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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 Project Updates

  • Multilingual Community Connections Gathering

  • Community members gather at 3.96 Code Change event

  • English Community Conversation at Parkrose High School

  • Russian Community Conversation hosted by IRCO

  • Vietnamese Community Conversation hosted by IRCO

  • Spanish Community Conversation hosted by Hacienda CDC

  • Somali Community Conversation hosted by Somali American Council of Oregon


Thank you for following along with Civic Life’s Code Change Project. Some of you have been with us since we started this project (July 2018) and some have joined us recently—we welcome you and are excited you are here.

 Project Timeline

Project timeline - Summer present to City Council



Meeting #7 - June 26, 2019 | 5:30 - 8:30PM | University of Oregon (Wayne Morse) 70 NW Couch St., Portland, OR 97209


Please note: this page will be updated as new information is made available and updates announced through Civic Life updates. Click here to subscribe to Civic Life updates and receive the latest information

Our goal throughout this process has been to gather community feedback and perspectives that showcase a rich cross-section of our city. To serve more communities, we are reaching beyond our existing audiences and connecting with groups and communities whose lived experiences, values, and aspirations have not been reflected in Chapter 3.96.

Questions? Contact Sabrina Wilson, Code Change Project Manager at

How We are Engaging Portlanders:


Committee 3.96 was formed to recommend changes to Chapter 3.96. The twenty-five members include leaders from Neighborhood Associations and Neighborhood Coalitions, entrepreneurs, faith-based, youth and leaders from disability communities. Meet the committee and read about their Portland moment here>>



Different tools are used for different reasons. Over-relying on any one tool will not get us all the perspectives we seek. To gain diverse perspectives, we have engaged with the community on concepts critical to our work in the following ways:


A Survey of Civic Life opened in November 2018 and over a 1,000 Portlanders have responded. The survey was also made available in Russian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese. To continually add new voices and reach wider audiences, we collaborated with several new and existing partners such as Bridgeliner (local Portland newsletter), Partners in Diversity, Citywide Bureaus, and more. Survey results will be made available in March 2019.

Hosted in English, Russian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese with our community partners. Take a look at our community conversations held in February 2019 here>>

We are introducing ourselves to new audiences. This project has awarded us the opportunity to build and expand authentic partnerships. We are intentionally connecting with communities and groups that have not been well represented in our Bureau partnerships—faith-based, local businesses, immigrants and refugees, people without documentation, and people on the path to citizenship.




On April 30th, people from diverse communities came together to share and reflect on what we have learned thus far. This was an opportunity for communities and groups to connect with each other to help us better understand the collected data and feedback we have received thus far.



We are excited about our partnerships with the next generation of Portlanders. Students from two high school journalism programs: Parkrose and David Douglas are using the code change project as a topic for learning about City functioning and for storytelling to their peers in the manner and content they choose.

Project Background

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.” This code describes the functions of the Office of Community & Civic Life.

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 engagement needs. 

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

Civic Engagement to me is...

Art from Portlanders on civic engagement.

Community Conversations

This article has information about the community conversations.

Subscribe to Civic Life Updates

This page has information to sign up to receive Civic Life updates.

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.

Support for convening Code Change Committee

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

A Survey of Civic Life

A Survey of Civic Life in different languages.

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