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eVoter Newsletter  |  Summer 2020  |  Vol. 25, Issue 1
Editor's Note: Traditionally, the LWVPDX newsletter publishes just once during the summer, so we have much to cover – celebrating past achievements and sharing exciting plans for the months ahead. It is a long issue, we know, but we are excited to share it with you. If you'd like to hop around within the issue, first open it in a browser through the link below, then use the contents listing to jump to specific articles. Happy reading! 
In This Issue
For Best Results, View in Browser  
> President's Column
> Redistricting Update
> Voter Service Update
> Action Updates
> Police Accountability Study
> Speakers Bureau
> Open & Accountable Elections
> Units Update
> Civic Education Update
> Annual Business Meeting
> Membership Matters
> Development Directions
> National Convention Recap
> LWVUS News
> Climate Advocacy Volunteers
> City Charter Review
> Census Reminder
> LWVPDX Office Updates
> Member Announcements
> Calendar at a Glance
A Note from Our President
By Debbie Kaye (the very model of a COVID-ready president!)
 
“Our resilience and response in times of crisis demonstrate just how strong and valuable the League is to our democracy."
–Chris Carson (immediate past LWVUS president, on June 15)

 
As we begin our new League year on July 1, this statement both inspires me to keep up the good work and reminds me how important that work is to our community. Our League is effectively maintaining our mission-driven focus on Action, Voter Service, and Civic Education, even though we cannot gather in person.
  • Action and advocacy with our positions. The City Government Study will be particularly useful as the Portland Charter Review Commission begins its work. If the “People Not Politicians” petition successfully qualifies for the ballot, we will assist LWVOR in promoting it.
  • Voter information for the August runoff Special Election for City Commissioner, Position 1, and the panoply of services we routinely provide for the General Election.
  • Civic education to provide various points of view for the community about important issues.
  • With extraordinary timing for this moment, our Police Accountability Study is well underway. Responding to the protests in Portland and in partnership with Portland Copwatch, we submitted an op-ed piece to The Oregonian that was published July 1.
  • In addition, we plan to move our office in the next couple of months and hire an office manager.
Members are the core of the League! I hope you have received your membership renewal packet. Please respond as soon as you can, letting us know how you want to engage with and support our League.
 
Our elected board of directors is capable, dedicated, innovative, and terrific to work with. As president, I have been participating in webinars to help our organization come through the COVID-19 crisis with resilience and strength.
 
“Now, more than ever, it’s clear that our work to inform voters and hold government accountable on the local and state level is where real potential for change lies.” –Virginia Kase, LWVUS CEO
 
My goals are to continue working resolutely (as the suffragists did during the flu pandemic a century ago) with our leaders and members to promote the League-wide campaign for “Making Democracy Work” in our local programming. We plan to maintain and expand our longstanding community connections and partnerships, identify new ones, and secure additional financial support. Especially in this time of surging demand for equal civil rights, I invite you to join me in shining a powerful light on the League’s mission of “Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.” ... for everyone.
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Redistricting Initiative Update

People Not Politicians Falls Short on Signatures but Wins in Court
On Friday, July 10, a federal district court issued a preliminary order granting "People Not Politicians," a LWVOR-led coalition to create an independent redistricting commission for Oregon, relief to qualify its initiative for the November General Election. The order allows the Secretary of State to decide by 5pm on July 13 (today!) to either accept "People Not Politicians'" signatures as submitted, or accept a reduced number of signatures and allow additional time (until Aug. 17) to gather them.
 
The campaign organization gathered more than 64,000 signatures, but that fell short of the 149,360 that were needed by July 2. On June 30, People Not Politicians Oregon v. Clarno was filed in U.S. District Court in Eugene for a temporary injunction; the redistricting campaign sought both to extend the signature-gathering deadline and lower the required minimum number of signatures because of the pandemic.
 
The judge found the "People Not Politicians" campaign exercised “reasonable diligence” in attempting to qualify for the ballot, specifically because of the work that the campaign did to do outreach, build a broad coalition, and plan creatively to collect signatures in light of the pandemic. LWVOR’s Norman Turrill said, “We forged ahead through this COVID crisis and implemented an unprecedented signature-gathering program, bringing in tens of thousands of petitions from Oregonians in barely over one month.”

