Voters are said to be uninformed and apathetic, but maybe we are just overwhelmed. Multiple news sources, so much detail and yet not enough. How do we know what we need to know?

Tuesday Memo takes a closer look at what is going on at Portland’s City Hall, primarily through the actions taken in sessions of the city council. Named after the memo that is distributed on Tuesdays via email clarifying the agenda to be taken up by council that week, we want to clarify and inform voters about the actions being taken by their elected officials. Using a blogging format, we will highlight agenda items, incorporate media reports, crowdsource ideas and opinions.

Not all government is bad government, nor is it all good. We are not partisan, but neither are we impartial. We’ll call out bad decisions and praise those that make sense. We’ll ask officials and staffers to comment and clarify, and we’ll encourage reasoned debate. Comments will be welcomed, but hate speech or threats will not.

There are three branches of government, but in Portland “We The People” are the fourth branch. Through our unique ability to put things on the ballot, we create a check and balance for our city leaders. We can only fulfill our role if we are well informed.