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.

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.

FEBRUARY: From Houseless to Housing

The Pines, affordable housing in SE Portland -Photo by Human Solutions

Our February Civic Education event features speakers on how to address homelessness in the Portland area. Starting on February 12, you can view the recorded  panel discussion, From Houseless to Housing and Services, from our YouTube Channel. Or click here to view the recording of this compelling panel discussion.

About the invited panelists :
  • Marc Jolin, Executive Director of the Multnomah County Joint Office of Homeless Services. He leads an initiative, “A Home for Everyone,” which involves officials from Multnomah County, the City of Portland, the City of Gresham, business leaders, social services and other service groups that collaborate on finding new resources and strategies to end homelessness.
  • Andy Miller, Executive Director of Human Solutions, which builds, operates and supports families in permanent affordable housing. Before he joined Human Solutions in 2015, Miller was the Chief Operating Officer at Volunteers of America Oregon. Previously, he spent 13 years with the Portland Housing Bureau.
  • Jeff D. Riddle, Administrative Support Manager at Transition Projects.Transition Projects manages shelters and offers programs and resources to individuals through services including case workers, healthcare, mentorship, and housing. Jeff has served as a mentor, street outreach engagement specialist, residential advocate, client service specialist, case manager, shelter manager, and income development program manager. In 2018, he received the Beverly “Ma” Curtis Award, given to a formerly homeless person who has made a significant contribution to ending homelessness.
  • Rachel Solotaroff, MD, CEO and President of Central City Concern. Dr. Solotaroff, has worked with Central City Concern (CCC) since 2006. She became CCC’s Chief Medical Officer in 2014. During her time there, she has overseen alcohol and drug treatment, primary care and mental health care. CCC provides services to help people find housing and achieve self-sufficiency.

(Dr. Solotaroff was unable to participate, because of a last-minute unexpected complication. We hope to include her in a future event.)

Doreen Binder, League member and former Executive Director of Transition Projects, will moderate the program. For over 50 years, Transition Projects has helped people transition from homelessness and living on the streets to housing in Portland. It manages shelters and offers programs and resources to individuals through access to services including case workers, healthcare, mentorship and housing.

This panel discussion will focus on what is being done, as well as what is still needed, to serve homeless individuals and families.

MetroEast logoMetroEast Community Media will record the program for streaming from this website and for later broadcast on Comcast and Frontier public access cable channels.  Funding for the recording was provided by the Carol & Velma Saling Foundation.

Election Debrief – Now What?

The LWV of Portland has debriefed the experts about this election’s meaning and impact. What do the results mean – locally, statewide and nationally?
photo credit -Multnomah County Elections

The League of Women Voters of Portland asked three experienced political analysts to discuss the 2020 election. Who voted?  What influenced the outcomes? What are the implications for our community and democracy. You can watch their recorded discussion on this website now.

View the recording of this program by clicking below:

The panelists are:

Barbara Dudley  – Senior fellow at Portland State University’s Center for Public Service. Barbara appears regularly on OPB’s Think Out Loud Friday News Roundtable. She is also a senior policy adviser for the Oregon Working Families Party. She formerly served as president/executive director, National Lawyers Guild; executive director, Greenpeace USA; and national AFL-CIO Assistant Director for Strategic Campaigns.

John Horvick – Director for Client Relations and Political Research at DHM Research, a nonpartisan and independent public opinion research firm. He regularly speaks on issues of community, policy, and governance to public officials and governing bodies and is a political analyst for OPB and Fox 12 News.

Priscilla Southwell – University of Oregon professor with expertise in U.S., European, and Oregon politics, elections, voting by mail, and political behavior. Previously, she headed the U of O Department of Political Science and served as the university’s Associate Dean of Social Sciences.

Moderator: James Ofsink. James  currently leads the LWVPDX Criminal Justice Interest Group and is a member of the Police Accountability Study Group. He is also serving a four-year term as a Tax Supervising and Conservation Commissioner, appointed by the governor.

MetroEast Community Media recorded the program for streaming from this website and for later broadcast on public access cable channels. 

Funding for the recording was provided by the Carol & Velma Saling Foundation.

Women’s Equality Day!

On August 26, 2020, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the certification on the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This amendment states that the right to vote cannot be denied on account of a citizen’s sex. It gave 26 million American women the right to vote. Unfortunately, some women were still denied the vote because of their race or ethnicity. So this was an important beginning, but much more needed to be done.

Congresswoman Bella Abzug of New York was a leader for women’s rights.

In 1973, U.S. Congresswoman Bella Abzug introduced a resolution to make August 26 Women’s Equality Day. Her resolution  was passed by Congress on August 16, 1973. Every year since then, each U.S. President has proclaimed August 26 as Women’s Equality Day, honoring women’s voting rights and recognizing that work toward full equality for women is progressing, but not yet complete.