Read more about the initiative and the court ruling here, and stay tuned for more updates!
The People Not Politicians campaign submitted 64,000+ signatures for the redistricting reform initiative petition. Photo courtesy People Not Politicians campaign.
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Voter Service Updates

By Chris Cobey, Voter Service/Forums Chair, & Katie Pool, Voter Registration

Forum Set for August Special Election
An Aug. 11 runoff Special Election is set for Portland City Councilor Position 2 between Dan Ryan and Loretta Smith. LWVPDX will host a virtual voter forum on July 21. Video of the forum will be posted on Vote411.org and lwvpdx.org through Election Day, and both websites will show the candidates’ written answers to questions about current city issues. For more information or to share ideas for candidate questions, contact Chris Cobey at forums@lwvpdx.org.
Dan Ryan (campaign photo)
Loretta Smith (campaign photo)
General Election Planning Begins
In-person voter registration efforts continue to be hampered by the statewide stay-at-home order (read more below). However, additional ideas were gleaned from the virtual LWVUS national convention last month on how to engage non-voters and infrequent voters in low-turnout precincts. The Voter Service Committee will review these ideas with an eye toward implementing the most promising ones for the November General Election. Planning also begins this month for the print Voters' Guide and its distribution, Video Voters' Guide, and vote411.org. Volunteers are always welcome! Contact Chris Cobey at forums@lwvpdx.org.

Online Voter Registration
The League temporarily suspended our traditional in-person voter registration activities because of the pandemic and the accompanying physical distancing requirements in Multnomah County. We are re-evaluating how best to provide voter registration outreach as these conditions change.
 
For now, we recommend using Oregon’s online registration system at oregonvotes.gov. It is quick and easy, and you can spread the word through the social media platforms you use everyday. We also recommend everyone check their registration to be sure it is current. For example, many people do not realize that they have to update registration when they move.
 
In addition, paper registration forms are available at the Multnomah County Elections Office, 1040 SE Morrison Street in Portland. The voter registration deadline for the August Special Election is July 21. The deadline for the November General Election is Oct. 13.
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Action Committee Updates

By Debbie Aiona, Action Chair

Universal Pre-Kindergarten Petition Gathering Signatures 
The League of Women Voters of Portland board endorsed the Multnomah County Universal Preschool NOW initiative and encouraged members to help gather signatures. The proposal calls for a publicly funded year-round preschool program for all Multnomah County three- and four-year-old children. The program would be paid for by a tax on high earners. Our LWVUS positions say: A quality public education, beginning in pre-kindergarten, is essential for a strong, viable, and sustainable democratic society and is a civil right. Additionally, the first five years of a child’s life are crucial in building the foundation for future educational attainment and achieving success in later life. It appears this campaign submitted enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot. More information is available on the UP NOW website.

Op-Ed Featured in The Oregonian
On July 1, The Oregonian published an op-ed in the Opinion section about the Portland Police accountability system, co-authored by Action Chair Debbie Aiona and Dan Handelman of Portland Copwatch. The piece outlines recommendations for the city to take and that the League has long advocated.
 
From “Opinion: Portland Police’s oversight system needs broader authority”
In order to strengthen accountability, at a minimum the city should adopt several changes:
  1. Ensure that in addition to being able to subpoena civilians and documents, Independent Police Review [IPR] has the power to compel officers to testify or face discipline if they refuse. The office also should be given the authority to access all relevant police files.
  2. Empower IPR to investigate incidents in which police officers use deadly force, and give survivors or their family members the right to appeal their cases to the IPR’s Citizen Review Committee [CRC].
  3. Empower the CRC to review cases based on whether the majority of the evidence supports a given finding, rather than having to defer to police bureau decisions.
Read the full op-ed here
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Update on the Police Accountability Study

By Barbara Ross, Justice Interest Group

When LWVPDX approved our study during the May 12 Annual Business Meeting, little did we know that police accountability would explode into a national and international focus. With all the ongoing protests and local calls for reform, the possibility for change is much more immediate. Our work has taken on a new and urgent importance.
 
We began our study with interviews of key players in the Portland Police Bureau involved in police accountability. Our first interview was with Ross Caldwell, Director of the Independent Police Review (IPR) Policy, and KC Jones, IPR Policy and Outreach Coordinator. Both were very astute and transparent in answering our prepared questions we gave them in advance of the meeting.
 
