How to Testify Effectively on the Portland Plan

November 8, 2011

Tonight was the first Portland Plan public hearing, and I think it points the way for how to effectively advocate for policy in the plan.

We got excellent testimony in a number of areas including equity, health and the role of youth in our planning processes. But my colleagues and I shared some common feedback to the testifiers – we want specifics. The Plan covers a lot of areas from a lot of angles. If you think something is missing (or wrong), we’d like you to tell us where, pretty specifically (as in, “on page 37 you should add this idea in the action items”).

So here’s my advice on how to have maximum impact with your testimony experience:

1) Prepare your three minutes of verbal testimony to give us the rationale for your idea.

2) Leave us written testimony specifically mapping out the places in the plan where you think your issue needs to be expressed, and how you’d like to see it reflected.

That one-two punch should do the trick. And as a reminder, here are the remaining input opportunities:

Portland Plan Hearings (public comments welcome)

Tuesday, November 15
5:30 – 9 p.m.
Parkrose High School

Tuesday, November 29
5:30 – 9 p.m.
1900 SW 4th Ave., Suite 2500A

Work Session and Recommendation

Tuesday,  December 13
12:30 p.m.
1900 SW 4th Ave., Suite 2500A

To submit written comments by email

Send comments to psc@portlandoregon.gov with the subject line “Portland Plan testimony.”

To submit written comments by mail

Send a letter with your comments to the Planning and Sustainability Commission, 1900 SW 4th Ave., Portland, OR 97201-5380, Attn: Portland Plan testimony.

For more information or if you have questions, please call 503-823-1303.



  1. Thanks for this. With the comment period extended until Dec 28th, how is BPS going to handle all the feedback by the January 10th meeting? I would imagine it would be difficult to sift through all the comments, let alone consider the actual suggestions being made in just two weeks. Is it possible that the commission’s recommendation on the 10th will be to continue working on the draft?

  2. Staff has committed that they will have all the comments processed and compiled in time for the 10th (I don’t envy them).

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