“Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.”Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
As we honor the 92nd anniversary of the birth of civil rights hero, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we are reminded of his policy of nonviolent protest. The League’s mission is to promote public participation in government—nonviolently.
We know that sometimes the changes we seek require constant advocacy over time and even may take years to accomplish. However, we also know that nonviolent advocacy is more effective and long-lasting. League members talk with the elected officials who serve in our local, state and national governments. We testify at public hearings. We sometimes participate in peaceful demonstrations. And we write letters, social media posts, opinion articles and press releases to express our views.
The League always bases its advocacy on in-depth studies of the issues—on the facts, the evidence and member agreement on each study’s findings. We also make sure our advocacy conforms to our Principles. Violence and destructive acts often turn public opinion against the stated goals of protesters. But carefully researched persuasion can gradually achieve better government policies and a more inclusive, just and equitable society.
The year 2020 presented a remarkable quantity of huge challenges. Most recently, they included President Trump’s refusal to accept the verified results of the November election. His words and actions culminated in the January 6, 2021 assault on the U.S. Capitol and demonstrations at the Oregon Capitol, too.
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization. We believe in Empowering Voters and Defending Democracy. In supporting free and fair elections with information, we empower voters. In all of our work at the local, state and national levels, we defend democracy.
Our national leadership wrote: “The League condemns the attack for what it was: domestic terrorism” and issued the statement posted below on this website.
Despite the violent and frightening interruption to Congress’s mandated task of certifying the electors’ votes for president and vice president, our elected representatives returned to their constitutional duty, completing their task in the middle of the night. The rule of law prevailed. We thank them.
There will be many opinions about the consequences of those events, and many possible responses. We may feel fear, anger and deep concern for the future of our democracy. These worries, while very jarring, can also cause us to recognize the value of our democratic institutions and work even more diligently to protect them. The League has done this work for the last 100 years. We will persist in our mission, standing resolutely together with all who treasure democracy.
League of Women Voters of Portland President Debbie Kaye
Today the League of Women Voters of the United States president Dr. Deborah Turner, CEO Virginia Kase, and the full board of directors issued the following statement in response to the violent demonstrations at the U.S. Capitol:
“This is a dark day in the history of the United States of America. Today’s activity on Capitol Hill should have been a procedural exercise to finalize the 2020 election. Instead, our nation’s Capitol was attacked by domestic terrorists seeking to invalidate the will of the people.
“The actions by these terrorists have no impact on the results of the election. This violent mob was encouraged by an outgoing president who lost re-election in a free and fair election.
“Donald Trump has emboldened and empowered violent agitators, perpetuated dangerous conspiracy theories, and dishonored the office of the President. Furthermore, the members of Congress who continuously lie to the American people about the proven legitimacy of this election are also responsible for today’s horrific events. There is blood on their hands.
“The League of Women Voters of the United States calls on President Donald Trump to concede the election immediately. We call on all members of Congress to respect the certification process, condemn the actions of these terrorists, and support a peaceful inauguration on January 20th.”
All year long, the Portland League works to create “a more perfect democracy.” We invite you to share the spirit of the holiday season by giving to organizations, like ours, that are making a difference in the world for good. For 100 years, the League of Women Voters has defended democracy and empowered a community of engaged voters. Now, your Portland League is continuing this legacy into our second century! Your gift is a vote of support for all we do. THANK YOU!
Make a donation or buy a gift membership for an important voter in your life. Click on one of the “Donate” buttons in the right-hand sidebar or see other ways to support us here.
Support the League’s work to protect democracy, inform voters, conduct balanced studies of critical issues and improve government policies. With your support, LWVPDX will continue strong for the next 100 years, shaping a world where all people’s voices matter.
We are grateful to our members and donors. Thank you for supporting us.
Our best wishes for happy holidays and a bright New Year!
The League of Women Voters of Portland is participating in Giving Tuesday, December 1.
Give your friends and family the gift of a trustworthy democracy.
You can support our work to empower voters and defend democracy with a donation of $5 or more. Click on one of the donate buttons in the sidebar on the right.
You can also support us by becoming a member or giving a special voter in your life the gift of membership in the League. See our Giving Tuesday page for more details. Note that student memberships for high school or college students are just $5! Thanks for your support.