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In my last post about the City of Portland Office of Community & Civic Life Code Change, I committed to spending the next few weeks having meaningful conversations with colleagues, staff, and community members about the new code language proposed by Committee 3.96. In order to conduct the level of engagement required, and in light of the fact that I will be out of the country for the next two weeks, I have decided to present the proposed code changes as a report on November 14th. This will allow Council more time to consider the facts and have a public conversation before taking a vote on a final package.
As an elected representative who is witness to the outcomes of our inequitable system every day, I feel a sense of urgency to get things done and impatience with the slow pace at which government typically moves. But I have also been consistent about slowing down when doing so will result in broader community buy-in and stronger policies, as most recently evidenced by the Fair Access in Renting Ordinance.
In making this announcement, I want to be very clear that I intend to see these policy changes through to completion in a timely manner. The changes proposed by Committee 3.96 reflect a transformative vision for the City’s approach to civic engagement and deserve fair consideration. We can no longer claim to believe in equity but refuse to update the code accordingly. However, heartfelt questions and concerns have been raised about what the new system may look like and how it will work—and I want to be able to answer them before advancing these changes.
Creating an updated framework that can support the many ways communities organize and identify (including by geography) is not a zero-sum game. We will have a stronger, healthier, and more just community when everyone has a voice at the table. The incredible coalition of endorsers who support these changes—which most recently includes the Oregon Food Bank, Portland African American Leadership Forum (PAALF), the Western Regional Advocacy Project, National Organization for Women - Oregon Chapter, and Mill Park Neighborhood Association—reflects this fact.
I appreciate that so many Portlanders continue to be invested in this conversation. Please be sure to get the most current information by subscribing to Civic Life Updates here. You can also see the full text of my previous post here, and be sure to check out Change the Code PDX"s website for the most recent list of the diverse coalition of Code Change supporters.
Commissioner Chloe Eudaly