Programs/Events – Free and Open to the Public

still from video of panel discussion
LWV of Portland Panel Discussion

The LWV of Portland presents free community education programs (often panel discussions) for members and the public. These programs (formerly called Civics Education programs) cover current public policy issues. We usually schedule these in the evenings in the months of September, October, November, February, March and April.

Before the pandemic, these events were held in the Multnomah County Board Room at 501 SE Hawthorne Boulevard in Portland. For local and state elections, the program may be a candidate or ballot measure forum. Recordings of election forums are posted under the election date in the Vote menu for this website. After mid-March 2020, in-person events were changed to online Zoom events because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

MetroEast logo

MetroEast Community Media produces videos of all the Portland League’s public events. You can view the recorded videos from the League of Women Voters of Portland YouTube channel. Click here to see them. Since 2021, we also have produced podcasts of each community education program. Listen to the podcasts on our Buzzsprout website here: 

You can find notices of upcoming events in the sidebar to the right of each page on this website. Descriptions of each event are often posted on the homepage of this website a few weeks before the event.

2023-24 Programs

September 19, 2023, via Zoom, Portland is Changing! Charter Implementation Successes and Challenges. The video recording of this event is here. Listen to the podcast of this program by clicking here.

October 11, 2023, via Zoom, panel discussion on progress in creating a Community Board for Police Accountability. The video of this event is here. You can listen to the podcast by clicking here.

November 15 2023 via Zoom: Transportation Challenges for Portland and Beyond. The video of this webinar is here. The podcast is here.

March 13, 2024 “Solutions to our Affordable Housing Crisis”  Panelists : Representative Mark Gamba, Oregon Legislature; Brian Hoop, Director, Housing Oregon; Dominique Merriweather (Dom), Executive Director, Proud Ground; Elsa Natal, Director of Affordable Housing for Our Just Future. The video of this event is here. For the podcast is click here.

April 10, 2024  “Portland Public Schools, Opportunities and Challenges Ahead”  Panelists: Dr. Sandy Husk, Portland Public Schools Interim Superintendent; Michelle DePass is a PPS Board of Directors member; William Fernandez, Senior Professional Development Officer, Office of Research, Assessment and Accountability; Kristina Howard, Interim Chief Academic Officer, Senior Director, Teacher Professional Learning, Office of Teaching and Learning. The link to the video is here. Listen to the podcast here.

2022-23 Programs

September 2022, via Zoom with video and podcast recordings: Explaining Measure 26-228, Portland Charter Reform. Julia Meier, Charter Commission Program Manager, and three commission members explained details about the ballot measure and answered audience questions. The podcast is available here. (Separately, we presented a voter service forum on Measure 26-228 with pro and con speakers. The podcast of the forum is here.

October 2022, via Zoom with video and podcast recordings: Gun Safety, Responsible Use & Policy. The program focused on measures to prevent gun violence and injuries, and to ensure safety in our schools and neighborhoods. The Gun Safety podcast is available here.

November 2022: Election Debrief. An analysis of the 2022 General Election results. View the recording here. Listen to the podcast by clicking here.

February 2023: Progress and Challenges for Portland Police and Policing Alternatives: a panel discussion about police training, police compliance with the US Department of Justice Settlement Agreement, and projects such as Portland Street Response which send unarmed professionals to intervene in low-risk or nonviolent confrontations. The video recording is here. The podcast is here.

April 2023: Mental and Behavioral Health, Housing and Homelessness. A panel discussion about chronic homelessness as a public health issue; the consequences of not providing health care to people with mental illness or addiction, who have experienced trauma resulting from homelessness; and the lack of shelters, beds, and extremely low-income housing. They also discuss some successful programs to help. View the video here. The podcast is here.

2021-22 programs

Since the beginning of the pandemic, most of our Community Education programs have been conducted by Zoom. However, our October 2021 event was a very dynamic demonstration, held in person with appropriate precautions. Here are the public events we presented in the fall of 2021 and spring of 2022. Podcasts of these events are on our Buzzsprout webpage here:

  • September 2021, via Zoom and video recording, Pesticides: Balancing Benefits & Risks. To supplement information in the LWV of Oregon study on Pesticides and Other Biocides, the Portland LWV presented a panel discussion on how to improve the safe use of pesticides. The recording is available here.
  • October 2021, a Portland LWV event for social studies teachers and students on using the Case Method for teaching High School Civics and US History. For more information see: Engaging Students in Civics & History here. Click here to view a seven-minute video about the event and benefits of the method.
  • November 2021, via Zoom and video recording, Immigration and Refugee Resettlement. A panel of experts from government and nonprofits, including former refugees, explained legislation and services to help new immigrants. View the video here. Listen to the podcast by searching LWVPDX PODCASTS on your favorite app.
  • February 2022, via Zoom, video recording and podcast, Portland Charter Review Commission. Members of the commission explained the process and answered questions about their goals and plans.
  • March 2022, via Zoom, video and podcast, Climate on an International Scale: Notes from COP26. Five LWV members who attended the November 2021 UN Climate Conference in Glasgow discussed what they learned about the world’s efforts to combat climate change.

