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eVoter Newsletter  |  April 2021  |  Vol. 25, Issue 9
Editor's Note: If you read one thing in this issue, make it President Debbie Kaye’s column, which summarizes some of our key initiatives this spring. These include Voter Service for the May 18 election, the completion of our Police Accountability Study and related Civic Education program and consensus, and our upcoming annual business meeting. More details about all of these activities can be found later in the newsletter — along with a feature on Life member Kris Hudson and several pieces related to climate change and the environment, just in time for Earth Day.
In This Issue
To use these links, first open in browser  
> President's Column
> Introducing: A Raffle!
> Voter Service for May Election
> Read Our Police Accountability Study
April Civic Ed Program: Tomorrow!
> Discussion Units & Consensus
> What Is Consensus?
> Our Annual Business Meeting
> Our Proposed Budget
> Our Programming Recommendations

> Celebrate Earth Week!
> Civic Ed Recap: Climate Change
> LWVUS Action Priorities
> Action Report: Portland Harbor Cleanup
> Join a Land Conservation Committee
> Membership Matters
> Member News
> Development Directions
> Non-League Events of Interest
> Calendar at a Glance
> Contact Us
A Note From Our President
By Debbie Kaye, LWVPDX President

In 1924, national League President Maude Wood Park said:

“Democracy does not depend on a few persons doing great things, it depends on many persons doing small things faithfully.”

The Portland League is gifted with many people doing many great things well!
For the May 18 Special Election, the League will fulfill its mission of providing Multnomah County voters with the information they need. Chris Cobey and the Voter Service team will produce a school board candidate forum, Video Voters' Guide interviews, and Vote411.org. Please share these nonpartisan resources with your family and friends.

I am delighted to announce the Carol and Velma Saling Foundation approved our $20,000 request! This generous grant will enable expanded outreach into more diverse communities and additional publicity for our Voter Service and Civic Education programming. Thanks to Margaret Noel and Chris Cobey, who wrote the grant request.
More than two dozen members, led by Barbara Ross, researched, wrote, and edited our excellent new Police Accountability study report. Many thanks to each of them. Find it on our website, and if you requested a print copy, it will arrive this week. This report is extraordinarily timely; there is activity on police oversight in the Oregon Legislature and the U.S. Department of Justice as well as locally, and it is already receiving media attention. Our April 13 Civic Education program will present a panel of experts on this topic. Then, we will take consensus in Discussion Units and share the report and the new position widely in our community.
 
Save the date! Our annual business meeting will take place on Wednesday, May 19, at 5pm via Zoom. (Next year, we will reunite in person!) Our agenda includes voting on the budget, bylaws, board and other leaders, and more. Your participation in these decisions is very important; please plan to attend! Look for additional information here and expect the relevant documents in your email box later this month (or by USPS for those who do not use email). I especially want to invite newer members to feel welcome at this meeting. If you have questions, please contact Membership Chair Mary McWilliams at membership@lwvpdx.org or me at president@lwvpdx.org.

The Action Committee, headed by Debbie Aiona, continues to monitor and advocate on climate change and environmental issues, houselessness, police oversight, and more. The March committee meeting provided an update on plans to clean up the Willamette River Harbor Superfund site, which have seen considerable progress since the last time staffers talked with us.

State & National News
The League of Women Voters of Oregon’s biennial convention will take place the week of May 10-16 for 2-4 hours each day via Zoom. There will be caucuses and workshops as well as plenary sessions. The League is growing everywhere: LWVOR now has more than 1,300 members, with Portland representing 25% of that total! We may send 16 voting delegates as well as non-voting observers. More information will be available very soon. This is a wonderful opportunity “to hobnob with our fellow wizards” (League members)! Please let me know if you would like to participate as a delegate or observer by Friday, April 30. Contact me with questions.
 
On Thursday, April 29, from 7-8pm, as part of People Powered Fair Maps national Day of Action activities, LWVOR will join with local Oregon Leagues and other groups in sponsoring a Zoom meeting. They will provide resources for understanding the process of redistricting, why it is important to individuals, where the process now stands, and how an individual can help shape their state legislative and congressional districts for the next 10 years. Participant questions will be addressed. Register for the Zoom event here.
 
