166 Portlanders Have Applied for the Commission That Will Draw City Council District Boundaries

Thirteen will ultimately be chosen by Mayor Ted Wheeler to serve.

One hundred sixty-six Portlanders have applied for a commission that will draw the boundaries of the four voting districts that must be established for the November 2024 election under the city’s new form of government.

That new government structure, overwhelmingly approved by Portlanders earlier this month at the ballot box, will make City Hall look much different come 2024.

The Portland City Council will be made up 12 members, with three members elected in each of four regional voting districts. City bureaus will be run by a professional city administrator, while council members will focus on policy. The mayor and City Council members will be elected using a type of ranked-choice voting.

The city has two years to overhaul its elections and governance.

It begins with Mayor Ted Wheeler choosing 13 people to serve on a commission that will draw the geographic boundaries of the voting regions. (Appointees must be confirmed by a majority of the City Council.) Two weeks ago, WW wrote about how groups on either side of the charter reform debate are already attempting to put those aligned with their interests on the committee, including the Portland Business Alliance, North Star Civic Foundation, the Coalition of Communities of Color and Ulysses PAC, the political action committee formed by Commissioner Mingus Mapps in 2020 that attempted to tank the charter ballot measure so he could put his own measure on the spring 2023 ballot.

Nine of the 13 members must approve the boundaries before they’re codified.

The city did not release names of the applicants, citing that applications are open until Dec. 1.

Wheeler has not responded to WW’s questions about whether he would add requirements for applicants hoping to serve on the commission, such as a promise not to run for City Council under the new form of government in two years’ time.