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President's Newsletter - May 2023

Dear Members and friends,

Here’s to the most beautiful May Day! I’m sending virtual May Day doorknob baskets to each of you!

As our LWVOR Convention nears, I invite you to look forward with me. We are seeing transitions, new growth in the League, and promising new leaders as we face chilling challenges to step up and defend our values. The last few years have been, well, an example of the probably English expression that is both a blessing and a curse: “May you live in interesting times!”

With thanks to our hard-working Board, our members, our committees, our lateral communications work groups, our donors, our staff, and to our colleagues, I urge you to take care of yourselves and each other. To pace yourselves for the work ahead, to include time to refresh. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as President and to keep in touch with these 1st of the month newsletters. I am crossing my fingers to be elected as incoming LWVOR Action Chair and looking forward to hearing what you’ll each be doing!

Thank you for being part of the League Team!

Becky Gladstone, outgoing LWVOR President



It is truly time to REGISTER for the LWVOR Convention! Delegates, please register through your leadership (leaders will register their delegates as a group). Observers, we can still make room for you. One Action member, who will be coming and handing out bumper stickers, asked why she should attend. Here are some reasons:

  • Speakers: Come to hear our keynote speaker Les Zaitz, a publisher of local Oregon newspapers, on “Free Press and the Survival of Democracy”. Feels *so very local* and newly urgent–last week, OPB reported “Rogue Valley station KTVL to lay off all news employees, staffer says.”

  • Action! Talk to our Action volunteers about news from the Legislature. Bring your questions from reading our Legislative Reports and find out how you can help.

  • Voter Service Reps: Meet and thank them! is live now and ballots are in the mail for our May 16 primary! All their work behind the scenes, collecting candidate contact info and reaching out to them, inviting them to share their campaign info with voters!

  • Youth Outreach: Come to meet newly elected Youth Council leaders and members attending. They are extraordinary. They are *our future*!

  • Bylaws changes: VOTE on a gradual transition to annual meetings and Nominating Committee changes. This will be a start to talk about our processes.

  • Studies: VOTE on proposed studies.

  • Workshops: A pre-Convention tutorial, Youth Engagement, a 1st Amendment Panel, and Climate Change, LWVUS activities.

  • Caucus! Set up and offer one of your own, spur of the moment!


Eugene author Lauren Kessler’s just won the Oregon Book of the Year for General Non-Fiction!

"95% of the millions of American men and women who go to prison eventually get out. What happens to them?"

From the book description:

There's Arnoldo, who came of age inside a maximum security penitentiary, now free after nineteen years. Trevor and Catherine, who spent half of their young lives behind bars for terrible crimes committed when they were kids. Dave, inside the walls for 34 years, now about to re-enter an unrecognizable world. Vicki, a five-time loser who had cycled in and out of prison for more than a third of her life. They are simultaneously joyful and overwhelmed at the prospect of freedom. Anxious, confused, sometimes terrified, and often ill-prepared to face the challenges of the free world, all are intent on reclaiming and remaking their lives. What is the road they must travel from caged to free? How do they navigate their way home? A gripping and empathetic work of immersion reportage, Free reveals what awaits them and the hundreds of thousands of others who are released from prison every year: the first rush of freedom followed quickly by institutionalized obstacles and logistical roadblocks, grinding bureaucracies, lack of resources, societal stigmas and damning self-perceptions, the sometimes overwhelming psychological challenges. Veteran reporter Lauren Kessler, both clear-eyed and compassionate, follows six people whose diverse stories paint an intimate portrait of struggle, persistence, and resilience. The truth—the many truths—about life after lockup is more interesting, more nuanced, and both more troubling and more deeply triumphant than we know.

Thank you for reading!

To each of you, please accept my heartfelt gratitude for making this team work with your curiosity, dedication, dogged persistence, senses of humor, and civility.

I am proud to be part of this organization and I hope you are too! Here’s to progress and sharing the joy with our new members!

Becky Gladstone

President, LWVOR

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