We also met by Zoom with the head of the Professional Standards Department, Commander Bryan Parman, and Captain Cliff Bacigalupi, who oversees the Internal Affairs Division. We are trying to get a good understanding of exactly how the Independent Police Review in the Auditor’s office and the Police Review Board operate.
 
Every member of our study team is looking at different aspects of the police accountability process:
  • Fran Dyke is researching the history of League involvement in recommending changes in the Police Bureau, dating back to 2000.
  • Carol Landsman is attending the Police Reform Network.
  • Ruth Kratochvil is looking into the organization of the Police Review Board.
  • Rebecca McCrory is researching the Use of Force Policy.
  • Doreen Binder and Sylvia McGill interviewed Carman Rubio, head of the Latino Network (and incoming city commissioner). They will be researching the recommendations for police reform from other community groups.
  • Linda Reed is reviewing PPB’s five-year Racial Equity Plan and their Office of Equity and Inclusion.
  • Jocelyn Furbush is monitoring the Portland Committee on Community Engaged Policing.
  • Judith Armatta is our librarian and will keep records of our interviews.
  • With help from Debbie Aiona and Nancy Donovan, I will study the Citizen Review Committee and their appeal process.
Additionally, we have Zoom meetings set in July with state Sen. Lew Fredericks and with Serena Ashley, President of Links, a Black women’s professional organization; she will discuss Links’ work on police reform at the national level. We are also happy to welcome a new member, Stefanie Maher, who is just getting started.
 
We were excited to see that six police reform bills were passed by the state legislature in the 2020 special session:
  • Banning choke holds
  • Limiting use of tear gas to disburse crowds
  • Improving the arbitration process
  • Establishing a statewide database so it will be harder for officers who seriously violate policy to get hired in another county
  • Requiring officers to intervene if a fellow officer is using force in an inappropriate or dangerous way
We will be watching with intense interest to see how these police policies will be implemented here in Portland. There is lots more to do, so stay tuned!
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President Debbie Kaye spoke at a meeting of the Portland Japanese American Citizens League as part of a Speakers Bureau engagement in 2018. Photo courtesy Rich Iwasaki.
Speakers Bureau Seeks Volunteers

By Beth Burczak, Speakers Bureau Coordinator

Currently, there is much uncertainty in our world, which makes planning for Voter Service presentations this fall a bit tricky as the rules of physical distancing evolve. One certainty that remains is that citizens are eager for the League to provide unbiased information on ballot measures, and requests are already coming in for our Speakers Bureau.
 
It appears unlikely that we will provide many in-person presentations, given the growing pandemic. In fact, most requests for our service have been for presentations using online platforms. In the past, venues have included community centers, senior residences, churches, libraries, college and high school classes, neighborhood associations, and more. This election season, we seek volunteers who are willing to learn how to conduct online ballot measure presentations, as well as volunteers for the slight possibility of presenting in person. (Presenters would follow all physical distancing regulations in effect.)
 
As a volunteer speaker, you will receive a packet that contains carefully researched information about each measure: what the measure hopes to accomplish, arguments for and against, financial impacts, etc. Volunteers will have an opportunity to practice prior to speaking to the public in order to clarify questions, share speaking tips, and review the measures together. The speaking engagements will take place throughout the month of October. A volunteer may sign up for as many or as few speaking opportunities that work with their schedule.
 
Please consider participating in this important service the League offers to our community. Contact Beth Burczak at speakers@lwvpdx.org to volunteer.
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Open & Accountable Elections' Successful Debut

