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The Voter Newsletter  |  Summer 2021  |  Vol. 26, Issue 1
Editor's Note: Welcome to a new League year! Your local League leadership team has a few new faces, The Voter newsletter has a new look, and there's new opportunities on the horizon. Some of these opportunities are listed in the Volunteer Roundup, a new feature at the end of the newsletter where you can find a summary of current volunteer needs as described elsewhere in the issue. As we ramp up for more and in-person events in the fall, consider how you might join us!
In This Issue
To use these links, first open in browser  
> A Note From Our President
> Newsletter Raffle Winner
> Our New Police Accountability Position
> Join the Justice Interest Group
> Join the Housing Interest Group
> Join a Discussion Unit this Fall
> Survey: Tell Us Your Preferences!
> Membership Matters: Time to Renew!
> Member News: Life Members
> Member News: Volunteers of the Year
> How We Reached Voters in May
> LWVUS's 2020 Election Impact
> Annual Meeting Success
> Our League Year in Review
> Development Directions
> LWVOR Convention Recap
> Checking in with City Commissioners
> Volunteer Roundup
> Calendar at a Glance
> Contact Us

  PRESIDENT'S COLUMN  

Setting Sail for the League Year Ahead

By Debbie Kaye, LWVPDX President

As we embark on a new League year, I’m so happy that the effective and successful board of the past year is almost the same crew going forward. We thank immediate past Treasurer Don Brenneis for his contributions and welcome back Adrienne Aiona, who served as our treasurer 15 years ago.
Our off-board leadership also remains strong, and we welcome Jen Jacobs as Budget Committee Chair, Ann Dudley as Nominating Committee Chair, and Sunny Sassaman as a Nominating Committee member. Our League has capable, experienced leadership and we want to encourage and mentor new leaders. I invite our members who want a deeper engagement to contact me (president@lwvpdx.org) to ask questions and discuss an appointed board position.
 
Thanks to those who participated in the May 19 Annual Business Meeting. It was well attended, fun, and we completed our business. You can find the draft meeting minutes here.
 
Did someone say that summer was a quiet time for the League? Not at all!
 

Membership Opportunities

You should have received a membership renewal packet in the mail. We had a very big year and anticipate that this one will also be filled with a lot of mission-driven activity. We’re already taking action on the For the People Act and encourage you to do the same through the resources provided by the LWVUS. Plans for Civic Education programs, testimony on transparency at the City of Portland Charter Review Commission, advocacy with our new position on Portland Police oversight and accountability, and preparation for the next election season are all underway. How would you like to engage with these League priorities? To ensure we can maintain this high level of service to our community, please renew your membership in the League today! We are currently 348 strong!

  At Arlington National Cemetery, President Biden said, “Democracy thrives when the infrastructure of democracy is strong; when people have the right to vote freely and fairly and conveniently; when a free and independent press pursues the truth, founded on facts, not propaganda; when the rule of law applies equally and fairly to every citizen, regardless of where they come from or what they look like.” The League’s mission is “Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.” Thank you for your steadfast attention and support.  

Office Updates

We will be moving the office by the end of the summer. We’ve been renting space from City Club of Portland, but they terminated their lease with the Pittock Block a year early. If you know of an office space (around 400 square feet) in downtown or the inner east side, please let me know. Also, we are finalizing the job description for an office support position. If you know someone with strong administrative, communication, and database skills looking for a half-time position with a mission-driven nonprofit, please tell Marion McNamara (vpadmin@lwvpdx.org)
 

Board Activities

At our June board meeting, we appointed Susan Gilbert to the Endowment Committee, appointed board members to the Nominating and Budget committees, and extended the authorization of the Justice Interest Group; there are also Education and Housing Interest Groups. We also voted to approve the new position statement on Portland Police oversight and accountability. Along with the study report, the position is being shared with elected officials, partner organizations, and the media. You can read the position here.

Note: If you want to speak out on police oversight, please remember that LWVPDX members always may advocate as individual private citizens, but you must have board permission to speak publicly as a representative of the League.

