Portland city government is not lacking in advisory committees. It’s the butt of frequent jokes among local insiders that once an issue gets controversial or politically difficult, the response is to just form a committee while things calm down.
Joking aside, not all committees are created equally. Their influence on policy and projects varies greatly and some have more teeth than others. Some have teeth that belong to smart and engaged citizens and agency staffers who know where to find the levers of power — and more importantly — are not afraid to pull them.