The Portland City Charter Commission is currently reviewing the City’s Charter, a once-in-a-decade process. [In the November 8, 2022, the voters of Portland passed this new charter! – Ed.] In Phase I of Charter Review, the Commission proposed changes to the Charter. In Phase II, after heavy pressure from the community, the Commission established a Climate & Environmental Justice (EJ) subcommittee. The Phase II changes will either go on the ballot in 2024 or be sent to City Council for approval.
Sunrise Movement PDX, 350 PDX, Oregon Sierra Club, XRPDX, and environmental justice organizations across Oregon are pushing for the inclusion of a fossil fuel phase out commitment in the Charter. We believe that this binding, overarching directive to the City to prevent new fossil fuel infrastructure and phase out fossil fuels (in line with climate science and environmental justice) will lead to concrete policy instead of mere promises, catalyzing the climate action Portland needs. But Phase II is concluding in December—and the Commission’s current fossil fuel phase out proposal is weak and not rooted in environmental justice.
However, only one more vote and our proposal will pass! And multiple commissioners indicated that they would look to public comment to decide fossil fuel phase out language. In short: we need your help to call for a binding fossil fuel phase out. This could significantly influence city decisions! Sign up to testify on November 17 and 19 in favor of a stronger fossil fuel phase out here. If you cannot attend, submit written comment here. Check out our talking points and thank you for your support!
[This blog post was written by Ben Stevenson of Sunrise PDX. – Ed.]