Fixing Police Oversight

On July 1, 2020, The Oregonian published an “IN OUR OPINION” piece by LWV of Portland Action Chair, Debbie Aiona, and founding member of Portland Copwatch, Dan Handelman. The Portland League and Portland Copwatch have been working to improve police oversight for decades. In their Opinion article, they recommended changes to make the system more effective. These would give more power to Portland’s Independent Police Review (IPR) office and its Citizens Review Committee (CRC).

  • Ensure that in addition to being able to subpoena civilians and documents, IPR has the power to compel officers to testify or face discipline if they refuse. The office also should be given the authority to access all relevant police files.
  • Empower IPR to investigate incidents in which police officers use deadly force, and give survivors or their family members the right to appeal their cases to the IPR’s Citizen Review Committee.
  • Empower the CRC to review cases based on whether the majority of the evidence supports a given finding, rather than having to defer to police bureau decisions.

You can read the entire article here.

New LWVUS President

At the League’s 54th National Convention (conducted virtually), delegates representing Leagues throughout the United States elected Dr. Deborah Turner as the new LWVUS president.

Deborah Turner, MD, JD, is the 20th president of the League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS) and chair of the Board of Trustees of the League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF). She will serve until June 2022.

Previous LWV Experience

Dr. Turner was president of Des Moines Metropolitan League and vice president of the LWV Iowa board from 2011 until 2015. She was elected to the League’s national board of directors in 2016 where she served on the Finance committee, Governance Committee, and chaired the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee. As chair of the DEI Committee, Deborah and her colleagues focused on organizational culture changes to the League’s mission work.  They emphasized racial equity as well as equity for all the diverse groups in American society.

Experience as a doctor

Dr. Turner received her BS from Iowa State University and her MD from University of Iowa. She practiced gynecologic oncology for 35 years, enhancing university programs at the University of Nebraska, University of Iowa, and the Medical College of Wisconsin. She also served the private sector in Davenport, IA, Mason City, IA, and in Des Moines. In July 2015, she left active practice to become Vice President of International Medical Programs of The Outreach Program. She participated in twelve medical missions to Tanzania since 2011 and worked with Singida’s Medical Center, Outreach’s Children’s Feeding Centers, and Rotary International. She received her JD from Drake University in 2007. She has served as Associate Medical Director of Planned Parenthood of North Central States since 2016.

Honors and awards

Turner was inducted into the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame in 2013 and received the Gertrude Rush Award from the National Bar Association in 2015. She was awarded the Louise Noun Visionary Women of the year award from Young Womens Resource Center Des Moines in 2018. Her most treasured award is a certificate from the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Care.  She lives in Nebraska and has two grown children – a son and a niece.

Support Fair Redistricting

The “People Not Politicians” initiative would put an independent citizen commission in charge of redistricting in Oregon. That means that a balanced group of citizens – instead of partisan politicians – would design the maps of election districts. Passing this initiative would protect the rights of voters to elect representatives who truly speak for them. This is because it would prevent gerrymandering the districts. Gerrymandering separates groups of voters with similar values and interests, which decreases their voting power. This initiative also calls for the commission to hold ten public hearings to hear people’s comments about their plans.

Here’s Why It’s Important

Here’s How It Would Work

Check the People Not Politicians website for updates on our signature-gathering progress.

Valuing Diversity

You can read the LWV of the US Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy here. It begins, “LWV is an organization fully committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in principle and in practice.”  The League works to uphold people’s rights, regardless of their race, age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability or economic status.

When the League was founded 100 years ago, there were many barriers that prevented men and women of various groups from fully participating in democracy. Over the years since, the League of Women Voters has worked to improve and protect the rights of all Americans. We encourage all citizens to vote! We also help people speak out for their rights.

The League has many resources to help members and others understand the views and needs of diverse groups. League members also participate in discussion groups about diversity and equity.