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President's Newsletter - January 2023


Dear LWVOR Members and friends,


Happy New Year!


I hope you enjoyed ringing in the new year and are resolving to welcome a productive, healthier 2023! I love year-end retrospectives but find myself firmly looking forward to the work ahead in this newsletter! Thank you all for our accomplishments! We are gearing up for the important primary, the legislative session, and our Convention 2023! The new year brings a board transition with new energy and fresh perspectives – that could be you and I hope you’re planning to come to Eugene to celebrate!


Yours In League!

Becky Gladstone

LWVOR President




THIS MONTH…


LWVOR CONVENTION 2023



Thanks to our hosts, LWV Lane County, we will meet in Eugene, Tracktown USA, May 19-21, at The Graduate, featuring Pendleton and Oregon décor, with UO Duck and Nike sports influence, a spectacular 3 way Vista conference space, serving a local, seasonal menu. Take a hotel photo tour!


On site AV will enable remote connections, important for DEI, diversity, equity and inclusion. We recommend in-person attendance and hope many will join us for our first state event since March 7, 2020.

WORKSHOPS: Our December leaders’ call discussed ideas: 501.c.3 transitions, membership growth, and developing interest groups. This is the perfect time to meet colleagues who share your efforts, your fellow Voter Service Reps, Treasurers, Leadership Teams, Comms people- the web, social media, and newsletter editors, well, all of us, actually. Let us know if you expect a large group attending in-person because we’ll have a couple of meeting spaces just for caucuses.


We will vote on a board slate from the nominating committee, a bylaws committee proposal for annual meeting changes, and proposed studies. I want us to catch up with each other and celebrate our accomplishments, having risen so well to these many recent challenges! I hope you plan to attend!


VOTER SERVICE












Our YO! Youth Outreach committee is pushing for Oregon youth voter turnout for this 2023 primary, calling on us all to highlight our local races this spring. “All politics is local” is increasingly pressing as attention continues to increase nationally for local races like school boards. See this month’s YO! Youth Outreach and recommended reading.



We are evaluating our 2023 Vote411.org subscription, whether to pay for statewide software access, depending on how many of our Leagues will cover their local measures and candidates.


STUDIES, UPCOMING AND ONGOING!


Both current studies are wrapping up with no recommended advocacy position changes, both providing timely, relevant new information.

CHILD CARE is in final layout (yes, during December holidays!) for Board approval. Here’s a peek: "Usually, the term childcare brings to mind a picture of little kids playing in a room with a teacher reading from a picture book. This is very different from the reality of childcare today and what is needed to ensure the future of childcare."

ELECTION METHODS is close behind for Board approval, so timely with growing consideration and adoption of RCV, Ranked Choice Voting, which we recommend. Note that Multnomah County Measure 26-232 passed this fall, asking if local voters want to decide races with RCV, now joining voters in 50 other US cities. Take a minute to watch this one-minute Ranked Choice Voting explanation, then share it!


We expect three study proposals at the 2023 Convention. For information, contact Annie Goldner, a.goldner@lwvor.org.



YOUTH OUTREACH


Our YO! Youth Outreach committee will host another Student Mock Election for the spring 2023 election in Portland. Ask how you can promote one for your students this spring.

We met with UO professors Dan Tichenor and Alison Gash, authors of this month’s recommended reading. Professor Tichenor shared this: Gen Z might finally turn young voters into a political power:


“Alison and I just wrote a piece for the Washington Post on the formidable power of Gen Z when it connects its passion for key issues and movement activism with voting. We also discuss earlier examples of youth insurgency, a little history of the 26th amendment, and the checkered story of youth voting in the past.”

The Voting AGE: 18 or 16?

An LWV Boston-Cambridge consensus study group reached out to us about Oregon Rep Blumenauer’s HJ Res 23 (2021): Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States extending the right to vote to citizens sixteen years of age or older. We will share the status of this discussion in Oregon.


LWVOR SJR 25 testimony (2021), addressed moving the voting age from 18 to 16.

League youth voting positions focus on establishing responsible long-term voting habits. From our LWVUS senior staff, “We do not have a firm position for or against a specific age. Many leagues have advocated for 17-year-old voters participating in primaries, certainly, as well as things like preregistration starting at 16, likely using the League’s Right to Vote position.


Citing LWV Empowering the Voters of Tomorrow, 2018: The League of Women Voters believes we all have a role to play in inspiring and empowering young Americans to register and vote. For us, that often means reaching out to potential new voters while they are still in high school. We have a special responsibility to reach out to those most often left behind: with no college experience, living in neighborhoods predominately of color, or where voter registration drives are rarely held.”

The Classroom Law Project, promoting courtroom process learning, has an interesting resources page Current Event: Lowering the Voting Age.

LWV Colorado wrote, asking about cross-league borrowing from our 2022 Civics ED Curriculum, not yet updated for the 2023 cycle. Youth Outreach will have a new webpage soon.


To learn more, contact Diana DeMaria, youthoutreach@lwvor.org


ACTION


When the Oregon 6-month legislative session starts January 17th, we will switch from monthly to weekly Legislative Reports. Subscribe for weekly email briefs linked to our extensive ongoing League volunteer reports. Hot topics abound across all League “portfolios”. Legislators are emphasizing housing and public defender shortages. Sen Prozanski, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair, described Oregon’s public defender crisis, needing attorneys for 80 in custody and another 600 not in custody, also in need.


Our local Leagues are developing and reinforcing working relationships with newly elected officials, comparing legislative priorities. Our LWVOR “action priorities” are actually rosters for issues that we have volunteers to cover. Most of us can use help and numerous issues go unaddressed for lack of observers. This powerful and energetic group needs help. We continue to welcome volunteers to learn our process to observe. If you can help, please contact our staff who can direct you, lwvor@lwvor.org.

RECOMMENDED READING


This month’s recommendation is from the UO professors who met with our youth Outreach committee, all invested in understanding and motivating better youth yoting turnout. They see strong activism commitment and are curious about why that isn’t better connected to voting. We’re looking forward to developing a collaboration, considering that the League has been tasked by the Oregon Dept of Education to help our students learn how to vote in Oregon.


Oxford University Press


Fundamentally recasts understandings of democratic politics by centering youth in US law, policy, and governance

  • Spotlights youth-led movements that are transforming democratic societies, from climate change and racial justice to Queer and immigrant rights

  • Shows how today's most prominent movements reflect a long history of youth leadership and mobilization, such as the Children's Crusades of the civil rights and labor movements

  • Uncovers patterns and processes of systemic advantage and exclusion on the basis of race, gender/gender identity, sexuality, immigration status, religion, class, and ability


Alison L. Gash, UO Political Science:

U.S. Courts, Public Policy, Gender, Race, Sexuality,

Civil Rights, Constitutional Law


Daniel J. Tichenor, Philip H. Knight Chair of Political Science,

Wayne Morse Center Director for the Public Affairs Speaker Series

and the Wayne Morse Scholars program, UO Law.





Thank you for reading and for making a difference, for Making Democracy Work! Here’s to a Very Happy New Year for all of us!


Becky Gladstone

President, LWVOR



Thank you for reading this newsletter!

You can Manage Your LWVOR Subscriptions yourself for this monthly President’s Newsletter, the Legislative Reports, and the quarterly VOTER.



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