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President's Newsletter - June 2022


June is for fresh beginnings! Thank heavens for the extended rains; here’s hoping for a calm, beautiful summer! I hope COVID is diminishing. LWVOR is sending a hybrid delegation to the LWVUS Convention 2022 this month, half the size of our all-virtual, full 2020 delegation.


The board is thrilled to resume an in-person retreat in a couple of weeks, even though we are short-handed! We are in very good financial help and enviably covered in Voter Education and Action (always room for more!). Please keep reading for news, keep in touch, be well, stay safe, and enjoy some strawberries!



THIS MONTH…


LWVOR BOARD HAIL AND FAREWELL!


  • Civics ED & Mock Elections–OPEN! A couple of committee helpers need a Board Director to oversee this important function, well-supported by staff and the Social Studies person at the Oregon Department of Education. Outgoing Chair, Retired Social Studies teacher Toni Lampkin is happy to help with the transition! Thank you, Toni!


  • Program /Studies–OPEN! This lull time is perfect to learn the ropes to oversee the study process! We have two well-run study committees wrapping up now and will begin recruiting study proposals this fall for adoption at our May 2023 Convention. Professor Sheila McGinnis is stepping down from this well-organized process, happy to help with the transition. Thank you, Sheila!


  • HR Chair–OPEN! Our staff are really good with project timelines and we need a liaison for staffing on the board. Ideally, experience with managing employees, perhaps labor or nonprofit law would be a real plus but is certainly not necessary 😊. We are recruiting and interviewing applicants again as staffer Amanda Crittenden leaves for school in July. We have an almost complete HR Handbook in the works. Thanks to outgoing but not departing HR Chair Kathleen Hersh, who kept us on track for staff meetings, thank you!


  • Communications–OPEN! We are developing this committee and want a Chair to coordinate high-level vision for our extensive communications, from newsletters written by the president and VOTER Editor, Direct Mail from the Development Committee, Social Media overseen by our Digital Media staffer, and website, etc. The work is all being done smoothly, an informative communications survey has been done. We invite you to step in and whip this into shape!


  • Technology–OPEN! We invite a tech savvy professional or motivated amateur with a little time to donate monthly, to step up and initiate progress on problems we may not even be aware of! We are not talking about helping members install printers or software. 😊 We need professional advice to adopt a security plan and as a responsible nonprofit advocating for Cybersecurity and Privacy nationally. We are looking forward to hearing from you!


  • Co-Secretary–OPEN! Amelia Nestler is continuing as a Co-Secretary, covering but needing a partner to share taking minutes for our monthly virtual meetings! We use a minutes template to record decisions and usually have the simple draft right after meetings. This is an important job, but not a heavy lift if this is your skill set. Thanks to Amelia for continuing, along with having a toddler, being our officially appointed member of the Oregon Drinking Water Advisor Board, and wrapping up the Biocides & Pesticides study!


Thank you for smooth transitions for these offices!


  • Development Freddi Weishahn, from Lane, will work with continuing Development Chair, Jackie Clary. Freddi is already picking up on grants and direct mail letter work, thank you!


  • Treasurer and Budget (musical chairs) Kermit Yensen is incoming Treasurer, taking over from our long-serving wonderful Treasurer, Ruth Kistler. With our deepest gratitude, we bid farewell to Ruth! Kathleen Hersh has been elected as off-board Budget Chair, a position she’s been looking forward to, now taking over from Kermit. We are in good hands, thank you!


  • Membership, MLD Lisa Bentson, from Lincoln, will be Membership and MLD Chair, taking the reins from Kathleen Hersh. Lisa asked for more info during our LWVOR Council. After several chats about board work scope and time commitment, and the upcoming board retreat, the board voted to welcome her as an incoming director, in a separate vote after Council. Her Lincoln-League mate Ruth Kistler and I reassured her that her local League would really appreciate having a direct line of communication and influence on the state board. Welcome, Lisa!


ACTION, REVENUE FORECAST


The bottom line is: Unexpected revenue growth this year leaves us with unprecedented balances this biennium, followed by a record kicker into 2023-25. The projected personal kicker is $3 billion, to be credited to taxpayers when they file their Spring 2024 returns. The projected corporate kicker is $931 million, and that will be retained for educational spending. Even so, if balances are not spent, net resources for the 2023-25 biennium will have increased by $427 million relative to the March 2022 forecast. Thanks to Peggy Lynch for this update!


Note: Action needs a number of volunteers with specific interest to learn or expertise already, for example, Revenue, Health Care, Forestry, Mental Health, Judicial Issues, and more! Follow our Legislative Reports!


JUNE EVENTS


The LWVUS Convention 2022 will convene virtually and in-person, June 23-26, anticipating a much smaller in-person gathering. An ambitious 67 non-recommended items will be considered, a logistics absurdity, honestly, with 11 concurrent caucuses scheduled, for example, to try to educate and persuade delegates to support them.

LWVOR will present a caucus for Privacy & Cybersecurity concurrence toward two sections of our position, partnering with LWV Colorado, who will also present an election security concurrence, derived from our full position. None of these were recommended by the LWVUS Board, which is focusing on Voting Rights, Fair Elections, Redistricting, and Campaign Finance Reform. We submit that protecting our elections as critical cybersecurity infrastructure is an emergency priority!


The LWVUS Structural Transformation Plan is a hot topic for Bylaws consideration at convention. At issue are simplifying the confusing 3-level membership issue, national, state, and local, with “PMP” (per member payments) funds all over the map, additionally confusing with donations. Our delegation will meet by ZOOM on Wednesdays beforehand to collaborate on issues like this and how to give a fair shake to all of those concurrence recommendations! Thank you to Mimi Alkire for organizing our delegation into a WhatsApp group!


Stay tuned for reports on proceedings in the next few months, including news from our Board after the retreat.


VOTER EDUCATION, MAY PRIMARY 2022


Thank you to our dedicated team of local League Reps around the state, to our Voters’ Guide production team, including our staff, with help from Jan Watson, the Vote411 pro, stepping in to help from LWV Mississippi! We don’t have analytics yet from our Voting In Oregon LWVOR website but we do have preliminary VOTE411 usage analytics for the weeks before our primary.

Our Vote411.org numbers for April 11 to May 18, tracked clicks from 155 Oregon locations. The average reading time was almost 7 minutes, with almost 7,000 visits. That is a LOT of serious interest from voters! Thank you to voters for reading, to candidates for adding their campaigns, and to our volunteers and staff for working on this!



RECOMMENDED READING


Here’s to summer reading, the precious, healthy escapism, taking a breath and diving into a great book! I hope you can open this NYT’s essay, Did the Pandemic Change Summer Reading for Good? I Hope So. And make time for some of her suggestions.

Then consider a look back at Madeleine Albright’s 2018 book, Fascism, A Warning. Last week’s Washington Monthly review includes references to Putin invading Ukraine, abortion, book-banning, shaping children into loyal supporters, and rejecting facts, like “Don’t Say Gay”.

From the review:

"Fascism is not an ideology, nor is it a political party. It does not belong to the right or left, nor to one region of the globe. Fascism is a commitment to obtain and retain power using whatever means necessary, even violence."


Between us, I support a favorite local independent bookstore and I also want to rebuff a *simply wrong* comment floating in social media about the irrelevance of public libraries today! My public library has an eAudiobook, 3 print copies, another large print copy, and an eBook from Library2go. The paper copies are all on the shelf and the audio and digital copies have waiting lists!



Thank you for reading the state League update.

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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