Congratulations to Action Chair Debbie Aiona! She was selected to serve on the temporary commission that will be charged with working out the details for the voter-approved Portland Police oversight board. Debbie’s decades of work in this area make her an excellent choice for this position.

In addition, this summer the board will have a retreat to discuss:
  • how we focus and act on diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of our work;
  • develop upcoming leadership and engage volunteers;
  • plan for targeted fundraising; and more.
We will also update our Policies and Procedures document, streamline financial procedures, and hope to hire office support. As I said, summer is not a quiet time!
 

LWVOR Study 

The League of Women Voters of Oregon recently completed a study report, “Pesticides and Other Biocides,” which has been sent to those who requested a print copy. We also have some in the office if you prefer to have it in hand rather than reading it on a screen. Email info@lwvpdx.org for a copy. Congratulations to the report researchers and writers/editors. To help develop a LWVOR position, LWVPDX will host a panel discussion on this study in September in anticipation of taking consensus during fall Discussion Units. You can find an online copy of the study here and on the LWVOR website.
 
Please also see the article later in this newsletter on the highlights of the LWVOR Convention, “Reset, Reboot, Reconnect.” In that report, note that LWVOR President Becky Gladstone referred to the Portland League as “the jewel in the tiara!” Please renew your membership and help us keep shining.
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MAY WINNER
Leanne Hogie

Thanks for reading!

  STUDY + CONSENSUS  

New Position Calls for Change to Portland Police Bureau Culture

By Carolyn Buppert, Ruth Kratochvil, and Margaret Noel

Changing the culture of the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) must be a key goal of bureau leadership, according to our new advocacy position just approved by the LWVPDX Board in June. After our year-long study of Portland police oversight and accountability and membership consensus process, the League concluded that, “PPB must end practices that systematically place police in opposition to or in domination of the public, or that treat community members as enemies.”
The LWVPDX position statement (available in full online) begins by calling on the PPB to meet the following goals: 
  • Accountability for police officers who violate community standards and PPB policies and directives.
  • Reduction in the use of force.
  • Fair, equitable, and respectful treatment of community members.
  • Reduction of bias-based policing with a goal of eliminating it.
A consensus committee wrote the new advocacy position using the points upon which members reached consensus during their discussions. Members of the consensus committee were Nancy Donovan, Barbara Ross, James Offsink, Debbie Aiona, Rebecca McCory, and Pamela Clark. The new position statement calls for reduction in use of force through de-escalation and for alternatives to armed police, such as using unarmed, appropriately trained civilian employees to respond to certain calls. It also calls for enhanced transparency in the scope and timeliness of releasing police records, as well as for strengthening civilian oversight and community involvement. It supports giving authority to oversight groups to conduct independent investigations of police misconduct and to recommend discipline.
 
All League of Women Voters advocacy positions are developed through a process of extensive, balanced, and careful study, followed by member discussion and agreement. After adopting its positions, the League may use them to support or oppose proposed ballot measures and government policies. If this is of interest to you, contact Action Chair Debbie Aiona or Justice Interest Group Chair James Ofsink.

  “I am very proud that we have produced a deeply researched and timely position on police accountability. Addressing the issues facing many U.S. cities, it provides strong recommendations for how Portland can achieve a safe, just, and equitable public safety system.”  
  — LWVPDX President Debbie Kaye
  

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  INTEREST GROUP  

Justice Interest Group Re-Focuses on Police & Criminal Justice Reform


By Barbara Ross, Interest Group Member

Thirteen members of the police accountability study committee made a commitment to participate in the Justice Interest Group, whose purpose is to observe what is happening related to police and criminal justice reform and advocate for change, with Board approval, when we believe our voice will make a difference. Although League interest groups are formed primarily for in-depth learning about issues, the Justice Interest Group has been approved by the Board to coordinate with Action Chair Debbie Aiona, under Action Committee guidelines, to do focused advocacy.
 
