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Summary Meeting Notes: October 18, 2012 for Community Involvement PEG

Summary Meeting Notes

Community Involvement Policy Expert Group


Date: October 18, 2012

Time: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

PEG Attendees: Glenn Bridger, Polo Catalani, Nickole Cheron, Greg Greenway, Paul Leistner/ PEG co-lead, Morgan Masterman, Sara Schooley, Howard Shapiro, Marty Stockton/ PEG co-lead, Morgan Tracy, Desiree Williams-Rajee, Robb Wolfson (by phone)

Other Attendees: Deborah Stein, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

Facilitator: Deb Meihoff

View the original agenda, including materials, for this meeting.


Key Points and Outcomes 

  • Feedback received from the PEG on how to improve the PEG meetings and process going forward: continue to provide materials with adequate time to review before the meetings; prefer having draft materials, something ‘tangible’ to critique and offer revisions; biggest frustration is the overall quick timeline to develop draft goals and policies - there is an inherent tension between the timing of getting a lot of work done in a short period of time and the time it takes for constructive PEG/community involvement; the process is getting better, but the PEG would appreciate more review time in the future.
  • PEG members provided additional input and revisions to the draft goals and policies. The revisions honed in on language that supports broader inclusion of all communities inPortlandand articulates the value and necessity for robust, equitable, and transparent community involvement in order to be a great city.


Welcome, Meeting Overview and Introductions

Presenter: Self-introductions.

Updates and Announcements 

Presenters: Paul Leistner, Office of Neighborhood Involvement and MartyStockton, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability / PEG Co-leads


  • At the October meeting, the PIAC Comprehensive Plan Work Group reviewed the draft goals and policies and provided feedback on reorganization and verbiage.  
  • The CI-PEG’s community survey has been released.  It was requested that PEG members forward the link through their networks, so there is a robust and diverse response.



PEG Check-in

  • PEG members generally feel supported and able to fully participate in the discussions.  However, there is continued concern about the short timeframe allotted the PEG for review and revisions to the draft goals and policies. There was acknowledgement of an inherent tension between the need to get the project done with policy changes made and the time it takes for constructive PEG/community involvement.
  • Prefer having draft language to react for meeting discussions - something ‘tangible’.
  • Participating on the PEG is a valuable opportunity that is appreciated
  • It is important to receive meeting materials well ahead of time, so PEG members are prepared for discussions.  The lead time has been improving.  Keep it up.
  • Meeting communications are clear - streamlined messages are appreciated
  • The PEG’s public process (survey and other outreach activities, such as focus groups) needs to get going to be effective. Input from the PEG outreach needs to be collected in advance of the public workshops slated for February.


Group Discussion: Draft of Community Involvement Goals and Policies

Presenter: MartyStockton, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability / PEG Co-lead

Summary: PEG members discussed the draft goals and policies - summary of discussion points outlined below.  The staff discussion draft will be published for community-wide review and feedback in early to mid December; from there, the PEG will work more closely with staff on how to incorporate the community input as well as craft the best policy language to forward to the Planning and Sustainability Commission mid-2013. 

Group Discussion Summary on draft goals and policies:

  • It was discussed and agreed that ‘our communities’ is the best way to describe ‘community’ so that all Portlanders feel represented, welcomed, and connected to the City and the Comprehensive Plan policies - you can see yourself in it, no one feels left out. 
  • Goals and policies need to capture that our communities hold ownership and accountability for equitable, transparent, and effective decision making
  • The more robust charge for equity in community involvement efforts has been lost in editing of the goals - it needs to be as explicit as the previous draft and equity in community involvement should stand alone as its own goal.
  • Include language that the goal is to ‘plan in, for, and with our communities’ - not everyone should be treated the same as there are differing levels of information, history, etc.
  • Strengthen language / assert commitment for those policies over which the Bureau has control in how it is implemented. ‘Strive’ feels like less than a commitment and detracts from the value of the policy statement.
  • Use of relative terms - improve, enhance, etc. - are inherently flawed.  Too difficult to determine when the policy is being met and not very effective.
  • Policy regarding notification needs additional explanation of intent, including ‘timely’, ‘informative’, ‘fair’
  • Policy language with regard to building partnerships should be explicit about the type of partnerships being built - authentic, genuine, sincere, spirit of partnership, mutually beneficial - as well as what is hoped to be achieved in building strong community partnerships (i.e. a great city)
  • The issue of tying data collection to process design and evaluation has been lost; needs to be specific, not implied. It is important to stress including ‘those who lack formal organization or influence’ in community involvement processes.  The policy should address the different uses of the demographic data, including: identifying affected and interested people and organizations; process design; collection of additional data during the process; use of data to evaluate the effectiveness of the community involvement.
  • PEG appreciates the addition of titles to policy statements, but requests the titles return to the goals as well.  It is helpful to determine not only the intent of the goal, but also allows for easier use of the document in linking policies to goals.
  • A community involvement policy regarding social justice should be added - there is good sample language in the AICP Code of Ethics.
  • Goal language should explicitly refer to community involvement for ‘planning and decision-making processes’
  • It was suggested that CI PEG members review the draft language to sort out which language is "aspirational" (more suitable for goals) vs. "clearly implementable" (more suitable for policies).
  • The Community Involvement goals and policies should lead toward higher quality processes, not just greater quantity of process - need to respect community volunteers’ time.


Related Materials:


[There were no guests / public comment at the meeting]



Follow up and Next Steps

  • Staff will revise the discussion draft document, incorporating the PEG’s ideas and revisions.
  • The November meeting will focus on equity. PEG members are encouraged to send ideas for specific topics to Desiree Williams-Rajee and/or Judith Mowry.
  • PEG members are encouraged to send the Community Involvement PEG survey link to members of their networks. Marty will report out results of the survey in upcoming meetings.
  • December meeting will cover a review of draft Comprehensive Plan policies (all chapters), results from the PEG’s public outreach, and discussion around best questions to be explored at the public workshops in early 2013.