Learn about Charter Reform

The Charter Reform Ballot Measure will be on Portland Voters’ Ballots Nov. 8!  LWV of Portland presented a Live Zoom Webinar about the Measure in September 

Watch the video from this event about how and why the Portland Charter Commission decided to recommend major reforms for Portland’s government structure and our process for electing city officials. Our panelists explained the Charter Commission’s recommended changes.  Attendees were able to ask questions via the Chat feature on Zoom.

PANELISTS

    • Julia Meier, the Charter Commission Project Manager
    • Charter Commissioner Candace Avalos
    • Charter Commissioner Becca Uherbelau
    • Charter Commissioner Melanie Billings-Yun

Video & Podcast Available by Sept. 10

The video is posted on our YouTube Channel.  A link is in the post at the top of this webpage.

Major Reforms Were Discussed

    • A City Administrator, supervised by the Mayor, would manage daily operations, including hiring, firing, and supervising bureau directors.
    • The City Council would grow from five to twelve members, with three Councilors elected to represent each of four geographic districts.
    • The Council would make laws, but no longer supervise bureaus. The Mayor may introduce laws and vote to break ties.
    • City elections would use a “ranked choice voting” process that allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference.

Thanks to our media partner and sponsor

MetroEast Community Media records Portland League programs for rebroadcast and online streaming.  Funding was provided by the Carol & Velma Saling Foundation and the Wyss Foundation.

League of Women Voters of Portland Endorses 2022 Charter Amendment

Portland City Hall by M.O. Stevens – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10470949
It is time to make Portland’s government more responsive, representative and effective.

At its June 29 meeting, the LWVPDX board voted to endorse the Portland Charter Commission’s proposed amendments to the City Charter. After in-depth studies of Portland’s government and of alternative voting methods,  LWVPDX concluded that the proposed amendments will substantially improve our city government. The amendments will be included in a ballot measure for the November 8, 2022, General Election.

The main charter reform proposals are to:
    • Elect candidates using ranked choice voting.
    • Increase the size of the  City Council to 12 members, electing three members each from four new geographic districts.
    • Establish City Council as a legislative body, without its current administrative responsibilities.  
    • Elect the Mayor citywide to run day-to-day operations along with a professional City Administrator.
Why approve these changes?
    • Proportional ranked choice voting can allow voters to elect a more representative council.  A significant majority of voters will be able to elect city councilors who represent their interests and concerns.
    • District elections with proportional ranked choice voting give Portlanders the power to elect a City Council that reflects the population they serve.
    • A larger City Council will be more responsive to our growing city population. Our population is more than 3 times larger than it was when the current 4-member council (plus the mayor) was established.
    • A legislative city council without administrative responsibilities can devote more time to setting policies and responding to constituent concerns.
    • Delegating the administrative duties to the Mayor and a professional City Administrator provides more effective management of bureaus.
    • Separating the legislative and administrative functions of government allows more accountability. The public knows who is responsible for policy-making, appropriations, and spending.

Learn more about the Charter Commission and LWVPDX’s advocacy with the Commission here. In the next few months, look for more information about how these changes would benefit Portland.

LWV and Advocacy

As a non-profit organization, LWVPDX balances advocacy and voter information.  LWVPDX’s advocacy arm can endorse a campaign or advocate on an issue.  LWVPDX’s voter services provide balanced, objective informational resources about all sides of a campaign. Across all its work, LWV is nonpartisan and will never support or oppose a candidate or party.

LWV Response to SCOTUS on Roe v. Wade

The Supreme Court ruling  overturning  Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey is a watershed moment for America, deeply affecting not just the fate of women and every person who gets pregnant in this country, but every single person. We know this weighs heavily on the minds of our members and the people in our community.

We are in a fight to make sure everyone has the power to control their own bodies, lives, and futures. Our national organization has and will continue to advocate consistently, persistently, and effectively on this issue. Beyond that, your LWVPDX Board of Directors wants to boldly proclaim that democracy needs women. Because human rights, reproductive rights, and democratic representation are not separate issues. Because in order for a democracy to fulfill its purpose, it must be for the people and therefore by the people — all of the people.

You can read the statement by LWVUS on the this ruling here. Know that you are not alone. Through the League, you are working for positive change.

LWV in the 2022 Grand Floral Parade

On June 11, the League of Women Voters participated as a Special Entry in the Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade . League members from Portland and Clackamas County and friends were celebrating the 102nd anniversary of the 19th Amendment granting American women the right to vote. They dressed in white – the color worn by women suffragists more than a century ago – and wore “Votes for Women” sashes. Since its founding, the League of Women Voters has worked to promote democracy and  improve governmental policies. Information on this website demonstrates the many ways the League continues to support voters and advocate for better policies. 2022 is also the 102nd anniversary of the founding of the League of Women Voters.

Gun Safety for all Oregonians

As we all know, gun violence has reached a crisis point in our state and in the nation. You can help make Oregon a safer place for children, racial minorities – and all of us. You can sign and help gather signatures for Initiative Petition 17, a statewide gun safety initiative sponsored by Lift Every Voice Oregon (LEVO) and endorsed by the League of Women Voters of Oregon.

The initiative is now in the signature-gathering phase with the goal of placing it on the November ballot. The campaign is relying heavily on volunteer support, and we are asking our members and friends for their help before the July 6 deadline.

ACTION REQUESTED: Please go to www.lifteveryvoiceoregon.com.
  • If you’d like to download and sign a one-signature petition sheet, please click “Sign Initiative Petition from Home.” After signing, you must also complete the circulator information at the bottom before mailing to the address provided.
  • If you’re willing to gather multiple signatures, click “Train to Gather Signatures” and follow the instructions provided.
  • Please get the word out to friends and family members about IP 17 and how they can be part of the solution to prevent gun violence.

THANK YOU!

Here’s a brief summary of the initiative:
  • Requires a permit-to-purchase for all firearm purchases, which includes classroom and live-fire safety training. This is the gold standard for gun safety regulations and has a proven track record of reducing gun violence where enacted.
  • Requires a background check before purchasing a firearm, and no sale is complete before the check is completed.
  • Includes an improved database system to assist the tracking of guns that are lost, stolen, or used to commit crimes.
  • Prohibits the manufacture, sale, transfer, and possession of magazines over 10 rounds, with exceptions for law enforcement and military. Nine states and D.C. have already enacted such bans.