Poll: City Council should be elected by districts

Poll: City Council should be elected by districts

Annual poll released by the Portland Business Alliance finds support for changing city's form of government, range of transportation improvement projects.

More Portland voters support having City Council members elected by geographic districts that ever before, according to a poll released by the Portland Business Alliance on Thursday.The DHM Research poll found that 70% of likely voters support changing council elections from citywide to districts. That is a 16 point increase since a DHM poll taken in 2016, when 54% of voters supported such a change.

The City Club of Portland is scheduled to release a report on Portland's form of government on Sunday, Feb. 10. The report by the longtime civic organization is expected to kick off a public discussion over the city's unique form of government, where the mayor and commissioners both propose legislation and oversee individual bureaus.

The poll also found that slightly more than half of voters in the greater Portland region say the quality of life in the area is getting worse. Possible factors cited by respondents include issues like housing costs, homelessness, and traffic.

According to the poll, along with concerns about affordable housing and homelessness, increased congestion plays a role in decreased quality of life in the region. More than one-third of voters say they are very concerned about traffic congestion, and that figure is significantly higher outside the city of Portland than within it. Half of voters support a mix of transportation and transit projects to reduce congestion.