Beginning September 13th, Mayor Ethan Strimling will hold office hours at businesses in neighborhoods around the city. Dubbing the effort "Strimling on the Street," the meeting times are designed to engage Portland residents as they go about their daily routines: getting a cup of coffee or a doughnut, visiting a hardware store, shopping for groceries, or grabbing some takeout.
Along with efforts to begin Council meetings at a more reasonable time and standardizing the public comment period at those meetings, "Strimling on the Street" is a part of a larger shift to make city government and policymakers more accessible to those they are elected to represent.
Mayor Strimling, who can often be seen greeting passersby and holding meetings on the front steps of City Hall, views these neighborhood meetings as another way to learn from residents about the issues that matter most to them.
"The key to open, honest, and truly representative government is to offer every and any opportunity to meet folks where they are, to learn firsthand of their thoughts, opinions and concerns," said Mayor Strimling. "Making decisions from behind a desk in City Hall is neither the most accurate way to take the pulse of the city, nor is it the most effective way to ensure maximum engagement. I know most people cannot take the time out of their busy day to make the trip to City Hall, so with the help of some great businesses throughout the city, we’re going to bring a piece of City Hall to them."