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The City of Portland, Oregon

Community & Civic Life

Promote the common good

Main: 503-823-4519

City/County Info: 503-823-4000

TDD: 503-823-6868

1221 SW 4th Ave, Suite 110, Portland, OR 97204

Mission, Goals and Values

Our Mission:
Promote a culture of civic engagement by connecting and supporting all Portlanders working together and with government to build inclusive, safe and livable neighborhoods and communities.

Our Goals:

Community Involvement
Increase the number and diversity of people who are involved and volunteer in their communities and neighborhoods.

Capacity Building
Strengthen neighborhood and community capacity to build identity, skills, relationships and partnerships.

Public Impact
Increase community and neighborhood impact on public decisions.

Livability and Safety
Provide tools and resources to improve neighborhood and community livability and safety.

Provide accurate information and responsive and effective services to community members and organizations.

Our Values:
Office of Community & Civic Life (Civic Life) works towards a future where the community is a full and equal decision-making partner in all aspects of the City of Portland.  We serve our increasingly diverse community through promoting collective civic engagement for all people in Portland, with a commitment to transparency, compassion, and relationship building. We strive to recognize and repair the disparities that exclude and harm the people of Portland.  We strive to be authentic, accessible and accountable within government and the community. The values put forth here are intended as a guide and foundation for all our work.

Inclusion - No one gets left out

  • We are committed to equal participation and the continuous development of organized and meaningful inter-cultural relationships.

  • Our neighborhood system strives to fully engage residents of Portland from all cultural, social and economic walks of life.

  • We aspire to understand and honor the diversity of ways in which our communities communicate and participate, and ensure that our processes and opportunities reflect that understanding.

Shared Power and Governance

  • We continuously strive to level the playing field for those that want to participate. 

  • We seek the most effective ways to include and respond to the community and eliminate attitudes and behaviors that exclude or isolate community voices. 

  • We work for equal access, equal opportunity, and equity in our work, in ways that are culturally-diverse, culturally-specific, and multicultural.

  • We incorporate the flexibility to adjust whenever necessary in order to eliminate barriers to genuine collaboration with community. 

  • There is always room for those who want to participate.

Relationships - the cornerstone of our work

  • The foundation of our work is a belief in effective, equitable and collaborative relationships with government and community partners. 

  • We seek to maintain the highest community trust through accountability and transparency in our processes and decisions.

  • We value our community relationships and show it by being flexible and listening - ensuring timely, accurate and helpful responses to those who work with us or seek our services. 

  • We approach our work with humility and the understanding that we learn together. We embrace and encourage youth input and involvement.

Social Sustainability – people are our most important resource

  • We use an equity lens to make decisions collaboratively with community partners.

  • We strive to provide more choices for people who may have fewer choices. 

  • We recognize that involving and connecting people with government and with each other results in the most sustainable efforts for the City.

Adopted April 12, 2010


Our values for developing a more equitable budget with Civic Life Budget/Bureau Advisory Committee (BAC):

Budget equity – Inclusionary and equitable outcomes

  • We approach the budget process keeping the good of the whole system at the forefront rather than individual interests.

  • We strive to prioritize lifting up those with fewer resources and sharing resources.

  • We strive to remove or at least minimize systemic and institutional barriers.

  • We are committed to building towards and achieving impacts – a willingness to accomplish our impacts as well as our intentions.

Budget equity – Inclusionary and equitable process

  • All voices are heard and valued. We value the work of all individuals and organizations who are represented at the table.

  • We approach our involvement with cultural sensitivity. We understand and respect we each come with different learning styles. This is a healing space allowing for people to make mistakes and learn from them.

  • We recognize peoples’ time is valuable so we strive to use data to seek informed decisions, design efficient processes, make our priorities consistent and seek actionable results.

  • We attempt to maximize unity, working hard to move forward together, taking transformational risks while being responsive and holding each other accountable, always learning and building from the past.

Budget equity – Interpersonal behaviors and expectations

    • Our expectations of BAC members are to engage in the budget process with a high value on self-reflection, honesty, reciprocity, and respect.

Values for developing a more equitable budget for ONI’s BAC were adopted January, 7, 2015.

Strategic Planning Efforts (2008-10)

Summary of ONI's strategic planning process in 2008-2010

Historical Documents related to Goals and Objectives

Historical documents related to past ONI strategic planning efforts and mission, goals and objectives