The PSC is committed to effective public involvement and leadership in its work and in the decisions it considers. Its charge is to act for the benefit of the people of Portland, and commissioners develop recommendations they think will make Portland a better city. They do that by holding public hearings and discussing issues and proposals.
A national leader in both city planning and sustainability, the City of Portland is guided by the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC), which is composed of 11 volunteer members with expertise in a range of areas. As a group, they have a variety of viewpoints, and together they work to balance and optimize the goals of the City.
- Katherine Schultz (Chair), Architect, GBD Architects
- Chris Smith (Vice Chair), Interactive Marketing, Xerox
- Eli Spevak (Vice Chair), Owner, Orange Splot LLC
- Jeff Bachrach, Attorney, Bachrach Law
- Ben Bortolazzo, Partner, Director of Planning & Design, OTAK
- Mike Houck, Executive Director, Urban Greenspaces Institute
- Katie Larsell, Executive Director, Oregon Unitarian Universalist Voices for Justice
- Akasha Lawrence Spence, Founder, Fifth Element
- Oriana Magnera, Climate and Energy Policy Coordinator, Verde
- Daisy Quiñonez, Youth Commissioner
- Steph Routh, Principal, Steph Routh & Team
About the PSC — Download and print this information for easy reference.
PSC Bylaws — Adopted bylaws for the PSC (2011).
The PSC meets regularly, unless otherwise notified, at 1900 SW 4th Avenue, Room 2500, second floor:
- Second Tuesday of each month, 12:30 p.m.
- Fourth Tuesday of each month, 5 p.m.
- PSC Calendar
Meeting agendas are published in the Metro section of The Daily Journal of Commerce the Friday before each meeting. Agendas are also posted to this website approximately 7-10 days before each meeting. Individuals or groups may ask to receive the agenda, either via email or hard copy, by contacting staff at email@example.com or 503-823-6041. For items noted as a “Hearing” on an agenda, public testimony will be taken.
All PSC meetings are video recorded, and minutes are taken. Completed meeting minutes are posted to this website, along with documents and presentations from PSC meetings, and are available approximately 10 days following each meeting in the City of Portland archives.
Meetings are live-streamed on BPS' YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/portlandbps.
Full-length video of PSC meetings is shown starting the Friday after each meeting on cable Channel 30:
- Fridays at 3 p.m.
- Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
- Sunday at 7 a.m.
When making a recommendation to City Council, the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) looks at the material presented by staff and considers all testimony — whether given verbally in person or in writing by letter or email. Testifiers may testify in person at a PSC meeting. They should mail, fax or email their testimony to the Commission before a meeting or give the written testimony to the coordinator at the meeting. If you bring written testimony to a meeting, please provide 12 copies of the statement (11 for commissioners, one for the Director) to the Commission Coordinator.
Written testimony must be received by the time of the hearing and must include your name and address; but to ensure commissioners have ample time to consider your testimony, please consider submitting it at least 24 hours in advance of the hearing to:
- Mail: 1900 SW 4th Avenue, Suite 7100, Portland,Oregon 97201
- Fax: 503-823-7800
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tips for Testifying
Take these tips with you — Download and print this information for easy reference.
People who wish to speak to the commissioners directly should attend the designated meeting, and then complete and submit a testimony card to the commission coordinator. For each hearing, cards are available on a table at the back of the meeting room. The coordinator accepts cards before and during the meeting.
Sign up to testify. At a PSC meeting, fill out a testifier card by the door and hand it to the commission coordinator sitting at the end of the commissioners’ table.
Prepare. Before you give verbal testimony, prepare an outline of what you want to say or even write it all out. Practice a few times, and check how long your testimony is (testimony at public hearings is typically limited to 2 minutes).
When the commission chair calls your name, go up to the table for testifiers. Speak into the microphone, and begin by giving your name and address. If you’re testifying on behalf of a group or organization, state that too.
Be brief. Make no more than three major points in your testimony. You can submit letters with more detail. Some things to include in your testimony:
- What part of the project, plan or proposal are you testifying about?
- What are the reasons you like something or would like to change something? Support your opinions with facts as much as possible.
- How does the proposal affect you or your organization?
Written materials. If you have written materials, you can give them to the commission coordinator before you testify. Please bring 12 copies of any written materials, photos, etc.
Group testimony. Repetitive testimony is not always as effective as a planned, coordinated presentation. If you are aware of other people who plan to testify and who share your feelings, you can organize a few main speakers from your group to speak about different topics related to the project. To convey the amount of support you have, one of the speakers can ask audience members who share similar sentiments to stand.
Be polite and positive. The commissioners are your neighbors, and they care that you have taken the time to come and testify before them.
And finally — relax! The commissioners understand that most people are nervous about testifying, and they don’t expect a perfect presentation.
To submit written testimony (if you can’t attend a PSC hearing), send comments by email to email@example.com with the project name in the subject line or send a letter with your comments to the Planning and Sustainability Commission, 1900 SW 4th Avenue, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201-5380, Attn: [insert project name]. Testimony will be accepted through the time of the hearing (when the Commission Chair closes testimony), but to ensure commissioners have ample time to consider your testimony, please consider submitting it at least 24 hours in advance of the hearing.
Note: All testimony to the PSC is considered public record, and testifiers' name, address and any other information included in the testimony will be posted on the website.
If you require special visual, audio or other accommodations in order to testify, please contact the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability at least five days before the meeting with your request.
Oregon Relay Service: 1-800-735-2900