PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland may be known for hipsters, food carts, devotion to public transit and locally sourced chickens.
But a part of Portland counters the narrative of livable, weird, predominantly white 'Portlandia.' East Portland, neglected and multi-ethnic, is now home to a quarter of Portlanders.
City officials say they're working to improve East Portland, but a group of residents say it's too little, too late. They have filed a ballot measure to overhaul Portland's at large elections and commission form of government in favor of elections by district. Most council members would have to live in the neighborhoods they represent.
In recent years, lawsuits across the nation have targeted at-large elections, saying they prevent minorities from electing candidates of their choice.
Most Portland officials say a change isn't needed. They say East Portland is seeing progress.