Spring is advancing, as are the opportunities to be vaccinated. I hope that if you have not yet received your shots, you are anticipating your turn in the near future. I look forward to seeing you all in person in the fall.
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Introducing: A Newsletter Raffle!
Your Portland League has so much information to share with members about our Action, Voter Service, and Civic Education activities, as well as general membership and business news. All this information is packed into the very email newsletter you are perusing right now. We thank you for being an engaged volunteer and diligent reader! Members who open the monthly eVoter newsletter will automatically be entered into a raffle for League swag. We will notify winners each month. Happy reading!
Next Month’s Elections: The Sleeper Edition

By Chris Cobey, Voter Service Chair (he/him)

After last fall’s election excitement, many local voters don’t know that their work resumes next month, with special district elections on May 18. These low-level campaigns feature candidates for school districts and other local entities (education service districts, community college districts, water districts, fire districts), managing budgets ranging from five figures up to as much as $700 million. When the filing deadline closed last month, 151 candidates (running in 107 contests) and two ballot measures had qualified, according to the Multnomah County Elections Division.

LWVPDX’s Voter Service information will be available online via Vote411.org (live now), our website, and YouTube. If you need printed information, please contact me at voterservice@lwvpdx.org to arrange.
 
How Can You Get Involved? At Least Two Ways.

1. Video Voters’ Guide
We still need your help to produce our Video Voters’ Guide! In the past, voters have said that the videos are one of the League’s greatest gifts to the community, as it allows voters to see and hear the candidates online at any time before the election to inform their voting choices, especially for less-publicized races in school districts and other local districts.
 
Are you able to be an interviewer for a few of our candidate interviews? We do these via Zoom — you from your home, and the candidate from their home. Our production company, MetroEast, handles all setup details. You ask the candidate three to five already-drafted questions in a 7-to-9-minute span. We will conduct these interviews on:

  • Monday, April 19, between 10am and 6pm
  • Tuesday, April 20, between 11am and 7pm
  • Wednesday, April 21, between noon and 8pm

You are not expected to sign up for an entire day’s period, just for the number of candidates you are comfortable handling. Each candidate’s entire preparation and taping segment is scheduled for 30 minutes, though the whole segment normally is done within 20-25 minutes. If you’ve wanted to see what further League activity is like (and to have the experience to participate in our Voter Forums when they resume in person), here’s your chance! To help out, or if you have questions, please contact Hailey McLaughlin at videovotersguide@lwvpdx.org.
 
2. Voter Forum
We will record one Voter Forum for this election: the candidates for Portland Public Schools board of directors for Zones 4, 5, and 6. This 90-minute forum will be recorded and made available on our website and through MetroEast by the first week in May. If you have questions you would like the PPS candidates asked, please forward them to voterservice@lwvpdx.org by Friday, April 23. We will do our best to incorporate your questions.

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Read Our New Police Accountability Study!

By Barbara Ross, Study Committee Chair, and Nancy Donovan, Civic Education Chair
We are happy to report that our study, Portland Police Bureau: Oversight and Accountability, has gone to the printer and will be mailed shortly to those of you who requested a paper copy. In the meantime, the electronic copy is available on our website. We are also pleased to present a program on our study — a culmination of a year's worth of work. Details are below. At our Discussion Unit meetings in April, members will respond to the consensus questions. Those responses will be gathered and studied by the team tasked with drafting the position that will be the basis for the League advocacy going forward. After the position is approved by the board, it will be shared with the community. We look forward to a lot of thoughtful discussion in our Unit meetings.
Rep. Janelle Bynum, Shawn Campbell, Carol Johnson, and James Ofsink.
April Civic Education Program:
Discussing Police Oversight & Accountability
When: April 13 at 7pm (tomorrow!)
How: via Zoom (a link was emailed to all members on April 9)

Our panelists will discuss relevant issues addressed in our study. The speakers are:
  • Rep. Janelle Bynum, an Oregon State Legislator who represents the 51st District, which includes East Portland and east Multnomah County. Rep. Bynum serves as chair of the House Judiciary Committee and Subcommittee on Equitable Policing. Her legislative proposals in the 2021 session include bills for a database on police use of force, prompt medical assessment for arrested persons, and limits on the use of arbitration to reverse police agency findings of police misconduct.
  • Shawn Campbell, Chair of the Training Advisory Council (TAC) for the Portland Police Bureau. The TAC is a group of civilians who advise the PPB Training Division and Chief of Police. The TAC has outlined how changes in accountability, officer wellness, public safety specialization, procedural justice, and restorative justice could improve public safety.
  • Carol Johnson, JD, MA, an attorney who has spent her career working on civil rights. In 2019, she was appointed to Portland Police Citizen’s Review Committee, which advises the Bureau’s Independent Police Review. Johnson worked with the Portland League and The Links, Inc., on our study.
The program will be moderated by LWVPDX and study committee member James Ofsink. MetroEast Community Media will record the program, which will be available publicly on our website by April 15.
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Discussion Units Update

By Judy Froemke, Discussion Units Coordinator
 
Join Us in April to Discuss the May Election & Consensus Questions
During April 2021, Discussion Units will familiarize themselves with our new Police Accountability Study and will discuss the consensus questions. Join the path to police accountability advocacy through the League’s consensus process.
 
