Portland’s northern district is a largely forgotten area of our city. Tucked a few miles away from the hustle and bustle of downtown, thousands of Portland residents live here. North Deering, Riverton and Deering Center are rich with trails, outdoor recreation, outstanding neighborhood restaurants, families and local schools. As a lifelong resident of District 5, I know that sometimes it feels like the City of Portland forgets about us. City Hall seems preoccupied with many of Portland’s more lucrative neighborhoods, such as the Old Port and downtown.

This June, we have the opportunity to empower our neighborhoods and build a city government that includes everyone, in all corners of Portland. I’m running to represent North Deering, Deering Center and Riverton in Portland’s Charter Commission to do just that.

Portland’s charter is essentially our city’s “constitution.” The powers of our council, school board members, city manager, mayor and more are decided here. Last July, Portland voters decided to reexamine the charter and elect representatives from each council district to edit the document. I hope to be one of these members.

It’s time for Portland to work for everyone, in every community. Even those of us “off-peninsula.” Among other reforms, the Charter Commission must consider empowering our council members, mayor and create community boards to make meaningful improvements in our neighborhoods. We should also be wary of increasing the tax burden on residents and ensure we take a common sense approach to reforms. Time for us to have a voice.

Ryan Lizanecz