We will monitor the implementation of the police reform bills enacted by the state legislature this session. We will keep track of what other community groups are proposing and look for opportunities to collaborate if their ideas are consistent with League positions. On other issues, we will take the lead in proposing needed changes.
 
For example, over the last two months, League members have met with Portland City Commissioners about two issues. The first is our concern about the Mayor’s current policy of prohibiting testimony at council meetings on reports being submitted. The reports may contain important matters that should be brought to the commissioners’ and the public’s attention. The second is the issue of changing the standard of review used by the Independent Police Review’s Citizen Review Committee from “reasonable person” to “a preponderance of the evidence.” This is a change the League and other experts have advocated for since 2008. We believe this change would help make the Citizen Review Committee more effective and independent in deciding on appeals that come before them.
 
Also, some League members have been closely monitoring the negotiations between the city and the Portland Police Association to develop a new union contract. Group members also are following the status of the Department of Justice Settlement Agreement with the City of Portland, which went into effect in December 2012. The agreement specified detailed actions related to police accountability.

Overall, we will be researching and identifying situations where our advocacy could help bring about positive results in police reform or broader issues in our criminal justice system. We will work with the Action Chair and LWVPDX Board to take action based on our recently adopted local position on Portland Police oversight and accountability or using state or national positions on criminal justice reform. We welcome new members interested in these opportunities for change.

If you’d like to join us, please contact group chair James Ofsink.
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  INTEREST GROUP  

What We’re Up To: LWVPDX’s New Housing Interest Group


By Estella (Kathy) Casto, Interest Group Member

The newly formed Housing & Homelessness Interest Group came together after last winter’s the Discussion Unit meetings focused on League program planning, positions, and subjects of interest. Currently our group has about 15 regular members.
 
We are looking at several areas right now: bond funding for housing (both the Metro and City of Portland bonds), senior housing, evictions, alternatives to houselessness, and housing legislation and policy. We’re focused on self-education right now. Group members are also attending or following meetings, listening to podcasts, and attending webinars of various local and national organizations.
 
As individual community members (not League representatives,) we have offered support for several housing measures to the Portland City Council and the Oregon Legislature.
 
At our last meeting, we met with Dr. Derenda Schubert, Executive Director of Bridge Meadows, an intergenerational housing community for seniors and foster families. We learned about how this extraordinary community provides support, connection, and purpose for everyone who lives there – and about the new communities that it has inspired.
 
Interested? Join us! Contact group chair Donna Cohen.
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  UNITS UPDATE  

Join a Discussion Unit this Fall!


By Judy Froemke, Discussion Units Coordinator
 

It’s the summer hiatus for our seven LWVPDX Discussion Units. We expect to resume in September with in-person meetings for those six Discussion Units that typically get together in person; these meetings will likely be in a home or shared common room.

The September meetings are scheduled as follows:

  • DU 1: Third Wednesday of the month at 7pm (Sept. 15)
  • DU 2: Fourth Monday of the month at 10am (Sept. 27)
  • DU 3: Fourth Monday of the month at 7pm (Sept. 27). Meets virtually on Zoom
  • DU 4: Third Thursday of the month at 1pm (Sept. 16)
  • DU 5: Third Saturday of the month at 10:30am (Sept. 18)
  • DU 6: Fourth Tuesday of the month at 9:30am (Sept. 28)
  • DU 7: Third Monday of the month at 1pm (Sept. 20)

At our September Discussion Unit meetings, we will focus on the LWVOR’s recently completed study report, “Pesticides and Other Biocides,” and will discuss consensus questions to assist the Oregon League’s updating, with new information, our advocacy positions. Read the study report and consensus questions here.

Discussion Units generally meet in September, October, November, January, February, March, and April. We look forward to returning to our informational discussions and social gatherings this fall – being with old friends and welcoming new members too. Please complete this online survey to help us gauge interest in meeting virtually and/or in person, and please contact Judy Froemke at units@lwvpdx.org with any additional questions about Discussion Units.

