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The City of Portland, Oregon

Community & Civic Life

Promote the common good

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

How GREAT was organized

How GREAT - Guidelines, Review, Empowerment and Assessment Team is organized

Below is the authorizing language for adoption and revising of the ONI Guidelines as well as how the current committee - GREAT - organizes itself.

Currently section 3.96.080 (F) of Portland City Code, last updated in 1987, states the Office of Neighborhood Involvement's responsibility to adopt and revise Guidelines.
3.96.080 Office of Neighborhood Associations
... the Office of Neighborhood Associations shall:
F. Adopt and revise such guidelines as are deemed necessary for the implementation of this Chapter and for orderly citizen participation in City government through neighborhood associations and district coalition boards. In so doing, the Office of Neighborhood Associations shall involve neighborhood associations and other interested citizens as necessary.

Currently section XII of the ONI Guidelines outlines how the committee is organized, who is represented, how often the review shall take place, and requiring public comment.
XII. Amendments to the Office of Neighborhood Involvement Guidelines
Any party wishing to propose amendment(s) to the Guidelines may do so by submitting the proposed amendment(s) in writing to ONI.
The Office of Neighborhood Involvement, in cooperation with neighborhood groups, will review the Guidelines at least every four years. A committee composed of:
  1. a representative of each district coalition/neighborhood office,
  2. at least one representative of district coalition or neighborhood office staff,
  3. at least one of ONI staff,
  4. a citizen representing the unaffiliated neighborhoods,
  5. at least one member representing neighborhood business associations, and,
  6. one member representing communities beyond neighborhood boundaries,
will receive and review proposed changes and revisions to the Guidelines.
Proposed amendments will be developed and distributed to each neighborhood association, district coalition, or affected entity for review and comment during a 60-day period. A public hearing will be scheduled to receive oral and written testimony from all interested parties.
The committee will then review the citizen comments and develop and distribute amendments to refer to the Commissioner-in-charge for approval.

GREAT's ongoing meeting and public involvement efforts
The committee has been meeting twice a month since the spring of 2001.  They have completed their regular meetings developing draft language as of August 10, 2004.  There are two volunteer co-chairs who facilitate the meeting: Patricia Gardner (Pearl NA) and Moshe Lenske (Woodstock NA).
Various ad-hoc committees of GREAT members have been organized to draft language of contentious sections for review by the whole committee.  For example committees helped draft language addressing:
  • Grievance procedures
  • Open Meetings and Public Record procedures
  • Neighborhood District Coalitions
  • Business District Associations
  • Communities Beyond Neighborhood Boundaries
Over the course of the three years twelve update pamphlets or memos have been sent to hundreds of neighborhood leaders and interested individuals.  Three public hearings/workshops have been held including a workshop at the 2002 Neighborhood Summit to help neighborhood leaders understand how the Guidelines affect their organizations.   325 update pamphlets were distributed at the 2003 Neighborhood Summit last November.   Two meetings were organized for City public involvement staff.  In addition, public comment was taken at the end of every GREAT meeting. 
As the committee moves towards completion we will begin to organize more direct outreach to neighborhood associations, city staff, business associations and other constituent groups.  This will include committee members and staff attending neighborhood association meetings, meetings with public involvement staff regarding their concerns, and formal hearings before forwarding final recommendations to the Commissioner in charge.
The Commissioner-in-charge of ONI would then present the recommendations to the full City Council for adoption.