Improving Police Oversight

Speaking out again for better community oversight of police

The Portland League has sent testimony to the City Council, supporting Commissioner Hardesty’s proposed charter amendment on police oversight. The City Council will discuss this proposal on Wednesday, July 29, at 3:30.

Below is an excerpt from our testimony. You can read the whole statement here.

Although we recognize that it will take more than a charter change, this proposal has the potential to bring us much closer to the type of system envisioned by the majority of Mayor Katz’s workgroup in 2000. That workgroup called for an independent civilian agency guided by a community board with the power to investigate complaints of police misconduct, compel officer testimony, and make policy recommendations to the police bureau and city council.

In addition, the League’s testimony recommends building on the successful parts of our current oversight system. We also believe that improving the current system requires input from the community.

A LOT is happening!

So many important things are happening at once! Here are links to the posts and pages about them:

Thorough Public Process – Key to Code Change

Part of the League’s letter

On November 12, 2019, the League submitted comments to the City Council about the process for changing  City Code Chapter 3.96. This part of the City Code governs the way the Office of Community and Civic Life engages with people in Portland.  Action Chair Debbie Aiona also testified  at the Council’s November 14 hearing.

The City Council resolution calls for a multi-bureau work group to carry out the next phase of this process. The League urges opening the work group’s meetings to the public for observation. We also  recommend following up the work group’s proposals with a thorough public process that includes a broad group of Portlanders.

You can read our testimony here.

New Directory of Elected Officials – Your Voice Counts

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.

More Info

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!

 

The LWV Way: Study First!

Early LWV History

(Excerpts from More Power than We Knew, A History of the League of Women Voters of Oregon: 1920-2012)

“In 1920, when the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted, Oregon women already had the right to vote…In 1912, Oregon became the ninth state to grant full suffrage to women.”

When the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NASWA) held its 50th anniversary convention in March 1919, “The call to the convention included an invitation to ‘the women voters of the fifteen full suffrage states*…to join their forces in a League of Women Voters, one of whose objects shall be to speed the suffrage campaign in our own and other countries.’”… “(T)he governing council of the new League decided to recommend as its first activity a study of state laws having to do with education and the legal status of women. That recommendation set the pattern the League was to follow all its life—study first, then action.

Today –

 “Study first, then action.” This is the process the League of Women Voters has followed since its beginning. Our activities are based upon thorough, balanced studies of public policy issues.

  • We offer nonpartisan and unbiased information to voters through our voter service activities, such as election forums, debates and carefully researched voting guides.
  • We conduct multiyear studies of governmental, environmental and social issues. Our study committees read relevant research and interview experts and advocates representing many different viewpoints. The committees publish reports about what they have learned. LWV members and the public can read these reports online or in print.
  • When LWV members discuss a study, they may come to an agreement about how to address the issues. Their discussions lead to our advocacy positions

The League of Women Voters of Portland is now finishing a restudy of Portland’s City Government. The League of Women Voters of Oregon recently completed a study of Hard Rock Mining in Oregon. Also, LWVOR members just voted to study Cyber Security and Privacy and Pesticides and other Biocides in Oregon. You can read about all these studies here. Then you can view our advocacy positions, based on previous studies, here.

 

*States granting women the right to vote prior to the 19th Amendment: Wyoming 1890, Colorado 1893, Utah 1896, Idaho 1896, Washington 1910, California 1911, Arizona 1912, Kansas 1912, Oregon 1912, Montana 1914, Nevada 1914, New York 1917, Michigan 1918, Oklahoma 1918, South Dakota 1918

Source: National Constitution Center