The Voter Newsletter  |  January 2023  |  Vol. 27, Issue 6
In This Issue
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> A Note From Our President
> Help Us Chart Our Future!
> Action: Two Chances to Learn
> Up Next: May Election
> Join the DEI Committee
> Get LWVOR & LWVUS Updates
> Upcoming: LWV's Birthday
> Reader Raffle Winner
> Membership Matters
> In Memoriam
> Save the Date: Program on Policing
> Thank You, Donors!
> Understanding Our Endowment
> Volunteer Roundup
> Calendar at a Glance
> Contact Us


Our Shared League Mission

By Debbie Kaye, LWVPDX President

   “To promote political responsibility through informed and active participation in government and to act on selected governmental issues.”   

This mission statement for the League of Women Voters directs our activities.

Having advocated for passage of the City of Portland charter amendments on the November ballot, we are now engaged in supporting their implementation. The League’s involvement with these changes to Portland’s governance and elections is an excellent example of fulfilling our mission. There are many opportunities for our members to engage with different aspects of the implementation and realization. Please contact Debbie Aiona or Janice Thompson or attend this week’s information session to learn more.
Our League volunteers are wonderful! Thank you all for giving your time and expertise to influence and support our initiatives.

I hope you hear regularly (as I do) how impressed and grateful our neighbors and friends are for our research and advocacy, election resources, and nonpartisan approach. This is demonstrated as we have new members join with us — and new donors.
I hope your holidays were bright and that you look forward to meaningful opportunities to learn and to continue sharing your interests and skills in this new year. Thank you!
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Critical Program Planning Starts Now!

By Judy Froemke, Member Education Chair

Program planning is an annual effort during which League members identify public policy issues of particular interest for in-depth consideration. This month you have the opportunity to join with others to plan for our League’s programs and action! This planning is for the next League year of July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024, and focuses on LWVPDX and LWVOR positions.

The purpose of this process is to
  • Share ideas and information about selected topics in Zoom group settings
  • Recommend whether to restudy, update, drop, or retain specific League advocacy positions
  • Recommend topics for new studies and potential new advocacy positions
  • Recommend topics for new Interest Groups, Community Education programs, or Action Committee consideration
  • Suggest updates to the bylaws and nominations to the board of directors
Members may attend as many of these seven group discussions as are of interest to you. Your opinion counts! Please register before Jan. 15 using the link below. Note that the registration form has been fixed; if you tried to register previously and were unable to do so, please try again!
Youth Protection
Jan. 16 at 1pm | Leaders Debbie Aiona & Kathy Casto
  • Teenage Girls at Risk
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Children at Risk
  • Mental Health Services for Children/Youth
  • Homeless Youth
  • Childcare
Public Education
Jan. 19 at 1pm | Leaders Fran & Tom Dyke
  • Public School Districts in Portland
  • Multnomah Education Service District
  • School District Funding
  • Public Postsecondary Education
Mental Health/Housing Issues
Jan. 21 at 10am | Leaders Jason Renaud & Anne Davidson
  • Housing
  • Affordable Housing Financing and Management
  • Community Residential Facilities
  • Portland Police Oversight & Accountability
  • Adult Mental Health in Oregon
  • Privacy and Cybersecurity
Fiscal Policy
Jan. 23 at 10am | Leaders Elizabeth Domike & Virginia Hammon
  • Economic Development
  • School Funding
  • Urban Growth Management
  • Campaign Finance Reform
  • Economic Development Revenue Bonds
  • Fiscal Policy
  • Exemptions to the General Property Tax
Jan. 23 at 5:30pm | Leaders Audrey Zunkle-deCoursey & Melanie Billings-Yun
There are no LWVPDX positions; refer to LWVUS positions on:
  • Immigration
  • Developing Countries
  • Farmworkers (LWVOR position)
Governance Issues
Jan. 24 at 9:30am | Leaders Norman Turrill & Chris Cobey
  • City Government
  • County Government
  • Metropolitan Government
  • Regional Planning & Governance
  • Constitutional Provisions
  • Election Laws
  • Election Methods
  • Initiative, Referendum, and Recall
  • Oregon State Courts
  • Redistricting
Climate Change
Jan. 25 at 5:30pm | Leaders Robin Tokmakian & Nora Terwilliger
  • Solid Waste
  • Air Quality
  • Climate Change
  • Offshore and Coastal Management
  • Energy Conservation
  • Forests
  • Water Policy
Note: There will be no Discussion Unit meetings in January, which is devoted to program planning instead. We encourage Unit members to attend one or more of the program planning meetings listed here, which will occur at the typical Unit meeting times.
This diagram outlines the program planning process. Click on the image to view a larger version.
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Join the Action Committee: Two Opportunities to Learn

