IN THIS ISSUE
By Becky Gladstone, LWVOR President
LWV grassroots work begins with you! Please reach out to friends and colleagues and invite them to step up! DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) is a League priority. We want liaisons to bring their voices to the League. We need to expand our diversity from local grassroots up through boards. Native outreach is a focus for a grant we’ve crossed fingers for. We would like a Youth member on our board. Now is the time! Please contact us!
Voter Education Reps and LWVOR staff, with hired LWV Mississippi support, are hard at work organizing VOTE411.org for the Primary Election, including our various Voters’ Guides! Be sure you send your campaign events to LWVOR at lwvor@ lwvor.org. Encourage your local candidates to look for their Vote411 invitation emails and to write to Vote411@lwvor.org with any questions.
UPDATING LOCAL LEAGUE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES – PORTLAND CHAPTER
By Debbie Kaye
Separate from our Bylaws, the LWV of Portland has a “Policies and Procedures” document. Other League chapters around the state may have a similar document. Our “P & P” document starts by stating, “Policies as used here are procedures or practices that become established through experience and usage and are subsequently adopted as the best means of carrying out the purposes … as stated in its Bylaws”. Because our League is both a 501(c)(3) and a 501(c)(4), we have two sections: General Policies and Education Fund Policies.
Examples of sections within the General Policies include the Nonpartisan Policy and how it pertains to specific roles within the League; Action, including who may speak for the League; Financial Controls; Reaching Member Agreement; Interest Groups; Diversity; and Anti-Discrimination. The Education Fund sections include rules about Recording League Meetings and Sponsorship of Candidate Forums.
We update our P & P document when the stated policies no longer match our current needs and practices. For example, our current P & P doesn’t describe our process for Program Planning. We also noticed that the sections on Local League Autonomy, Reimbursements, Financial Controls, Social Media, and Recording Meetings are outdated.
In March 2022, our Board held an online Zoom retreat to conduct a deep review of this document. We are incorporating the recommended updates and will vote on the revised P & P at our June retreat. Then it will replace the outdated document on our website.
JOSEPHINE COUNTY CHARTER UPDATE
By Dorothy Yetter
The Commission was created on 28 April 2021 by the Board of County Commissioners with Order No. 2021-018. Nine members were appointed and our first meeting was held 9 September 2021. We set ourselves up for business, electing officers and hammering out bylaws, by 1 December 2021.
After a few attempts to wrap our arms around the enormity of the task, we settled on a read- through and ‘mark-up’ of the existing document. Even as we do that, we have discovered that we need to invite experts to provide us with their observations in their areas of expertise such as finance (for instance, what is the actual budget process in use?) or administration (for instance, what recourse do exempt personnel have to political reprisal?)
While that is the meeting-to-meeting activity, we have a few over-arching questions considering if the current structure of county government is adequate to the task. That currently manifests as:
How many commissioners? Some advocate our county is small enough and homogeneous enough to be governed by the current 3, elected at large. Others think the county is more diverse and needs more commissioners actually from those diverse communities – either resident in that community or elected specifically by that community.
Does the county need a County Executive? It would separate powers, split the administrative (executive) functions from legislative, but is it more overhead than we need?
Is our product to be a report of recommendations or as a complete re-write of the charter? If a re-write, what form would that take?
We know that those questions exist but before we tackle them, we do need to nail down
the products of county government. County Counsel will be providing us with the statutory requirements but beyond that, there are the things some would like our county government to do. After deciding on those, then we have to determine what government structure will give us the tools to effect those objects.
Right now, the Commission is going through the current charter, finding little things that should be cleaned up. We have not addressed the BIG question of “balance” but that question is wrapped up in the points above (number of commissioners and county executive).
LWVOR CONCURRENCE FOR LWVUS CONVENTION 2022
By Rebecca Gladstone
LWVUS Convention is scheduled for June 23-June 26, 2022. LWVOR is taking our Privacy and Cybersecurity advocacy position (in segments) for adoption
by concurrence at the 2022 LWVUS Convention. Their priority is to relate “recommended items” to elections so we are presenting with that perspective.
Cybersecurity races to keep up with increasingly sophisticated and challenging threats. When LWVOR adopted our “election security” position in 2021, we didn’t foresee the need to link cyber warfare or other critical infrastructures like power and communications to elections. LWVOR advocated in February for elections workers and candidates’ personal privacy and harassment protection. Now we need to promote our position to protect elections from social media “MDM” interference, with thanks to the CISA MDM for the “Mis, Dis, and Mal-Information” social media campaign applied to Election Security Infrastructure.
