2023 Program Planning


The Purpose and Process

PURPOSE: During annual “Program Planning,” League members examine our advocacy positions to decide whether they are up-to-date and adequate for addressing the important issues our local, state and/or national governments will face in the year ahead.  In addition, the members suggest various ways the League can work on these issues.

PROCESS: In January 2023, sixty-one Portland League members met online to discuss seven sets of current issues. These issues all affect the future of our communities and state.  The members examined the LWV of Oregon and LWV of Portland advocacy positions that applied to each set of issues.

During the online discussions, members first considered whether the advocacy positions adequately addressed current issues. If the positions seemed out-of-date in some way, members could recommend restudying or updating them. If no position covered an issue, members could propose a new study. Members’ recommendations were sent to the LWVPDX and LWVOR Boards of Directors for review. League members voted upon these proposals in May at the LWVPDX Annual Membership Meeting and the LWVOR Convention.

Other Possible Recommendations

The League can have an impact on many important issues. During 2023 program planning, the discussion groups also proposed topics for focused League advocacy, community education events, member education, and LWV interest groups.  Portland League members could also suggest Bylaw amendments and nominees for the LWVPDX Board.

Definitions for Program Planning Terms

For the League, “Program” means “those issues impacted by government and chosen by members for concerted study and action.” Some of the other words we use for Program Planning also need explanations. For example, what is an “interest group” or a “position”? What is the difference between an “update” and a “restudy”? To read the definitions for League Program Planning terms, click here.

Results of the 2023 Program Planning Discussions

Sixty-one Portland League members attended a total of 122 group discussions. Some participated in more than one or two group discussions. Their recommendations for the League of Women Voters of Oregon positions were forwarded to the LWVOR  Board. The Portland LWV Board  discussed the recommendations for LWVPDX positions at the Board’s March and April meetings.

Recommendations for LWVOR Positions

There were two LWVOR positions with recommendations for updating accompanied with
statements of justification.

    1. The group discussing Public Education recommended an update to the LWVOR position, Public
      Postsecondary Education, adopted in 1985 and updated in 2018. Tom and Fran Dyke, the
      group’s discussion leaders, and Linda Mantel recommended an update to change the section entitled, “Oregon State System of High Education (OSSHE),” specifically replacing OSSHE with “Oregon Public Universities,” “Oregon Public Colleges and Universities,” or “Oregon Public Postsecondary Institutions.” However, we discovered that only one listing of the LWVOR positions included this out-of-date language. The LWVOR Issues for Action does not include the references to “OSSHE.” We therefore asked LWVOR to delete the outdated language in the other copy of the position.
    2. The group discussing Immigration and Refugee Experiences recommended an update to the
      LWVOR position, Farmworkers. Audrey Zunkel-deCoursey and Melanie Billings-Yun, the
      group’s discussion leaders, researched this 2001 position, related articles, and the law and
      wrote a statement recommending the word “farmworkers” be replaced with “agricultural
      workers” wherever appropriate in the Farmworkers position. “Agricultural workers” reflects a
      more inclusive list of job responsibilities and opportunities for those working in agricultural
      production.  To read Audrey’s and Melanie’s full report with the rationale for updating the LWVOR position on Farmworkers, click here.

Finally, we reported that more than tw0-thirds of our discussion group members supported the LWVOR proposal for concurrence with a League of Women Voters of Maryland position on open primaries.

Recommendations for LWVPDX positions
    1. During group discussions, there were five LWVPDX positions recommended for update. . However, unless members are willing to put together justifications for updating the positions, there will be no updates for those five positions. In addition, one housing position was recommended for restudy. No members came forward to do the restudy. However, the Housing Interest Group found a position on Housing developed by the League of Women Voters of California with which we could concur. After examining this position and the study that was done in California, members of the LWV of Portland voted to concur with it. Because the statements in the California position also apply to the housing situation in Multnomah County, the LWVPDX now has a new position on Housing and Homelessness in Multnomah County, which you can read here.
    2. There was no topic suggested for  a new study.
    3. Participants suggested several ideas for Community Education programs and for Action Committee monthly speakers for the 2023-24 year.
To learn more about the topics covered in the discussions, see the information below. Portland League members were able to participate in as many of the online discussions as they liked.

The Online Meeting Sets of Issues

Each discussion group reviewed a set of issues and LWV positions that are related to these issues. Here is the list of positions assigned to each group. To read the wording of the relevant LWVOR and LWVPDX positions for each group, view the LWVOR positions here and the LWVPDX positions here. Discussion leaders will send members who register for their groups a packet with copies of the positions the group will consider. For Discussion Group 5, the LWVUS Immigration position may be considered, since it can be used to address state and local immigration and refugee issues. 

DISCUSSION GROUP 1  – YOUTH PROTECTION, led by Debbie Aiona and Kathy Casto. Topics for discussion: Teenage Girls at Risk; LGBTQ Bullying; Indigenous Abductions; Services Providing Protection, Assistance, and Recovery; What can the League do?

Discussion Group 2  – PUBLIC EDUCATION, led by Fran and Tom Dyke. Topics for discussion: New Civic Ed Requirement; Equity of Curriculum and Funding; Mock High School Elections and Essay Contest; What can the League do?

Discussion Group 3  – MENTAL HEALTH/HOUSING ISSUES, led by Jason Renaud and Annie Davidson. Topics for discussion: What are the services and are they enough? Why are there so many homeless people with all the efforts & funds to find them homes? What can the League do?

Discussion Group 4  – FISCAL POLICY, led by Elizabeth Domike and Virginia Hammon. Topics for discussion: Gender Pay Equity; Tax Payment Equity Regarding Property, Sales, Income, and Arts Taxes; What can the League do?

Discussion Group 5 – IMMIGRATION AND REFUGEE LAWS, led by Audrey Zunkel-deCoursey and Melanie Billings-Yun. Topics for discussion: What are the laws; What is the process for citizenship; Should non-citizens be allowed to vote? What can the League do?

Discussion Group 6  – GOVERNANCE ISSUES, led by Norman Turrill and Chris Cobey. Topics for discussion: Election Methods; Redistricting; Campaign Finance Reforms; Other State and Local Governance Issues. What can the League do?

Discussion Group 7  – CLIMATE CHANGE, led by Robin Tokmakian and Nora Terwilliger. Topics for discussion: What are the responsibilities at state, county, city, neighborhood, and individual levels; What was accomplished at the climate change conference in Egypt last summer? What can the League do?

Program Planning is a member-centered process. Many thanks to the LWVPDX members who participated.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial