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.
Setting our course for 2021-22
On May 19, the League of Women Voters of Portland held our Annual Membership Business Meeting. Our job was to elect our 2021-22 Board of Directors, approve a budget and prepare for the year ahead. For fun, we envisioned the meeting as a cruise on the LWV Member-Ship of Opportunity. A few board members – all fully vaccinated – dressed as a crew of sailors. This crew steered the ship from our new office “wheelhouse.” Our passengers participated by Zoom. During the “cruise,” we accomplished a lot and enjoyed the adventure. For more information about the work we did, see this webpage.
A quick review of the past year
At the beginning of the “cruise,” we played a video created by another one of our board members. Although she is not pictured above, Audrey has helped us in many ways this past year. This one-minute video is a very quick overview of highlights of our 2020-21 year.
Watch the Video of the Forum with Candidates for the Portland School Board.
Click on the arrow below to hear school board candidates answer questions about district issues and why they are running.
Note that the timer is shown on wide shots, along with the moderator and the seven candidates. In order to assure that each candidate had a fair and equal chance to explain their views, we timed their answers. We asked them to stick to the time limits.
For voters who preferred to watch this video on public access TV, here was the schedule of replays:
The May 18 Special Election features candidates for school boards and special districts in Multnomah County. Election Information is on VOTE411.org and on the May School Board & Special Election page on this website. We add more information as soon as it is available. To vote in this election, you must have registered by no later than April 27, 2021.
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.
This video explains what’s being done now in Oregon to address our climate crisis. An expert panel discusses ways to reduce carbon emissions, while also providing jobs and improving the environment. The speakers represent the Portland Clean Energy Fund, Verde, Oregon Business for Climate, and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. Listen as they discuss their priorities and projects. Click the arrow below.