Flexibility was an important and useful lesson for the visionPDX team. As previously, the initial engagement phase was extended by one month to ensure that the outreach would be thorough and would reach intended audiences.

Data Analysis Process

Another revision to the timeline was required once the data was coded and returned from PSUís Survey Research Lab. The 21,000+ pages of data were understandably daunting to the 35 Data Analysis Work Group members, and the process that was initially thought to take two weeks before the holiday season in December 2006 was extended through January.

The timeline revision was required in order to allow our volunteers to spend additional hours reviewing what they had read, and ensuring that the volunteers had ample time to come together again and agree as a group on community values and tension points or disagreements in the data.

In the end, this process was one of the most rewarding for many of the Vision Committee members and volunteers, because they were allowed to be stewards of a rich community input process, and the analysis process itself was flexible enough to keep the focus where it needed to beóon the people who had taken the time to weigh in on Portlandís vision for the future.

Community Check-in

Throughout our outreach work, we heard many groups and individuals tell us that the short conversation to fill out a survey was not good enough to truly involve people and get them committed to a project. People told us time and again that long-term relationships and continued consultation and involvement were the real first steps to community governance.

In response, visionPDX committed to come back out to the community before we took the vision to City Council. Initially, the outreach phase was envisioned to last only two weeks. We had learned from the outreach in 2006 that interactive discussions are the most rewarding for people, and also give rise to informative data.

visionPDX staff and volunteers held seven open houses at neighborhood coalition offices and 26 small group discussions with community organizationsí members, staffs and boards. Because of the ongoing interest in connecting with visionPDX, the engagement period was extended to two months. This flexibility allowed us to build relationships with many more organizations and agencies than our short timeline would have allowed, and increased interest in and ownership of our product.




Top: Notes from a visionPDX discussion are captured in Spanish.

Bottom: Drafting Committee members discuss Economic Portland.

Banner for a neighborhood T-Horse gathering, organized by City Repair through their visionPDX grant.

Vision into Action / 1900 SW 4th, Suite 7100 / Portland, Oregon 97204 / Phone: (503) 823-9585