Charter Commission Update

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,

What if We Got it Right?

I was listening to a recent podcast from On Being with Krista Tippett. She was interviewing a marine biologist who asked a BIG QUESTION….  “What if we got it right?” She is referring to the fact that, we, as humans, know all the reasons that there is a climate crisis, and that, in fact, we already know many right actions that, taken soon and collaboratively, might put us on a better path.

Jumping to my favorite topic – emergency preparation. What if the BIG QUESTIONS questions shifted to something like this…What have I already done to be prepared for any type of emergency? What else needs to be done? Who can I engage to help me be more prepared?

When it finally stops raining, I plan to write a chalk greeting on the public sidewalk in front of my home, something like… “Are you my neighbor?” I plan to invite friends on my block to write a similar greeting. It’s a conversation starter and a way to build community. And then I can ask my neighbors the BIG QUESTIONS mentioned above. One conversation at a time. 

What might you plan to do to build/expand your community and build resilience and safety?

Cheers for summer, and continue to reach out ([email protected]) if you need support with your questions about emergency preparedness.

Sunnyside Neighborhood Community Cares (SNACC) Committee Updates

The SNACC committee met in-person again this month (although a few members joined virtually, including two new faces). Welcome to the neighborhood Ignacio and Eleanor! We discussed several updates on meetings our members recently attended, including LNA’s IDEA committee meeting and a community listening session about a possible tiny home village coming soon to Laurelhurst that will serve Indigenous houseless folks. We discussed planning a series of community meetings between our volunteers and guests at the Sunnyside Shower Project (SSP), as well as some fundraising plans to repair damage at the Sunnyside Methodist Church. This brought us to a discussion of our strategic vision for our committee’s work and the future of the SSP. 

June’s SNACC meeting will be devoted to a deeper dive into strategic planning, and we intend to host this meeting outside (location TBD) to make attendance more accessible. This will be the beginning of a multi-step process that engages housed and unhoused neighbors to set intentions for how we can bring our collective vision for this committee and the SSP to life.