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Portland's City Government

At Portland Forward, we strongly believe in the power of our governmental systems to have positive impacts on resident's lives. Whether it's providing emergency shelter, making it easier to rent an apartment, or ensuring water comes out when you turn on the tap, city government touches numerous aspects of every resident's day to day experience of this community. And many of the problems faced by people living here can be traced back to underlying structural challenges that block bold policy actions.

Portland's unique commission form of government is antiquated and no longer adequately serves the city.

The once-every-ten-years Charter Review Process is giving the community a chance to update and modernize our city's constitution.

We are closely following the Charter Review Commission's work and are optimistic for the direction they are progressing.

Interested in making a difference for generations of future Portlanders? Dive into the charter review process, starting with our introductory series of articles:

  1. Charter Review Process Explained

  2. What's Up with Bureau Assignments?

  3. The Commission Structure (not yet published, check back soon)

  4. How are City Governments Structured Elsewhere? (not yet published, check back soon)

Huge thank you to our volunteer Brittany van der Salm for her research and writing making this series possible!

Sign up for our email list to stay in the loop!

OTHER Resources

A number of excellent groups recognize the Portland Charter Review process as a tremendous opportunity to reshape our city. Check out the work of organizations like:

The official Charter Review Commission also has their own site where they maintain meeting materials and let you know how you can be involved: Official Charter Review site.

Who we are:

We are an intergenerational
- learning hub -
for the political process
frequently asked questions

How do you choose which issues to work on?


In typical years our members and the community come together for our annual Spring Thing event where we get inspired, talk about challenges and opportunities facing Portland, and decide together which issues are the most pressing. We lean into solutions that will make a real difference in our region and that people are excited to work on.

What if I am not passionate about your issues?


Tell us the issues you are passionate about. We are always on the lookout for new opportunities.

Do you partner with other organizations?


Absolutely, the more the merrier. Please contact us if you would like to partner on an issue.

How do I get involved?


Funny you should ask! Just click on the button below.

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