Voices of Homelessness – February 13

“Voices of the Homeless” Panel Discussion

Please look soon for the recording of this program about the challenges houseless people have overcome and what they see as useful strategies for confronting this problem.

Tuesday, February 13, 7:00 PM (doors open at 6:30)
Multnomah County Building, 501 SE Hawthorne, Portland, OR

Speakers: Damian Blakley, advocate and artist; Melissa Castor, Hazelnut Grove; DeWanna Harris, Transition Projects; Lisa Larson, Dignity Village.

This program is free and open to the public.

 It’s fair to say that issues of homelessness have been among the most talked about topics in Portland for the past few years. We’ve heard from homeowners, city officials, business people, and non-profit organizations. Everyone, it seems, recognizes that having people unhoused on the streets of Portland is good for no one. The February League of Women Voters of Portland Civic Education program is dedicated to listening to people who have experienced houselessness.

The program will be recorded by Metro East Media for rebroadcast after the program, and will be available on the League of Women Voters website, lwvpdx.org. Funding for the recording is provided by the Multnomah Bar Foundation.

Parking is available on the street. Multnomah County Building is easily accessed by public transportation. Trimet options include bus lines 4, 6, 10, 14, 15 and the Portland Streetcar.

More LWV News

Ballot Measure 101 – Election Forum January 9

COMING SOON:  the video recording of the League of Women Voters of Portland election forum on Ballet Measure 101. A shorter Highlights version will follow the full-length recording of the entire forum.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018, from 7 to 8 p.m.,

Multnomah County Board Room, 501 SE Hawthorne Blvd.

Free and open to the public.

The panel will include a speaker to present the factual information on the ballot measure (Peter Graven, OHSU), a speaker for the Yes Campaign (Rachel Solotaroff, CEO of Central City Concern) and a speaker for the No Campaign (Lindsay Berschauer, Oregonians Against More Healthcare Taxes).

Parking is available on the street. Multnomah County Building is easily accessed by public transportation. Trimet options include bus lines 4, 6, 10, 14, 15 and the Portland Streetcar.  Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Ballot Measure 101.  Measure 101 is a Veto Referendum to repeal parts of the bill (HB2391) passed by the 2017 Legislature to provide funding for health care for low-income Oregonians, through a temporary assessment on insurers and some hospitals.

  •       A YES vote retains the funding and the federal matching funds.
  •       A NO vote removes the funding provisions in the bill.


Important dates for this Oregon Special Election:

  • December 27, 2017 – Voters’ Pamphlet mailed by Secretary of State
  • January 2, 2018 – Voter Registration deadline
  • January 3, 2018 – Ballots Mailed
  • January 23, 2018 – Special Election Day


The forum will be recorded by MetroEast Community Media. It will be available for viewing online via this website and YouTube, as well as on the LWVOR website – www.lwvor.org.

A LWV of Portland speaker on Ballot Measure 101 can be scheduled by sending a request to voterservice@lwvpdx.org. The LWVOR online Voters’ Guide for Ballot Measure 101 is available here.


“Portland’s Pressing Problems” January 16 Media Luncheon

Join us for our Annual Media Luncheon. Enjoy a delicious luncheon and hear a panel discussion on how to address and overcome Portland’s challenging problems.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018, 11:30am – 1:30pm

Multnomah Athletic Club, 1849 SW Salmon St.

Speakers: Israel Bayer, Executive Director, Street Roots, Anna Griffin, News Director, Oregon Public Broadcasting, Moderator James Ofsink.  

Luncheon $30/person with a choice of entrée:

  • Chicken Marsala (gluten free)
    • Pan-fried Chicken Breast, Mushroom Marsala Sauce, Risotto, Roasted Broccolini
  • Eggplant Osso Buco (vegan, gluten free)
    • Tomato Braised Eggplant & Leek, Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes, Carrot & Onion

Salad, rolls, dessert (Cranberry Pear Crisp), coffee or tea, gratuity and parking are included. (Special dietary needs usually can be accommodated.)

Reservations due by January 8; no cancellations after January 9. Please pay ahead and avoid the line at registration. Email events@lwvpdx.org, call 503-228-1675 and send a check to LWV of Portland, PO Box 3491, Portland OR 97208-3491. OR reserve your place and pay ahead online now here.

“Promoting Civil Discourse” Review

By Amber Nobe 

This season, as we mingle at parties or visit far-away loved ones, discussions of politics could heat up and spiral down—fast!  How can we create bridges to encourage civil civic discourse? At the November Civic Education forum, three experts on free speech and building consensus offered their take.

Mat dos Santos (ACLU of Oregon), Michael Mills (PSU National Policy Consensus Center and Oregon Solutions Project Manager), and Wendy Willis (National Policy Consensus Center and Oregon’s Kitchen Table) shared keen insights on the state of current political dialogue, posed questions for us to consider, and provided advice on infusing respect into our conversations.


  • Good leaders aren’t afraid of opposing viewpoints — they seek them out. Mills believed it strengthened the city government when he worked under Mayor Vera Katz.
  • “Tilt” is a poker strategy to force poor play from opponents by confusing, distressing, or enraging them. Politicians and political parties are adept at this.
  • Rage is a powerful motivator and is driving politics right now. Willis talked about how sites like Facebook have ways to amplify the voices that resonate with us and confirm our biases.
  • Social media is still brand new in the context of history. Similar challenges likely existed with the advent of the printing press.
  • Authoritarianism is on the rise across the globe — sometimes in places where the people say they don’t see democracy as essential. At the same time, this is not the first period when our nation has confronted polarizing views and uncomfortable change. (Dos Santos pointed to the Civil Rights movement.)
  • In the “Marketplace of Ideas,” all ideas are voiced, and the best rise to the top. But if some voices are given outsized advantages, how can you discern those ideas the majority truly support from those that are broadcast loudest?
  • Willis contends that Americans generally share the same bucket of values — our differences lie in how we prioritize them.



  • Protests cause disruptions, from clogging traffic to driving away local business. Is the cost of democratic free speech worth it?
  • Is protest or conflict inherently uncivil?
  • Does the cost of democracy include unfettered Second Amendment rights?
  • What is the reasoning behind your rage? And “their” rage?
  • What is your vantage point? And what is “their” vantage point? Can you try to understand it?
  • What, if any, controls should there be on social media speech?



  • Join a cause you care about.
  • Talk to strangers and engage different viewpoints.
  • Rest and take care of yourself.
  • Monitor your information input.
  • Question your rage and de-escalate personal attacks.
  • Practice being uncomfortable.
  • Start small.
  • Apologize if you slip up.
  • Write to your elected officials.
  • Create a safe environment for all.


More than 70 people attended this event, which was moderated by Marge Easley of the Clackamas County League. To view a recording and hear more from the panelists, click here.


Promoting Civil Discourse – November 14

Join us for a conversation on free speech and civil discourse with Mat dos Santos (ACLU OR), Michael Mills (National Policy Consensus Center, PSU) and Wendy Willis, Executive Director of Kitchen Table Democracy and founder of Oregon’s Kitchen Table.





Tuesday, November 14, 7-9 p.m., Multnomah County Board Room, 501 SE Hawthorne Blvd.

Free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The forum will be recorded by MetroEast Community Media for rebroadcast and online streaming at www.lwvpdx.org. Funding for the recording provided by the Multnomah Bar Foundation.

Photos:    Mat dos Santos, ACLU   Michael Mills,  by Steve Bonini   Wendy Willis, PSU