Do you think Portland should have a city manager? Should city commissioners be elected by districts? Does the Portland City Council need more members? Should the City Council be primarily a legislative body (and not also an administrative one)?
League members and the public are invited to share their thoughts with the Portland City Charter Review Commission. The commission has decided to focus their initial research on two topics. These may result in ballot measures in the November 2022 election, if they identify the need for change:
the city’s form of government;
the election methods used for selecting city councilors.
After the Portland League restudied our city government in 2017-19, we adopted our current 2020 LWVPDX position. This position features the two topics the commission selected (as well as several other topics). Here is an excerpt from our position:
“The highest priorities for change are to improve citizen representation by increasing the number of commissioners, to institute a city manager, and to establish the city council as a legislative or policy-setting body. We also support electing some or all city councilors by district.”
Transparency is important too
The issue of transparency in city government is also of concern to the League; we offered testimony about it to the Commission in June, and will follow up this topic next year when the Commission returns to study the issue.
How to share your ideas
The Commission accepts written public comment from Portlanders at any time, not only at meetings. Now is the time to share your support for changes in these two important areas! We encourage you to submit a public comment about why these two topics are important to you. If you are a League member, please remember that when you do so, you are testifying as a private individual and not as a representative of LWVPDX. If you agree with the League’s positions, you may quote LWVPDX statements in your testimony as a private individual. Of course you also may offer your own ideas or ideas from other organizations. (Learn more about League testimony guidelines here.)
Three steps to speaking out at this important moment:
Read some background about the Commission’s two subcommittees on Form of Government and City Council Elections.
Announcing a new LWV of Oregon Study and LWV of Portland Video on Pesticides
What are the best ways to control pests, while also protecting our environment and people’s health? To address these issues, the League of Women Voters of Oregon has published a study report on improving the safe use of pesticides in Oregon. You can read the full study report at the LWVOR.org website.
To supplement the study, the Portland League has recorded a panel discussion on what Oregonians should know about pesticides. The video recording of this presentation may be viewed by clicking on the arrow below.
The distinguished panel in the video presentation includes:
Amelia Nestler, PhD, Chair of the League Study and Senior Scientist at Northwest Green Chemistry
Kevin Masterson, Toxics Coordinator, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Lisa Arkin, Executive Director, Beyond Toxics
Andrea Sonnen, Enforcement Case Reviewer, Interim Pesticides Lead Investigator, Oregon Department of Agriculture – Pesticides Program
Stephanie Page, Director, Natural Resources Program Area, Oregon Department of Agriculture (participating for the Q & A)
Moderator,Paula Grisafi, Co-Chair of study.
The study identified five key areas of pesticide policy to be considered, with recommendations for action. These include 1) Education, Training and Labeling, 2) Transparency and Information Gathering, 3) Funding, Research, and Evaluation, 4) Adaptive Management and Integrated Pest Management, and 5) Burden of Proof and the Precautionary Principle.
During the fall of 2021, local Leagues throughout Oregon discussed the study and video. The goal is to find consensus on how the League should support or oppose policies that will affect the use of pesticides and biocides in the future.
MetroEast Community Media records Portland League programs for rebroadcast and online streaming from lwvpdx.org . Funding is provided by the Carol & Velma Saling Foundation.
To find recordings of previous LWVPDX panels on community issues, click here.
The death of George Floyd has focused attention on the injustice and discrimination African Americans face in our nation.
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.
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.
Portland League members voted to conduct this two-year restudy of city government in May 2017. Members realized that Portland’s voters needed more up-to-date and complete information to decide on possible changes to the City Charter.
The restudy looks closely at many parts of our current government. It examines strengths and weaknesses of the government’s structure and then explores different options for changing it. The goal is to provide useful ideas for how to improve the government so it serves the people of Portland as well as possible.