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  Member Survey: Contact & Participation Preferences  

We want to hear from you! During the past few years, LWVPDX has switched to more online publications, mailings, and events. However, we know that some members prefer to receive League communications by mail and to meet with other members in person. Please let us know how you want LWVPDX to connect with you by taking this online survey. Thank you for helping us serve you!

  MEMBERSHIP MATTERS  

It’s Time for Membership Renewals!


By Mary McWilliams, Membership Chair
 

New 2021-22 Membership Year

A new membership year means that renewal memberships are due. Renewal membership information was mailed to members via USPS before July 4. We ended our 2020-21 year with 348 members. Already for 2021-22, there are 53 current members: Our Life members (who have been League members for 50 years or more) and those members who joined after Jan. 31, 2021.
 
We look forward to your renewal now and in the next months. There are two ways to renew: mail back the printed forms you receive in your mailbox, or join online. Thank you for renewing as soon as possible! Thank you also to the many members of the LWVPDX Board who worked with me to produce the membership renewal packets, and particularly Debbie Kaye, Marion McNamara, and Margaret Noel.

Renewal Reminder in Rhyme

The new president of LWV of Curry County, Alyce Prudden, wrote this poem for the June issue of their newsletter, Coastlines. We are happy to share it with LWVPDX members.

Renewal Time – A Reminder in Rhyme
We depend on our members to see us through
And now’s the time – Rejoin! Renew!
With the pandemic, times are tough
But Leaguers are made of sterner stuff
We will not give in to pandemic gloom
We’ll keep up the action with meetings by Zoom
And maintain Voter Service of every sort
We rise to the challenge with member support!
So please keep it going, we’re counting on you
Stand with the League – Rejoin! Renew!

Welcome to New Members

These new members joined in late May and June.
  • Callan Soraghan
  • Sully Taylor
  • Richard Fobe
  • Gerthenia Burns

Membership Survey

Question: For the next renewal membership year (2022-23), would you like to receive your renewal membership by email? It can still be returned by USPS mail (if you print out the forms) or online. Please call or email the office with your preferences (503-228-1675, info@lwvpdx.org) or complete this online survey.
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  MEMBER NEWS  

Highlighting Our Life Members


By Judy Froemke, Discussion Units Coordinator

Mary Fulton

Life member Mary Fulton was born and raised in Indiana. After college, she taught high school English in Battle Creek, MI, and was active in the American Association of University Women. After she and husband Jerome were married, they moved to Ann Arbor, where she earned a master’s degree in linguistics and he a Ph.D in natural resources. Mary joined the Ann Arbor League in 1966; she participated in small group discussions and, as liaison for the League, attended meetings of the Office of Economic Opportunity. Jerome worked for the Huron River Watershed Council and was elected as the Washtenaw County Drain Commissioner.
After a year in Buffalo, NY, the family moved to Portland in 1976 with their two children. Jerome taught science and social studies at Barlow High School in Gresham and at Marshall High School in Portland. Mary transferred her League membership to Portland. She taught English as a second language classes from 1977 until her retirement as administrator of the ESL/bilingual program for PPS. Both retired in 2000, but not before passing on their love of teaching to their children. Richard is a special education teacher at Benson High School, and Nancy is a speech pathologist with an autism specialty at Kaiser Permanente. Mary and Jerome enjoyed bike riding locally, square dancing, round dancing, and took several Elderhostel bike trips through Europe. Mary now lives in Gresham.

