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The Portland metropolitan area is home to the only directly elected regional government in the United States: the Portland Metro Council.

All members of Metro serve for a 4-year term. The council president is elected in a regional election, while council members are elected by district.

Although the agency carries the name of the city it is centered in, the metropolitan region it covers encompasses three counties and 25 cities. Metro oversees land use, transportation, environmental stewardship, and municipal services across the region.