The City Manager system is worse. All it does is give an unelected manager the hard decisions and allows the 8 or 10 or 20 (or whatever) Council members to pretend that the decision was out of their hands.

The City Club has been trying to do away with the Commissioner system for a long time. Who would benefit from having one powerful beaurocrat in charge instead of the elected commissioners? Maybe the lawyers and developers at the City Club?


I am 60 years old Disabled person Using a wheelchair 24/7 Paralyzed from chest down. Portland is not working for me but I don’t think this bill will do anything to help me. I have lived here for 40 years having a dog walking business and Housecleaning service till I became disabled.
I managed to eke out a living to support and house myself and pay taxes. Now it seems with the unregulated development I am not going to age in place in Portland. Why because Residential Infill project et al is not interested in addressing the very real issue of affordable/ accessable housing. We elderly disabled low income need to move out of the way for the missing middle. Never mind we paid taxes here for a lifetime theres new folks who need to reap their own American Dream. I deeply resent being labeled a racist or anti environment for having the audacity to use a car to get around. You see accessible also means having a car to get from point A to point B. I don’t have the options abled's have to use mass transit neither do my elderly low income neighbors. We just have our housing. RIP and this bill tokenize disabled and elderly low income in these plans. Those in our position are told to be grateful for existing at all and get ready for the nursing home because oh dear the Missing Middle! Please examine this issue with a more critical eye. You are just a few life events away from being in the same situation.


Educational article and reasonable argument for a different system. However it probably won’t solve the problem you’re trying to solve.
Imagine 100 city council representatives. In a perfectly representative system only 6.3 would be Black. Unwieldy of course. 50 and 3.15? 10 and .63?


It's pieces like this one that highlight the Mercury as an opinion broadsheet vice journalism: "As we’ve seen in both private and public sectors, women of color are forced to work infinitely harder than white men to achieve comparable success,..."
Go ahead and prove that, especially the "infinitely" bit. I'll wait, infinitely.


Changing how Portland’s bureaus are managed by hiring a city manager and expanding the city council from four commissioners to eight is, in my opinion, a guarantee that it will fail.

I’d suggest implementing a more limited district system of electing the current four city council positions first.

A candidate for the city council would be required to run from one of four newly created city council districts. The mayor, of course, would remain a city wide elected official.

In the change I’m proposing, candidates for the city council would be required to live in the district they run from.

The four districts would have populations only slightly larger than a current state senate district. A motivated candidate could actually reach each registered voter by going door to door in one of those four districts. That is not possible with the current at large elections of commissioners.

I believe the significant change of electing city council members by district instead of city wide would be approved by voters- narrowly.

However, adding four additional commissioners, for a total of eight city commissioners (those no room in the current city hall or current council chambers for them, so what is the budget for a major remodel of city hall?) with presumably double the cost of salaries plus added staff and other related expenses, will be met with skepticism (as it has in prior attempts) by voters.

Additionally and more problematic, replacing directly elected officials who oversee Portland’s bureaucracy with an unelected city manager (a position that is one of the most tenuous in local government) will, again, in my opinion, guarantee a defeat at the ballot box.

As firefighters are taught in the training academy, go slow and get there fast.


I hate auto-correct.

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