By Carol Cushman, Action Volunteer

We are very pleased with the way Portland’s new Open and Accountable Elections (OAE) program worked for the 2020 Primary Election. OAE is a program to provide public funding via matching grants for candidates who qualify by raising at least 250 small donations for a commissioner position or at least 500 for mayoral candidates. Based on candidate participation, the organizations that supported creation of this program judged it as successful.
  • Four races brought forth 54 candidates; 16 of the candidates participated in the program.
  • Six of the seven candidates who won or moved on to the General Election participated.
  • The qualification rate for candidates was 70%; 23 applied, and 16 were successful in meeting the standard to receive matching funds.
  • Of the six who did not qualify, most collected only a small number of donations.
  • Of donations raised by participating candidates, 91% were less than $250, and 60% were less than $100.
  • The average donation was $56.70.
The League is a strong supporter of campaign finance reform, and LWVPDX was one of the organizations that worked for the passage of OAE by Portland City Council in 2016. Following the Primary Election, we met with several other members of the coalition of nonprofit organizations that supported OAE. Our purpose was to review the initial use of the system and look at successes, shortcomings, and future steps. I encourage those reading this to check the OAE website, openelectionsportland.org, to see the data detail on the program and participating candidates.
The OAE office strove to be responsive and transparent with the media. There was no criticism of the program that showed in the coverage. It is anticipated that if the limits of “honest elections” holds up in court, most city candidates will choose to participate in the future – unless they choose to self-fund or run a campaign of less than $750.
Including the fourth council seat, the program spent $1.7 million for the Primary Election. For the General Election, the maximum will be $1.8 million for the five candidates. If it had not been for the pandemic, the candidates running the special election for council position 2 may have raised more funds, and the match would have increased. This would have required adjustments in the match cap to stay within the budgeted funds. This short-notice special election was a definite anomaly, especially in a year with a mayoral race. (The match cap for mayoral candidates is higher than for commission or auditor candidates.)
 
User interviews are planned with both participating and non-participating candidates, as well as with organizations and other involved parties. The OAE commission will then review and consider possible changes and adjustments to the program. Some issues/ideas have already been identified; these include allowing a second application to qualify if the candidate falls short on the first attempt, giving the OAE office more than 10 days to certify a candidate, and adjusting the match to only smaller donations to optimize the program, among other suggestions.
 
The program’s “home” needs to be determined going forward. It was housed in City Commissioner Amanda Fritz’s office, as she worked with developing the program and because she had declared she is not running for re-election. Similar systems throughout the country are most often housed within the elections division; in Portland, elections are in the auditor’s office. There are various options; the Charter Review Commission may be asked to make that determination next year.
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Discussion Units Updates

By Judy Froemke, Units Chair, and Colleen Shoemaker

Email Survey Coming Soon 
In August, all LWVPDX members will receive a survey about Discussion Units via email from info@lwvpdx.org. The survey was developed by Colleen Shoemaker and Judy Froemke, with help from Mary McWilliams and Barbara Stalions. We want to make sure interested members feel welcome and can attend these grassroots League meetings.
The survey will ask:
  • When and where are you comfortable attending a Discussion Unit meeting?
  • What attractions or barriers do you have to attending Discussion Unit gatherings?
  • Would you like to be part of a new Zoom Discussion Unit?
Please complete the survey and return it as soon as possible. Thank you in advance for taking a few minutes to share your experience!

Discussion Unit Meetings 
There have been no Discussion Unit meetings since April, and none are currently scheduled. Discussion Units 2, 5, 6, and 7 will have the Privacy & Cybersecurity Today Study consensus questions to discuss within the next four months. The answers and consensus reached will be combined with those of other Oregon Leagues and contribute to new advocacy positions on this subject. If you have not already been part of a consensus discussion and would like to, contact one of the Discussion Unit leaders or Units Chair Judy Froemke at units@lwvpdx.org.
Discussion Unit meetings times:
  • Unit 2 – Fourth Monday of the month, from 10 am to noon. Leader is Paulette Meyer.
  • Unit 4 – Third Thursday of the month, from 1 pm to 3 pm. Meets at Holladay Park Plaza. Leader is Lynn Baker.
  • Unit 5 – Third Saturday of the month, from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. Meets at Terwilliger Plaza. Leader is Linda Mather.
  • Unit 6 – Fourth Tuesday of the month, from 9:30 am to 11:30 am. Meets at various locations. Leader is Christine Moore.
  • Unit 7 – Monday after the Civic Education program, from 1 pm to 3 pm. Meets at various locations. Leader is Corinne Paulson.
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Civic Education Program Ideas for Fall

By Nancy Donovan, Civic Education Chair

So much is happening with protests for racial justice and police accountability, and Gov. Brown declaring a state of emergency until Sept. 4 due to spikes in COVID-19 cases. As we navigate these waters, we are also beginning to plan our fall Civic Education programs. If possible and safe, we will hold in-person meetings, but if the pandemic continues, we will hold programs virtually. We are considering the following three possibilities for fall programs.
  1. To kick off our new League year in September, we would invite local, state, and national LWV speakers to discuss new initiatives featured during caucuses at the LWVUS National Convention in June. 
     
