The Portland City Council appointed the members of the Charter Review Commission on Thursday, Dec. 3.
The 20-member commission is a city-staffed but independent organization with the authority to refer amendments to the City Charter to the voters. Among other issues, it is expected to consider changing Portland's form of government.
Ideas under discussion include hiring a city manager who will oversee all city bureaus — now done by the council members — expanding the size of the council, and electing most, if not all, of the commissioners by geographic districts.
Although the last commission did not refer such a measure to the ballot, some members of the new commission already support doing so.
I think what makes this time different is that there is more ability for public weigh-in and buy-in through the use of technology," said Salomé Chimuku, co-founder of the Black Resilience Fund.
"If we choose to move to districts rather than at-large that would make commissioners have an area that represents and be more accountablr to have needs met and what they want to see in Portland," said Hanna Osman, an assistant city planner who was appointed to the commission.
According to the resolution approved by the council, the charter currently provides that "(f)rom time to time, but no less frequently than every 10 years, the Council shall convene a Charter review commission ("Charter Commission") to review and recommend amendments to the Charter. The previous commission was appointed on Dec. 15, 2010, and referred a number of housekeeping amendments to the voters.
The commission will establish its own rules and procedures, and its meetings are public. The charter requires the community be involved in the recommendations and deliberations. The mayor and commission may recommend amendments, but they are not required to be referred to the voters.
The members of the commission were nominated by Mayor Ted Wheeler and the four commissioners. They are:
• Amira Streeter, a Black woman who serves as Oregon Gov. Kate Brown's natural resources policy adviser
• Andrew Speer, a longtime Parkrose resident and current government affairs manager at Portland General Electric
• Angie Morrill, an enrolled member of the Klamath Tribes, director of the Indian Education Program in Portland Public Schools, and a member of the American Indian/Alaskan Native State Advisory Council for the Oregon Department of Education
• Anthony Castaneda, a first-generation Mexican-American who was born and raised in Oregon and is the policy manager for the Latino Network
• Becca Uherbelau, a resident of Northeast Portland and executive director of Our Oregon, a liberal political advocacy organization
• Bryan William Lewis, an artist who has served on the Multnomah Youth Commission and executive board of the Multnomah County Commission on Children, Families and Community
• Candace Avalos, a first-generation American Blacktina, who serves as chair of the Portland Citizen Review Committee and as a member of the Governor's Public Safety Training and Standards Task Force
• Dave Galat, an Americans with Disabilities Act adviser with the Portland Bureau of Transportation
• Debbie Kitchin, a principal of InterWorks, LLC, a general contractor specializing in
commercial tenant improvement and renovation and immediate past president of the board of directors of the Central Eastside Industrial Council
• Debra Porta, the executive director of Pride Northwest, a Portland-based LGBTQ+ advocacy organization
• Hanna Osman, an assistant planner with the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, with a background in public health
• Karol Collymore, the Inclusive Community portfolio director for Social & Community Impact at Nike and current board president at Cascade AIDS Project and member of the board of the Portland Trail Blazers Foundation
• Melanie Billings-Yun, an international negotiation consultant, mediator and an adjunct professor in the Portland State University Business School
• Raahi Reddy, the director of Metro's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program
• Robin Ye, Chinese American who grew up in Beaverton, spent three years at APANO (Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon) on political advocacy, and will enter the Oregon state Legislature as chief of staff to state Rep.-elect Khanh Pham (D-Dist. 46), who will be the only Asian American in the Legislature
• Salomé Chimuku, a first-generation Angolan American and co-founder of the Black Resilience Fund
• Scott Fogarty, the CEO of Old Growth Wisdom Consulting and founder of the Clean Streets Initiative
• Steven Phan, a housing advocate who serves as vice president of Northwest Housing Alternatives
• Vadim Mozyrsky, a national union representative for IFPTE/Association of Administrative Law Judges who currently serves on the steering committee for the Portland Committee on Community Engaged Policing, the Citizen Review Committee, the board of directors for the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization and the Public Safety Action Coalition
• Yasmin Ibarra, the former executive director of the Oregon Student Association and the current political and governmental affairs organizer for SEIU Local 49.
The resolution and more information on the commission and the background of the nominees can be found here.
KOIN News 6 is a news partner of the Portland Tribune and contributed to this story. Their story can be found here.
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