November 15, 2021

Multnomah County residents have until Friday, Nov. 19 to comment on new commissioner district boundaries that are changing based on population growth.

While the County Auditor, Chair, District Attorney and Sheriff are all elected by voters from across the County, the four county commissioners are elected by voters in one of four geographic districts.

To ensure that these districts represent a nearly equal number of people, after every U.S. Census,  the Multnomah County Charter requires the County Auditor to evaluate whether any one area has grown to more than 102% of any other district.

In this case, the 2020 Census found that the population increased in every district, but the southwest area, or District 1, now has 9% more people, and northwest area (District 2) and east County (District 4) each have 3% more folks than southeast quadrant (District 3.)

Auditor Jennifer McGuirk has been reaching out to residents and culturally specific organizations and seeking public input through the libraries.  Her team consulted Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color organizations and collected feedback in English, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese and Chinese to understand how not to avoid dividing neighborhoods or communities. 

“This kind of representation reflects the values that our County government had of ensuring people have fair, equal representation,’’ Auditor McGuirk told the Board at a briefing earlier this month. 

People have until Nov. 19 to review and comment on this draft map. After the comment period closes, Auditor McGuirk will present a final map to the Board of Commissioners, who will take up and adopt the final map through an ordinance.