Ruth Kratchovil

Life member Ruth Kratchovil was born and raised in Tacoma, WA, and Salt Lake City, UT. She attended Iowa State University intending to major in home economics until she realized she preferred English and recognized her calling to library science. Her first position was as children’s librarian in Roseburg for the Douglas County Library System. There she joined the Umpqua Valley League of Women Voters. The first meeting Ruth attended was a potluck dinner in someone’s home, and Ruth was inspired to join. She became involved in Voter Service and served as its chair for years, organizing candidate fairs, sending out candidate questionnaires, creating radio and tv public service announcements, and publicizing all Voter Service events for the Umpqua Valley League. As a reference librarian, Ruth became interested in the prominent women in Oregon history and gave lectures on that subject throughout the state. During her time at the Douglas County Library, she rose to become the library director. For the next 20 yeas, she directed small- and medium-sized public libraries in the state. Ruth has been active in League discussion meetings and other events wherever she lived. About 20 years ago, at the spring meeting of the LWVOR in Gold Beach, Ruth gave her lecture on the History of Oregon Women. Shortly thereafter, she was offered the position of library director in Gold Beach, where she lived within view of the ocean. Ruth retired from full-time library work in 2003, moved to Portland, and has since been involved in LWVPDX. She has been on the membership committee, worked on the League’s fundraising silent auctions, and assisted the communications chair with sending out press releases on Civic Education and other public events. She is an active participant with Discussion Unit 4.
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  MEMBER NEWS  

Volunteers of the Year: Honoring Our Stellar Members!


By Debbie Kaye, LWVPDX President

At our annual business meeting, members Barbara Ross and Corinne Paulson were honored as Volunteers of the Year. Thank you both for your many contributions to our League!

Barbara Ross

Barbara Ross has led a life of service to her community. Professionally, she was a social worker, and then Barbara ran for office. She was elected to and served on the Benton County Board of Commissioners (1976-1986); Corvallis School Board (1993-2001); and the Oregon House of Representatives, District 35 (1994-2000). Corvallis and Benton County were sad when Barbara moved to Portland — but her move was our gain! Barbara is honored as Volunteer of the Year for her focused, extraordinary leadership of the recent study on Portland Police accountability, for her many years of work with the Portland and Oregon Leagues lobbying effectively — and always politely — on the action portfolios, and for teaching so many League members the skills of lobbying with her encouraging and persuasive style.

Corinne Paulson

Corinne Paulson is a League Life member (profiled previously in the January issue). In addition to her many accomplishments, she engaged with foreign visitors to explain democratic processes on behalf of the League through the World Affairs Council of Oregon (now WorldOregon). She also moderated the 1990 gubernatorial debate with her accustomed grace and elegance and represented the League on the 1972 Downtown Plan Community Advisory Committee. Corinne is honored as Volunteer of the Year for her decades of dedicated League leadership: as president from 1987-89, board member leading advocacy in city planning and housing, Voters’ Guide chair, moderator for candidate and ballot measure forums, mentor to many members, longtime Endowment Committee chair, and Discussion Unit 7 leader for many years.
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Voter Service for the May Special Election included a candidate forum with seven out of nine of those running for the Portland Public School Board. The forum was conducted virtually via Zoom and moderated by member Linda Mather. The video was viewed more than 500 times on YouTube, in addition to being shown on TV via MetroEast Community Media.

  VOTER SERVICE  

Thanks, Voter Service Volunteers!
Here’s How We Reached Voters in May


By Margaret Noel, Communications Chair, and Chris Cobey, Voter Service Chair (he/him)

The May 18 Special Election for school boards and special districts had higher-than-average voter participation in Multnomah County. Almost 25% of registered voters voted; previously, the average turnout for local special elections has been around 15%.
 
Thanks to our dedicated Voter Service volunteers, we supported voters with lots of helpful nonpartisan online information.

