The League of Women Voters of Portland provides nonpartisan information about all our local and statewide elections. We also research issues and work to improve government policies. When you think about all the ways we’ve got you covered, we hope you will support us. Please make a donation, so we can continue to help you. Our Board is matching Giving Tuesday donations.
Below are a few examples of recent LWVPDX activities and plans for the year ahead. To learn more and donate, go to our Giving Tuesday webpage. You can donate online or by mail.
Every year, Oregon offers new homes and a new start to hundreds of refugees who have escaped intolerable conditions in their home countries. Now in late 2021 and 2022, we are preparing for resettling as many as 1,200 new Afghan refugees. In November 2021, the League of Women Voters of Portland presented a panel discussion about the important ways in which Oregon helps immigrants and refugees.
Watch the video of the panel discussion by clicking the arrow below:
The panel included:
Shannon Singleton, Governor Brown’s Director of Equity and Racial Justice
Lee Po Cha, Executive Director, Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO)
Safia Iman Ali Noor, Upward Bound Academic Advisor and Administrative Assistant, IRCO
Matthew Westerbeck, Director of Refugee Services, Catholic Charities of Oregon
Moderator, Kathleen Hersh, co-chair, League of Women Voters of Washington County
MetroEast Community Media records Portland League programs for rebroadcast and online streaming. See the schedule for replays on public access channels below. The Carol & Velma Saling Foundation provided the funding for presenting and recording this program.
Announcing a new LWV of Oregon Study and LWV of Portland Video on Pesticides
What are the best ways to control pests, while also protecting our environment and people’s health? To address these issues, the League of Women Voters of Oregon has published a study report on improving the safe use of pesticides in Oregon. You can read the full study report at the LWVOR.org website.
To supplement the study, the Portland League has recorded a panel discussion on what Oregonians should know about pesticides. The video recording of this presentation may be viewed by clicking on the arrow below.
The distinguished panel in the video presentation includes:
Amelia Nestler, PhD, Chair of the League Study and Senior Scientist at Northwest Green Chemistry
Kevin Masterson, Toxics Coordinator, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Lisa Arkin, Executive Director, Beyond Toxics
Andrea Sonnen, Enforcement Case Reviewer, Interim Pesticides Lead Investigator, Oregon Department of Agriculture – Pesticides Program
Stephanie Page, Director, Natural Resources Program Area, Oregon Department of Agriculture (participating for the Q & A)
Moderator,Paula Grisafi, Co-Chair of study.
The study identified five key areas of pesticide policy to be considered, with recommendations for action. These include 1) Education, Training and Labeling, 2) Transparency and Information Gathering, 3) Funding, Research, and Evaluation, 4) Adaptive Management and Integrated Pest Management, and 5) Burden of Proof and the Precautionary Principle.
During the fall of 2021, local Leagues throughout Oregon discussed the study and video. The goal is to find consensus on how the League should support or oppose policies that will affect the use of pesticides and biocides in the future.
MetroEast Community Media records Portland League programs for rebroadcast and online streaming from lwvpdx.org . Funding is provided by the Carol & Velma Saling Foundation.
To find recordings of previous LWVPDX panels on community issues, click here.
LWVPDX Board adopts new position on Portland Police Bureau Oversight
A Call for Change to The Culture of The Portland Police Bureau
Changing the culture of the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) must be a key goal of bureau leadership, according to the new LWVPDX advocacy position. After conducting a year-long study of Portland police oversight and accountability, the League’s membership 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, “Portland Police Bureau: Oversight and Accountability,” 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.
The new position is based on the results of a careful nonpartisan study of the PPB.
An all-volunteer 22-member study committee began its work shortly before George Floyd was killed. Committee members reviewed 55 documents on PPB history and policies. They also interviewed 22 key stakeholders, including police leadership, city council members, state legislators and community advocates. See more about the resulting study report on this website here.
MEmber discussion and Consensus were Key to writing the position statement
The study then went to the LWVPDX membership for review. Portland League members participated in discussion groups, answering questions about the issues the study covered. A “consensus committee” wrote the new advocacy position using the points upon which members reached consensus during their discussions.
In addition to calling for reduction in bias-based policing and fair and equitable treatment of community members, the new position statement on PPB Oversight and Accountability 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 improved 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.