Watch Our Video on Portland Police Oversight

This excellent video adds valuable information to our study of Portland Police Oversight. Listen as three expert panelists explain the problems we face and the work being done on these difficult issues. The speakers also use slides and stories to make their points.

      • Attorney Carol Johnson reviews some of the main points in the study.
      • Training Advisory Council Chair Shawn Campbell talks about the progress made so far. He also addresses the remaining issues of inequity, use of deadly force and lack of transparency.
      • Then, Oregon Representative Janelle Bynum highlights the work the 2020 and 2021 Legislature is doing to address police accountability.

Finally, all three speakers answer questions from the audience to round out the discussion. Click the arrow below to view the video.

NEW LWVPDX Study of Police Accountability



We are excited and proud to present our new study of the Portland Police Bureau: Oversight and Accountability. For decades, Portlanders have responded to police violence by demanding reforms and better oversight. This study describes both the problems encountered and the progress made. A major section lists the “Opportunities for Change” that will improve safety and fairness for both Portland civilians and the police officers who serve them. As the study’s conclusion states:

Portland’s police and City officials have work ahead to improve police accountability structures and authentic community engagement. The relationship between the public and the police is necessarily a two-way street, demanding mutual participation and investment, to build mutual respect and trust. The League stands ready to continue upholding our part in advancing a public safety environment that is fair, healthy, and just for all.

This study is the product of nine months of work by a 22-member volunteer study committee. Committee members reviewed 55 documents and also interviewed 22 key stakeholders, including police leadership, elected officials, and advocates for change.

Read the study online here.  When this study has been printed, we will send some copies to the county libraries.

Read the Executive Summary of the study here.

An important addition to the study report is the Online Appendix, which you can read here. This not only has links to key source documents, but also brief summaries of each. It offers information that truly enhances the data in the study.

And a Panel Discussion of the Issues!

We also produced a panel discussion about Portland Police Oversight and Accountability. You’ll find the recording above this post. The panelists are:

  • Representative Janelle Bynum, who serves in the Oregon Legislature representing the 51st District, which includes East Portland and cities in east Multnomah County. Rep. Bynum serves as Chair of the House Judiciary Committee and Subcommittee on Equitable Policing. Her legislative proposals in the 2021 session include bills for a database on police use of force, prompt medical assessment for arrested persons, and limits on the use of arbitration to reverse police agency findings of police misconduct.
  • Shawn Campbell, Chair of the Training Advisory Council (TAC) for the Portland Police Bureau. The TAC is a group of civilians who advise the PPB Training Division and Chief of Police. The TAC has outlined how changes in accountability, officer wellness, public safety specialization, procedural justice, and restorative justice could improve public safety.
  • Carol Johnson, JD, MA, an attorney who has spent her career working on civil rights. In 2019, she was appointed to Portland Police Citizen’s Review Committee, which advises the Bureau’s Independent Police Review (IPR). Johnson worked with the Portland League and The Links, Inc. on our newly published study, Portland Police Bureau: Oversight and Accountability.

MetroEast Community Media records our panel discussions and our candidate interviews and forums.

Watch the Video on Climate Action!

This video explains what’s being done now in Oregon to address our climate crisis. An expert panel discusses ways to reduce carbon emissions, while also providing jobs and improving the environment. The speakers represent the Portland Clean Energy Fund, Verde, Oregon Business for Climate, and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. Listen as they discuss their priorities and projects.  Click the arrow below.

Climate Action! Here and Now

Our March 2021 Panel Discussion

What can we do here and now to reduce the threat of climate change? In March, the Portland LWV recorded an online panel discussion with local and state experts. Our speakers work for organizations that are addressing the climate emergency and environmental justice in Oregon. The recording is now available for viewing from the lwvpdx.org website.