We hope for enthusiastic concurrence support, especially from the Oregon delegation! If you will attend, register for program information. You may need to log in to see the LWVOR details on the proposal page. LWVUS program planning advised us to segment our comprehensive position into smaller proposals:
• We are working with LWV Colorado, which has excerpted from us and slightly revised an Election Security concurrence
Our LWV Convention caucus request was accepted on April 5th. Please plan to attend! Scheduling details will be forthcoming.
1ST CALL TO COUNCIL
By Robin Tokmakian
Every even-numbered year, The League of Women Voters of Oregon holds their required state- wide council meeting. In addition to the LWV Oregon Board, each local league sends two delegates and each member-at-large group sends one delegate. The business of the council includes the election of the 2nd Vice President, the treasurer, and three at-large members of the board as well as a budget for the upcoming year. A quorum of 15 delegates, in addition to the LWVOR Board of Directors, is required for all decisions on the agenda. Only emergency changes to the program may be considered and such changes require eight weeks of notification to the membership.
This year, the LWV Oregon Council will be during the week of May 9-14 and will be virtual.
The business portion of the meeting in the afternoon of May 14, 2022. If you are interested in volunteering to help with Council, please contact Robin Tokmakian at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ELECTION THREATS NEED LWVOR’S EXPANDED ADVOCACY
By Rebecca Gladstone
LWVOR is advocating adoption of our privacy and cybersecurity position for elections. We have
applied our position to protecting election workers’ privacy and to Legislative reports of crippling
cyber-attacks. Social media’s “liar’s dividend”, which causes doubt in real news, calls for our attention, as well.
Election cybersecurity is based on emergency preparedness. For example, an Oregon wildfire burned down a USPS site, affecting vote-by-mail there. Oregon’s power grids and transportation infrastructure are all vulnerable. Cyber attacks can disrupt elections by disrupting airports, GPS networks, traffic signals, bridges and dam-water controls, services from special districts, state agencies, and many businesses and organizations.
We must safeguard cell and internet access. Democracy depends on us protecting all of our critical infrastructures. More information about LWVOR’s cybersecurity position can be found at LWVOR Cybersecurity and Privacy Today.
IN MEMORIAM: REMEMBERING BARBARA ROSS, A PILLAR OF OUR COMMUNITY
By Marion McNamara
Our devoted and beloved League member, Barbara Ross, died April 4, on the 54th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King Jr. Like Dr. King, Barbara’s life work focused on making the world more just and compassionate, albeit on a smaller canvas. She began her career as a social worker, and by the late 1970’s added public service to her resume, serving as a Benton County Commissioner, a Corvallis school board member, and a state representative. She brought her passion for fairness to every job she undertook. Barbara‘s family has always been a support to her, and she to them. Her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were an important part of her life, and were able to be with her in her last days.
Barbara was mentor to many of those she met throughout her long career. She had a reliably good sense of spotting talent and introducing people to opportunities for service and growth. Several current state legislators got their start in politics with Barbara’s advice and occasional gentle pushes. The gift of her guidance was not limited to those who were up and comers.
Working with her church, she was part of an effort to help people get back on their feet, providing material and emotional support. She volunteered to help with re-entry for people leaving incarceration, spending several hours a week conversing with them. And most recently, Friday evenings would often find her delivering food, clothing, and conversation to homeless women.
Everyone who worked with Barbara valued her focus, determination, analytical abilities, kindness, and effectiveness. Her most recent work with the League was leading the Police Accountability study through a rapid research, interview and production process. She attracted a large and very capable committee; they completed the study in under a year. She went on to co-lead the Justice Interest Group with James Ofsink. This group continues to monitor many police-related organizations and to advocate using our position.
At our annual business meeting last year, the Board was pleased to present the Volunteer of the Year award to Barbara. Here is the wording from the award:
PROFILE OF NEW LWVOR OFFICE MANAGER, ABBY HERTZLER
Greetings! My name is Abby Hertzler and I am thrilled to be joining the League of Women Voters of Oregon as the new office manager.
Although I was born in the Midwest and raised on the East Coast, I have called Oregon my home since 2014 when I moved to Salem and fell in love with the beauty of the state and the wonderful community I found here. Living in the state capital afforded me the opportunity to live and work in the “room where it happens,” and I loved seeing the view of the Capitol building framed by the blooming cherry trees every spring. My first event at the Capitol was Oregon’s birthday bonanza, a lively and cheerful event that sparked my interest in the processes that are undertaken in those hallowed halls.
I find the League’s work in building more informed communities, empowering citizens and utilizing education and advocacy to influence public policy in Oregon to be of the utmost importance in these uncertain times, and I have a deep admiration for the work that the League does to work towards building a better Oregon. The passion and dedication I have seen in my first weeks here has been inimitable, and I am thrilled to be joining such a wonderful group of talented and kind individuals. I look forward to using my years of administrative, communications and organizational experience to support the League in its laudable mission.