On August 24, LWVPDX Action Chair Debbie Aiona testified before the Portland City Council on the proposed Portland Committee on Community-Engaged Policing (PCCEP). She expressed appreciation for the steps being taken to involve the public in the selection of PCCEP members, while also strongly recommending that all PCCEP meetings be open to the public. Read all of her testimony here.
Join us September 16!
Come learn about “Innovations in Public Education,” in Portland area schools. On Monday, September 16, we’ll hear from an exciting group of dedicated educators, who have found innovative ways to foster learning and equity for students. The panel discussion will be 7 – 8:30 PM on Monday September 16, at the Multnomah County Boardroom, 501 SE Hawthorne Boulevard, Portland. (See map.)
The panel will include:
- Guadalupe Guerrero, Superintendent of Portland Public Schools, who previously was Deputy Superintendent of Instruction, Innovation and Social Justice for the San Francisco Unified School District
- Matthew Utterback, Superintendent of North Clackamas School District, who was recognized nationally as Superintendent of the Year in 2017
- Kevin Bacon, Director of “3 to PhD,” who leads an innovative collaboration between Concordia University and Faubion Public School
- Lisa Collins, Education Through Engagement, LLC, who consults on equitable practices for students and educators in collaboration with Zarretta Hammond and Dr. Muhammad Khalifa at the University of Minnesota
The Portland League’s Education Interest Group has helped organize this panel and plan the program.
Free and open to the public
The League of Women Voters Civic Education programs are free and open to the public. Programs are designed to inform our community about current issues. Please join us for this program and the next program in October on local ballot measures for the November 5, 2019 Special Election.
Parking is available on the street. The Multnomah County Board Room at 501 SE Hawthorne Boulevard also is easily accessed by public transportation. TriMet options include bus lines 4, 6, 10, 14, 15, and the Portland Streetcar.
MetroEast Community Media records these programs for rebroadcast and online streaming from www.lwvpdx.org. The Carol & Velma Saling Foundation has provided funding for the recordings.
Are you worried about the influence of BIG money on politics? The League is! Come weigh in on next steps for campaign finance reform in Oregon.
Representative Dan Rayfield, who helped lead the charge for campaign finance reform in the 2019 Legislature, is hosting a series of forums around Oregon.
PORTLAND AREA FORUMS
- Tuesday, September 10th, from 7:00-8:30pm
- Clackamas Community College, Harmony Community Room–7738 SE Harmony Rd, Milwaukie, OR 97222;
- OR Wednesday, September 11th, from 6:00-7:45pm
- Midland Library –805 SE 122nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97233
What will be covered
Each forum will include:
- a 20-minute presentation on the history and politics of campaign finance reform in Oregon
- a 20-minute discussion of the recently passed campaign finance reform legislation
- a 40-minute community discussion on various campaign finance limit goals and proposals
Oregon is one of five states without campaign contribution limits.
“We believe this statewide tour will help drive a local conversation about campaign finance reform and keep pressure on the legislature to pass a campaign contribution limits,” said Rebecca Gladstone, President of the League of Women Voters of Oregon.
“We made real progress on campaign finance reform during the session, but it’s not enough,” said Rayfield.“We need to do more in 2020 and I want to hear directly from Oregonians on what they want their campaign finance system to look like.”
see what the League is doing
The League of Women Voters of Portland and the Oregon LWV have filed a “Friend of the Court” brief in the Oregon Supreme Court. It supports the campaign contribution limits passed by voters in Multnomah County. See our earlier post here.
See the list of Upcoming Events in our sidebar to the right.
- August 26 on the Portland Police Association contract
- September 16 on Innovations in Education
Promoting public involvement is central to the Portland League’s mission. We believe our democracy works best when the public is involved in decision making.
Letter to City Council
On July 16, we advocated for more public involvement in the process of changing city code. (Click here to see our earlier post.)
Our July 30 letter says in part:
…we recommend a robust public engagement process leading into the 2020 negotiations. …we urge you to ensure that the upcoming process involves the community so that their input will have an impact on the outcome.
Portland is a stronger and more vibrant place when its people can bring their skills, knowledge, and lived experiences to the policymaking process.
You can read the entire letter here.
A Related event
The Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition for Justice and Police Reform is sponsoring a forum about the contract. Here are details.
- Community forum on the Portland Police Association Contract
- Monday, August 26 from 6-7:30 PM
- Maranatha Church, 4222 NE 12th at Skidmore.
