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President's Newsletter - October 2022



Dear LWVOR Members and friends,


Welcome to October! With fall, Oregon Leagues are FULLY engaged! We’re sponsoring and sharing more informative events than ever. Our Deschutes League registered voters and the Portland League registered and welcomed new voters at the Naturalization ceremonies.

Thanks to our Voter Service Team, read below for details, including a call for help from the Secretary of State.

The biggest news this month from LWVOR is our vigorous Oregon Student Mock Elections!

Yours In League!

Becky Gladstone

LWVOR President


Please send your pictures from your League activies, too!

THIS MONTH…


OSME 2022 Oregon Student Mock Election launch October 1st!

Take this to a school near you!


When teachers REGISTER, they will get access to the Lesson Plan, Instructions, the Civics Ed and Mock Election Curriculum, flyers, and Student Ballots. The October 1 launch allows time for students to learn about voting, current races, and ballot measures before early Student Mock Election voting on October 11 - 17th, with final Mock Election Day on October 18th. The 18th is the actual Oregon Voter Registration deadline for the November 8th election. October will be an exciting month for civic youth education in your communities!


LWVOR will connect local Leagues to participating schools in your area!

Your Membership, Voter Service Rep, and/or other resolute volunteers can help! We are already connecting schools as they ask for info and our LWVOR Committee wants to help you network!


There is no required work for your already busy local Leagues, just opportunities to connect with your schools to build Youth Outreach as your local educators register for the OSME. Here are some ideas:

  • Spread the word to your schools then Thank them for reaching out to run a Mock Election!

  • Offer to help your Voter Service Rep. If they know you can help, they can expand their goals!

  • Spread the word that students are welcome to join the League, from age 16, for FREE!

  • Check with your Voter Service Rep if you can help to drop off printed state Voters’ Guides with school receptionists, with a flyer on top for their libraries and Social Studies, History, Spanish, or other classes during OSME. They have full digital access, too.

  • Boost awareness on your social media. Share ours!

Registration, the FREE Curriculum (newly updated!), Lesson Plans, and flyers are online. We will share Mock Election results with participating educators and the press!


Teachers report that their students share what they learn with their families and communities, building civil discourse. All Oregon students can be encouraged to ask their schools to vote in the Mock Election and raise awareness for voter resources, especially Vote411.org, in both English and Spanish.


Please refer educator and parent questions to MockElection@lwvor.org. We are replying now! Your questions or feedback to improve OSME from any Oregon local League is also welcome.


Our committee volunteers in Deschutes, Multnomah, and Clackamas are already reinforcing outreach boosted for us from the Oregon Dept of Education, with nine schools asking for a Mock Election before registration opened! Let us be sure all our schools know the League can help!



Thank you! Let's help our Youth learn, Your VOTE is Your VOICE!




VOTER SERVICE!


The Secretary of State Press Office has called on the League, as a “Trusted Voice”, to add our strength for this election:








Ask your candidates to be sure they have filed for our free nonpartisan Vote411.org coverage! The Oregon Vote411.org online candidate deadline is Monday, Oct 3 (earlier is better!). Questions? Ask vote411@lwvor.org. Note, the deadline for state and federal candidates in our limited print edition has passed. See our Voting in Oregon website.


Thank you to our extensive Voter Service volunteer network! Our full range of Oregon candidates and ballot measures should be live soon along with Voting information, Video Voters’ Guide events, and interviews. I encourage you to send thanks to Peggy Bengry, Voter Service Chair, and her team! We have a full range of volunteers who produce our Election Resources and you can help!

  • Our Vote411 researchers connect candidate filings, via county and municipal elections’ websites with personal follow-up where needed, to Vote411.org.

  • Our Voters’ Guide production team assembles numerous versions, in English and Spanish, in audio reader compatible format and actual audio files read by a live Oregonian!

  • Our Video Voters’ Guide interviews and event recordings will be posted as they are conducted – Watch for them! Thanks to several local Leagues for coordinating with local studios for these.

  • Speakers’ Bureau– a Strong Voter Service! Our local Leagues have a legacy of providing speakers as a public service to help explain state ballot measures. Our General Election 2022 Speakers’ Kits are complete and available to League speakers. Thank you to LWVOR ballot measure researchers for analyzing this fall’s four state measures for our Voters’ Guides and the 2022 Speakers’ Bureau, for public presentations. My home League in Lane County knows that League members’ families, neighbors, friends, and community groups all count on us to help them be well-informed! For info, email Peggy Bengry, LWVOR Voter Service Chair.

  • Oregon Student Mock Elections! This is growing so fast this fall that it gets separate billing!


LEGISLATIVE ACTION - WATER


It is time to check your LWVOR subscription preferences. The Action Committee will send an LR, or Legislative Report, soon for the Oregon Legislature’s September Legislative Days, held to prepare for the 2023 session. Our action committee is now working consistently around the yearly calendar. We can use help in many areas. Look through our list and see where you can help! This is from Peggy Lynch, for recently reported well-water issues.


Morrow County residents with domestic wells are dealing with contamination from excessive nitrates (Residents in Morrow County demand urgent aid from the state for contaminated water).


LWVOR continues to work to address this issue with support for many legislative actions using our Water Quality and Quantity positions. We also supported the creation of a new Environmental Justice Council in hopes that underserved communities' voices will be heard more loudly by state agencies responsible for protecting public health. In this case, we look the Dept. of Environmental Quality, the Dept. of Agriculture, and the Oregon Health Authority.


