districts by September 2023. The first election using the new districts will take place in November 2024.

Get Involved

The City of Portland is committed to transparency and accountability. Stay tuned for more information about the transition.