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Incoming Remarks: Rebecca Gladstone, LWVOR President

Delegates and observers,


Thank you for your diligence in setting the course for our next two years and beyond, by attending Convention, addressing profound issues, proposed studies, and board elections. Please report back to your Leagues, and tell them we loved the photos and videos you sent! Look for the June All-members’ letter for a review of recommended reading from the past two years. It is almost summer and I hope we all have a chance to catch our breath, rejuvenate, and Reset, Reboot, and Reconnect!




In Ashland, we committed to improving communications. How are we doing? Please fill out the evaluation form.

It is a quick series of questions, mostly for this past week, but the final question can be answered broadly. We called for guidance to the board at Convention. And if something occurs to you afterward, please let us know.


Board Thank You


Dear outgoing board members, Please accept my deep thanks for your service as you go off the board. My comments in the Saturday business session to each of you are heartfelt!

I look forward welcoming Connie Bozarth and Kermit Yensen! I’m looking forward to retreat, maybe reconsidering meeting in-person? Friday morning staff meetings have had a sunny agenda item we’ve had fun with, how to thank board members, but that’s been delayed by the intensity of the Action support, the Primary election this Tuesday, this convention, and a staff transition.


Thanks to the Convention Events Committee!


Thank you to Robin Tokmakian and to all of the presenters for the workshops and caucuses. You have raised the bar and we need to act on these!

Staff Thank You!


Thanks to staff for making the Convention VIRTUAL! Recordings are on our website so we can refresh and work on those volunteer suggestions, etc. Amazing Amanda was the tech guru of the day, managing the polling, etc.!


Please sign Sarah Andrews’ Farewell card! It has been a happy six year span of competence, above and beyond at every turn, Thank You! We wish you and your family all the best as your husband starts grad school in Stockholm!


The freedom to VOTE (Election Day tomorrow!)


Check VOTE411.org! As legislative voting restrictions loom around the country, we must protect them here. We want voters to be well-informed and properly represented by those they elect. Does that make you think of fighting gerrymandering with an Independent Citizens Redistricting Committee? I hope so! And spread the word for everyone you know to share to VOTE by Tuesday! Local Elections matter! All politics is/are? LOCAL!


Our STUDY and Position Development Process


For studies, now you know it really isn’t too early to start issue searches for Convention 2023! Weigh topics, rally support for them, and bring your study committee rosters! One member noted that our program adoption prioritized process over study content. LWVOR Bylaws call us to vote to consider studies, concurrences, and resolutions, deferring substantive content discussion to a separate business session for content debate and voting to adopt. This intermittently causes consternation. This process is intended to protect our League brand. We must ensure vigorous wherewithal, that local Leagues will be able to process the roster of studies’ consensus, to maintain the reputation of the trustworthy League voice. We cannot spread ourselves too thinly by adopting too many studies and demand too much of our local Leagues and volunteers. I was floored by Jane Cravens volunteerism comment, that asking more than 5 hours a week of our volunteers is too much.


We have a true need for the positions we get from studies. Our entire study process has become daunting to the degree that LWVUS has seriously slowed down with national studies and we will be addressing that.


LWVUS Council


I want you to know and I’m very pleased that our Program Chair, Sheila McGinnis, wants to push next month’s national Council to take a hard look at fixing the problems we have with our study structure. And Alice Bartelt wants to review how member agreement committees edit new study positions in the context of earlier positions that might be contradictory. That’s a daunting process and we need to address it! Thanks to you both! Robin Tokmakian will also represent Oregon at the US Council, bringing her strong Oregon voice for Climate Emergency and perspective from League UN work. I love meeting leaders from around the country at the national councils and suggest to you that it is a hidden benefit to membership on our state board!


DEI


We are all thinking more of DEI now, thank heavens. From the tribal lands of the Kalapuya. We are celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander and Wildfire awareness month. Look at the composition of our new board, we aren’t getting far with diversity. Let’s expand from our obvious similarities. and consider:


1. Ability/disability

2. Age

3. Appearance. One legislative concept this session proposed eliminating candidate photographs because of the proven track record of discrimination they enable in the military.

4. Empowerment

5. Ethnicity, Race, & Nationality

6. Gender, sex, and sexuality

7. Spirituality, religion, + Atheism

8. Socioeconomic status


Oregon needs to work on inclusion. I am so pleased with the Portland League study on Police Reform and hope that this summer our Leagues will have a strong voice of Civil Discourse that we so need. The Dept of Homeland Security sends alerts. A couple of years ago, the US Civil Rights and Civil Liberties person who keeps in touch told me they were trying hard to shift focus from foreign terrorists to domestic violent extremism. As we look forward to another Oregon summer, I got another heads’ up last week about the creation of a New Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships.


Looking ahead, new board


Are we optimistic about the future? It is a relief to be coming out from under the pandemic. It will take determined optimism to catch up. I am thrilled to welcome new board and members around Oregon! You make the future bright.


You, our delegates and observers, and the members you represent, are a big part of my confidence in the future. I am so proud of you and the work we’re accomplishing. Thank you! Please pace yourselves and pull in help! Mentoring is necessary, welcome new energy to share the joy.


We have our work cut out for us. Please keep in touch, and thank you.


Becky Gladstone

President, LWVOR

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