Aug 18, 2023 - Politics

Here's Portland's new city council voting map

A map of Portland, Oregon, divided in to four sections. The left section, long and thin, is light green. The top section is peach colored, sitting above a smaller teal section. To the right is a blue section, covering the entire eastern edge of the city.

Each of Portland's four new city council districts has roughly the same population. Map: Courtesy of the Independent District Commission

Portland's new voting map for future city council elections has the chunk of inner southeast Portland that includes Sellwood and the Reed College area voting with the west side.

Why it matters: Until now, city council members have run citywide, which critics said favored wealthy interests and historically made it difficult for underserved populations to have a voice. New districts are intended to group together communities with shared political interests.

Catch up quick: The volunteer commission that picked this map is part of the massive, voter-approved government restructuring that Portland is due to enact by the beginning of 2025.

  • Commissioners considered three maps, each with different boundary lines.
  • The only district with consistent lines throughout the process is on Portland's eastern edge. It puts southeast Portland's Lents neighborhood and Jade District in with all communities east of I-205.

Details: Starting with the November 2024 election, voters in each district will choose three representatives, expanding the city council from five members to 12.

  • The auditor and the mayor — who in the future will only have a tie-breaking vote on the council — will still be elected citywide

Of note: Council members will generally serve four years, but in 2024, voters in districts 3 and 4 will choose representatives for just two years, so later elections can be staggered.

What's next: Candidates must be residents of the districts they represent — and the last day to meet that requirement is Nov. 5 of this year.

  • Thinking about running? See new guidance here.
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