For sixty years, attorney Paul Meyer, founder of ACLU’s Oregon chapter, has been engaged in City Club — a participant in many influential research projects, and an active proponent of City Club’s admission of women in the 70s.
Paul joined City Club in 1954 as a newly-minted lawyer — “socially and politically conscious.” He calls City Club one of the best ways to participate in the civic life of Portland, and that is what drew him to join.
From his early days with City Club, one of his most memorable experiences was serving on the long-term research committee that examined the best form for Portland city government — culminating in the 1961 report called Portland City Government. Click here to read the report. Paul was involved with forming some of the follow up committees for that report.
Another highlight of Paul’s years at City Club was living through the gender desegregation of its membership, or “the fight to admit women.” He describes a committee hearing, empassioned speeches, and repeated votes — all in the effort to earn passage of a bylaws amendment to allow women to join the club.
More recently Paul participated in the two-year study of the Portland Development Commission. The study produced a 2005 report reversing City Club’s recommendation in 1971 that the agency be dissolved. More than 30 years later Paul co-authored the updated report that called the PDC a “unique and powerful tool” while also calling attention to the need for the agency to increase transparency and public involvement. Click here to read the report.
Paul also participated in the 2012 ballot measure committee looking at Measures 81 and 83 related to casinos on Oregon.
Written by Amy Potthast, member since 2012
Photograph by Cheryl Juetten