  2. In October, we would offer a program on racial justice and police accountability. The Police Accountability Study team is interviewing key players in our city, and we can draw from this pool of leaders and involve others, such as City Commissioner JoAnn Hardesty, to serve as panelists for a Civic Education program. There are so many moving parts to this national and international issue, so things could change quickly. Note that we will also hold several voter forums in October, ahead of the November General Election. 
     
  3. A November program would focus on one of the recommendations for a civic education program from the Winter Planning Party and Unit discussions. These include: climate change and energy, teenage girls at risk, civic engagement and the role of neighborhood associations, update on efforts to address Portland’s housing and houselessness crises, and juvenile justice. Another consideration is a program on healthcare reforms, which we had originally considered for last year.
We will learn a lot more in the months ahead and will continue to inform you of our committee’s progress. If you are interested in joining the Civic Education Committee to help plan these and other programs, contact Nancy Donovan at civiced@lwvpdx.org.
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Our annual business meeting, conducted via Zoom, was a success, with 60 members attending virtually.
2020 Annual Business Meeting Recap

By Debbie Kaye, President, and Nancy Donovan, Civic Education Chair

As we were unable to hold our annual in-person Local Convention due to the pandemic, we pivoted and conducted the essential business required by our bylaws via Zoom. On May 12, 60 members attended our virtual business meeting to approve a LWVPDX Program for the coming year, pass a budget, and elect new board members.
 
Approved League Program for 2020-21
Following discussions of LWVUS and LWVPDX positions at the January winter program planning party and at five Discussion Unit meetings, and subsequent board review of those results, members voted (1) to retain all current LWVPDX positions and, following spirited discussion, (2) to approve a new, timely study on Police Accountability.
 
Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2020-21
Budget Committee Chair Adrienne Aiona presented the proposed budget and noted the it was completed in January, prior to the onset of the coronavirus. The budget is a plan that can be adjusted by the board as needed. After discussion, a motion passed to approve the budget.
 
Nominating Committee Report
Departing board members were recognized for their many contributions: Peter Englander, treasurer; Carol Cushman, at-large assisting with Action; Kim Mason, volunteer coordinator and Justice Interest Group member; and Eileen Chase, Voter Service chair.
 
Nominating Committee Chair Doreen Binder presented a revised Nominating Committee Report with the addition of Audrey Zunkel-deCoursey to be elected as a board member at-large, completing Kim Mason’s term. After discussion, the nominating slate was approved as amended. Other new board members are Treasurer Don Brenneis and Voter Service/Forums Chair Chris Cobey.
 
2019-20 Annual Convention Report
We are close to sharing the LWVPDX 2019-20 Annual Convention Report, which contains a wealth of information on our League’s many activities and accomplishments during the past program year. The report is similar to past convention workbooks that are usually distributed to attendees at our Local Convention and has three sections: acknowledgments of our leaders and members, details of the virtual annual business meeting, and reports of the year’s activities by our board members and volunteers.
 
You can view the annual report on our website, as soon as it is complete. A limited number of printed copies will also be made available by request. If you would like to receive a printed copy, please email Civic Education Chair Nancy Donovan at civiced@lwvpdx.org.
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Membership Matters

By Mary McWilliams, Membership Chair

New Members
WELCOME to our new members who have joined since the May eVoter:
  • Joshua Buck
  • Jessica Daly
  • Karen Demsey
  • Sarah and John Ferguson
  • Christine McBurney
  • Stefanie Maher
  • Sarah Read
  • Linda L. Reed
Also, we again welcome new member Jean Trygstad, whose last name was misspelled in the May eVoter. These new members are not in the Feb. 1 yellow 2020 Members & Leaders Directory, but they are in the Second ERRATA/UPDATES as of June 14, which was mailed out to members with the 2020-21 renewal information (except for Joshua Buck, who joined after printing).
 
LWVPDX ended the 2019-20 League year with 289 members  – five more than last year.

Membership Renewals
Current members should have received their membership renewal packets by now via USPS. You have until mid-December to renew, but by doing it now, you won’t forget! We need you to renew to help guarantee your League’s strength in providing voter information for the August Special and November General Elections, as well as for our Civic Education and Action activities. Your membership dues help directly support these efforts at the national, state, and local levels.
 
You can fill out the contact info/dues and volunteer form and return via the envelope provided in the mailing. Alternately, you may fill out your renewal information online and then mail us a check, or you may renew entirely online and pay through PayPal.
 
