May Primary

Our next election is on May 19, are you registered to vote?

Portland City Council seats and the City Auditor are non-partisan elected positions and carry a four-year term. In Oregon, non-partisan candidates face off in a primary election and if no candidate wins more than 50% of the vote, the top two candidates will compete in a runoff election (typically held in November). Four offices will appear on the ballot for Portland's May 19 Primary Election: Mayor, Commissioner Position 1, and Commissioner Position 4. Commissioner, Position No. 2 will appear on the ballot as the Special Nominating Election to fill the vacancy left by the late Nick Fish and will serve remainder of the Position No. 2 term, ending December 31, 2022.  Find the registry of candidates here>>

On May 19, the Democratic and Republican parties in Oregon will be holding a Closed Primary. This means, if you want to vote for a Democrat or Republican candidate running for a partisan office (President/Vice President, US Senate, US Representative, State Legislature, Secretary of State, Treasurer and Attorney General), you must be registered with one of these parties by the voter registration and party change deadline, April 28. Voters registered non-affiliated or with a minor party will receive a ballot with ballot measures and non-partisan offices such as County and City Commissioners, Judges and Metro Councilors.

You can register to vote, check to see if you are registered, update your mailing address, or update your party affiliation here>>

2020 Census

On January 22, the U.S. Census Bureau began its count in Toksoo Bay, Alaska

The U.S. Census Bureau began counting residents living in Alaska in January when the frozen ground makes it easier for enumerators to reach remote areas. Portlanders will not begin to see their first Census mailer until mid-March but it is not too early to talk about why the Census matters!  Every 10 years, the results of the census are used to reapportion the U.S. House of Representatives, determining how many seats each state gets. The census covers the entire country and everyone living here. Census data also guides the distribution of $1.5 trillion dollars annually to state and local governments, nonprofits, businesses, and households across the nation.

Looking for ways to get involved? The Multnomah County Library is looking for volunteers to assist library patrons with completing their Census 2020 forms. Volunteers will answer questions and help library patrons complete their census forms online. They have a strong need for bilingual volunteers in the following languages: Spanish, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Russian, Somali and Arabic.
Find out more and how to sign up to become a volunteer here>>

From the Archives

Uncovering historical photographs of civic engagement.

Image above shows County Circuit Court Judge Mercedes Deiz swearing in Charles Jordan on March 13, 1974. Jordan was the first African American to serve on City Council. A life-long civil servant, he advocated for the environment and equatable City hiring processes. Jordan also served as the director of the Portland Parks & Recreation and implemented meaningful programs that continue to impact us today, including the free annual Movies in the Park.  

On January 29, City Council made an official proclamation honoring the month of February as Black History Month. The City African-American Network (CAAN) worked closely with the Commissioners' offices to develop the proclamation and the CAAN Black History Month committee hosted the celebration immediately following the proclamation. Let's remember that while it is important to designated a month to honoring Black history, Black history is American history and should be studied, honored, and recognized all year long.

Hours of Operation Change

Walk-ins for Cannabis, Liquor Licensing, and Noise Program applications and payments have changed.

Effective February 1, Civic Life's office hours for applications and payments for Cannabis, Liquor Licensing, and Noise Programs are: Monday–Friday, 9:00am–4:00pm.

Online Events Calendar


Visit our online calendar to find 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 of a recent event, please contact us at

Visit Civic Life calendar here.

A close up of a presenter's hand making a gesture while talking

Bureau Advisory Committee

BAC supports Civic Life by providing the bureau director guidance on the effective use of Civic Life resources as it relates to its overall strategic aim and racial equity plan. The next two BAC public meetings are:

March 18, 5:30pm*
May 20, 5:30pm*

*NEW LOCATION for the meetings: Kelly Penumbra Building, 4747 E Burnside

You can find the
meeting calendar here.
Office of Community & Civic Life
1221 SW 4th Avenue, Suite 110
Portland, Oregon 97204
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Image Credits: I Voted Stickers: Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash
Charles Jordan Being Sworn into Office: Record Number AP/5788 on Auditor's Office
Residences in Toksook Bay on US Census Bureau
Open Sign: Photo by 
Tim Mossholder on Unsplash