Recently, the Portland Charter Commission approved a plan to be voted on in the November election. This will be an opportunity for Portlanders to vote on the form we want our government to take and how our elections will work in the future. The Charter Commission has approved the following items in the measure:
- City Councilors will no longer manage City Bureaus.
- The mayor will no longer sit as a member of the City Council, but will have a vote to break ties.
- The mayor will appoint a City Manager with day-to-day management responsibilities over the city bureaus. The City Manager appointment will be approved by a majority of the Council.
- The mayor will not have veto authority over the City Council.
- The City Council will include 12 members elected from four geographic districts, each having three members.
- A ranked-choice-voting system will be put in place where voters may select multiple candidates running in their home district and order their choices. The top three vote getters will be elected.
The commission, arguing that these reforms work as a whole to increase representation, accountability, and improved governance, decided to place all of these measures into a single Yes/No ballot question.
We will have a member of the Charter Review Commission at our September 8th meeting to present the plan and answer questions from the community. This is an important and complex topic. Please bring your questions! The meeting will take place at SE Uplift, 3534 SE Main St. at 7 p.m.
You can read more at the Charter Commission website, https://www.portland.gov/omf/charter-review-commission.