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Plus, online donations may pay off for Merkley and livability ratings fall in poll.

COURTESY CITY CLUB OF PORTLAND - The cover of the City Club report.The City Club of Portland orchestrated a media blitz for its new report that says the city should change its form of government, including electing commissioners by geographic districts.

The longtime civic organization emailed an embargoed copy of the report to journalists on Jan. 28, two weeks before its formal Feb. 10 release. No media outlet revealed what the report said, but KOIN 6 News reported that it was coming in a lengthy preview story based on it, titled "The City That Doesn't Work" on Feb. 7.

KOIN did a story on the report when it was released. So did The Oregonian, which also ran an op-ed by three of the report's authors headlined "Portland's form of government must change" on Feb. 10. Oregon Public Broadcasting ran and posted a story on the report that day. And the Portland Tribune also posted a story on the report on Feb. 10, and published a shorter version of it and an op-ed from one of the authors in its Feb. 12 issue, just ahead of a City Club forum on the report that evening.

The City Club membership vote on the report runs until Feb. 24.

Merkley's online donations may pay off

Oregon U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley got some good news Sunday as he considers running for president in 2020 — The New York Times reported he has collected the seventh-most donations through ActBlue, a Democratic fundraising platform, of all the potential Democratic candidates so far.

According to the story, Merkley has attracted 105,000 online donors. That is well below the 2.1 million who have given to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the No. 1 beneficiary. But it is still a respectable showing compared to the other 10 potential candidates listed in the story, which includes former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro with only 896 donors.

The ranking is important because the Democratic National Committee will consider the ability to collect small donations when deciding who will participate in its 2020 presidential debates, which are scheduled to start this June.

Livability ratings fall in poll

Voters think the quality of life is declining in the region, after believing it was improving just a few years ago, according to an annual poll released by the Portland Business Alliance last week.

The most recent of a series of polls by DHM Research found 50 percent of voters think the region is moving in the "right direction," a five-point drop from last year. The percentage of those thinking the region is on the "wrong track" increased six points, from 26 percent to 32 percent, according to the poll. Voters thought things were getting better between 2014 and 2017.

According to the poll, problems weighing on the minds of voters include homelessness, the lack of affordable housing, and increasing traffic congestion.

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