Who we are
The Greater Portland Council of Governments (GPCOG) is composed of 26 member municipalities, stretching from Casco Bay to western Cumberland County. Since 1969, GPCOG has been an instrument of and for communities, helping cities and towns help one another.
We – meaning GPCOG’s member municipalities and GPCOG’s staff – work together to help municipalities save money and deliver strong services to residents by sharing data, best practices, and innovations in government. As a region, we collaborate and forge solutions that address our transportation, economic development, and natural resource challenges. Our work grows jobs, supports healthy and complete neighborhoods with diverse housing options, builds efficient and clean transportation, and protects the places and resources that make the region so special.
We have many strengths that are our foundation to build upon as we move forward. We are a:
- Trusted, neutral convener and facilitator. GPCOG brings people to the table. We are a primary venue for municipal leaders and elected officials to exchange information and explore a variety of topics. We also bring non-municipal stakeholders into regional discussions, uniquely positioning us to encourage and convene cross-sector, cross-jurisdiction conversations that foster understanding and creative thinking about the region’s challenges and opportunities.
- Catalyst for regional consolidation, collaboration, and initiatives. In addition to convening important regional conversations, we move groups to collective, regional action. Noted past successes include multi-town agreements to share public safety services, ecomaine, the regional crime lab, and Sustain Southern Maine. GPCOG cooperatively purchases equipment and services that saves money for municipalities, and helps cities and towns form interlocal agreements and design shared services.
- Resource to municipalities. Our staff has a wide variety of expertise that can assist individual municipal needs as well as those of the region, including data and mapping, planning and zoning, economic development, transportation, sustainable energy solutions, public health, and civic engagement.
- Conduit for funding. We connect people to resources. We connect municipalities to state and federal funding opportunities and forge public-spirited partnerships that leverage private and philanthropic investment. We also write grants to resource key regional projects, such as the New England Ocean Cluster House and Fork Food Lab. Our capacity is very strong in identifying grant opportunities, doing project development, writing successful grants, and administering federal grants.
These three principles guide all of our work:
- Civic engagement. We foster discourse that is candid and respects all people and perspectives. We connect with, educate, and involve the region’s residents so they can help shape the decisions that impact their lives.
- Good governance. We look for opportunities to consolidate and share services, spread best practices and innovations, and leverage and align public and private resources to expand economic opportunities for our residents. We are grounded in the needs of this region’s people, are committed to the wise, transparent, and frugal use of tax dollars, and work within resource constraints to develop and implement actionable and pragmatic projects.
- Stewardship. We strive to be thoughtful stewards of the region’s resources and our people’s future. We work to protect the natural and cultural assets that make the region unique and attractive by expanding economic opportunities, conserving resources, and promoting diverse housing, transportation, and education choices.
These values guide how we do our work:
- Integrity. We inspire trust because we are reliable, transparent, passionate, and fair.
- Perspective. We see the big picture and have the courage to lead the region toward a better future.
- Cooperation. We work together to find creative, innovative opportunities in an ever-changing, and dynamic world.