You are encouraged to read the Police Accountability Study; a digital copy is available on our website. More than two dozen Portland League members, led by Barbara Ross, worked on the research, writing, and editing of this document. Your participation in group consensus discussion will guide the board’s development of a new advocacy position. Please come to any Discussion Unit meeting that is convenient for you. If you are not able to attend a meeting, you may individually fill out the consensus questions online.
 
There will be an election on May 18, mainly focused on races for school and college boards, including Portland Public Schools and Portland Community College. The League’s Voter Service information about these races will be made available online at Vote411.org. At the April meetings, Voters’ Guide co-chairs Kathy Casto and Linda Fields will give an explanation on the use of Vote411.org.

During March, almost 50 people attended Discussion Unit meetings. They were fortunate to have Kathy Moyd, Julie Chapman, and Robin Tokmakian lead the discussions on the rather complicated, far-reaching topic of climate change and environmental justice as it relates to climate change. Some of the local efforts to correct climate inequities and information from local experts involved in this work, as presented at the March Civic Education program, were discussed as well.
  
If you are not already attending a Discussion Unit meeting and would like to, please email units@lwvpdx.org. We gladly welcome you!
The League’s Process: Study | Discussion | Consensus | Position
“Member Agreement” and “Consensus” are the League’s way to take the results of our thorough study of police oversight and accountability in Portland and develop an advocacy position we can use to influence public policy going forward. “Consensus” is the collective opinion of a substantial number of League members after their sustained study of an issue. It is not a simple majority vote, nor is it unanimity; rather, it is the overall sense of the group as expressed through the exchange of ideas and opinions. All members are strongly encouraged to participate.
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Save the Date: Our Annual Business Meeting!

Our annual business meeting is coming right up! This is in place of our typical in-person Local Convention. Mark your calendars for Wednesday, May 19, at 5pm. We will begin the program with a video by LWVUS President Deborah Turner and perhaps a shorter one from CEO Virginia Kase.
 
Our theme this year will be “Opportunities Ahead,” and we are pleased to announce that our Ship of Opportunity is setting sail with:
  • Our new centrally located, street-level office space in downtown Portland.
  • Outreach and active listening to diverse communities in everything we do.
  • A pandemic pivot to using Zoom and online meetings to offer more diverse programming and meeting formats to serve our members and the public.
  • Plans to hire a new employee or service agency to help us do our work even better.
  • Hopes to taking some of the work off the shoulders of our primary volunteers by reorganizing our committees and thinking big on how we can improve.
  • Growth and engagement of our membership – 340 strong!
  • Our new Police Accountability Study to advocate for important changes that will make Portland more equitable and just.
In sum, we have a new home port, we can see the surrounding lands more clearly, we have been through some rough waters, the crew has been short-staffed but working very hard, and we are looking to expand our passenger list to add new travelers and destinations. We recently have visited the ports of City Government and Police Accountability, where our passengers have had an opportunity to discuss, learn, and share their ideas amongst themselves and those not yet aboard.
 
As we set our sails, our travelers and crew will meet on the top deck of the pool to toast (bring your favorite beverage of choice) our new League year and set our sights high to meet our new Targets of Opportunity. But first, we need to get down to brass tacks and take care of business as efficiently and quickly as possible to allow time for our travelers to be engaged and enjoy the meeting!
 
We need your votes on the items below to set our course for the year ahead!
Be on the lookout for an email on these items and a post on our website under “Events” and “2021 Annual Business Meeting.” Please register for the meeting! We’ll need to ensure a quorum is present to complete our business. You can register by contacting the LWVPDX office at info@lwvpdx.org or (503) 228-1675. Once registered, you will receive an email a few days prior to our meeting with the relevant materials and a Zoom link. We truly will appreciate your participation!
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Budget Brief

By Adrienne Aiona, Budget Chair

Our Proposed Budget for the Fiscal Year 2021-22
The Budget Committee is appointed by the League board to formulate a proposed budget for the next fiscal year. The committee presents the proposed budget to the membership for approval at our annual business meeting. This year’s Budget Committee included Adrienne AionaAnne Davidson, Margaret Noel, Mary Hepokoski, Debbie Kaye, Jen Jacobs, Linda Mantel, and Marion McNamara.

Members will have the opportunity to discuss, debate, and amend the budget for the Regular Fund at the annual business meeting. The Education Fund budget is provided for review and comment only because it is related to the Regular Fund budget. The Education Fund budget will be adopted by the trustees at their next meeting.
 
The overall budget is about $20,000 higher than the previous year primarily due to increases in Voter Service activities; website and publicity investments; and a planned training on diversity, equity and inclusion. Voter Service work will primarily be supported by grant funding.
 
