Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

Auditor Mary Hull Caballero

Promoting open and accountable government

General Information about Initiatives

The City initiative process is governed by the Oregon Constitution, Oregon Revised Statutes, Oregon Administrative Rules, Portland City Charter and Portland City Code. Please contact the City Elections Officer at 503-823-3546 for further information.


Article IV, Section 1 of the Oregon Constitution, Section 3-201 of the Portland City Charter, and Section 2.04.040 of the City Code give citizens of the City of Portland the ability to initiate city legislation through the initiative petition process.

The Basics

The initiative petition process provides citizens with a vehicle to refer legislation to a vote of the people. Initiatives may propose new legislation or make amendments to the City Code or Charter. After completing the prospective petition process, petitioners are able to begin the signature gathering process. If the required number of valid signatures are gathered, the measure will be placed on the ballot. If it passes with a majority of the vote, it becomes law.

NOTE: Only legislation which is under the jurisdiction of the City of Portland may be initiated through the City's initiative petition process. Citizens are encouraged to seek legal counsel to ensure that their intended legislation is under the jurisdiction of the City.