“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

OCT. 24 Pub Night Social – Join In!

Relax, socialize and learn about the League!

Tuesday, October 24, from 5:30 – 7:30 PM


with a special short presentation at 6:15.

Lucky Lab1700 N Killingsworth.

Party room to the left of the main entrance.

  • Bring your energy, enthusiasm and questions as you hear where the League is focused right now.
  • Talk with members new and old about local issues, your concerns, yourself!
  • Learn how to engage with the action agenda, help design civic education programs, register voters, spread League news on social media, and support our office according to your interests, skills, and free time.
  • Enjoy food and drinks available for purchase.


Easy public transportation via yellow MAX line  or Bus 72 to Interstate/Killingsworth stop; plenty of on-street parking

The League is rising to the challenge

of “making a more perfect democracy.”