Proposed dues remain at $80 (or $120 for household memberships). We currently send $32 of that amount to LWVUS and $30.50 to LWVOR, to support League activities at the national and state level. Just $17.50 (22%) of your annual dues remains to support LWVPDX activities.
 
The pie charts below show the proposed revenue and expenditures by budget category. Our largest sources of revenue are foundations and grants, member contributions, and dues. However, as mentioned above, nearly 80% of our dues revenue is passed through to the state and national Leagues. Our largest expenditures are for running the office, including paying an office manager; Voter Service; and membership (this represents the money we pay to LWVOR and LWVUS).
 
The generosity of our members through their contributions as well as the hard work of those applying for grants are key to supporting all the work that the Portland League accomplishes throughout the year.
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Our 2021-22 Program Recommendations
By Civic Education Chair Nancy Donovan and Units Coordinator Judy Froemke

During January 2021, 65 League members participated in seven Discussion Unit meetings to help plan programming for the next League year. Total attendance at these seven discussions was 115. (Most people attended multiple Discussion Unit meetings.)
 
Each discussion group made recommendations to retain, drop, update, restudy, or refer for action the League positions on a wide range of topics, including governance, climate change, environmental issues, children’s issues, homelessness and affordable housing, police accountability, and the overriding importance of learning about and accepting diversity, equity, and inclusion.
 
The only items that require a membership vote at the annual business meeting are retaining or changing current positions and adopting updates or restudies of current positions and studies of new topics.

Board-Recommended Program

  1. Retain all current LWVPDX positions.
  2. There is no board-recommended study for the coming year.

We will continue with developing a new advocacy position on Portland Police Bureau: Oversight and Accountability, from the membership discussion and consensus on the completed study.

Note that Communications Chair Margaret Noel is following through with LWVOR regarding the position and study updates our members recommended earlier this year related to election methods, nuclear energy, and redistricting.
 
Non-Recommended Program Items
Members attending the annual business meeting will have an opportunity to ask for consideration of Non-Recommended Items. If, by majority vote, the membership agrees to consider a non-recommended item, another vote will be taken on whether to adopt that item. When voting to adopt an update, study, or restudy, members should have confidence that there will be volunteers to carry out the necessary work.
 
During the program planning discussions, three LWVPDX positions were recommended for UPDATES:

  1. Metropolitan Transportation: The Metropolitan Transportation position does not include any language about the topic of safety or ride security, which has become a significant concern. The rise in use of scooters, electric bicycles, and electric vehicle infrastructure, etc., also merit attention. An interest group was suggested for this topic, led by members Linda Mantel, Marsha Gulick, and Joe Hoffman.
  2. Teenage Girls at Risk: Members suggested this 1995 position be revisited. At the time, the study focused on girls because programs and policies at the state and local levels didn’t take girls’ specific experiences and problems into account. Although the position supports services “that include consideration of gender,” its focus doesn’t seem to include trans youth or the experiences of other teens who identify as LGBTQ+. Kathy Casto brought up this issue, but no additional interested members came forward. 
  3. School Funding: Discussions focused on equitable school funding, both within large districts like Portland and among districts. The LWVPDX “School Funding” position identifies a need for “adequate and sufficient funding” but doesn’t examine or address funding inequities.” No interested members’ names were given.
Other Recommendations from Discussion Units
Suggestions for civic education programs, interest groups, or action may be approved by the board if they conform with League principles and there is sufficient member interest in the topics. The following recommendations do not need approval at the annual business meeting.

The following topics were recommended for future Civic Education programs:
  • Gun safety/police accountability
  • Climate change
  • Water resources on the Columbia River
  • Election methods/laws
  • Forestry: urban/rural, timber resources vs. recreational vs. environmental issues
  • A program involving all of these related issues: Rose Quarter freeway expansion, transit options, pedestrian safety, preservation of urban trees with environmental, racial, and DEI considerations
Participants expressed an interest in forming interest groups on these topics:
  • Homelessness and alternative housing (to plan for a possible study or update)
  • Air quality
  • Looking at opportunities to listen and learn about diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • How to attract neighborhoods’ more diverse members to become represented
  • Metropolitan transportation: how to address rider and driver safety with the rising number of alternative vehicles (electric bikes and scooters, etc.)
  • Forestry issues: hot spots, tree code, environmental justice
  • And, joining the Education Interest Group
The following topics were recommended for Action or Action Committee research: 
  • Portland Police Bureau, juvenile justice, gun safety
  • Air quality, climate change, solid waste
  • Urban growth, land use, and metropolitan transportation
  • City government
This chart outlines the League's program planning process. Click here to view a full-size version.
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Celebrate Earth Week

Earth Day this year is Thursday, April 22. If you have the time and want find opportunities to support our environment in the Portland area, visit Travel Portland. Internationally, visit earthday.org to learn about the international perspective and activities around the world April 20-22.