  • We interviewed 18 of the candidates for our Video Voters’ Guide. Thanks to Hailey McLaughlin for organizing and managing the interviews, and to Elizabeth Davis, Debbie Kaye, and Hailey for interviewing candidates.
  • We recorded a very informative Video Voters’ Forum, with seven of the nine candidates for the Portland Public Schools Board. The virtual forum was skillfully moderated by Linda Mather and introduced and concluded by President Debbie Kaye. Chris Cobey was the timer.
  • Thanks to Kathy Casto and Linda Fields for organizing a group to compose questions for candidates to answer on Vote411.org The candidates’ answers were also posted on lwvpdx.org. The question-writing group included Oregon Vote411 Chair Peggy Bengry, board members Audrey Zunkel-deCoursey, Chris Cobey, and Margaret Noel, and Kathy and Linda. Chris composed the questions for the Portland Public Schools Board forum.
  • Kathy Casto and Linda Fields also developed a short announcement and explanation of Vote411 for our six Discussion Units.
  • We are grateful to the Clackamas County League for producing a video explaining how to use Vote411.org. The video was recommended to our Discussion Units and posted on our website.
In addition, we worked hard to let voters know about our information.
  • We advertised all our online voting resources through Google Ads, in print and online editions of Willamette Week, in online editions of the Portland Tribune and Gresham Outlook, and with radio ads on X-Ray-FM.
  • Ruth Kratochvil sent our press release to more than 50 of our partner and media contacts.
  • Our social media volunteers Carolyn Buppert, Katie LeRoux, and Elizabeth Davis also helped publicize our resources with posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
The publicity worked. So did our reputation for offering helpful nonpartisan information.
  • In the weeks up to and including Election Day, traffic to our website increased more than tenfold.
  • Altogether, for this special election, more than 8,200 Multnomah County voters visited either our website or Vote411.org.
  • There were 864 visitors to our website on Election Day alone.

Although we cannot take credit for the county’s higher voter turnout, we do know that we helped many people make informed voting decisions. Our Voter Service volunteers deserve a lot of credit for their excellent work!

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  LWVUS NEWS  

LWVUS ELECTION IMPACT: The 2020 election saw the greatest voter participation in our nation’s history. That's in no small part because of the nation-wide work of the League of Women Voters. These are just a handful of the findings LWVUS compiled into a 2020 Election Impact Report for the November General Election. Read the full report here.

  LEAGUE BUSINESS  

Member-Ship of Opportunity Sets Course for 2021-22 League Year


Members Met Online & In-Person for Our Annual Business Meeting


On May 19, the League of Women Voters of Portland held our Annual Business Meeting. Our job was to elect our 2021-22 Board of Directors, approve a budget, and prepare for the year ahead. For fun, we envisioned the meeting as a cruise on the LWV Member-Ship of Opportunity. During the “cruise,” we accomplished a lot and enjoyed the adventure. For more details on the items approved by membership vote, see our website.
Ahoy!  A few board members – all fully vaccinated – dressed as a crew of sailors for the Annual Business Meeting and together steered our ship from the "wheelhouse" of our office. Our passengers (members) participated by Zoom.
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A LOOK BACK: What a busy year! This video, created for the LWVOR Convention, summarizes the busy 2020-21 League year for LWVPDX. Give yourself a pat on the back! Video created by board member Audrey Zunkel-deCoursey.

  DEVELOPMENT DIRECTIONS  

Warmest Thanks & Cool Wishes


By Linda H. Mantel, Development Chair

Happy summer everyone! We hope you managed to keep your cool during our extra-hot days.
Our “Spin the Wheel of Opportunity” event at our Annual Business Meeting in May was a success! We thank you for participating and lending your support to our ongoing efforts. Our spirited crew of 14 board members all contributed to the fundraising effort, along with 29 of our passengers, for a total of $7,880 raised at this event. Additional gifts since then have brought our fiscal year total of individual giving to about $30,000. THANK YOU all for your support!
Now that it is membership renewal time, we know many of you will give a gift in addition to your annual dues. Thank you in advance! Remember that we have these opportunities on our giving webpage:              
  1. Become a monthly donor — quick and easy, we will be grateful for continuing gifts.
  2. Give a gift membership — these memberships will be current until June 2022, and half the amount of the membership gift will be tax-deductible for you.
  3. Give a gift in honor or memory of someone important to you. We will recognize such gifts in our Annual Report.
  4. Give a one-time gift, any time for any amount.
You may give any of these gifts online through our giving page, or print out a form to send a check to our office. Remember that gifts to the LWVPDX Education Fund are tax-deductible, while those to our regular fund for action and advocacy are not.
 
