Influential Portland Planning Commission seeks three new members

Posted by on February 25th, 2019 at 2:28 pm

It only looks boring.

There’s a big opportunity afoot for three Portlanders who want to play a major role in shaping our city’s growth.

The 11-member Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission has announced three openings that need to be filled due to people being termed out. The PSC is a very influential body that advises City Council on Portland’s long-range goals, land-use policy, and more. That means they have a major say in everything from bike parking and housing to freeway widening projects.

Speaking of which, the PSC is where a vote was held two years ago on whether or not Portland should remove the I-5 Rose Quarter project from its Transportation System Plan. The idea was proposed by noted transportation advocate and PSC Vice-Chair Chris Smith who opposes the project because of how it makes driving through our Central City easier. Smith’s motion narrowly fell by a vote of 6 to 4. Had a few members voted differently, ODOT would not be marching forward with their plans as confidently as they are now.

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Here’s more about the openings from the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability:

The PSC includes 11 volunteer members with expertise in a range of areas. Their major role is to advise City Council on Portland’s long range goals, policies and programs for land use, “Be the next “city shaper” – or help us find one!

Given the number of open seats (almost one third of the Commission), this is a chance to lead with equity and include more people of different ages, cultural backgrounds, incomes, residences and abilities to move our community closer to the city we aspire to be.

To complement the existing voices on the Commission, people who have backgrounds in and care about the following are sought:

Equity / social justice
Climate action / sustainability
Business / economic & community development
Zoning code / general land use / traditional long-range planning
Central Eastside / new industry

This recruitment will be open until March 15th.

If you’re interested or know someone who might be, check out the full description and call for new members here.

In related news the PSC will have a work session on the Bicycle Parking Code Update tomorrow (2/25).

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Avatar
    Sam Churchill February 25, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    Is there ANYONE better qualified than Jonathan Maus? You may have heard of him.

    Recommended Thumb up 9

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      David Hampsten February 25, 2019 at 3:23 pm

      Boy, isn’t he?
      Equity / social justice
      Business / economic & community development
      Central Eastside / new industry

      Recommended Thumb up 2

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) February 26, 2019 at 7:42 am

      Thanks Sam. Very nice of you to say! But I don’t think that’s where I belong.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

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    Middle of the Road Guy February 25, 2019 at 10:49 pm

    Soren, here is your chance!

    Recommended Thumb up 5

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    Eric Leifsdad February 26, 2019 at 6:49 am

    If we look at this through an equity lens, should it be a volunteer position? That’s quite a time commitment for someone with a job and kids. So we’ll accept someone with a conflict of interest and opportunity for personal gain but not pay someone who doesn’t stand to make money by volunteering?

    Recommended Thumb up 6

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    Sam Churchill February 26, 2019 at 7:33 am

    Jonathan only has so much time in the day. Sacrificing time from family, PB and us readers, in the end, may not be in the best interests of the larger community. This site is a gem. It needs his focus.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

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    mh February 26, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    Who from the winning Transportation Trivia team is interested? Someone MUST be.

    Recommended Thumb up 3

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    Carrie February 27, 2019 at 9:39 am

    Eric Leifsdad
    If we look at this through an equity lens, should it be a volunteer position? That’s quite a time commitment for someone with a job and kids. So we’ll accept someone with a conflict of interest and opportunity for personal gain but not pay someone who doesn’t stand to make money by volunteering?Recommended 4

    Exactly this. The time I spent on the ORCMP committee was time very well spent, but I had an employer who was willing to let me leave work 2 hours early once a month (unpaid) and use company resources for good internet access and hardware for reading and reviewing materials. And I spent many late nights or weekends reviewing materials and learning stuff about city rules and regulations. My point is that it was as much work as a part-time job and it was all unpaid. I was fortunate that I could do that, but on a committee with this much influence, time commitment, and true need for inclusiveness, we need to ensure that people that normally aren’t at City Hall can have a voice there. Which means that we need to make it possible for them to be there — by offering some sort of compensation.

    Recommended Thumb up 5

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