Tenants' Group Warned About Failing to Disclose Its Lobbying of Portland Officials

Portland Tenants United gets a warning from the city elections officer.

Renters’ rights group Portland Tenants United championed the groundbreaking city ordinance earlier this month requiring many landlords to cover tenants’ moving costs in the event of no-cause evictions or 10 percent rent increases.

But the group never registered its lobbying activity, even as it had at least 10 contacts with one city office and approached other city officials.

That’s the allegation in a Feb. 15 letter sent to PTU by city Elections Officer Deborah Scroggin, warning the group about a possible violation of city ethics rules.

The city requires organizations to register as lobbyists within three days of spending at least eight hours lobbying or preparing to lobby city officials, even if the groups spend no money.

PTU organizer Margot Black says her group was unfamiliar with the requirement. She submitted registration for PTU on Feb. 21.