League Advocacy
The League has been engaged with environmental and now climate issues for many decades at the local, state, and national levels.

You can find our local and regional advocacy positions online. The League of Women Voters of Oregon also has advocacy positions listed under Natural Resources and Environment online. In addition, LWVOR is completing a study on biocides and pesticides. Nationally, see the LWVUS biennial position compilation Impact on Issues.

If you haven't watched our March Civic Education program on climate action, please do! See the video and a recap of the program below.

Join the Braided River Campaign
On April 20, the Braided River Campaign will hold an Earth Week event from 10am to noon announcing a grassroots vision for a climate-resilient, “Green Working Waterfront” in the Portland Harbor. The group is a coalition of river advocates advancing a grassroots vision for future plans and developments in the Portland Harbor. The event will include holding banners and listening to speakers discuss intersecting environmental justice issues on the river (with physical distancing in place). Learn more here.

Prior to the event, the group will craft a broad vision for the future Portland Harbor by sharing ideas and goals in two coalition meetings: Monday, April 12, at 6pm and Friday, April 16, at noon, both via Zoom.
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The entire recorded March Civic Education program is available now on the LWVPDX website or YouTube channel (with captioning services available to assist with hearing impairment).
Civic Education Recap: Panelists Discuss
Local Climate Action and Justice
By Allison Rowe, Guest Writer

Last month, LWVPDX hosted a virtual discussion on climate change. Robin Tokmakian, LWVPDX member and LWVOR’s representative to the NW Energy Coalition, moderated four panelists who work at organizations committed to tackling our climate crisis.
 
The panelists spoke to the problems posed by climate change, its disparate impacts on low-income communities and communities of color, and the work their organizations hope to accomplish around those issues. The panelists also spoke to the important climate-related bills in the current legislative session, which includes the 100% Clean Energy for All bill (House Bill 2021-1).
 
Cady Lister, Deputy Program Manager of the Portland Clean Energy Fund (PCEF), discussed PCEF’s mission to provide clean energy funding to a broad range of local organizations. Established in 2018 by a citizen ballot measure, PCEF is the first environmental measure created and led by communities of color. Ms. Lister discussed how PCEF centers equity in its efforts to address the climate crisis, recognizing that low-income communities and communities of color are the most burdened by climate change and the least connected to clean energy opportunities. PCEF’s funds, which total $40-60 million annually, will go toward clean energy investments in these communities. This is the first year that PCEF will award grants, with a second round of grants occurring in summer 2021.
 
Oriana Magnera, Energy, Climate, and Transportation Manager at Verde, discussed the work Verde does in the local community to reduce emissions and build environmental wealth through social enterprise, outreach, and advocacy. Ms. Magnera discussed Verde’s role in the Cully Energy Plan, which uses conservation and generation projects to help people stay in their homes though lower energy bills.
 
Recent Verde projects also include installing solar panels on St. Charles Church and the planned installation of battery storage at the structure. Creating islanded structures (i.e. structures that can be disconnected from the grid) is critical, Ms. Magnera explained, when weather events like our recent winter storms can result in wide-spread power outages. During outages, these islanded structures can provide crucial community services. Verde has also purchased and demolished a building in the Cully neighborhood to be replaced with 140 units of sustainable housing.
 
Tim Miller, Director of Oregon Business for Climate, discussed his organization’s efforts to support local programs that advance urgent, ambitious, and equitable climate programs and policies — with an eye to having those programs spur innovation and jobs. Mr. Miller’s organization includes nearly 100 companies from a broad range of business sectors. These businesses see climate leadership as being essential to Oregon’s communities and industries and hope to see Oregon emerge as a leader in a growing green economy.
 
Richard Whitman, Director of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), spoke to the work his agency is doing to address climate issues, reduce emissions, and consider environmental justice concerns going forward. He also spoke to the status of Gov. Kate Brown’s executive order on climate, signed one year ago. To avoid the worst impacts from climate change, Mr. Whitman says that Oregon will need to get back on track as a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, particularly by moving toward clean transportation.
 
