Oregon Counts

Image from the #WeCountOregon 2020 Census campaign. Image shows two women smiling within a frame of Oregon State.
On October 16, the City Council authorized a grant agreement between Civic Life and United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, in an amount not to exceed $600,000. These funds will help guide Portland-directed activities, within a coordinated statewide Hard to Count (HTC) campaign for the 2020 Census. The HTC are individuals that are most at risk of being undercounted and includes but is not limited to: people of color, tribal communities, children under five, renters, people experiencing homelessness, households with limited or no internet access, recent immigrants, limited English proficient people, and people living in remote census tracts.

Getting an accurate 2020 Census count is crucial for Portland and the State of Oregon. The data collected has a direct impact:

REPRESENTATION: A state’s final count determines the number of seats the state receives in the U.S. House of Representatives.

FUNDING: Informs how billions of dollars are distributed for critical public services including: roads, schools, and hospitals.

We will continue to keep you updated on this important partnership and campaign, including upcoming opportunities to apply to be a Census Assistance Center.
You can find out more about the 2020 Census here>>

Code Change Update

Two facilitators stand in front of a room full of people and lead a conversation during a community Code Change meeting. Photo by Justin Katigbak for Civic Life.
On July 18, 2018, the City Council passed Resolution 37373 authorizing the convening of a code change committee to make recommend changes to City Code Chapter 3.96, propose an updated description of the Bureau's responsibilities, and create a set of voluntary guidelines for civic engagement. On November 14, City Council is scheduled to receive a presentation on the code change project from 5:00-8:00 pm. The location is proposed to be outside of City Hall, at a community location. City Council must approve all locations for meetings outside of City Hall; this will take place during the Wednesday, October 30 council meeting.   

We will send a special Civic Life Update once we receive the meeting details.  

Cannabis Social Equity Grants

A staff member from Metropolitan Public Defender stands behind an information table at a community event offering free expungement analysis.
“Work in reparative and restorative justice requires a thoughtful and strategic plan…We need to use trauma informed policy stewardship in partnership with the communities we intend to serve. Without these things in place, people, processes, and power will default to what is familiar and that will work against having a true impact.”
-Cannabis Program Policy Coordinator Kimie Ueoka presenting to council on October 23

On October 23, city council approved Civic Life's funding request of $631,321 to support Year 2 of the Cannabis Social Equity Grants. The grant program is a tool for restorative justice, community reinvestment, and wealth creation in communities that have been most impacted by cannabis criminalization. The grants for Year 2 support organizations and businesses working to impact these three areas:
  • Expungement and record-clearing
  • Workforce development
  • Small business development and technical support
Find out more about the Cannabis Social Equity Grants here>>

Honoring Our Veterans

Civic Life employee and veteran, Nicholas Carroll, poses in front of a replica of the Berlin Wall created by artist Alexandra Morrison. Nicholas stands next to a replica of President John F. Kennedy and holds a sign that reads: "Ich Bin Ein Berliner". This statement translates to "I am a Berliner" and references President Kennedy's famous speech given on June 26, 1963.
November 9 marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. To honor this historic event, the City of Portland's Veterans Empowerment Team (VET) created the exhibition "Breaking Down Walls". Displayed in the north atrium of City Hall, the exhibition explores how the Berlin Wall represented the ideological divisions of the Cold War. Nicholas Carroll, Noise Office Support Specialist in Civic Life, a veteran, and a member of VET, coordinated the exhibition and had this to say: "As we reflect on the Berlin Wall 30 years after its fall, one can see a historical example of the failure of a wall to keep people separated...For societies to thrive, the freedom of movement for people, goods, and services are essential. As one preserved graffiti comment on the Berlin Wall stated: The world is too small for walls". This exhibition ends today, October 29, due to other exhibits that will occupy the space in November.

Veterans Day is November 11. Let's all take time during this national day of observance to honor and recognize our veterans' service to our country.

Civic Life is Hiring!

Community Development Coordinator- apply by 11/11/19
The Community Development Program Coordinator provides trainings, technical assistance, tools, and resources to community groups, community members, and the thirteen neighborhood associations of East Portland. Find out more about the position and how to apply here>>

Online Events Calendar

Visit our online calendar to find out information regarding community and neighborhood events.

If you have an event you would like to be considered for the calendar or if you have an image you would like to share from a recent event, please contact us at

Visit Civic Life online events calendar here>>
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