March 2023 Transition Update

News Article
An update on the City of Portland's voter-approved plan to transition its form of government.

Dear Community Members,

Voter-approved changes to Portland’s elections and city government are taking shape!  Keep reading for updates about how we’re preparing to: 

  • Establish four new geographic districts for the Portland City Council this year.
  • Host the city’s first election using districts and ranked-choice voting in November 2024.
  • Officially launch a new and transformative government model by January 2025.

Catch up on all your transition news with first progress report, transition website 

The City is releasing its first quarterly progress report about the transition. This is your deep dive on all the activity taking place to transform Portland’s city government. 

Read the progress report

Stay up to date on news and sign up for updates at

Independent District Commission takes first steps to establish City Council districts 

The 13-member independent community body responsible for preparing and adopting a district plan met for the first time during February. Since then, the District Commission has focused on whether they want to establish any draft criteria in addition to the voter-approved district criteria in the charter. A decision about criteria will be made at the next District Commission meeting, from 6 to 9 p.m. next Monday, March 13. Community members can share their input on district criteria at a District Commission public hearing from 6 to 8 p.m. on March 22.  

Learn more, submit public comment, sign up to give verbal testimony, join public meetings, sign up for email updates and more at the District Commission website

Draft revisions to election code released with new ranked-choice voting language   

To carry out charter amendments, we also need to update city code.  Draft revisions are now available for the election code, including new language to govern ranked-choice voting. Community members can weigh in on policy choices in the code and voter education needs by submitting comments or attending a listening session next Wednesday, March 15. City Council is expected to consider and adopt revisions to the elections code through a first reading April 12 and a second reading April 19. 

Read the draft code and a description of policy choices.  

Submit public comments

Register for the March 15 listening session. For those who cannot attend the listening session, a copy of the presentation and accompanying survey will be available soon on the transition website. 

Salary Commission appointed to establish elected officials’ salaries 

Five human resources professionals and two alternates were appointed this week to serve on the City of Portland’s first Salary Commission – leading the charge to establish salaries for the city councilors, mayor and auditor who will take office in Portland’s new form of government in January 2025. Starting this month, the Salary Commission will conduct 11 meetings, propose salaries, and hear community feedback. They must adopt elected officials’ salaries by Aug. 1, 2023. 

Learn more about the Salary Commissioners

City launches assessment of organization, service delivery 

In Portland’s new form of government, bureaus will be overseen by a city administrator rather than the mayor and members of the city council. To prepare, the City’s transition team is examining how bureaus are structured and designing a new organizational structure – one that the new city administrator can manage effectively. This assessment also provides an opportunity to improve service delivery to Portlanders. A series of programmatic assessments are kicking off later this month, with initial organizational changes set to be identified this October and implemented in the financial year that starts in July 2024. We’ll also look at long-term process improvements and other ways to enhance city services, driven by community, City Council and Charter Commission priorities.  

For more information, read the Transition Implementation Progress Report

Share your ideas 

Share your ideas about the transition by using this online comment form or
calling 3-1-1.