The public needs more opportunities to be involved
The League of Women Voters of Portland has sent a letter to Commissioner Eudaly and Director Suk Rhee of the Office of Community and Civic Life. We are asking for more transparency and public involvement in the work of the committee proposing changes to the section of the City Code that governs community involvement and Neighborhood Associations. We believe most Portlanders don’t know about the Code 3.96 Committee’s efforts to change the City Code. The public should have their say on changes to policies that may affect how the public interacts with our city government and the livability of Portland’s neighborhoods.
You can read the City’s information about the Code Change Committee and its proposal here: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/civic/77951
“The League recommends that once the Code 3.96 Committee determines its proposal is ready for public review, it should schedule one or more public forums to address questions and accept comments and suggestions from interested community members.”
“It is hard to tell from the initial code language available on the website what the proposed changes will mean for Neighborhood Associations and other community organizations.”
“How will the public be provided avenues to stay informed and participate in a way that ensures a conduit for public input?”
“We understand the existing contracts district coalitions have with the City may be reconfigured and other entities could be chosen to replace them sometime in the future. If that is the case, will those entities provide services to Neighborhood Associations that are similar to the services provided by the district coalition offices?”
Our Mission: Encourage Public Participation
The League works to inform all people about policies that could affect their lives and to help them have a voice in government decisions. We believe the Neighborhood Associations have “the potential for serving the public good by providing important opportunities for civic participation and improving neighborhood livability.” And, “If the current system isn’t working for community members, the League is interested in understanding why and how new systems would be better.”
You can read the whole letter here: LWV Code 3.96 committee 7-19
Want to ask or comment about what’s happening in your community? Concerned about state and national issues? Download your copy of the July 1 edition of the LWVPDX Multnomah County Directory of Elected Officials here.
The Directory of Elected Officials has phone numbers, email addresses and websites for government officials serving the people of Multnomah County. We just updated it by adding the new school board members who took office on July 1.
You can find how to contact President Trump, your U.S. Senators and Representatives, as well as state legislators, county, and city officials. You have a right to speak out on issues that concern you. Let your government know your questions and thoughts.
You can also find information in this directory about registering to vote. And there’s more contact info on this website under Advocate, Contact Elected Officials and also lots of voting info under Vote.
Make your voice heard and your vote count with information from the League of Women Voters!
Professor Joshua Douglas spoke about his new book on improving voting rights at Powell’s Books on Monday July 1, 7:30 pm.
The Book Talk was co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Portland and the League of Women Voters of Oregon.
About the Book
Told through the stories of those working on voting rights reforms, this book includes chapters on expanding voter eligibility, easing voter registration rules, making voting more convenient, giving redistricting back to the voters, pushing back on big money through local and state efforts, making the system more accountable, and improving civics education.
Thoroughly researched, this book gives anyone fed up with our current politics the ideas and tools necessary to affect change in their own communities.
About the Author
Joshua A. Douglas is a professor at the University of Kentucky College of Law. His most recent work focuses on the constitutional right to vote. He has also written extensively on election law procedure.
On Tuesday, June 4, we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the US Senate’s approval of the 19th Amendment. This amendment to the US Constitution says, “”The right of citizens…to vote shall not be denied…on account of sex.” It became effective on August 26, 1920, after three fourths of the states ratified it. During the next year, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will be sharing stories on social media using the hashtag #19thAt100. The League of Women Voters will explore the full history of 19th Amendment. We know that it was an incomplete victory. For many women, the fight for suffrage continued. Even now, the League is continuing our work to protect the voting rights of all Americans.
On February 14, 2020, the League of Women Voters will celebrate the 100th anniversary of our founding. (Read more about our history here.) As we look back on 100 years of achievements, we also will look forward. Our volunteers are working every day to help shape a better future for all.
Our work now
Right now, the LWVUS is supporting the “For the People Act” in the US Senate. This legislation would modernize and reform our election system and restore the Voting Rights Act. The LWVOR is working in the Oregon Legislature on many issues. These include protecting the environment, adequately funding state services, and advancing Oregonians’ rights. The Portland League is working to protect the rights of the people of Multnomah County. In addition, for every election, we provide nonpartisan voting information, so voters will know about the candidates and issues.
The League is proud to be nonpartisan. We neither support nor oppose any candidate or political party. Yet we are always working on vital issues of concern to the public.
ninth Circuit hearing on climate
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Portland, Oregon heard the constitutional youth climate lawsuit, Juliana v. United States, on June 4, 2019. Counsel for youth plaintiffs, Julia Olson, argued on their behalf and an attorney from the Department of Justice argued on behalf of the federal government. The League of Women Voters supports the young people in their climate lawsuit against the US Government. You can view a recording of the hearing here.
What It’s about
In 2015, 21 young Americans filed a lawsuit ( Juliana v. United States) against the federal government for knowingly contributing to climate change and violating their constitutional rights. The Juliana v. US lawsuit established that young people have a constitutional right to “a climate system capable of sustaining human life.” That right is being violated.
the Portland Rally!
Hundreds of people rallied in Portand and watched a livestream of oral arguments at Director Park in downtown Portland. There was a press conference with the young plaintiffs following the hearing. In March 2019, Multnomah County, OR, filed a brief supporting the plaintiffs. Chair Kafoury and Multnomah Commissioners attended the rally.
The YouTube video of the hearing had 4,890 views by the evening of June 4.