By Debbie Aiona and Janice Thompson, Action Chair and Vice Chair

Learn About the League’s Charter Implementation Committee

The League strongly supported Measure 26-228, passed by city voters in November. The next step is implementation! The League is forming an ad hoc working group, the Charter Implementation Committee, to track the many steps that will occur over the next two years. The League is an important voice for transparency in implementation and policy decisions to help achieve this ballot measure’s full potential for election and governance improvements. Learn about the expectations and benefits of joining the Charter Implementation Committee at this Zoom meeting; contact Debbie Aiona at if interested.
  • When: Thursday, Jan. 12 | 1:30pm via Zoom

January Action Committee: Meet the New Portland City Auditor

Simone Rede won the city auditor election in last May’s primary, but her term begins this January.  Previously, she was a government auditor at Metro and at the state level. The auditor’s office handles numerous topics of interest to the League, ranging from elections and campaign finance to transparency and public access to information. Join the Action Committee in welcoming and learning from Auditor Rede. All League members are welcome to join this meeting via Zoom.  If you are not on the Action Committee email list and would like to attend, please contact Debbie Aiona at
  • When: Friday, Jan. 27 | 1:30–3:30 pm via Zoom
  • Speaker: Simone Rede, Portland City Auditor
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Left: Chris Cobey helps new citizens register to vote after a naturalization ceremony on Dec. 15. Right: Sue Holmes and Carolyn Buppert helped with voter registration. Also volunteering at the event were Micaela Thurman and Mimi Alkire.


New Year, New Voter Service Opportunities

By Chris Cobey, Voter Service Chair

Yes, we will have an election in this odd-numbered year — on May 16! Already we know that election will include:
  • a Multnomah County initiative to establish a Tenant Resource Office (learn more here on pages 18-19)
  • an election for an open seat for the County Commission, Dist. 3 in SE Portland (Want to run yourself? Here’s the info; deadline is March 7)
  • an election for a majority of the Portland Public School board
  • at least six other school and special districts elections
Volunteer Voter Service opportunities include contributing to advisory committees in quarterly Zoom meetings on the following efforts:
  • Written Voters’ Guides (candidate question development, research, editing, proofing)
  • Video Voter Guides and Podcasts
  • Voter Registration
  • Voter Forums
  • Student Mock Elections
  • Speakers’ Bureau 
Please contact Chris Cobey at if you’d like to assist, or for more information.
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   Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Join Our Committee!   

LWVPDX board members Carolyn Buppert and Audrey Zunkel-deCoursey will host quarterly meetings this year to discuss the League’s work to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion within our organization and our partnerships with other Portland civic organizations. This DEI committee will discuss strategy and potential projects to be recommended to the board for approval. All League members are welcome to join the committee!

  • First Meeting: Friday, Feb. 3 | Noon to 1pm via Zoom
  • How: RSVP to Audrey Zunkel-deCoursey ( for the meeting link


Sign Up for News from the State and National Leagues

When Oregon’s six-month legislative session begins on Jan. 17, LWVOR will switch from monthly to weekly Legislative Reports. Subscribe for weekly email briefs linked to our extensive ongoing League volunteer reports. While legislators have said they are emphasizing housing and public defender shortages this session, hot topics abound across all of the League’s portfolios. Stay in the know and sign up today! To sign up for the monthly LWVOR President’s Newsletter, fill out the online form here. You can read past issues here.

