Eudaly delays City Council vote on neighborhood changes
Commissioner Chloe Eudaly will delay presenting the controversial public engagement changes to the Portland City Council.
In a Wednesday, Sept. 25, email, Eudaly said she will present the council "a report" on the proposal on Nov. 14. The council had previously scheduled a possible vote on the proposal on that day.
The email was sent by the Office of Community and Civic Life, which is writing the proposal that many neighborhood activist say will undermine the city's longtime neighborhood association system. It said Eudaly indicated the change will allow the council more time to consider the facts and have a public conversation before taking a vote to change section 3.96 of the City Code, which governs to public engagement process.
"In making this announcement, I want to be very clear that I intend to see these policy changes through to completion in a timely manner," the email quoted Eudaly as saying. "The changes proposed by Committee 3.96 reflect a transformative vision for the City's approach to civic engagement and deserve fair consideration. We can no longer claim to believe in equity but refuse to update the code accordingly. However, heartfelt questions and concerns have been raised about what the new system may look like and how it will work — and I want to be able to answer them before advancing these changes."
The proposal is intended to increase public participation in civic issues, especially among people in marginalized communities that do not identify with geographic boundaries. But Eudaly has reportedly not been able to convinced a majority of the council to support it and, in a Sept. 10 email, threatened Commissioner Amanda Fritz directly and the other members indirectly if they did not support her plan.
This week's email did not say when Eudaly will ask the council to vote on the proposal. She is up for reelection in 2020 and is being challenged by several candidates, including Mingus Mapps, a former office employee who opposes the current version of the proposal.
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