Renew Online!
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Development Directions

By Linda Mantel, Development Chair

I hope all our League members and friends are staying healthy and enjoying the comforts of home. As I ponder the task of fundraising for our League, I look forward to your help and ideas for how to guarantee the continuity of our programs for Voter Service, Civic Education, and Action – all of which mean so much to our members and our neighbors.
 
Since Debbie Kaye’s last development report, LWVPDX was fortunate to receive a grant from the Carol and Velma Saling Foundation for $20,000. We will use those funds to support outreach and publicity, such as the advertising we did for Vote411.org and the Video Voters Guide for the May Primary Election. We are in the process of preparing for a video forum for the runoff Special Election in August as well, and then we turn to the November General Election!
 
Given the focus of community concerns in the last three months, donations to the League may not have been at the top of people’s to-do lists. In addition, because we were unable to hold our usual in-person Local Convention, we missed out on the opportunity to have a fun- and fund-raising event. This event normally provides about 10% of our annual budget. Thanks to a match, we did receive about $1,500 in donations, but it is far short of the usual $10,000. So, we are behind in our budget and are counting on our stalwart members to help us catch up.
 
For those of you who have made a contribution recently, THANK YOU! We do appreciate your consistent support. For those who are ready to do so now, THANK YOU, too! I invite you to contribute to support our League with a donation to either the Regular Fund or the tax-deductible Education Fund. Here’s how:
  • Send a check to P.O. Box 3491, Portland, OR  97208-3491
  • Donate online through the “Donate” page of our website, lwvpdx.org 
  • Send in a donation when you renew your membership
In this special anniversary year, let’s try for 50 additional contributions by Aug. 26 – that’s the 100th anniversary of the certification date of the 19th Amendment, or the day it became law! I look forward to working with you all in “Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.” as we “Make Democracy Work” in this critical year.
 
Donate to LWVPDX
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National League Convention Recap

LWVUS met June 22-27 via Zoom

By Debbie Kaye, LWVPDX President

The National Convention is always an exciting, energizing, and inspiring event! Though presented virtually, this year’s gathering was no exception. The convention title was, "Women Power the Vote for 100 Years.”

LWVPDX sent a full delegation to the online National Convention. Participants were Carolyn Buppert, Chris Cobey, Nancy Donovan, Debbie Kaye, Marion McNamara, and Robin Tokmakian. Linda Mantel was an observer. LWVOR had a full complement of about 30 members. There were around 1,250 total delegates and hundreds of observers from all 50 states, plus the Virgin Islands and Washington, D.C.
During the first three days of the convention, we participated in dozens of caucuses, such as:
Voting Rights Across the Life Span; Civil Society; an excellent Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) presentation; Voter Representation/Electoral Systems; the Climate Resolution; and even a rousing musical about the last day before Tennessee ratified the 19th Amendment, called The Perfect 36!

Day 4 was the official opening, featuring a recorded message from CBS Evening News anchor, Norah O’Donnell.
The convention had to accommodate five time zones, from Alaska to Washington, D.C., so West Coast participants began most convention days at noon. The five-hour plenary sessions were held on Friday and Saturday. Our breaks were filled with recorded messages of support and admiration from members of Congress and some celebrities, like Jay Leno!

Convention accomplishments included:
  • Approving the Nominating slate, including President Deborah Turner (read more below)
  • Passing the Bylaws recommendations
  • Approving the Program
  • Passing the 2020-22 budgets for LWV and LWVEF (Education Fund)
Highlights for me included:
  • Some great caucuses and workshops
  • An excellent panel discussion with experienced women on “Expanding the Vote”
  • A successful Zoom process (with remarkably few glitches)
  • LWVOR president Becky Gladstone convened a couple of state delegate meetings before and during the Convention. We will have a debrief in mid-July.
  • Passage of the Oregon delegation’s Resolution: reaffirming our commitment to immigration reform (Motion #2020-150)
  • A moving speech from LWVUS Executive Director Virginia Kase
  • And much more! Here is the link to The Daily Briefing, which will give all the highlights.
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LWVUS News
 
SCOTUS Rules in Favor of LQBTQ+ People
From immediate past LWVUS president Chris Carson on June 15:

“We could all use a little good news these days and today, we’ve finally gotten some! In a 6-3 landmark decision, the Supreme Court ruled that LGBTQ+ persons are protected against workplace discrimination under Title VII. LWVUS joined an amicus brief in this case with more than 50 other organizations. Today we issued a statement that you can read here. This win for equal protections comes as we continue to see racial injustice protests across the country. Thank you to those of you who have participated and stand ready to engage in this work as partners and allies.”
 
