Public Involvement Task Force
Public Involvement Task Force Report: A Strategic Plan for Improving Public Involvement in the City of Portland
What the Public Involvement Standards Task Force was
In the spring of 2003, Commissioners Francesconi, Saltzman, and Leonard commissioned the Public Involvement Standards Task Force (PITF) to review and revise, as appropriate, the City’s adopted Public Involvement Principles and identify gaps and inconsistencies in the implementation of the City government’s public involvement processes.
The Task Force began April 2003 and met monthly through March 2004. Subcommittees developed specific recommendations on various public involvement themes. There were numerous early efforts to gather community input including two community forums, 14 focus groups, and dozens of interviews with City and District Coalition staff. In December 2003 the group agreed to a rough outline of recommendations. In the winter of 2004 the Task Force's goal was to synthesize the original 80+ recommendations into a more coherent report. For a variety of reasons, the PITF languished after the spring of 2004. One primary reason was the upcoming mayoral election. With an imminent change in administration, it was difficult to proceed with the task force work without a clear mandate.
Transitions for the Task Force and the BIP #9 Committee
Shortly after his election, Mayor Potter began the work of creating a “community governance” culture in
The BIP #9 committee was initiated to continue working on issues that overlap with those addressed by the PITF, specifically identifying common public involvement standards for City bureaus. BIP 9 completed a Final Report, adopted by the City's Implementation Team in November 2006, and developed a “Public Involvement Toolkit”— similar to the matrix recommended by PITF Recommendation #18.
Updating the work of the Task Force
PI Task Force members Paul Leistner, Julie Odell and ONI staff support Brian Hoop worked together in the summer of 2006 to pull together the work of the PITF in a form that could be passed on and used. Elizabeth Kennedy-Wong, Mayor Potter's staff lead on community engagement issues and PITF member, supported our effort. The latest version of the PI Task Force report and Executive Summary is the result of that effort. It is recognized that this report has not been formally adopted by the PITF. The report will, however, allow all the great work of the PITF to be retained so it can be used to help guide an ongoing public involvement committee as recommended by the BIP #9 committee.
Thanks to neighborhood, business, community leaders and City staff and public involvement professionals who committed their time and valuable time to assist with this public service project.