By Rich Burton | LUTC Chair
In November 2024, Portlanders will vote for three representatives in each district, expanding the City Commission to 12 members. The districts are North / Northeast, East, Southeast, and West. There are three proposed maps for district boundaries and the Concordia neighborhood designation is in the North / Northeast district in all three proposals.
This is a result of Ballot Measure 26-228, which was approved in November 2022. Ballot Measure 26-228 directed the City of Portland to implement these three changes by January 1st, 2025:
- Establish four geographic districts, with three city council members elected to represent each district, expanding the city council to a total of 12 members
- Allow voters to rank candidates in order of preference, using ranked choice voting
- Establish a city council that focuses on setting policy and engaging with community, transitioning day-to-day oversight of bureaus to a mayor elected citywide and a professional city administrator
The Independent District Commission (IDC); tasked with implementing these changes, has been conducting in-person meetings and collecting feedback on the district proposals.
A meeting was held on July 13th in the North / Northeast district at Self Enhancement Inc., a nonprofit aimed at serving underserved youth. At the meeting, North / Northeast Portland community leaders urged to boost engagement efforts and hear all voices to improve equity. Community leaders testified on how the districting process might impact Black Portlanders. Speakers mentioned communities of color and renters as key voices that should be heard when determining the four geographic voting districts. Renters, they said, have traditionally not had a voice on the City Commission and urged the IDC to consider access issues so engagement is truly inclusive. Watch a video of their testimony here.
Feedback gleaned from these community engagements will be used in development of the district plan. Learn more at Portland.gov/transition/districtcommission.
Rich Burton is the Chair of the Land Use and Transportation committee and serves as Member at Large #4 for the Concordia Neighborhood Association board. He is interested in building community.