I’ve been following the Portland Charter Review process closely since it started in 2020 and have done what I can to make the process a little more understandable. Those efforts have included Twitter threads, explainers, and even ideas for folks interested in submitting public comments. I’m collecting all the materials I’ve made here and will continue to add additional items as I make or find them.
Materials I’ve Created (Arranged By Topic)
- Discussion of the Charter’s Background and the Review Process — Portland from the Left, a podcast, had me on to discuss the charter’s background. There’s also a transcript of our conversation.
- Discussion of the Future of the Charter — Portland from the Left also had me talk about the charter’s future. There’s also a transcript of our conversation.
Public Testimony to the Charter Review Commission
- Public Comment Sign Up Explainer — As of March 2022, the Charter Review Commission is requesting Portland residents share their experiences and opinions. This explainer goes through the process of signing up, as well as covering ideas of what to comment on.
- Twitter Thread on Giving Public Testimony — This thread covers material included in the explainer adapted to social media. The thread itself is on Twitter, but there’s also a PDF of the tweets included in the thread.
- Thursday Bram’s Testimony to the Charter Review Commission — This is a written version of the verbal testimony I gave to the Charter Review Commission in September 2021.
Applying to Join the Charter Review Commission (Application Now Closed)
- Application Explainer — During the process of selecting commissioners for the Charter Review commission, I created this explainer to help more people apply for the commission.
- Twitter Threads on Applying — This thread covers material included in the explainer adapted to social media. The threads are on Twitter, but there’s also a PDF of the tweets included in the threads, because finding old tweets is difficult.
Additional Resources From Other Sources
- The Charter Review Commission — The City of Portland’s page for the charter review commission, including links to videos of past meetings
- The Charter Review Commission’s Phase I — The Charter Review Commission’s explanation of the phases of the review process
- The City that Works — The League of Women Voters’ report on the city’s form of government, including a history of prior changes to Portland’s municipal government
- New Government for Today’s Portland — The Portland City Club’s report on the city’s form of government
- Charter Review Comic — Oregon Humanities’ comic explainer of the charter review process
- City commission government — An article describing how city commission governments work
- Portland’s Form of Government Needs a Makeover — An article on Portland’s commission government and its problems
- Frustrated by Portland Bureaucracy? Keep an Eye on the Charter Commission — An article on bureaucratic issues the charter review commission is likely to cover
- Everything You Wanted to Know About Portland Charter Review But Were Afraid to Ask — An article covering the charter review process, including its history
- Sightline on Democracy — A series of articles from think tank Sightline covering topics related to the Portland Charter including proportional voting, election districting, and voting equality
- City finds Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler did not violate campaign finance limits — An article covering Ted Wheeler’s campaign violations and their outcome
- Mayor’s proposed budget violates Charter, Auditor’s independence — A memo from the office of the city auditor on violations of the city charter
- The City Auditor and City Council are at a Standoff on the City Hearings Office — An article describing the disagreement over the independence of the city auditor from the city council
- Unionists appointed to City of Portland Charter Review panel — An article describing the beginning of the 2007 charter review process
- Will Portland’s charter review lead to real change? — An article describing the difficulties faced by the 2007 Charter Review Commission
- 2011 Charter Commission Process Q & A — A guide to the 2011 charter review process written at the beginning of that process
- The Portland City Charter — The full city charter
- ORS 221.315 Enforcement of charter provisions and ordinances — The Oregon law which empowers cities to create charters
- Portland’s City Charter in 1910
If you are interested in sharing or repurposing any of the materials I’ve created around the Portland Charter Review, you’re welcome to do so. I’ve licensed the materials I’ve created under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, meaning that I just ask you to keep my name on things I’ve written as you share them. I’m not necessarily worried about credit so much as making sure that folks understand that these are materials produced in my spare time and are not reviewed by anyone who is officially part of the charter review process.
Please let me know if you do repurpose or share any of these materials in a way that I can help promote. Examples include:
- Portland from the Left — An interview covering the Portland Charter, as well as how the Review Commission could change the Charter
- Eliot Neighborhood News — A reprint of the Public Comment Signup Explainer
- Application Process Graphics — Social media graphics designed by Hawnuh Lee for the charter review application process, based on the Application Explainer