Mr. Whitman also discussed the proposed inclusion of the Environmental Justice Taskforce in the DEQ. This move would provide the volunteer-run taskforce with additional resources and would help agencies like the DEQ advance policies that avoid burdening vulnerable communities and communities of color and that could start to reverse some of the historical burdens placed on those communities.
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League Action Priorities
With so much going on, sometimes it can be hard for League members to know which issues to focus on. LWVUS has outlined key priorities it plans to work on with the Biden Administration; more information is available here.
April Action Committee Meeting
When: Friday, April 23 | 1:30–3:30pm
Topic: TBA

All League members are welcome! Members on the Action Committee email list will receive a reminder and Zoom link prior to the meeting. If you would like to join us and are not on the list, please contact Action Chair Debbie Aiona at action@lwvpdx.org.
Action Committee Report

By Debbie Aiona, Action Committee Chair

March Meeting Highlights: Portland Harbor Superfund Site Cleanup
Guests:
  • Caleb Shaffer, EPA Region 10 Portland Harbor Team Lead
  • Richard Francis, EPA Region 10 Portland Harbor Remedial Project Manager
  • Laura Knudsen, EPA Region 10 Community Involvement Coordinator
 
The Superfund program is the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (or CERCLA), enacted by Congress in 1980. The law allows the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to clean up contaminated sites and force the responsible parties to either perform the clean up or pay EPA to lead the work.
The EPA listed the Portland Harbor as a contaminated site in December 2000. After more than a century of activities such as shipbuilding, chemical manufacturing, manufactured gas production, and other manufacturing, the sediment, groundwater, and surface water contain contaminants that are a threat to human health and the environment.
EPA is responsible for in-water cleanup and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality for leading the clean up of the upland sources. Approximately 150 parties contributed to the contamination and are required to participate in the cleanup. This interactive DEQ map provides detailed information on each site, the responsible party, and the clean up status.

The project recently reached a turning point when EPA announced that the contaminated sites throughout the 10-mile-long project area are now in the remedial design stage. During this part of the process, new sediment and water samples will be taken to guide the final remedial design. If you are near the river, you may see vessels and sampling equipment at work. The design process is time-consuming and includes regular EPA monitoring and oversight. Each site eventually will have a detailed remedial plan approved by the EPA, and then work can begin on the actual cleanup.
 
There is a separate and parallel Natural Resource Damage Assessment process led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Department of the Interior, and five tribal governments based in the region. Its purpose is to assess how natural resources were damaged by contamination, develop a restoration plan, and seek compensation from the responsible parties. Projects on Sauvie Island and near Linnton have already been constructed, and others are in the works. More information is available at the Natural Resources Trustee Council website.

Recent Action Committee Activity
Action Committee members have been meeting with City Council members and staff to discuss, among other things, the League’s concern about the transition between the Independent Police Review and the new oversight system voters approved in November. At this time, information from City Auditor Mary Hull Caballero’s office indicates our current civilian oversight system likely will cease operations on June 30, 2022. If the new system is not up and running by that time, it is possible the city will be without a civilian oversight for a period of time.
 
We have also shared our concerns about limitations on public participation at City Council sessions. As allowed by City Code, Mayor Wheeler has imposed a prohibition on oral testimony on reports presented to council. This is a departure from previous mayors, who welcomed public participation. The prohibition prevents the League and others from offering oral comments related to such items as the annual reports on police shootings and in-custody deaths. More recently, two emergency ordinances requiring a 4/5 vote were placed on the agenda after it was too late for the public to sign up to testify, thus eliminating the opportunity for community members to express their thoughts on those actions.
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Land Conservation Citizen Advisory Committee Seeks Members

The Land Conservation and Development Commission is seeking volunteers to serve as a member of the state’s Citizen Involvement Advisory Committee. The committee furthers citizen involvement in land use planning through activities such as:

  • Advising on matters concerning inclusive engagement in Oregon land use planning and the statewide planning program.
  • Advising local governments about ways to enhance community engagement in communities.
  • Gathering and sharing information about inclusive engagement techniques and best practices.
  • Reviewing local government plans and programs concerning community engagement.

The state is recruiting one member to represent each Congressional District 1, 2, 4, and 5, and one at-large member. To represent Oregon’s demographics, the these groups are prioritized for recruitment:

  • Black
  • Native American
  • Latinx
  • Asian and Pacific Islander
  • People with limited English proficiency
  • People living with disabilities
  • People experiencing homelessness
  • Low-income Oregonians
  • Renters
  • Youth (under 25)

Committee terms last four years. Members must be available for quarterly meetings (3-4 hour meetings) and have sufficient time for the committee’s work (approximately 2 hours prep for each meeting). Regular travel is not required, and meetings are held via videoconferencing. Staff and current committee members will conduct informational interviews in April and make appointment recommendation in May 2021. If you are interested or know a potential candidate representing one of the groups listed above, complete the application HERE by April 18. For additional information, contact Ingrid Caudel at (971) 701-1133 or Ingrid.caudel@state.or.us.

