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March Event: Solutions to Our Affordable Housing Crisis

LWV of Portland will hold our next Community Education program, “Solutions to our Affordable Housing Crisis,” on March 13 from 7 to 8:30 pm via Zoom. With limited rental vacancies, housing costs rising faster than wages, and new luxury units out of reach of most, our community and state are experiencing a dire lack of affordable housing. This program will focus on what is being done to help solve our housing crisis. Program panelists will discuss their accomplishments in helping to close the housing affordability gap, including developing new units, preserving existing affordable housing, and expanding rental assistance.

We are working with our LWVPDX Housing Interest Group and are pleased the following speakers have agreed to participate:
● State Representative Mark Gamba, who represents Portland neighborhoods, advocates for actionable solutions and investments in affordable housing and housing for the unhoused.
● Brian Hoop, Executive Director of Housing Oregon, which provides housing and services from homelessness shelters, temporary rental housing, permanent supportive housing, to home ownership.
● Elsa Natal, Director of Affordable Housing, of Our Just Future, a major nonprofit in Portland that develops, owns, and manages low-income apartments for people who otherwise could not find affordable housing in the private market.

To receive the Zoom link, members of the public should register at our website https://www.lwvpdx.org or use this link: https://forms.gle/fYbTPCjnTZJ2NgRy9

This program is one of our community education programs held free of charge for our members and the public. All of our programs are recorded for rebroadcast by MetroEast Community Media and available by video and podcast from our website, lwvpdx.org.

This program offers attendees a chance to learn from progressive leaders, policy experts, affordable housing practitioners and tenant advocates on solutions to this crisis. Attendees can engage with panelists by asking questions in the Zoom chat.

Funding for production of this program is provided by the League of Women Voters of Portland Education Fund and the Carol and Velma Saling Foundation

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Looking Ahead: 2024 LWV Work & Fun

2024 will be a busy year for LWVPDX. We start with important planning for next year and a luncheon.

Engaging League Members
    • Program Planning: We gathered in groups to plan the projects and priorities we will focus upon in 2024-25. This activity is exclusively for League members. Local Leagues throughout the U.S. do “program planning” in January every year. You can read more about this here.
    • The Media Luncheon: On February 14, the anniversary of the League’s founding, members enjoyed a luncheon together. We listened to a panel of journalists discuss our city – the things we value and a vision for the future of Portland. Registration closed on February 9, but you can read more about the event here.

 

Engaging the Public on Voting and Community Issues
    • Voter Service: For the upcoming elections, we will provide plenty of nonpartisan voter information to the people of Multnomah County. We will register voters and produce our usual print and online voting guides, and recorded candidate interviews and forums. Find out more on our 2024 Primary Voters’ Guide page.  
    • City Government Changes: As Portland’s city government and elections method change in the coming year, LWVPDX will be active in educating our members and the public. We are committed to ensuring that every Portlander knows how to use ranked choice voting and engage with their local government. View our City Charter Reform page for the latest.
    • Community Education: Our usual panel discussions of current issues in our communities will be presented in March and April. Our spring panels will address housing and education. These, along with our voting resources, will be recorded for viewing and listening. Look at our Public Events page for more information.
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Webinar: Transportation Challenges

Recorded Zoom webinar: Transportation Challenges for Portland and Beyond

Click on the arrow below to view the video of this webinar, which was recorded November 15, 2023.

This LWV of Portland Zoom webinar featured a panel of government and nonprofit leaders who discussed several of the most urgent challenges now facing our transportation sector. These challenges directly affect our communities.

The panelists:

    • Moderator: Chris Smith, a transportation policy expert and a long-time community volunteer. Chris also explained how Portland’s transportation system fits into Metro regional transportation planning.
    • Millicent Williams,  Director, Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) discussing funding concernsFunding is a major challenge confronting multiple government transportation agencies. In part, this is due to less revenue from gas taxes. However, Portland also faces other revenue and expense concerns. The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) must deal with this issue now as the City of Portland is developing budgets for its next fiscal year. 
    • Zachary Lauritzen, Interim Executive Director, Oregon Walks, discussing transportation safety. Safety on, and alongside, our roads continues to be a difficult problem with consequences that can be deadly. Addressing safety concerns requires action by multiple agencies– not just the transportation sector. 
    • Jana Gastellum, Executive Director, Oregon Environmental Council, discussing climate concerns. Transportation is Oregon’s largest source of carbon emissions, so it is an important factor in addressing climate concerns. Options to reduce driving and the transition to electric vehicles reduce gas tax revenues. This requires consideration of additional state-level funding approaches.

