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Posted on: November 24, 2020

City Staff Readying Implementation of Recently Passed Citizen Initiative Ordinances

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City of Portland staff are readying implementation of the five citizen initiative ordinances that were passed by Portland voters during the November 3 election. Staff has completed its legal review of Questions A (Minimum Wage), B (Facial Recognition), C (Green New Deal), D (Rent Control), and F (Marijuana). Question A will go into effect in January 2022, and Questions B, C, D, and F will become effective on December 6. 

The Portland City Council held executive stations on November 10, 16, and 23rd. Following the November 10th Executive Session, the Council issued the following guidance on the minimum wage and marijuana referendums. Implementation guidance and FAQs for all five questions will become available during the week of November 30. The City will issue a press release with the information and post it on their website. 

“I’d like to thank the public for its patience as the Council and City staff worked through the process to review the five ordinances that received voter approval. As folks know, the referendum questions represent significant policymaking for Portland,” said Mayor Kate Snyder. “City staff are developing implementation plans consistent with, and faithful to, the policies that have been developed by community groups. The public will have all necessary information to understand and implement the language in each of the ordinances next week.”

Mayor Snyder continued, “As I mentioned before, once policy is adopted, either by a vote of the City Council, or, in this case, by citizens at referendum, the work to faithfully implement the language of the ordinances resides with city staff. Corporation Counsel offers guidance on any and all city ordinances when needed, and the City Manager has the responsibility for implementing and enforcing city ordinances.”

“City staff have worked very hard and quickly to process the voter approved language in each of the five ordinances and take the necessary steps to ensure implementation can begin by the time they go into effect,” said City Manager Jon Jennings. “We understand the public has a lot of questions regarding what these new ordinances mean and how they affect them as residents and businesses, and so we look forward to publishing easy to understand guidance and FAQ documents next week.”

Proponents of the marginally failed Referendum Question E (Short Term Rentals) requested a recount last week. The recount, which finished on Friday, November 20, confirmed that the question still failed to pass. 

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