Advocacy Policy

Our Founding Purposes

  • To represent the business, cultural and residential community in the on-going development and management of downtown Portland;
  • To create a safer, cleaner, well-managed downtown so that Portland can successfully compete as an environment in which to live, do business, shop, and visit;
  • To stimulate commercial, retail, tourist, and cultural activities through improved marketing and promotional initiatives that enhance the image of downtown Portland.

Guiding Principles to Advocate

  • Does the issue to be addressed significantly affect the majority of property owners and/or stakeholders (e.g. businesses within downtown)?
  • Does the issue significantly affect downtown Portland’s unique character?
  • Are other organizations involved in advocating and do their missions or goals complement and/or parallel those of Portland Downtown?
  • Will the proposed position have a favorable or unfavorable effect on the majority of property owners and/or stakeholders?
  • Would advocating require significant financial commitments other than staff time?
  • Would the proposed position entail significant reputational, funding, or legal risks for Portland Downtown?


The principal spokesperson for advocacy shall be, in the following sequential order, Portland Downtown’s Chair; if the Chair is unavailable, the Chair’s designee or, if none, the Vice Chair; if the Vice Chair is unavailable, then a representative of the Board as delegated by the Chair. Portland Downtown’s position should be stated in writing and all communication will be delivered from this statement.

Portland Downtown’s representatives, staff or volunteers may attend City workshops or hearings to gather information and to ask questions but should only state opinions or provide advice consistent with Portland Downtown’s written position.

Before publicly advocating a position, and to the extent time permits, the Portland Downtown Board of Directors will inform Committees of its potential advocacy on an issue and seek input from Committee participants. All such input shall be logged and shared with the Board.

Upon determination of the Board of Directors, PD may engage in additional outreach to PD Constituents and Stakeholders by email outreach, a public forum, surveys, or the like and may solicit input, which shall be logged as shared with the Board.

Portland Downtown will develop a communication plan for committee agendas. The purpose is to make Constituents and Stakeholders aware of Portland Downtown’s advocacy efforts in order to educate the membership and encourage engagement.

Initial recommendation on whether to undertake advocacy on any issue shall be presented to the Executive Committee, and thereafter shall be presented to the full Board of Directors for a final vote at the next regular meeting. (Affirmative vote of more than fifty percent of members in attendance needed). For time sensitive issues which require immediate action, the Portland Downtown Executive Committee shall be empowered to proceed with an advocacy position provided the Executive Committee solicits input from the Board (via email or otherwise) no less than three days prior to acting. In any event, any time sensitive advocacy action authorized by the Executive Committee shall be communicated to the full Board at the next regularly scheduled meeting.

Any member of the Board of Directors may propose an advocacy position at any regular Board meeting and it shall come before the full Board of Directors for consideration at the next regularly scheduled Board meeting, following the Board meeting at which it was proposed. Directors who speak publicly on an item that conflicts with a Portland Downtown position must disclose to the public they are exclusively representing their personal viewpoint, and not that of the organization.