- A 20-minute presentation on background; then community input.
We are saddened by the recent mass shootings in El Paso,TX and in the “Oregon District” of Dayton, OH. There have now been 251 mass shootings in the US this year! But mass shootings are only part of the problem. We also have too many gun suicides and accidents. Preventing gun deaths is a priority for the League.
Gun Safety Advocacy
The LWV of Oregon has been advocating for better gun safety for many years. Responsible gun owners DO support practical measures to prevent gun deaths. LWVOR advocated for the passage of Oregon’s current laws to keep guns out of the hands of people who are identified as a danger to themselves and others. We also support secure gun storage and requirements to report stolen guns. The following appalling statistics show how urgent this issue has become in the US.
Some sobering Statistics
According to the National Center for Health Statistics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2017, 486 people in the United States died of unintentional gun injuries. 23,854 people committed suicide with a gun and 14,542 people were intentionally killed by gun injuries. About 10 percent of these deaths were children. Among U.S. adolescents and young adults 10-24 years old, gun homicides are the third leading cause of death; gun suicides are the second. In 2010, 15,576 children were treated for gun injuries in U.S. emergency departments, and 1,970 of them died. The medical cost of treating gun injuries in children alone was over $330 million in 2010
Studies have found that adolescents’ risk for suicide increases as their access to firearms increases. Suicide attempts in children are more likely to be successful when they have access to lethal weapons: 90 percent of suicide attempts with guns are successful, compared to less than 5 percent of suicide attempts using less lethal means, like medications or sharp objects. The risk for unintentional injury and suicide in children is reduced by 73 percent when guns are kept locked, and by 70 percent when they are kept unloaded.
Stolen guns represent a significant factor contributing to gun violence. More than 237,000 guns nationwide were reported stolen to the National Crime Information Center in 2016, a database maintained by the FBI. That represents a 68 percent increase in stolen weapons reported to the FBI since 2005. In addition, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has estimated that 500,000 guns are stolen annually from residences, many of which are never reported. A 2010 study by Mayors Against Illegal Guns found that, per capita, states without lost or stolen reporting laws are the source of more than 2.5 times as many crime guns recovered in other states as states with a lost or stolen reporting requirement.*
2019 Gun Safety Bills
In the recently completed 2019 Oregon legislative session, House Bill 2013 passed and is now law. It closed loopholes in the law to prevent people from possessing guns, if they are likely to harm themselves or others. The LWVOR also supported Senate Bill 978, which unfortunately died in committee. It would have required secure methods of storing and locking guns and prompt reporting of stolen guns. Here is the League testimony supporting these bills. HB 2013 Testimony. SB 978 Testimony.
The League of Women Voters of Portland held a Civic Panel Discussion on Gun Safety in 2017, which is summarized in our Gun Safety Highlights Video here.
*Statistics quoted from the Oregon Legislative Staff’s Background for 2019 Senate Bill 978, a gun safety bill that LWVOR strongly supported.
Support for Limiting MoNey in Politics
The League of Women Voters of Oregon and the League of Women Voters of Portland have submitted a Friend of the Court Brief (Amicus Brief) to the Oregon Supreme Court. We are supporting the right of voters to limit campaign contributions in Multnomah County elections. In 2016, Multnomah County voters passed Ballot Measure 26-184 with 89% yes votes! It was an outstanding victory for reforming money in politics. If enacted, the measure would limit campaign contributions to $500 or less per person for each candidate. It would not allow contributions to candidates from corporations. It also would require that candidates disclose their five largest donors in campaign ads.
The League strongly believes in reducing the influence of money in politics. So we support Multnomah County in arguing that the measure should take effect. You can read our Brief here: S066445_amicus_brief_lwvor
The case before the Oregon Supreme Court is about the constitutionality of campaign contribution limits in Oregon.
Opponents of the measure argue that limiting campaign contributions violates the free speech clause in Oregon’s Constitution. However, 45 other states have limits on contributions to candidates and 37 of them have free speech clauses in their constitutions. There is persuasive evidence that large donations give donors more access to lawmakers and more influence over the laws that are passed or defeated. In addition, Oregon is the only state that doesn’t identify the sources of funding for political ads. Our Brief cites these reasons to show that the measure is constitutional.
We understand that the Supreme Court will hear this case on November 1, 2019.