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Membership Matters

By Mary McWilliams, Membership Chair

As of April 8, LWVPDX has 340 members. Welcome to the new and rejoined Portland League members since the March 2021 eVoter!
 
Susan Allen
Daniela Brod (rejoin)
Stacy Butler
Barbara Byrd (rejoin)
Linda Harris (rejoin)
Jean Miley
 Member News

Highlighting Our Life Members


By Judy Froemke, Discussion Units Coordinator
Life member Kris Hudson has a remarkable history of service benefitting the League, Portland, and Oregon. Friends encouraged her to become a Portland League member in 1970, and she immediately joined the Government Committee. Within the year, she had her first baby, Eric, and chaired the Portland League’s National Government study committee while also serving on the board of directors.
In those days, LWVPDX membership was more than 500, including many young mothers. Kris took her son to all the meetings. She continued serving on the board and had her daughter, Paula. When the Hudsons moved to Indiana, PA, for her husband Steve’s post-graduate work, it was the League that saved her sanity. Upon returning to Portland, where Steve taught English at PCC, Kris became a Brownie Troop leader, was active in the PTA, and was elected as the League’s vice president and then president in 1981-83.

A friend from high school, Linda Dinus, was the LWVOR president and asked Kris to be on the state board. Kris then became LWVOR president in 1984-87. During her second term, she computerized the League and improved succession planning. She helped develop the LWVOR’s Schools Project, which developed a primer on taxes and school funding, and coordinated its statewide dissemination. Sponsored by local Leagues and many other organizations, Kris and Elaine Cogan appeared on TV and radio talk shows and travelled the state to share the information at 28 community meetings. (Read about Elaine in the February eVoter.) Kris then worked on school funding for Senate President John Kitzhaber in 1989. Later that year, she was named Assistant Director of the Governor’s Commission on Higher Education in the Portland metro area. She helped develop the planning process, wrote grant proposals, and wrote and edited reports. When the commission completed its work, Kris was asked to create PORTALS, a virtual research library with shared catalogs and materials that was adopted by all local colleges and public libraries.
 
In 1992, Kris was elected to the LWVUS board and served on the membership and Action committees. Steve also became a League member at this time. Kris worked as Project Director for Secretary of State Phil Keisling in 1993-96, helping design and organize statewide workshops. Since 1996, Kris has served on state and local League development committees and has chaired LWVPDX’s budget committee and other projects. She was appointed by Gov. Barbara Roberts to serve on the Board of Dentistry and by legislators to serve on both the county and city charter review committees. Kris and Steve are now retired and love to travel; they have visited all seven continents. Kris started sewing again, is a member of the American Sewing Guild, and co-chairs the Serger Group. Son Eric is a physics professor at Penn State University and has five children, and daughter Paula is a chemistry professor at Cal State University at Fullerton. Kris has been a member of Discussion Unit 1 for many years.
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Development Directions

By Linda H. Mantel, Development Chair

There’s a feeling in the air that we are moving into a season of hope, possibilities, and opportunities. Your League is ready to take advantage of this season, now operating out of our new office downtown, and ready to move forward in our Advocacy, Voter Service, and Civic Education programs.
 
YOU can help US by supporting our education and advocacy efforts with climate change and police accountability, as well as preparing voter materials for the May 18 election. In return, WE will help YOU become well informed with the most up-to-date, well-researched, nonpartisan voter information that you need to cast your ballot. We invite you to visit our giving webpage, where you can either donate directly online or print out a coupon to send with a check.
 
And take this opportunity to give a gift membership in the League. Remember that membership in LWVPDX also encompasses membership in the LWVOR and the LWVUS, three excellent networks of friends and neighbors involved in making democracy work by empowering voters and defending democracy. You can give a gift so easily here. As a special bonus, memberships starting this month will be current until June 2022. Also, half the amount of the membership gift will be tax-deductible for you.
 
Finally, there’s a particular opportunity this month for you to make a gift in honor or memory of someone important, which we will recognize in our annual business meeting materials in May. Just go to our giving page to donate online, or send a check to PO Box 3491, Portland, OR  97208-3491. Your gifts will not only enable our work but also inspire us to do more. Thank you in advance for your support.
 
Donate Today!
Non-League Events of Interest

Oregon Historical Society Book Talk
“The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote” by Elaine Weiss tells the story of the final weeks of the immense effort to achieve women’s right to vote in the United States. It reads like a thriller, even though we already know the ending! The author gave the excellent keynote address at the LWVUS convention in 2018. She will speak on Tuesday, April 27, at 7pm courtesy of the Oregon Historical Society. This event is offered free; register online here.