Donate Today!
Just a reminder that your contributions have been essential to the preparation of our outstanding study on Portland Police oversight and accountability, and the video of our panel discussion of the report. We have also updated our Directory of Elected Officials following the May 2021 elections. All of this important information is available on our website and could not have been produced without your financial support!
 
We wish you a healthy and fulfilling summer and look forward to being in touch with everyone in September.
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  LWVOR NEWS  

LWVOR Convention Delegates Approve Informational Study & Position Updates

Adapted from Coastlines, the newsletter for the League of Women Voters of Curry County
The League of Women Voters of Oregon (LWVOR) holds its state Convention every other year. It took place May 10 through May 16, with several hours of sessions each day. The theme was “Reset, Reboot, Reconnect.”

LWVPDX was represented at convention by 13 delegates and observers. The Convention started with training, caucuses, workshops, a panel discussion, a keynote address, and a welcome video. It ended with the business meeting. Topics for the caucuses included healthcare, forestry, childcare, and election methods. Workshops were offered on budget, advocacy, administration, and volunteerism. There was also a panel discussion on the topic of forests, fire, and sustainability, with four expert speakers diving deep into the issues.

LWVPDX member and author Kristin Eberhard gave the keynote address on making democracy work better. Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan presented a welcome video in which she congratulated the League on its 101st birthday and focused on the future of Oregon’s equity, stability, and security. LWVOR President Becky Gladstone celebrated the state League’s 200+ pieces of legislative testimony. She also gave “shout-outs” to recognize the accomplishments of the local Leagues, referring to LWVPDX as the “jewel in the tiara!”
 
The Convention concluded with the business meeting, during which the budget, bylaws, and nomination slate were all approved. The proposed program was also introduced. New LWVOR officers and directors are listed online here.

In terms of program, convention delegates on Sunday approved:
  • an informational update on LWVOR’s 1985 childcare position
  • an informational update on LWVOR’s election methods study
  • concurrence with the LWV of Washington state Forestry Position, without the section on school funding
  • a review of minor changes to redistricting position language.
A proposal for a national study of nuclear energy was removed. In addition, resolutions were adopted to:
  • appoint a committee to review LWVOR’s positions through a DEI lens (diversity, equity, inclusion)
  • consider DEI implementation at the local level
  • advocate for universal health care coverage (submitted by LWV Rogue Valley and amended)
  • consider divestment of fossil fuel industries from state funds, in light of the climate emergency.
More information about the content-rich convention can be found on LWVOR’s website. Or, contact one of the LWVPDX members who attended: Debbie Kaye, Margaret Noel, Chris Cobey, Kristin Eberhard, Marion McNamara, Norman Turrill, Carolyn Buppert, Linda Mantel, and Debbie Runciman as delegates; and Anne Davidson, Nancy Donovan, Donna Cohen, Judy Froemke, and Audrey Zunkel-deCoursey as observers.
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  ACTION REPORT  

Sitting Down with New City Commissioner Rubio


By Audrey Zunkel-deCoursey, At-Large Board Member

Completing our welcome interviews with the newest City Commissioners, LWVPDX leaders met with Commissioner Carmen Rubio on July 2 via Zoom. At this meeting, League leaders shared information on the LWVPDX reports about economic development, city government, and police accountability.
 
In addition to City Council’s shared priorities on homelessness, COVID recovery, economic development, and public safety, Commissioner Rubio added that addressing climate change has been a growing concern of hers, lifting up the importance of environmental justice. She addressed the challenge of stabilizing long-term funding for the Parks bureau, which she oversees: she sees a need to balance levy funding and general fund sources.
 
League leaders emphasized the importance of City Council restoring public testimony on reports and other matters coming to Council Chambers, which we noted has been more limited under the current mayor than previous administrations. We advocated for support to the existing police oversight system, through the transition to a new civilian oversight board, and specifically encouraged the Commissioner to support a change in the standard of review for the Citizen Review Committee, to shift from the reasonable person standard to the preponderance of the evidence standard (see Police Accountability & Oversight study for details on this point). We also inquired about plans for the South Park Blocks transitioning toward more pedestrian and cyclist usage.
 