This program was recorded by MetroEast Community Media. It is also available as a podcast here.

Funding for production of this program is provided by the League of Women Voters of Portland Education Fund and the Carol and Velma Saling Foundation. 

Replay dates and times on cable TV are shown below.

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Webinar: Police Oversight Update

Watch the video of our webinar on the new Community Board to investigate police misconduct

On  October 11, the League of Women Voters of Portland presented a Zoom webinar on “A new Community Board for Police Accountability.” The speakers and the moderator were members of the Police Accountability Commission (PAC). The PAC spent thousands of volunteer hours planning the details of how this new community board will operate. The final plan carries out the requirements in the charter amendment that voters passed in November 2020 by almost 82%.  A representative of the U.S. Department of Justice  also spoke.

Listen to the  podcast of this event by clicking here.

Schedule for replays of this program on cable TV:

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Portland Is Changing! Charter Implementation Successes and Challenges

A recorded Panel Discussion    

On September 19, 2023,  a panel of leading experts discussed the work accomplished thus far and work that is underway to ensure effective and fair implementation of the  charter reforms approved by voters last November.  Panelists:

    • Melanie Billings-Yun, Charter Review Commissioner, 2020-22 (Moderator) 
    • Shoshanah Oppenheim, Charter Transition Project Manager
    • Marcus Mundy, Executive Director, Coalition of Communities of Color
    • Leah Benson, Co-Chair, Government Transition Advisory Committee (GTAC)
    • Alex Zielinski, Reporter, Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB)

Click on the arrow to view the video recording of the program:

Listen to the podcast of this program by clicking here.

The video is being shown on cable TV at the times listed below. 

 

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LWV Info on Charter Reforms

By M.O. Stevens – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10470949

The League is working hard to make sure the charter reforms that voters passed in November 2022  will make Portland’s government and elections better.

Our new page on City Charter Reform links to resources explaining ranked choice voting and the decisions being made now about our 2025 city government. We’ll be adding more resources as these decisions are finalized. Stay tuned!

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Updated Directory of Elected Officials Available Now

A page describing the contents of a document as the updated list of the Directory of Elected Officials

We’ve updated our Directory of Elected Officials, with information from the results of the May 2023 Special Election. Read it by clicking here. You’ll find information about how to contact all the elected representatives who serve people in our area. There are websites, emails, or phone numbers for everyone from President Biden to the directors of the Fire Districts.

When you have a concern about government, you can use this contact info to ask questions or express your opinion. The Directory also has information about political parties and voter registration. Finally, if you need more details about area governments, check out the Contact Elected Officials page of this website.

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Our New President and Board

New LWVPDX President Carolyn Buppert talks with members after her election

At our Annual Membership Meeting on May 24, 2023, Portland League members elected a new volunteer president, Carolyn Buppert. You can read about the meeting and the decisions that members made  here. We also elected new board members and committee chairs. You can read the bios of all the LWVPDX 2023-24 board members and leaders here.

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We Marched in the 2023 Rose Festival Parade!

 

League members and friends from the Portland Metro Area marched in the June 10, 2023 Grand Floral Parade. The parade is a highlight of the Rose Festival. All of the LWV marchers dressed in white, as suffragists did in the early 20th century when they marched for women’s rights to vote. We also carried the purple, gold and white “suffrage flag.” The League of Women Voters now celebrates 103 years since women throughout America won the right to vote. The LWV was also founded 103 years ago . We still fight to make sure all Americans have easy access to voting.

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April 4 Panel Discussion on Mental Health, Housing, and Homelessness

View the Video of Our Zoom Webinar by clicking below.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking here.

The panel of community leaders discussed chronic homelessness as a public health issue. They explained how they are trying to provide health care and shelter to people with mental illness and/or addiction, and the need for more shelters, and supportive affordable low-income housing.  

The panel included: 

Jill Kahnert, Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, retired from Central City Concern.

 

Jason Renaud, LWVPDX League member, and Voluntary Managing Director of the Mental Health Association of Portland

 

Scott Kerman, Executive Director, Blanchet House

 

Rachael Duke, Executive Director of Community Partners for Affordable Housing

 

This program may be viewed on public access television channels at the   times listed below.

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