Deborah Turner Elected LWVUS President
During the national convention in June, Deborah Turner, MD, JD, was elected the 20th president of the League of Women Voters of the United States. Deborah has an impressive resume as a doctor, an attorney, and a long-time League member. In her convention remarks, she laid out her vision for the League during the next biennium: making VOTE411 a household name; advancing our diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work; and embracing intergenerational relationships. You can read more about Dr. Turner here.
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Call for Climate Advocacy Volunteers

By Claudia Keith, LWVOR Climate Emergency Coordinator

We critically need more advocacy volunteers to help Oregon address the climate emergency! You can engage in three ways, currently all virtual:
  1. Observer: a few hours a month. Attend public meetings/hearings for a legislative policy committee, state agency, and/or commission. Take notes and report back. You may consider research, testimony, and/or other kinds of advocacy.
     
  2. Advocacy representative: a few hours, many weeks. Review climate-related plans proposed by agencies and commissions, specialize in specific policy topics, and actively assist agency staff in writing proposed rules. Influence agency rules and policy implementation. Partner with LWVOR team members to lobby legislators on applicable legislative concepts and bills.
     
  3. Legislative liaison: 10-30 hours (most months). Engage with the legislative process. Recommend/write testimony on bills related to your policy topic, lobby legislators, work with climate coalition partners. Actively prepare for each legislative session and spend time at the capitol.
On March 8, the Governor released her Climate Policy Executive Order 20-04. Here is a summary of what’s involved in the Oregon Climate Action Plan and why it matters. This order moves climate mitigation out of the legislative sphere and into work performed by many state agencies and their associated commissions. Agencies were told to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within their mandates; most released their preliminary implementation plans on May 15.
 
We are seeking help to follow and influence critical policy outcomes, in coalition with many climate organizations, through Renew Oregon. We are focused on a timely implementation and funding for rapid reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.
 
New volunteers will be supported. We will provide direction, resource materials, advice, feedback, etc. We invite you to contact these LWVOR advocates for more information through lwvor@lwvor.org: Claudia Keith, Julie Chapman, and Peggy Lynch.
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City Charter Review Process Begins

By Debbie Kaye, LWVPDX President

From portland.gov: Every 10 years, Portland’s city charter requires that the City Council appoint a Charter Review Commission to recommend amendments or changes. Each member of the City Council selects four applicants to the Charter Review Commission.
 
Are you excited about the opportunity to directly shape your local government? Are you committed to advancing equity and building a better future for the City of Portland? Then you might be a great candidate for the City of Portland’s Charter Commission!
 
The commission will work over the next 18 months to two years to evaluate Portland’s charter and engage the community in a conversation about its future. Community advocacy has sparked interest in considering a significant transformation to the way Portland elects leaders and manages day-to-day business – and the City Council is looking for committed community members who can help lead and report on these conversations in the community.
 
The Commission will be guided by principles of equity, engagement, and representation. City Council is looking to recruit applicants who are representative of our city and build a commission that is racially, demographically, and geographically diverse. Applications are being accepted July 15 until Aug. 31.
LWVPDX completed a study of our city government in 2019: “The City that Works: Preparing Portland for the Future.” The City Club of Portland also did a study on city government, with some similar but not identical conclusions. LWVOR completed an Election Methods Study update in 2016, and City Club will complete a follow-up on Alternative Voting Methods this fall.
 
We encourage League members to pursue opportunities to participate in this very important work to help determine the direction Portland’s government will take. Note that serving as a member of the Charter Review Commission is a significant time commitment, but community members can be involved without serving on the commission. Read more about the commission and sign up for updates here and here.
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Have YOU Completed the Census? Please Do!

Census results shape the future of communities, as census data inform how billions of dollars in federal funds are distributed for health clinics, school lunch programs, disaster recovery initiatives, and other critical programs and services for the next 10 years. AND, the Census determines the need for redistricting.

As of June 24, the national filing response was 61.9%, and Oregon’s is a little higher at 64.2%. It takes only a few minutes to complete. Fill out the survey here: my2020census.gov.
LWVPDX Office Updates: We're Moving!

