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Portland City Council adopts Public Involvement Principles

Below is an August 16, 2010 news release from our friends at the Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement. Portland is pretty ahead of the curve, in my opinion… On August 4th, the Portland City Council unanimously adopted public involvement principles to guide the City’s public involvement processes on August 4.  The principles are designed to explain what the public can expect from City government.  Principles include partnership, early involvement, building relationships and community capacity, inclusiveness and equity, good quality process design and implementation, transparency, and accountability.

For Immediate Release

Afifa Ahmed-Shafi, 503-823-5202, afifa.ahmed-shafi@portlandoregon.gov
Dora Perry, 503-823-3229, dora.perry@portlandoregon.gov

Portland City Council adopts Public Involvement Principles

New report describing public involvement to accompany measures considered at City Council

PORTLAND—Portland City Council unanimously adopted principles to guide the City’s public involvement processes on August 4, 2010.  The principles are designed to explain what the public can expect from City government.  Principles include partnership, early involvement, building relationships and community capacity, inclusiveness and equity, good quality process design and implementation, transparency, and accountability.  Mayor Sam Adams commented that the principles would “allow for a higher quality and more consistent level of public outreach.” 

Portland City Council also adopted an initiative to create a public involvement report that will be submitted each time a measure is considered at City Council.  In addition, City Council agreed to conduct a baseline assessment of public involvement across City bureaus.

Principles were developed by the City’s Public Involvement Advisory Council (PIAC). The PIAC was established by City Council in 2008 to strengthen and institutionalize the City’s commitment to public involvement and assist City bureaus in creating consistent expectations and processes for public involvement activities.  The 34-member advisory council includes both community members from a broad diversity of backgrounds as well as City staff members, representing thirteen different City bureaus.

Commissioner Amanda Fritz commented that she is “very pleased with how diligently the PIAC has worked together and that so many bureaus and community members working together exemplifies the principles of citizen involvement we want to carry forward.”  Commissioner Dan Saltzman said “I think we’ll be better served as a result of adopting your recommendations, and I certainly pledge continued cooperation and leadership from the bureaus that I oversee.”

The principles were created over the past 14 months based on extensive research, community input and consultation with City bureaus and City Council offices.  The PIAC submitted the principles to City Council as a first step in a series of recommendations that are being developed to improve citywide public involvement.

The public involvement principles and accompanying documents can be viewed at: www.portlandonline.com/oni/piac.

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Sandy Heierbacher
Sandy Heierbacher co-founded the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) with Andy Fluke in 2002, with the 60 volunteers and 50 organizations who worked together to plan NCDD’s first national conference. She served as NCDD's Executive Director between 2002 and 2018. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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