Metro is looking for a few good Republicans

Metro looking for volunteers for its Opt-In panel, especially those who aren’t white college-educated Democrats living in Multnomah County.

And minorities. And suburbanites. And people without college degrees.

Why?

To join the Opt-In Panel, a voluntary group which gets periodically polled on issues facing Metro. The agency wants 10,000 local participants, and has 2,000. Unfortunately, the participants on the panel so far are not a representative sample of the region: According to a report,

Ninety-five percent of the participants are white. Seventy percent are Democrats, six percent Republican. Eighty-six percent have a college degree, and less than one percent say they never attended any college. Only 23 percent hail from Clackamas or Washington counties, which collectively have 56 percent of Metro’s constituency.

I’ve joined the panel myself, both to exert whatever influence I can (how much weight community input will be given in decision-making remains to be seen), and to get a better handle on what’s up. I mostly fit the profile (I’m white, independent but progressive, hold an advanced degree, but live in Washington County).

People who join by March 15 might win a $50 gift card, good anywhere.

So if you hate public transit, or think that the region is spending too much money building trains and should build more bus service, or have any other opinions you think are not adequately represented in the planning process, consider joining.

Disclosure: Nobody at Metro or any other agency asked me to write this, nor do either I or Portland Transport derive any benefit whatsoever from people joining in response to this article.

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