Portland voters Tuesday, June 8, elected nine members to a charter commission that will look into potential changes in city government structure and operation and passed a $125.2 million school budget that invests close to $3 million in equity work.

Shamika Stewart-Bouley was chosen as the District 1 Charter Commission representative, capturing 64.9% of the vote and besting two challengers, Karen Snyder, 19.7%, and David Cowie, 14.5%.

Robert O’Brien, who ran unopposed after Em Burnett dropped out of the race, will represent District 2.

District 3 voters chose Zach Barowitz, 51.1%, over Brian Batson, 37%, and Charles Bryon, 11.8%.

In District 4, voters opted for Marcques Houston, 51.2%, over Cheryl Leeman, 48.8%.

Ryan Lizanecz, 54%, was elected in District 5 over Mony Hang, 45.9%.


Ranked-choice voting came into play in the election of the commission’s four at-large members. Nasreen Sheikh-Yousef, 22.3%, Steven DiMillo, 21.1%, Marpheen Chann, 16.9%, and Benjamin Grant, 12.4%, earned the most first-choice votes out of the 10 active at-large candidates, but after a series of run-offs through the ranked-choice system, Sheikh-Yousef, Chann, Catherine Buxton and Patricia Washburn were elected to the positions. Buxton received the fifth most first-place votes with 11.1% and Washburn was in seventh place with 4.2%.

The winners will join Michael Kebede, Peter Eglinton and Dory Waxman, who were appointed to the commission by the council in August.

Together, the 11 individuals will look at the city charter and recommend ways to improve how the city government is organized and run. The charter review was prompted by a citizen initiative to create a clean elections program for municipal races.

The commission now has nine months to prepare a preliminary report of proposals and must submit a final report to the City Council by this time next year. Any changes to municipal governing will ultimately be up to Portland voters.

The charter was last updated in 2010 to create the position of elected mayor.

The 2021-2022 Portland Public Schools budget was approved by 77% of voters, or 6,700 people. The $125.2 million budget includes $2.9 million in equity investments and $2.4 million to maintain current programs and services and to cover increases for salaries, benefits and debt service. It represents a $5.3 million, or 4.4%, increase over the current $119.9 million budget.

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