Annual Program Planning

In January every year, League members discuss the League’s “program” for the following fiscal year (July through June). For the League, “program” means “those issues impacted by government and chosen by members for concerted study and action.” League members recommend issues where we should focus our energies. They suggest whether these issues should be studied in depth, or should be the focus of an Interest Group, the subject for a civic education program, or issues for more intense advocacy.

Program Planning for 2020-2021

View more detailed information on 2020 Program Planning here.

Planning for the 2020-2021 League year will begin with our annual Winter Program-Planning Party. This year the Winter Planning Party will be held on Saturday, January 11, at the Mirabella Portland. This is an event for members and their guests. It is a work party focusing on members’ priorities for the League’s education and advocacy in the following fiscal year. Members will be discussing our national (LWVUS) and local (LWVPDX) positions and how to use them. More details will be sent to members at the beginning of January. You can view and print out the directions to the Mirabella by clicking here.

Suggestions developed at the planning party are sent to League Unit Discussion Groups for continued discussion. The combined member recommendations are then sent to the Board and used to guide board decisions in planning for the year ahead.

Program Planning for 2019-2020

In 2019, Portland League members did program planning for our local League and for the League of Women Voters of Oregon (LWVOR). They discussed the League’s local and state advocacy positions, which you can read here. Then they completed program planning forms with recommendations for each position and they filled out proposal forms.

The League of Women Voters is also celebrating our 100th anniversary as an organization on February 14, 2020. Send us your ideas about how we should celebrate this occasion by emailing

2019 Winter Party Recommendations

At the League’s December 2018 Winter Party, groups of Portland League members discussed six major issues we may face in 2019. They developed proposals for League activities, including possible studies or restudies of issues, Interest Groups, Civic Education programs, and Action plans.
Below is a brief overview of some of the ideas that were developed at the Winter Party on what the League could do next year. Some of these may be carried over to 2020-21; some progress was made on others during the 2019 legislative session .

  • Violence against Women: (1) recommend a one-year LWVOR study that would leverage the current moment in time brought about by the ‘Me Too’ movement; (2) use education at all levels, employment, legislation and the health sciences to create change.
  • Transportation Issues: (1) study the kinds of regulations needed to reduce the impact of diesel emissions and improve our air quality; (2) use the Metropolitan Transportation position to advocate for speeding up conversion of Trimet buses to battery-electric buses.
  • Housing & Neighborhoods: (1) propose a two-year LWVPDX Housing and Neighborhoods Study or form an Interest Group to plan this study of houselessness, affordable housing and how to encourage public involvement through neighborhood associations and the Office of Community & Civic Life; (2) Invite neighborhood associations to be on a civic education panel to talk about the issues impacting their neighborhoods.
  • Wealth & Democracy: (1) advocate for Campaign Finance Reform; (2) create a Civic Education Program Plan called “Civic YouTube”, a series of short YouTube videos made by high school and college students explaining civic processes.
  • Rights & Safety: form an Interest Group to learn about and advocate for ways to protect the rights of the most vulnerable people in our communities. The group would explore issues of policing, homelessness and the Homeless Bill of Rights, mental health and first responders, and the role of Business Improvement Districts.
  • Disaster Readiness: update and broaden the LWVOR Seismic Risks study to include other natural disaster risks, such as wildfires and landslides, in order to educate members and the public about preparing for future disasters.

The full text of all the Winter Party Recommendations will be sent to the Unit Leaders and available soon for members to find online. If you would like to take part in a study or interest group, advocate on an issue or help organize an educational event, please consider volunteering. It’s gratifying and fun to work together on ways to solve social problems.

There are many important issues on which the League could have an impact. Please help us decide where we could be most effective and which issues most deserve our time and efforts. Consider whether you or someone you know could help. Send us your answers on or before February 10. Thank you.