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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

Code Change Updates

Please note: this page will be updated as new information is made available and updates announced through Civic Life updates.

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Join Us for Community Conversations

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Beginning February 2019: Civic Life, in collaboration with our community partners, invites Portlanders to help us create a roadmap of what communities need to grow and thrive. Conversations will center around our city today and the ways communities can help shape the work of City government. The feedback from these conversations will inform the process of revising City Code Chapter 3.96 that defines the work of our bureau.

Please also note anyone can attend any of these sessions and request language interpretation, childcare, other accommodation if needed. See contact below.

Community Conversations Calendar: 


Hosted by




 English Civic Life Tuesday, February 12  Parkrose High School Library, 12003 NE Shaver St. Portland  6 PM - 8:30 PM 
 Russian Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization Wednesday, February 13
8040 NE Sandy Blvd. Portland 5:30 PM - 8 PM
 Somali Somali American Council of Oregon  Saturday, February 16  4415 NE 87th Ave. Portland  4 PM - 6 PM 
 Spanish Hacienda CDC  Thursday, February 7  6700 NE Killingsworth St. Portland  6 PM - 8 PM 
 Vietnamese Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization  Thursday, February 14 8040 NE Sandy Blvd. Portland  6 PM - 8:30 PM 

Food and childcare will be provided at each event. For language and ADA accommodations, please contact Sabrina Wilson at least 5 days before the event at 503-823-6740 or email

 A Survey of Civic Life

A Survey of Civic Life is now available in RussianРусский; Spanish: Español; Somali: Soomali; Vietnamese: Tiếng Việt

A Survey of Civic Life - English

Number of survey responses as of February 04, 2019: 803

Survey closes: February 22, 2019


What does the current City Code Chapter 3.96 state?

The current City Code Chapter 3.96 “creates a framework by which the people of the City of Portland may effectively participate in civic affairs and work to improve the livability and character of their Neighborhoods and the City.”

Although broad in scope, this code served to create a formal link only between the City, Neighborhood Associations, and District Coalitions. Since then our office’s programs and relationship with the public have evolved. The 2016 Office of Neighborhood Involvement audit also highlighted the need to update Bureau practices and City Code to ensure Portlanders have equal access to City’s decision-making process. The ways in which Civic Life connects and works with Portlanders have evolved, so must the ways we represent ourselves to our constituents and partners.

How is a City Code different than Charter?
City Charter is the constitution of a City government. City Codes are the governing laws written in the City Charter. Charter can only be changed by the vote of the people and City Code is changed by ordinance passed by the City Council.

Identifying our partners

- Committee Facilitator: Robin Teater Executive Director of Healthy Democracy. Robin will facilitate Committee 3.96 meetings.
- Community engagement and feedback: Joy Alise Davis, M.A. founder of Design+Culture Lab.

How can you participate in revising City Code Chapter 3.96?
We recognize that there are multiple ways of engaging with the community — from community surveys to conversations in multiple languages in multicultural settings. We offer these options to provide a platform for Portlanders to author their own experiences in ways that suit their comfort levels.

Additional ways to engage will be announced as they are available.

Questions? Contact Sabrina Wilson Code Change Committee Project Manager at

Project Timeline

Code Change Timeline

Snapshot of survey of Civic Life responses as of Jan 28, 2019

This page offers a snapshot of survey of Civic Life responses as of Jan 28, 2019

Support for convening Code Change Committee

Presenters testifying to Portland City Council on July 18, 2018 in support of convening a Code Change Committee

Resolution to convene a Code Change Committee

This resolution authorizes the bureau to convene a code change committee, comprised of members that have a wide range of perspectives, who will report back to Council with recommendations for updating Chapter 3.96.