Know your rights
If you require language translation assistance in order to testify in person, make your request to Metro Council office at 503-797-1916 at least five business days before the meeting.
If you require services or accommodations due to a disability or in order to testify in person, make your request to Metro Council office at 503-797-1916 at least 24 hours before the meeting.
There are many opportunities for you to provide comments, recommendations and testimony to the Metro Council. Your input may influence policy decisions for the region, and becomes a permanent record and can be used in future research.
When you can give testimony
Public hearing on an ordinance: The law requires all Metro Council ordinances to be open for a public hearing so the public can offer testimony before any legislative action by the council.
Public hearing on a resolution: Council resolutions are not required to have public hearings, but public testimony may be accepted at the discretion of the council president.
General meeting: Every council meeting includes an agenda item called "public communications" where you can provide testimony on topics that are not on the agenda.
How to give testimony in person
- View meeting agendas in advance online or in the council chambers to see if your topic of interest is being covered.
- If you arrive at the meeting and your item is not on the agenda, ask the legislative coordinator if a public hearing for your item is scheduled at another time, or if you should testify during the public communications portion of the meeting.
- Fill out a testimony card with your name, address and agenda item (if applicable) and turn it in to the legislative coordinator. You must be present to turn in your card; only one card per person, per meeting. The council president determines the order that members of the public are called to speak.
- If you have additional materials, give 10 copies of any visual aids (e.g., small maps) to the legislative coordinator when you turn in your testimony card. Also give one copy of your written testimony to the legislative coordinator when you are called up to testify.
- Public testimony is limited to three minutes per person. It can be helpful to practice beforehand to make sure you have enough time, and to prepare an outline so you do not read your testimony word for word. If there is a significant number of individuals signed up to testify, testimony time may be limited to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to speak.
- When you are called to testify, go to the front of the room and sit at a microphone facing the council. Begin your testimony by saying, "For the record my name is ______."
- Address the council as "Council president and members of council."
- Begin by saying whether you support or oppose the legislative measure on the agenda and briefly explain why. Support your personal opinions with as many facts as possible.