New Portlanders Policy Commission
Why a Commission on Immigrant and Refugee Integration Policy?
- The United States is built and continues benefiting from a unique confluence of native, settled, and new American cultures.
- Today, New American families, civil society associations, and businesses are making Portland their new home. New Portlanders contribute substantially to the economic and social life of our city, and are eager to participate in public processes that ensure newcomer community interests are equitably planned into City of Portland services, in City bureau hiring and contracting.
- Because Portland’s City Council understands the urgency of integrating the optimism, the skills, and the needs of New Americans into the life of our vigorous city: Portland’s City Council has passed an ordinance establishing an immigrant and refugee integration policy advisory commission to address our newcomer communities’ strengths and needs.
Mission of the New Portlanders Policy Commission
- To advise the City on policies and practices to integrate immigrant and refugee communities’ voices and needs into the provision of City services, City decision-making and civic engagement in Portland, and to seek constructive relationships with each member of Council and the City Auditor.
- The New Portlanders Policy Commission is the result of recommendations produced by the Immigrant & Refugee Task Force in a report titled New Portlanders Speak (adopted by City Council 2008).
- Several ethnic minority and newcomer community studies have guided creation of the new Commission, and have directed the work of current New Portlander Programs. Among these: Newcomer Strengths and Needs (IRCO-City of Portland Diversity in Civic Leadership Academies 2008-2010); IRCO Community Needs Assessments (2009, 2012, 2015) Communities of Color in Multnomah County: An Unsettling Profile, plus successive community-specific research products (Coalition of Communities of Color/PSU Center for Advanced Racial Equity Studies 2010-2016).
- A number of City of Portland policy statements provide equity and inclusivity frameworks for the new Commission, among them: The Portland Plan, Framework for Equity (2012); Citywide Racial Equity Goals (2013); City of Portland Public Involvement Principles (2010); individual bureau policy commitments to public participation, inclusion, and equity.
New Portlanders Policy Commission
- The City of Portland consists of up to 25 individuals representing a broad spectrum of our newcomer and ethnic minority communities; immigrant & refugee service providers; including expertise in resettlement and integration expertise, community organizing and advocacy, civic engagement, education, public safety and health; representing Portlanders of all races, ethnicities, faiths, generations, genders, gender identities, sexual orientation, abilities and disabilities, and economic statuses.
Policy Commission Member Expectations
Commissioners are expected to:
- Receive training on ethical and effective official service to the residents and to the City of Portland, and then maintain these standards of conduct
- Advocate for the positive integration of all immigrant and refugee Portlanders in addition to their own communities of nurture
- Prepare and actively participate in quarterly Commission meetings (once every 3 months)
- Contribute their expertise to at least one working committee. Committees generally meet once a month
- Represent the New Portlanders Policy Commission before City Council. Represent New Portlander communities’ policy interests upon request of the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners, the State of Oregon Legislative Assembly, and Oregon delegates of the United States Congress, before elected officials of those bodies.
Terms of Service on the Commission
- Initial populating of the New Portlanders Policy Commission will be by appointments of 2-year and 3-year terms.
- Thereafter, re-appointments and new appointments will be made for 3-year terms, renewable to a maximum of two consecutive 3-year terms.
Language or Disability Accommodations
- IF ENGLISH IS NOT YOUR FIRST LANGUAGE, and you need help with the questions below, please use the help of family, community, or co-workers in best expressing the experience and skills you will bring to the Commission.
- If you would rather have help from the City government, we will provide you an interpreter, at no cost to you.
- IF A DISABILITY MAKES IT DIFFICULT for you to read or complete this application, City government will assist you in completing it.
For More Information or for Accommodations
Application form for New Portlanders Policy Commission - Due Monday, Nov. 28
Application form for New Portlanders Policy Commission - Deadline Monday, November 28
Ordinance 187805 creating the New Portlanders Policy Commission, May 17, 2016.