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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

1120 SW 5th Ave, Suite 114, Portland, OR 97204

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Public Campaign Finance Commission

(a.k.a. Open and Accountable Elections Commission)

Description: The Open and Accountable Elections ordinance created the Commission to assist in the implementation of the law, evaluate how the program is working compared with its goals, and make recommendations to the City Council to improve the program and ensure that the numbers in the Code (e.g. spending caps, contribution limits, qualifying requirements) are updated to align with the ever-changing local campaign finance climate.

BACKGROUND: The City Council passed the Open and Accountable Elections ordinance in December 2016. Its purpose is to address the real or perceived influence of money in political elections for the City of Portland, to amplify the voices of small dollar contributors during elections, encourage citywide campaigning, and to allow candidates with modest means and from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to run for office effectively. It seeks to bring balance to the financial aspects of City candidate campaigns by providing qualified candidates matching funds for small donations collected from Portlanders during campaign fundraising.

Total seats available: Seven

Term length: Four year

Volunteer position description: The time commitment for this advisory board will be 2-6 hours each month for the first year or two of the program.

Member Responsibilities and Expectations:

1.  Serve as a conduit for providing meaningful community engagement through the Open and Accountable Elections process.  The Commission will reflect and consider the diverse communities in Portland.

2. Provide assistance to the Director and Council in the development and implementation of the Public Election Fund.  The Commission may make recommendations to the Director regarding administrative rules necessary for the effective administration of the Code.

3.  Make recommendations on adjustments to matching ratios, adjustments to contribution limits and other regulations to improve operation of public campaign finance.

4.  At the request of the Director, advise the Director on administrative judgments, recommended policy changes, administrative rule development, and operation of the Public Election Fund.

5.  Recommend to the Director for appointment hearings officers to review cases and make determinations related to penalties, de-certifications, and revocation of public funds.

6.  Adopt such operating policies and procedures as necessary to carry out its duties.

7.  Prepare and submit to the Council a biennial report containing an overview and evaluation of the Public Election Fund during the previous election period.

8. Commission members are appointed by Council and serve 4-year terms, except that the initial appointees may serve more or less time, as specified in the appointment report. Upon expiration.

9.  The Commission meets at least four times per year and may meet more often as necessary to conduct its business. Meetings are conducted in accordance with rules of procedure adopted by the Commission. Four members constitutes a quorum. A quorum is necessary to make decisions that represent the position of the Commission and to conduct any other Commission responsibilities. The election of officers takes place at the first meeting of each calendar year.

10.  Members of the Commission are expected to attend each meeting of the Commission. Council may replace any member who accrues absences from three or more consecutive meetings or more than 50 percent of the meetings in any year.

Public Campaign Finance Commission members serve without compensation.

Desired Candidate Qualifications and Expectations: Have demonstrated an interest in campaign finance funding; bring expertise in financial management, campaign logistics, community engagement, law, accounting, City process, or other relevant life experiences; collectively, represent the diverse interests and diverse communities of the people of Portland.


Bureau host: Commissioner Fritz

Contact: Susan Mottet, 503-823-4345