The panel includes the following speakers.
  • Cady Lister is the Deputy Director of the Portland Clean Energy Fund. Ms. Lister has nearly 20 years of experience in advocating for renewable energy and community engagement. She updates us on the Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund. In addition, she discusses the fund’s connection to environmental justice and to Portland’s Climate Action Plan.
  • Oriana Magnera is the Energy and Climate Policy Coordinator for Verde. She leads their work on energy and climate policy. Her focus is on community-led participation and program development. Ms. Magnera also is a member of the Oregon Global Warming Commission and the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission. She discusses three current legislative bills on Affordable Energy, Healthy Homes, and 100% Clean Electricity. In addition, she talks about the transition to zero-emission transportation, as well as how to design programs that improve equity of access for vulnerable communities.
  • Tim Miller, Director of Oregon Business for Climate, discusses the important role of business in addressing climate change. He serves on the boards of multiple climate policy organizations and has provided strategic consulting to over 30 clean-tech companies, non-profits, and agencies. He also has launched his own clean-tech start-up in the transportation sector.
  • Richard Whitman is the Director of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. He discusses what DEQ is doing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He also explains DEQ’s involvement in legislative bills to combat climate change and the proposed move of the Environmental Justice Task Force into DEQ.

Robin Tokmakian moderates the program. A League member, Robin has represented the LWVUS since 2017 as part of the Observer Corps to the United Nations, with an emphasis on climate issues. She also serves as LWV Oregon’s representative to the NW Energy Coalition.

Making an energy transition

In the coming years, we must change the ways we produce and use energy. The League of Women Voters supports climate goals and policies that are consistent with the best available science and that will ensure a stable climate system for future generations.  Our country and the Northwest are already experiencing extreme weather, drought, ocean warming and acidification, king tides and forest fires. We cannot wait to start making the changes needed to address this climate emergency.  

Viewing this program

MetroEast Community Media recorded this program.  Look for the recording on this LWVPDX website.  

Below is  the schedule for viewing the program on Portland area public access television channels.

101 Years, Making Democracy Work

February 14th is a momentous day for the League – especially in Oregon. The League of Women Voters was founded on February 14, 1920. Oregon became a state 162 years ago on February 14, 1859. (And of course it’s Valentine’s Day.)

In 2020, we celebrated our Centennial with memorabilia, a slide show and a video highlighting past and present achievements. Then we had a panel discussion, which not only reviewed the past, but also pointed to our future. And ended with a toast to our second century!

Our 101st year has been a blockbuster, with more than 101 important achievements!

Voter Service

-Since our Centennial, our voter service has included:
  • Producing neutral nonpartisan voter information for the Primary, Special and  General Elections
  • Distributing 10,600 printed copies of English and Spanish voters’ guides for the Primary and General Elections  (in spite of the pandemic)
  • Producing a total of 83 candidate-interview videos for our Video Voters’ Guides in the Primary and General Elections. These videos had more than 17,000 views.
  • Producing a total of nine videos of voter forums (five for candidates; four for measures). These had 3,721 views.
  • Providing voter registration information in person (when possible) and online
  • Reaching at least 59,873 Portland area voters with Vote411.org
  • Reaching about 43,000 voters with the voting resources on our website
  • Presenting 18 online Speakers’ Bureau presentations to 502 voters
  • Updating our Directory of Elected Officials for Multnomah County

Advocacy

-Our advocacy work in this past year has included:
  • Five letters to the Portland City Council and one to US District Judge Simon (Click here to read these and other advocacy statements.)
  • An In Our Opinion column and a Letter to the Editor in The Oregonian
  • Support for six local ballot measures, including two Voters’ Pamphlet statements, based on our research and advocacy positions
  • Helping gather signatures for the redistricting (“People not Politicians”) ballot initiative
  • Action Committee presentations on earthquake risks, industrial land, economic opportunities planning, wildfire management, and police reform.

Civic Education

-In addition, we produced four free recorded informational programs which have had more than 700 combined views:

And More!

-To publicize all the information we offered, we used our social media (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram), sent out hundreds of press releases, and paid for ads on three radio stations and in four online and print newspapers.
-Plus, our 2020-21 study of Police Accountability is almost finished! And we have given copies of our recent study and position on Portland’s City Government to members of the Charter Review Commission.

Thanks to our volunteers and our donors for their gifts of time and money, which made these achievements possible.