For information on our other recent meetings with new city commissioners, please see the May issue of The Voter newsletter.
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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.
  • Express interest in League leadership  |  Read more
  • Help us find a new office space or staff  |  Read more
  • Join the Justice Interest Group  |  Read more 
  • Join the Housing & Homelessness Interest Group  |  Read more
  • Join (or lead!) a Discussion Unit  |  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. If you are looking for a different type of volunteer opportunity than those listed here, contact any member of the board to discuss how you can help us fulfill our mission of "Making Democracy Work." 
Share this newsletter with someone who wants to support LWVPDX! Share this newsletter with someone who wants to support LWVPDX!

  Calendar at a Glance  


Summer
  • July 22: LWVPDX Board Meeting | Noon to 2pm.
  • Aug. 26: LWVPDX Board Meeting | Noon to 2pm (tentative).
September
  • Sept. 13: Next Voter Newsletter Issue | Check your email inbox!
  • Sept. 15: Discussion Unit 1 | 7pm, location TBA.
  • Sept. 16: Discussion Unit 4 | 1pm, location TBA.
  • Sept. 18: Discussion Unit 5 | 10:30am, location TBA.
  • Sept. 20: Discussion Unit 7 | 1pm, location TBA.
  • Sept. 27: Discussion Unit 2 | 10am, location TBA.
  • Sept. 27: Discussion Unit 3 | 7pm. This unit meets virtually via Zoom.
  • Sept. 28: Discussion Unit 6 | 9:30am, location TBA.
Note: Discussion Units, the Action Committee, and Civic Education programs are on pause until September.
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Board of Directors

> Debbie Kaye, President
president@lwvpdx.org
> Marion McNamara, Vice President
vpadmin@lwvpdx.org 
> Chris Cobey, Voter Service Chair

voterservice@lwvpdx.org
> Nancy Donovan, Civic Education Chair, civiced@lwvpdx.org 
> Anne Davidson, Secretary

secretary@lwvpdx.org
> Adrienne Aiona, Treasurer
treasurer@lwvpdx.org 
> Margaret Noel, Communications Chair, 
communications@lwvpdx.org
> Debbie Aiona, Action Chair
action@lwvpdx.org 
> Judy Froemke, Discussion Units Coordinator, units@lwvpdx.org 
> Linda Mantel, Development Chair

development@lwvpdx.org
> Audrey Zunkel-deCoursey, At-Large, atlarge4@lwvpdx.org
> Carolyn Buppert, Twitter
socialmedia@lwvpdx.org
> Amber Nobe, Newsletter Editor
newsletter@lwvpdx.org

Off-Board Leaders

> Mary McWilliams, Membership Chair, membership@lwvpdx.org 
> Beth Burczak, Speakers Bureau Chair, speakers@lwvpdx.org
> Linda Fields & Kathy Casto, Voters' Guide Co-Editors,
votersguide@lwvpdx.org
> Hailey McLaughlin,
Video Voters' Guide, 
videovotersguide@lwvpdx.org
> Ann Dudley, Nominating Committee Chair
nominating@lwvpdx.org
> Jen Jacobs, Budget Committee Chair, budget@lwvpdx.org
> VACANT, Forums Chair, forums@lwvpdx.org
> VACANT, Voter Registration Chair, voterreg@lwvpdx.org
> Elizabeth Davis, Instagram
lwvpdxinsta@gmail.com
> Katie LeRoux, Facebook
> Phil Thor, Endowment Committee Chair
Interest Group Chairs:
> Nancy Donovan, Education
> James Ofsink, 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 Civic Education, Voter Service, and Action activities, as well as general business and member news. You can view past issues here.

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

Thank you to the League leaders and volunteers who provided photos, wrote for, and edited this newsletter!

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