PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With the political season beginning to heat up, a big issue on the ballot for Portland voters is whether or not they want to change the city’s form of government.
While some approve of the charter reform proposal, not everyone is on board.
A political action committee called the Partnership for Common Sense Government is kicking off a campaign that urges Portlanders to vote against the proposed charter reform on the November ballot.
“This untested, unproven charter measure will keep us going in the wrong direction,” said Vadim Mozyrsky, director of the PAC.
Those against the measure think it’s confusing, lacks accountability and is too costly. Former city councilor Amanda Fritz, along with Mozyrsky, shared their concerns with a crowd, including the proposed multi-member districts with ranked-choice voting.
“It doesn’t seem like a well thought out system in practice that’s going to work,” Fritz said.
“This is not the ranked-choice voting that’s in New York or some other places. This is a very unique set where only 25% of the vote will get you elected to office. And once people hear about that, they understand that this is novel, it’s experimental and this is not in the best interests of Portland,” added Mozyrsky.
As a group of about 100 Portlanders came to hear their reasons to vote no, other local activists are doing what they can to encourage people to vote yes.
Albert Kaufman is a neighborhood and environmental activist who has lived in Portland for two decades. Kauffman told KOIN 6 News that he likes the idea of more city counselors and ranked-choice voting.
“I like what they have come up with and I think it makes a lot of sense,” he said. “I hope people in Portland are not swayed by big dollars and the money that’s going to come in the form of marketing against this. Instead, I hope we choose what’s in our best interest, which I think is passing this charter reform in November.”
The group Kaufman supports, called Portland United for Change, is hosting their campaign kick-off event this weekend. They are accepting RSVPs.
If Portlanders don’t pass the charter reform this time around, Mozyrsky and his group promise to put another charter reform measure on the ballot in May 2023.