By Marion McNamara, LWVPDX Vice President

Office Manager Search
We are all navigating the currents of change, but for the League, those currents sometimes feel like a tsunami! You may know that our former office manager resigned unexpectedly in February. The COVID shutdown began shortly thereafter, so we have not yet begun a search for her replacement (although we are gearing up for this). In the interim, all the board members are doing a little extra to keep the organization humming along. Mail and phone for the League are being monitored regularly, and financial operations have continued with little disturbance. If you notice that something is falling through the cracks, please contact vpadmin@lwvpdx@org, or leave a message on the League’s phone.
 
New Office Search
In addition to this big personnel adjustment, our lease on the office space expired June 30. Before the lockdown, we had begun a search for a new office space that better fits our needs. Judy Froemke and her building committee did a great job of locating possible spaces, and other options have come to our attention as we wait out the shutdown so we can view the spaces and make a decision. We were able to negotiate a month-to-month arrangement with our landlord, so we are likely to have our office in the same place at least through August. Meanwhile, we have begun sorting and consolidating the files and materials in our basement storage area so we are ready to move when we find our new home.
 
On top of this, we’ve had some issues with tech hardware. Luckily, LWVPDX had already largely made the shift to digital, and most of our work exists in the cloud, so we’ve been able to keep abreast of League business from home. Despite these various challenges, the League seems to be ticking along, creating amazing virtual voter resources, continuing our position studies, and communicating with you, our members. What a joy to work in such a self-organizing community!
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Member Announcements
 
In Memoriam
We acknowledge with sadness the passing of Shirley Luttropp, who was very active with the former League of East Multnomah County (EMCO). She was a capable and enthusiastic leader who worked on Multnomah County Action, Voter Service, and studies with both EMCO and Portland League members. She also served as EMCO president. Shirley was thrilled to receive the Life Member certificate from LWVUS, recognizing her 50 years of service to the League.
 
Thank You, Candidates!
By Mary McWilliams, Membership Chair, and Margaret Noel, Communications Chair

A record number of candidates ran for office in Portland’s May Primary Election. It was impressive and encouraging to see that so many good citizens were willing to do the work of running for office and serving as elected officials. The League’s nonpartisan policy requires that we never support or oppose any candidate (or political party), and current board members cannot run for elected office. However, we appreciate our elected officials. Most of them work hard and with integrity to govern our city, region, and state. Responsible public service makes our democracy stronger.

Among the many Primary Election candidates were the following Portland League members:
  • Maxine Dexter, who ran for State Representative for House District 33
  • Mary Nolan, who ran for Metro Councilor District 5
  • Mary Ann Schwab, who ran for Portland City Commissioner, Position 1
We also acknowledge LWVPDX member Amanda Fritz, the current Portland City Commissioner for Position 1, who will leave office in December. Many other Portland League members have served in the past as elected or appointed officials in Oregon and elsewhere. We encourage our members, as individuals, to run for office and/or to serve on government commissions, boards, task forces and committees. We are proud and grateful when they do!
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Calendar at a Glance

All in-person League meetings are being conducted virtually until further notice because of the pandemic.

Tues, July 21: Last Day to Register | If you plan to vote in the City of Portland Special Election for City Commissioner Position 2, you must be registered by this date.

Tues, Aug. 11: SPECIAL ELECTION DAY | Drop off your ballot at an official ballot drop site before 8 pm. 

Thur, July 23: LWVPDX Board Meeting | 11:30am to 1:30pm.

Thur, Aug. 27: LWVPDX Board Meeting | 11:30am to 1:30pm. 

Fri, Aug. 31: Deadline to Apply for City Charter Commission | Application available online.

Note: Units typically do not meet over the summer. See Units meeting information here.
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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
Amber Nobe, newsletter@lwvpdx.org
Off-Board Leaders
Mary McWilliams, 
membership@lwvpdx.org 
Doreen Binder, 
nominating@lwvpdx.org
Phil Thor, Endowment Committee Chair
Adrienne Aiona,
budget@lwvpdx.org
Carolyn Buppert, Twitter, socialmedia@lwvpdx.org  
Amy Beltaine, Facebook, 
socialmedia@lwvpdx.org
Volunteers
Thank you to volunteer editor Nancy Boudreaux and the other 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 © 2020 League of Women Voters of Portland,
All rights reserved.