LWVUS also sends a bi-weekly email newsletter to all state and local League presidents and other engaged League leaders. The League Update includes important information about grant opportunities, communications resources like graphics and talking points, information about upcoming webinars and trainings, surveys for Leagues to give feedback to help LWVUS better serve them, opportunities for action around priority issues, and more resources to help Leagues do their work. You can sign up online to receive the League Update here.

   Day of Action for LWV’s 103rd Birthday   

Celebrate the League’s 103rd birthday on Feb. 14 with a national day of action! Through storytelling, digital actions, nationwide events, and advocacy, we will flex the breadth of our League people power and advance our priorities. LWVUS will have a marquee event with featured speakers livestreamed on their Facebook page at 8am PST on the day of the event.

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Claudia Dissel

Thanks for reading!


Membership Helps Us Meet Our Mission

By Mary McWilliams, Membership Chair


Welcome to the following new members who have joined since the December newsletter issue:
  • Michael Calcagno
  • Kathryn Calcagno
  • Courtney Ranstrom
Thank you to the 267 new or renewed members for our 2022-23 League year!

Interested in Being the Future Membership Chair?

Sometime in 2018, I began helping with membership and eventually became chair. I am stepping down after the Annual Membership Meeting in May. The membership chair can be an elected or off-board leadership position, though the chair should attend monthly board meetings (currently held via Zoom).

Being chair has been rewarding for me in being able to welcome and get to know our members and interact with the cordial and hard-working colleagues on the board. If you would like to learn about the responsibilities of the chair, or possibility for co-chairs, contact me at and we will set up a time to talk.

In Memoriam

Mary Cammann

Former member Mary Cammann died peacefully at home in Portland on Nov. 24, 2022, six days short of her 99th birthday. Mary joined LWVPDX in 2006 and remained a member until 2017. She came to Portland from Pennsylvania to be near her daughter and grandson. As a League member, she was active in Discussion Unit 2 and helped edit and proofread Voters’ Guides. She is remembered as a thoughtful member with wit and insight, who liked having conversations with members and was well read. Read the full obituary in The Oregonian.
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   Save the Date: Program on Progress and Challenges for Portland Police and Policing Alternatives   

Please join us via Zoom on Wednesday, Feb. 8, from 7 to 8:30pm for our first Community Education program of 2023. We are inviting a panel of expert speakers to discuss Portland police training and accountability, community oversight, and Portland’s progress in providing alternatives to policing in nonviolent situations. Stay tuned for more details as the panel is finalized. This live program is free and open to the public. All members will receive a Zoom link directly, and a public registration form will be made available on our website. If you are unable to watch live, the program will be recorded for later viewing or listening via podcast.


Looking Forward With Gratitude

By Linda Mantel, Development Chair

Happy new year and thank you, donors! Your support this year has been instrumental in the success of our programs. We are grateful for the donations from members and non-members alike, and we will finish the calendar year by meeting our goals for support, with a total for individual giving of more than $70,000.
You can count on the League to provide information for the May primary election and to keep you up to date with implementation of the City of Portland charter reforms. In the meantime, we hope you will join us this month in our program planning activities, which will help shape our agenda for our next League year.
Thank you as always for your outstanding support of LWVPDX. We are here for you, and we greatly appreciate you being here for us. Stay well and have a happy new year.
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LWVPDX Endowment Fund Part 2: Endowments for Nonprofits

By Phil Thor, Endowment Chair, and the Endowment Committee
This is the second installment of a four-part series on the LWVPDX Endowment Fund. Part 1 reviewed the establishment and history of the endowment. Stay tuned for the rest of the series in subsequent months.

What is an Endowment?