2020-21 programs

  • September 2020, the Future of Health Care in America and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The LWV of Portland, with the assistance of MetroEast Community Media, recorded a Zoom panel discussion with health experts. You can view that recording here.
  • September & October 2020, 2020 General Election Videos of  Voter Forums and 2020 Video Voters’ Guide.
  • November 2020, Election Debrief: Now What?, with expert political analysts speaking about the election’s impacts on our city, state and nation. The recording is available for viewing here.
  • February 2021, From Houseless to Housing and Services, with speakers from various local organizations that provide services for our houseless population. The recording of this panel discussion can viewed here.
  • March 2021, a panel discussion on Climate Change: Here and Now, which can be viewed here.
  • April 2021, Portland Police Bureau: Oversight and Accountability, a panel discussion with people who are working on police accountability, training and legislation. View the recording of this discussion here.

2019-20 programs

  • September 16, 2019 – Innovations in Public Education, on Monday, September 16, 7 to 8:30 pm, Multnomah County Boardroom, 501 SE Hawthorne. View the video recording here.
  • The 20-minute video of the highlights from the discussion of Education Innovations is here.
  • October 21, 2019 (Monday)  – Election Forum on local ballot measures in the November 5 Special Election, 6:30-8:30 pm, Multnomah County Boardroom, 501 SE Hawthorne.  View the recordings under November 5 Special Election here.
  • November 12, 2019 – Portland’s City Government – Results of the study by the League of Women Voters of Portland on criteria for effective governments and whether the structure of our current city government is serving us effectively. 7:00-8:30 pm, Multnomah County Boardroom, 501 SE Hawthorne. You can view the video recording here.
  • March 10, 2020, Privacy and Cybersecurity Today, panel discussion with presentations by LWV of Oregon President Becky Gladstone with an overview of the LWVOR study, Director of Multnomah County Elections Tim Scott on election security, and Lane Powell attorney Emily Maass on corporate and personal security, 7:00-8:30 pm, Multnomah County Boardroom, 501 SE Hawthorne. Click here to view the video of this event.
  • Our plans for April 7, April 23 and April 28, 2020 Primary Election Forums were cancelled due to the coronavirus restrictions on public gatherings. Instead, the League interviewed dozens of Primary Election candidates via Zoom. With the help of our media partner, MetroEast, we created a Video Voters’ Guide.

2018-19 programs

The theme for 2018-19 was Justice. Links to the videos of these programs are below.

highlights video excerpts from 2017-2020 programs

The theme for Community or Civic Education programs in 2016-17 and in 2017-18 was Resources for Making Democracy Work. The free programs were recorded by MetroEast Community Media and are available for online viewing on the LWV of Portland YouTube channel.

We took excerpts from the full-length videos to produce shorter  20-minute “Highlights” videos. To watch these Highlights videos, click  on any of the titles below.

Gun Safety Highlights

Oregon Budget Highlights

Lobbying the Legislature Highlights

Civil Discourse Highlights

Homeless Voices Highlights

Reducing Portland’s Carbon Footprint Highlights

Juvenile Justice Highlights

Immigration Justice Highlights

Working Women’s Rights Highlights

Education Innovations Highlights

(In December, January and May, special programs are open to members and their guests.)

Click below for full-length recordings of the 2017-18 panel discussions:

September 12, 2017, Back to the Future: Revisiting Oregon’s Budget (how Oregon will thrive in the current fiscal environment)

October 10, 2017, Make your Voice Heard in the Legislature; How to effectively communicate with legislators.

November 14, 2017, Promoting Civil Discourse

December 5, 2017, Winter Party (members and guests)

January 16, 2018, Media Luncheon: Portland’s Pressing Problems (members and guests)

February 13, 2018, Voices of Homelessness

March 13, 2018, Reducing Portland’s Carbon Footprint

April 10 and 24, 2018, Primary Election Forums with local candidates

May 2018, Local Membership Convention

The topics for the recorded programs in 2016-17 were:

Four 2016 Ballot Measures and the Oregon Budget

Debates on Three Local Ballot Measures: 26 179 Affordable Housing, 26 183 Appointed Sheriff, and 26 184 Campaign Finance Reform

A three-part forum on “Election Methods: Is There a Better Way to Vote?” – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Prioritizing the Needs of Public Higher Education in Oregon

Gun Safety: Responsible Use, Responsible Policy

Stand for Science

A two-part Candidate forum for the Portland Public School Board: Zones 4 & 5, Zone 6