The Historical Society is now open Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 5pm. The exhibit “Nevertheless, They Persisted: Women’s Voting Rights and the 19th Amendment” was extended to early December 2021.
Oregon Humanities “Consider This” Programs
The League is a community co-sponsor of the Oregon Humanities 2020-21 “Consider This” conversation series that “explores democracy in the United States right now — how it works, who gets to participate, and the threats it faces.” Two programs remain. On April 13, the discussion will focus on race, memory, and education with Clint Smith, author of “How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America.” On April 27, the guest is Astra Taylor, director of the documentary “What Is Democracy?” and author of “Democracy May Not Exist, but We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone.” All programs take place from 5-6:30pm via Zoom. Register for any or all of these free events.
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Calendar at a Glance
All League meetings and events are being conducted virtually until further notice because of the pandemic.
APRIL
Tues, April 13: Oregon Humanities "Consider This" Program | 5-6:30pm. Register here.
Tues, April 13: Civic Education Program on Police Accountability Study | 7:30pm via Zoom; link was emailed on 4/9.
Thurs, April 15: Discussion Unit 4 Meets | 1pm. Leader Lynn Baker.
Sun, April 18: Deadline to Apply | Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission Citizen Involvement Advisory Committee. Complete the application here.
Mon, April 19: Discussion Unit 7 Meets | 1pm. Leader Pamela Clark.
Tuesday, April 20: Braided River Campaign Earth Week Event | 10am to noon. Learn more here.
Thurs, April 22: EARTH DAY!
Thurs, April 22: LWVPDX Board Meeting
| Noon to 2pm.
Fri, April 23: Action Committee Meeting | 1:30-3:30pm. Contact Action Chair Debbie Aiona at action@lwvpdx.org.
Mon, April 26: Discussion Unit 2 Meets | 10am. Leader Paulette Meyer.
Mon, April 26: Discussion Unit 3 Meets | 7pm. Leader Olivia Smith.
Tues, April 27: Discussion Unit 6 Meets | 9:30am. Leader Christine Moore.
Tues, April 27: Oregon Humanities "Consider This" Program | 5-6:30pm. Register here.
Tues, April 27: Oregon Historical Society Book Talk | 7pm. Register here.
Weds, April 28: Discussion Unit 1 Meets | 7pm. Leader TBD; contact units@lwvpdx.org.
Thurs, April 29: LWV People Powered Fair Maps National Day of Action | Register for the Zoom event here.
MAY
Mon, May 10: May 
eVoter Issue | Check your email inbox!
Week of May 10: LWVOR Convention | Held virtually. Contact president@lwvpdx.org.
Wednesday, May 19: LWVPDX Annual Business Meeting | 5pm via Zoom. RSVP to info@lwvpdx.org.
Tues, May 18: ELECTION DAY! | Oregon Special District Elections.
Thurs, May 27: LWVPDX Board Meeting | Noon to 2pm.
Note: Discussion Unit 5 is not currently meeting.
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Board of Directors
Debbie Kaye, president@lwvpdx.org
Marion McNamara, vpadmin@lwvpdx.org 
Chris Cobey, 
voterservice@lwvpdx.org
Nancy Donovan, civiced@lwvpdx.org 
Anne Davidson, 
secretary@lwvpdx.org
Don Brenneis, treasurer@lwvpdx.org 
Margaret Noel, 

communications@lwvpdx.org
Debbie Aiona, action@lwvpdx.org 
Judy Froemke, units@lwvpdx.org 
Linda Mantel, 
development@lwvpdx.org
Audrey Zunkel-deCoursey, atlarge4@lwvpdx.org
Carolyn Buppert, 
socialmedia@lwvpdx.org
Amber Nobe, newsletter@lwvpdx.org
Off-Board Leaders
Mary McWilliams, 
membership@lwvpdx.org 
Shannon Hiller-Webb, forums@lwvpdx.org
VACANT, voterreg@lwvpdx.org
Beth Burczak, speakers@lwvpdx.org
Linda Fields & Kathy Casto, 
votersguide@lwvpdx.org
Hailey McLaughlin, 
videovotersguide@lwvpdx.org
Doreen Binder, nominating@lwvpdx.org
Adrienne Aiona, budget@lwvpdx.org
Elizabeth Davis, lwvpdxinsta@gmail.com
Phil Thor, Endowment Committee Chair
Nancy Donovan,
Education Interest Group Chair
James Ofsink,
Justice Interest Group Chair
Barbara Ross,
Police Accountability Study Chair
Volunteers
Thank you to the League leaders and volunteers who provided photos, wrote for, and edited this newsletter.

LWVPDX is always looking for volunteers! Contact any member of the board for more information on how you can help us fulfill our mission of "Making Democracy Work." 
Copyright © 2021 League of Women Voters of Portland,
All rights reserved.