According to the National Council on Nonprofits, an endowment is defined as “assets (usually cash accounts that are invested in equities or bonds or other investment vehicles) set aside so that these original assets (known as the corpus) grow over time as a result of income earned from interest on the underlying invested funds.”
Endowments are a key strategy for large institutions such as universities and hospitals. They regularly solicit future contributions, thereby adding to the corpus (or the sum of total contributions) over time. These contributions are generally larger than the budgetary needs of the organization when the funds were received. In addition, most endowments require that some or all of the contributed assets are restricted; the corpus must be kept intact so it can grow over time. The organization can only use investment income for operations or for what was specified by the donor.

Why Establish an Endowment

Nonprofit organizations establish an endowment primarily as a strategy for setting aside funds for future needs. An endowment also:
  • Signals that an organization has long-term goals and wishes to persevere well into the future. And, endowment management provides assurances to donors that their contributions will support the organization long after the donors are gone.
  • Provides a consistent annual stream of cash irrespective of fluctuations in donations, membership dues, and other income.
  • Provides an account to receive large, one-time donations that cannot be expended during the organization’s fiscal year.
  • Represents a secure fund that can attract future donations from patrons who also wish to support the operation of the nonprofit organization.
  • Allows current, active members who donate to support the organization into the future.
  • Restricts the fund so the endowment cannot be fully expended unless extraordinary or emergency conditions arise.

Disadvantages of an Endowment

Endowments, while advantageous, do have some drawbacks, and thus organizations that wish to create them should be aware of the administrative and fiduciary requirements to manage them properly.
  • The annual distributions for supporting an organization’s current budget needs are usually much smaller than the corpus (principal), on the order of 3% to 6%, because the corpus must be retained.
  • The value of the endowment over time is subject to the interest rate and financial market fluctuations in which investments are made, most notably the stock market.
  • The corpus, while never being expended, will lose its purchasing power (i.e., “declining value of money”) due to consumer inflation. For example, a $1K  donation made this year can be spent on a $1K of goods, products, or services this year. However, after three years have passed with, for example, 5% price inflation each year, that original $1K can only buy $857 worth of goods, products, or services. This occurs because the goods, products, or services have inflated and thereby cost more. And the purchasing power of the original $1K continues to decline at a compounding rate.

How Endowments Are Managed

To have an effective and — more importantly — growing endowment, an organization needs to have active, consistent oversight and management procedures governing the fund. This is usually accomplished through the adoption of an investment policy statement and a spending policy. The first statement documents the objectives, constraints, allocation among investment instruments, and acceptable risks for the fund and how the organization will manage that fund. The spending policy details how the earnings from the endowment investments are to be spent or used to support the organization’s needs.
In summary, when the current Endowment Fund was established (originally as a trust), LWVPDX considered the advantages, drawbacks, and the management procedures noted above — and the Endowment Committee continues to do so as it evolves. The provisions guiding the LWVPDX Endowment Fund were written into the Bylaws of the League of Women Voters of Portland, adopted by a vote of the LWVPDX membership in 1990, and subsequently amended several times through 2022. The basic tenets of this endowment remain unchanged since its inception.
Look for Part 3 in the next issue of The Voter, which continues this series by reviewing the current LWVPDX Endowment Fund Guidelines. It also responds to a concern expressed over changing the Endowment Fund’s investment objective.
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  Volunteer Roundup  

LWVPDX is always looking for volunteers! Volunteer opportunities announced in this issue are listed below; read the linked article and contact the listed League leader for more information.
  • Help us plan for 2023-24 and beyond | Read more
  • Join the team monitoring charter reform implementation | Read more
  • Help with Voter Service for May elections | Read more
  • Help us advance DEI in our organization | Read more
We do not share personal contact information in this newsletter; if a listed contact does not have a LWVPDX email address, you can look up their contact information in our membership directory, or contact the office at or (503) 228-1675. If you are looking for a different type of volunteer opportunity than those listed here, contact a member of the board.
Share this newsletter with someone who wants to support LWVPDX! Share this newsletter with someone who wants to support LWVPDX!

