Proposed Revision of Civic Engagement City Code 3.96 

City Code Chapter 3.96 creates a framework by which the people of the City of Portland may effectively participate in civic affairs and work to improve the livability and character of their Neighborhoods and the City. This Chapter sets out the basis for City recognition of Neighborhood Associations and District Coalition offices. An audit of the bureau highlighted the need to update Bureau practices and City Code to ensure Portlanders have equal access to City decision-making.

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  • Current Chapter 3.96 Office of Neighborhood Involvement (2005)
  • Proposed 3.96.1 Code Change Language  (8/30/19)  
  • On November 14, 2019, City Council hosted a special council meeting at Self Enhancement, Inc. (SEI) focused on Civic Life’s year-long process to update City Code Chapter 3.96. Commissioner Eudaly introduced a new Resolution that will do the following: authorize a three-year extension for Neighborhood District Coalition Office contracts; and convene of a multi-bureau work group to review all cross-referenced responsibilities within City Code Chapter 3.96.  Community interest and engagement was extraordinary but Council was only able to hear from roughly half of those who signed up to deliver public testimony due to time restraints. The Nov. 14 City Council meeting at SEI is on Youtube at
  • On January 9, 2020, at 2:00pm, City Council heard from the 35 people who signed up to testify but did not have an opportunity to do so at the November 14 meeting. At this hearing, no new information was presented and only those already on the sign-up sheet were allowed to testify. The hearing video is on Youtube at
  • January 30, 2020 (Postponed) - The City Council postponed the work session scheduled for January 30th on the Resolution introduced on November 14, 2019. The record remains open, so Portlanders are also welcome to continue submitting written testimony regarding City Council Item 1053 at: or to Portland City Council, 1221 SW 4th Ave., Portland, OR 97204.
  • The full resolution can be found at A supporting report can be found at  City Council did not vote on the Resolution on November 14, but is expected to vote on it by the end of December 2019. Written testimony on the Resolution may be submitted at and or to each city council member (see below). Check the  City Council Work Calendar for updates.

Contact City Council

Consider calling or writing to Portland City Council regarding your thoughts about the proposed Code Change 3.96. 
Options for Communicating with City Council (pdf)

Council Member Name Phone Email
Mayor Wheeler 503 823-4120
Commissioner Eudaly 503 823-4682
Commissioner Fritz 503 823-3008



Portland's Neighborhood System
Explained by Dr Paul Leistner
2008-2018 Neighborhood Program Coordinator for the City of Portland, Oregon

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Portland's Neighborhood System:

Sherry Arnstein's "Ladder of Citizen Involvement" 

The ladder is a guide to seeing who has power when important decisions are being made. It has survived for so long because people continue to confront processes that refuse to consider anything beyond the bottom rungs. (From

Sherry Arnstein's Ladder of Citizen Involvement