Notice of upcoming Independent District Commission public hearing on District Plan Criteria

News Article
The Independent District Commission will lead the effort to establish four new geographic districts for Portland’s next city council.


Wednesday, March 22 from 6 to 8 p.m.

  • This will be a virtual event hosted on Zoom.
  • To sign up for more information, visit the event page.

How to Comment

The Independent District Commission is seeking public comment on whether any additional plan criteria should be considered, in addition to the criteria already identified in the charter. The public comment period on district plan criteria ends at 8 a.m. on Monday, April 3. Here are all the ways Portlanders can submit testimony in any language:  


District Criteria

The commission wants to hear from Portlanders about whether any additional district plan criteria should be considered before they begin to develop the district plan.

The voter approved district criteria, requires that the district commission ensure that each district, as nearly as practical, is:

    1. Contiguous and compact;  
    2. Using existing geographic or political boundaries;
    3. Not dividing communities of common interests;
    4. Connected by transportation links; and,
    5. Of equal population.

The district commission must also ensure that NO district will be drawn for the purpose of:

    1. Favoring any political party, incumbent elected official, or other person, AND,
    2. Diluting the voting strength of any language or ethnic minority group.

Overview of the Independent District Commission

The Independent District Commission is responsible for establishing four geographic districts for city council elections, helping implement a major transition for Portland's election system and form of government. This group of 13 community members is expected to complete its work by Sept. 1, 2023.

As the Commission prepares the district plan, they are required to use the voter-approved district criteria, and any additional criteria they set forth, as long as it is consistent with state and federal law.

The District Commission is also required hold nine public hearings:

  • One public hearing early in the process before it develops the district plan, to seek public comment on whether any additional plan criteria should be considered, in addition to the criteria already in the charter.
  • Two public hearings in each of the proposed districts before voting to adopt the district plan.

All public meetings are scheduled and posted on our website as “events”.

The draft district plan must be available to community one month before the first public hearing, and the District Commission can’t vote on the plan until one month after the last public hearing. The District Commission has unique authority. If nine out of the 13 voting Commissioners approve the plan, then its adopted and final. However, if after two votes, the District Commission can’t reach the nine super-majority vote result, then the most recent version of the plan is referred to city council for its consideration and adoption.

The commission must adopt its district plan by no later than Friday, Sept. 1, 2023.