  Calendar at a Glance  

  • Jan. 11: Justice Interest Group Meeting | 5pm via Zoom, leaders James Ofsink and Kim Mason.
    Jan. 12: Charter Implementation Committee Meets | 1:30pm via Zoom. Learn more.
  • Jan. 16: Housing Interest Group Meets | 5pm via Zoom, leader Donna Cohen.
  • Jan. 18: LWVPDX Board Meets | 5:15pm via Zoom.
  • Jan. 27: Action Committee Meets | 1:30pm via Zoom. Learn more.
  • NOTE: Rather than holding typical Discussion Units in January, meeting times will be used for program planning. Learn more.
  • Feb. 2: Education Interest Group Meeting | 1pm via Zoom, leaders Nancy Donovan and Fran Dyke
    Feb. 3: DEI Committee First Meeting | Noon via Zoom. Learn more.
  • Feb. 8: Community Education Program on Policing | 7pm via Zoom. Learn more.
  • Feb. 13: Next Newsletter Issue | Check your inbox!
  • Feb. 14: Happy 103rd birthday, League of Women Voters! Learn more.
  • Feb. 14: Discussion Unit 5 | 10:30am, leader Linda Mather. *
  • Feb. 15: LWVPDX Board Meets | 5:15pm via Zoom.
  • Feb. 16: Discussion Unit 7 | 1pm, leader Ryann Enger. *
  • Feb. 19: Discussion Unit 4 | 1pm, leader Lynn Baker. *
  • Feb. 20: Housing Interest Group Meeting | 5pm via Zoom, leader Donna Cohen
  • Feb. 23: Discussion Unit 2 | 10am, leader Barbara Byrd. *
  • Feb. 23: Discussion Unit 3 | 5:30pm, leader Olivia Smith. *
  • Feb. 24: Discussion Unit 6 | 9:30am, leader Elizabeth Domike. *
  • Feb. 24: Action Committee Meets | 1:30pm via Zoom, leader Debbie Aiona.
* Contact Discussion Unit leaders for meeting locations or Zoom links.

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Board of Directors

> Debbie Kaye, President
> Marion McNamara, Vice President 
> Chris Cobey, Voter Service Chair
> Judy Froemke, Member Education Chair 
> Anne Davidson, Secretary
> Adrienne Aiona, Treasurer 
> Debbie Aiona, Action Chair 
> Nancy Donovan, Community Education Chair 
> Margaret Noel, Communications Chair
> Amber Nobe, Newsletter Editor
> Carolyn Buppert, Discussion Units Coordinator
> Linda Mantel, Development Chair
> Audrey Zunkel-deCoursey, At Large,
> Trish Garner, At Large,
> Paulina Leperi, At Large, 
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Off-Board Leaders

> Mary McWilliams, Membership Chair, 
> Ann Dudley, Nominating Committee Chair
> Betsy Pratt, Budget Committee Chair,
> Phil Thor, Endowment Committee Chair
> Beth Burczak, Speakers Bureau Chair,
> Kathy Casto, Voters' Guide Editor,
> VACANT, Video Voters' Guide,
> VACANT, Forums Chair,
> VACANT, Voter Registration Chair,
> Carolyn Buppert, Twitter
> Katie LeRoux, Facebook
> VACANT, Instagram

Interest Group Chairs:
> Nancy Donovan & Fran Dyke, Education
> James Ofsink & Kim Mason, Justice
> Donna Cohen, Housing & Homelessness

About The Voter

This email newsletter is sent to members and subscribers on the second Monday of the month, 10 times each year (Sept-May and July).

Our mission is to keep readers informed about LWVPDX Member & Community Education, Voter Service, and Action activities, as well as general business and member news. You can view past issues here.

Thank you to the League leaders and volunteers who provided photos, wrote for, and edited this newsletter! And, thank you for reading! Each month a random (member) reader is selected for a raffle prize in gratitude for your engagement with the League.

If you have questions or suggestions, please contact the Newsletter Editor.

If you have recently changed your contact information, please contact the Membership Chair.
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