Work to transition City’s government is underway, Independent District Commission applications due Dec. 1

News Article
One of three major changes headed to Portland’s city government is the establishment of four geographic districts for future city council elections. An Independent District Commission made up of Portland residents will be charged with preparing the district plan. Applications are due Dec. 1, 2022.

Portlanders this month voted to approve an historic suite of changes to their City government and the two-year clock to transition the City of Portland’s election system and form of government has already begun ticking.

One of the three major changes voters called for is the establishment of four geographic districts for Portland’s city council. The City will look to an Independent District Commission comprised of community members to lead this work, and recruitment is already underway.

Currently, all four of Portland’s city commissioners are elected citywide and allow for candidates to live anywhere in Portland. Beginning in November 2024, three city councilors will be elected in each of the four new geographic districts. The mayor and auditor will still be elected citywide.

An infographic shows key elements of the City of Portland's transition to a new election system and form of government: ranked choice voting, geographic districts, 12 city councilors, and new roles for city leaders.

Applications to serve on the Independent District Commission are being accepted through Dec. 1, 2022

“Civic engagement happens whenever there are people who come together to identify and solve common concerns,” said Michael Montoya, who oversees the City’s Office of Community & Civic Life. “Thousands of Portlanders were engaged in developing these charter reforms and we’ll need Portlanders to stay engaged as we develop implementation strategies to prepare us for Election Day two short years from now.”

The Independent District Commission will be responsible for:

  • Holding a citywide public hearing early in the process to engage Portlanders on district criteria
  • Holding at least two public hearings in each proposed district before voting to adopt a district plan
  • Ensuring district maps are consistent with state and federal laws and criteria

The Commission will be composed of 13 Portland residents who represent a diversity of race, gender, age and geography. The mayor will appoint members of the Independent District Commission, subject to confirmation by the city council. Commission members cannot be elected or appointed City officials and employees, or candidates for elected city office who have filed and been qualified to the ballot by the City Elections Office.

Commission appointments will be made by the end of January in order to prepare district maps and plans for adoption by Sept. 1, 2023.

Learn more about the Independent District Commission and district maps.

Apply by Dec. 1, 2022 to serve on the Independent District Commission.