PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — During the November 2022 election, Portland-area voters approved a measure that will reform the city’s election system and form four new voting districts.

The Independent District Commission, the group tasked with establishing the districts, has released three potential maps that could change city council elections as Portlanders know them.

Because of Measure 26-228, ranked-choice voting will be implemented in the City of Portland for the November 2024 election. The measure also calls on the city to form four geographic districts, each with three city commissioners of their own.

Arlene Kimura is one of the 13 members appointed to the IDC. Kimura, who lives in East Portland, previously told KOIN 6 that this charter reform will better serve residents outside of Downtown Portland who have historically been underrepresented with the current system.

Each of the three draft district map plans is required to “be contiguous and compact; use existing geographic or political boundaries; not divide communities of common interest; be connected by transportation links; and be of equal population.”

In addition to the aforementioned requirements, the maps have a number of characteristics in common — such as all neighborhoods east of I-205 being placed in one district, all neighborhoods west of the Willamette River being placed in one district, and the Historic Albina neighborhood being placed in a single district.

However, each map prioritizes something different.

According to city officials, the Alder map focuses on preserving long-standing neighborhood boundaries, while the Cedar map focuses on transit corridors. The Maple map, on the other hand, was formed to keep most of the central city together.

Alder draft map
Alder draft map (Courtesy City of Portland)
Cedar draft map
Cedar draft map (Courtesy City of Portland)
Maple draft map
Maple draft map (Courtesy City of Portland)

“The three draft maps are a direct result of the feedback we’ve received from hundreds of Portlanders so far,” IDC Co-Chair Marta Hanson said. “Now, we are eager for as many folks as possible to engage with these draft maps this summer — especially those who have historically been left out of structural decision-making — so we can do our best to craft a final district plan that paves the way for a more inclusive, representative future.”

The District Commission is hosting several public hearings throughout the month of July, so Portlanders can provide verbal testimonies on the final maps. Find out more about the public hearings here.

IDC will reconvene to vote on a final district plan this August. Nine of the 13 commissioners must agree on one map.