Deciding How will Portland be Run

By Melanie Billings-Yun

In December SWHRL President Melanie Billings-Yun was sworn in as one of the 20 members of Portland’s Charter Commission. The Commission will spend the next two years reviewing and recommending amendments to the City Charter, the founding document that establishes Portland’s governing system, election procedures, and city management. Recommendations from the Commission that have the support of 15 members or more will automatically be placed on the citywide ballot; those that have support of 12-14 members will be referred to the City Council for consideration.
A central part of the Commissioner’s mandate is to engage the community in conversations about how they would like the city to function in a way that is representative of all its citizens. Melanie looks forward to meeting with the SWNI neighborhood associations and other local community groups this spring to talk about the work of the Commission and learn more about your concerns and ideas. Until then, you can find more information on the Commission at and sign up for updates at