The CPO Program

The CPO program began in response to the Oregon State Land Use Planning Goals;Goal 1 –Citizen Involvement in 1973. This was one of 14 original (19 eventual) planning goals enacted to address Oregon's unique Senate Bill 100 establishing first-of-its-kind protection for farm and natural resource land uses. Originally named Community Planning Organizations, the CPO program began to take on progressively wider issues than land use alone and a name change to Citizen Participation Organizations occurred in 1986 to better reflect the mission. CPO changed again to Community Participation Organization in 2016 to acknowledge the changing demographics of the County and represent all voices.

Two CPO programs were set up in the Portland Metropolitan area, one each in Washington County and Clackamas County. Both programs continue to act as a major opportunity for community involvement. Washington County contracted with Oregon State University Extension Service to manage the CPO program beginning in 1973. In 2014 OSU provided the County notice that the Extension Service would no longer take on managing the program. The Washington County Board of Commissioners appointed a 13-member task-force (comprised of CPO members, staff, and public involvement professionals) to determine the next step for the program. The task force finalized a recommendation of seven key improvements to the County's public involvement efforts, the first of which was to retain the CPO program. 


Starting July 1, 2016 the CPO program began management under Community Engagement as a new program within the County Administrative Office. The CPO Program was established by the Washington County Board of Commissioners and is one of several mechanisms for the County to achieve the Oregon Statewide Planning Program's Goal 1, Community Involvement. For over 40 years, this program has afforded Oregon residents the opportunity to contribute to the decision-making process of local and county governments. Washington County's Community Engagement Program provides the necessary support. 


 This section presents the Program's Vision, Mission and Values and describes the roles, responsibilities and scope of activities of CPOs, the CCI, and the County Board of Commissioners. See Other Agencies for an orientation to some of our service providers in the areas of land use and livability.


Our Vision

Individuals and their Washington County communities will be meaningfully engaged in collaborative, dynamic processes of open and responsive governance.


Our Mission

The Mission of Community Participation Organizations in Washington County is to encourage and empower public involvement.


Our Values

Community, Community Improvement, Inclusiveness Civility, Respect Education, Learning Information, Transparency, Process