ACTION - OREGON BALLOT MEASURES 2022


The League studies issues reach member consensus, and then adopts positions. Read About Our Positions! We do not support or oppose measures if we have not studied the issue. These four measures will be on all Oregon ballots this November. The board voted to accept the Action Committee recommendation for these League positions:

  • # 111 Oregon Right to Health Care Amendment SUPPORT Legislative Referral 111 (read the text) Amend the Oregon Constitution: the State must ensure affordable healthcare access, balanced against requirements to fund schools and other essential services

  • #112 Remove Slavery and Crimes from the Oregon Constitution SUPPORT Legislative Referral 112 (read the text) Amend the Oregon Constitution: Remove language allowing slavery and involuntary servitude as punishment for crime. This legislative referral applies to prisoners working without getting paid.

  • #113 Oregon exclusion from re-election for absenteeism. [no position] Ballot Measure 113 (read the measure) Amend the Oregon Constitution: Disqualify Legislators with ten unexcused absences from floor sessions from holding the next term of office.

  • #114 The Reduction of Gun Violence Act SUPPORT Ballot Measure 114 (read the measure) Requires a permit to acquire firearms; police maintain a permit/firearm database; criminally prohibits certain ammunition magazines. Find a full list of supporters and get your questions answered at VoteYesOn114.org


RECOMMENDED READING


This month’s feature is excerpted from the LWV Lane CO Argus, September 2022, prepared by Keli Osborn.


For more, see: "On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century," by Timothy Snyder; Brennan Center for Justice; and League of Women Voters (Lane County, Oregon, USA).


TEN THINGS YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW TO DEFEND DEMOCRACY

  1. Define your democracy and get clear about values and boundaries. The majority rule can leave some people unprotected. Focusing on one right ignores other critical liberties. Simply voting is not enough to create and sustain responsive, thriving inclusive communities. Consider what it means for you and others to be full global citizens with rights and responsibilities. Decide what matters and how you can contribute.

  2. Talk about democracy in governance with family, friends, and colleagues. Tell them you are committed to fighting voter suppression, expanding voter ballot access, improving elections, reducing money’s political influence, and promoting fair redistricting. Be a resource and a beacon. See these LWV Making Democracy Work talking points.

  3. Be a better-informed democracy defender. Use reliable, credible sources. Want more on voting methods? What about wildfire recovery, childcare, equitable internet access, or hate crimes? Read League studies from Lane County and LWVOR, and the LWVUS Study Clearinghouse. Maybe you like podcasts or newspapers, radio or TV news, internet writers and thinkers. Providers should own their biases, be transparent about funding and sourcing, and fact-check their content. See League member Donna Cohen’s resources and How Reliable is Your News Source, from the LWV of Torrence Area.

  4. Demand better from your organizations—and show up to help. Whether it is the League of Women Voters, your faith organization or neighborhood association, a service club, or other group, support the change you want to be. Want your organization to be more inclusive and welcoming? More transparent about decision-making or financial matters? Include perspectives, needs, and contributions of Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color; low-income people; and people with dis/abilities. Do businesses more sustainably? Speak up, with conviction and consideration.

  5. Promote respectful dialogue. Democracy withers when people are unable or unwilling to understand the viewpoints and choices of those with whom they disagree. Allowing for disagreement does not mean tolerating hate speech and threats of violence. Incivility affects the creativity, productivity, buy-in, and well-being of those who experience and observe disrespect and hostility. Seek dialogue in which people have a right to speak and be heard respectful participation, equitable time-sharing, attentive listening, and balanced discussion. Civil discourse promotes informed discussion for better public issues decisions.

  6. Check your voter registration. Plan to vote ahead of each election. If you’ve moved (even across the hall), CHECK your Oregon voter registration online or visit your County Elections office. Make a plan for informed voting ahead of elections, (coming soon!): Voters’ Guides and checking for your ballot issues in Vote 411.org. Be sure to help your family and friends stay in the loop on elections, too.

  7. Connect with your elected officials about the issues that matter most to you. Use your voice. Send emails, postcards, or letters to your local, state, and federal elected officials supporting specific legislation and action. Stick to one issue at a time. Use a clear email subject line or first sentence in your letter. Identify yourself as a constituent. State your views and support them with expert knowledge. If there is a specific bill, rule, or code amendment, name it.

  8. Work to GOTV and increase voter turnout. You can volunteer with your League’s Voter Service and other groups that educate potential voters about the voting process and the issues at stake. More people vote when it is easy, and they believe it will make a difference. Help make it so.

  9. March, rally, and just BE with others. Solidarity and visibility matter. Through our messages and organizing, we can build friendships and alliances—and support people who need to know we have their (our) backs. If marches and protests help change hearts and minds, bonus!

  10. Run for office or join an advisory board. If you care about improving our community, consider campaigning for public office or applying for a board or commission seat. Your experience and expertise, community ties, and commitment may be just what is needed. Multiple organizations help prospective candidates prepare. Local agencies periodically invite advisory group applications. Follow your interests to a rewarding position and be part of a community team. For more, see: "On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century," by Timothy Snyder; the Brennan Center for Justice; and LWV Lane County.


Thank you for reading, for being informed, and for helping where you can! This month your help can make a bigger difference than usual! I am so incredibly grateful that there are so many of us pitching in to help. Thank You!


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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