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.
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.
Continuing our work for racial justice
In a June 4th email to League members, LWVUS President Chris Carson wrote:
The coalition’s letter was sent from The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and signed by over 400 organizations. LWVUS CEO Virginia Kase serves on The Leadership Conference Board of Directors.
Here are a few quotes from this letter:
“we urge you to take swift and decisive legislative action in response to ongoing fatal police killings and other violence against Black people across our country. Federal statutory reforms are urgently needed on a range of policing issues, including use of force, police accountability, racial profiling, militarization, data collection, and training.”
“Now is the time for Congress to pass meaningful police reform legislation. While we appreciate hearings and resolutions, we need comprehensive measures enacted. We need Congress to advance meaningful legislation to protect Black communities from the systemic perils of over policing, police brutality, misconduct, and harassment, and end the impunity with which officers operate in taking the lives of Black people.”
The LWVPDX, along with Leagues around the country, is speaking out against police brutality and racism. For more than 40 years, the Portland League has worked with other organizations to improve police accountability and oversight. We are committed to ending the inappropriate use of deadly force by police. We are combatting injustice against African Americans in Portland and in the U.S.
Below is part of a May 29 press release from the LWVUS.
As an organization whose mission is to empower voters and defend democracy, we stand in solidarity with all Black communities. The League shall do so not only by speaking out against racism in all forms, but by doing the work required of us to be anti-racist.
You can read all of the press release here.
The League bases our advocacy on balanced studies, testimony, and peaceful demonstrations. In early May, our members voted to study Police Accountability in Portland. This study will build on the work of our Justice Interest Group. Careful research provides the data that strengthens our voice as we work to protect the rights and lives of all Americans.
Below are quick, easy ways you can help make Oregon’s redistricting process fairer, more transparent and impartial. The League of Women Voters of Oregon is one of nine main supporters of a citizen initiative, “People Not Politicians.” We need more than 150,000 signatures to get this on the November 2020 ballot. And we need to submit them by July 2nd!
How to help:
That’s a short timeframe, but here are easy ways you can help—even with social distancing.
- Go to the “People Not Politicians”website to read about Initiative 57 and to print and sign a single-signature petition. Then follow the instructions to mail it in.
- Email the link to the “People Not Politicians” website to Oregon friends and family; ask them to download, print, sign and mail in the petition too.
- If you would like to gather more signatures, you can ask for a 5- to 10-signature sheet by emailing email@example.com. We’ll probably need some extra help in June. Stay tuned!
Create an independent redistricting commission
Now is our chance to put a nonpartisan commission in charge of redistricting in Oregon. This would prevent gerrymandering. In other words, it will keep future legislators from creating district maps that favor them and their parties. Getting enough signatures to make Initiative 57 into a 2020 Ballot Measure—and then passing that measure—is important to ensuring a fair and impartial redistricting process and protecting voters’ rights. Thank you for your support and help.