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Clackson Newsletter

March 2018

In this Issue:

March General Meeting: "Civic Imagination"

1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
5065 Foothills Dr., Lake Oswego

Our guest speaker, Wendy Willis, director of civic engagement at Portland State’s National Policy Consensus Center, is sure to inspire us with her talk entitled “Civic Imagination.”

She is the founder and director of Oregon’s Kitchen Table, a statewide engagement platform designed to give every Oregonian a voice in their community and their state. Oregon’s Kitchen Table was a 2015 finalist for Harvard’s Ash Award for Innovation in Government. She is also the Executive Director of Kitchen Table Democracy, a national nonprofit dedicated to collaborative and democratic governance.

Before joining NPCC, Wendy was the Executive Director for City Club of Portland, a nonprofit, nonpartisan civic organization dedicated to community service, public affairs, and leadership development. She has also served as an Assistant Public Defender for the District of Oregon and a law clerk to Chief Justice Wallace P. Carson, Jr., of the Oregon Supreme Court. 

Wendy is also a widely published poet and essayist. She graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown Law Center and holds a B.A. from Willamette University and an M.F.A. from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University.

This free event is open to the public, so guests are welcome.


Lunch & Learn 


March 30, 11:30 -- 1:00
Szechuan Kitchen -- 15450 Boones Ferry Road
$15.00, payable at door

Speaker: Jan Rimerman, local and nationally known artist and director of art exhibits at Lakewood Center

Topic: Art in Lake Oswego; the development of an artist and her current passion,
Rock…Paper…Turtle…. Art for wetlands.

RSVP:         Karen Griffin, karen.griffin80@gmail.com or 503-635-0985
Friends Welcome!


Dine and Discourse

Monday, March 19, 6:30 pm 

“In today’s political climate and culture, it may feel like civility is becoming the exception instead of the rule. As the debate on issues becomes more strident, it becomes harder to identify common ground and shared solutions.”* Our first reaction is to defend our own positions by insisting that “our side” is right, and the “other side” is wrong. Yet it’s important to remember that the art of true civil discourse starts with listening and letting go of the idea of winning and losing.

Time: Monday, March 19 from 6:30 to 8:45pm
Place: White Orchid Thai Cuisine
18740 Willamette Drive, West Linn

(You can review their menu at http://whiteorchidthaicuisine.com/)

To reserve a spot: Please RSVP by Saturday, March 17:

email Libby Medley (medleylj@gmail.com) or leave a message with Marge Easley (503-701-5953).

Thoughts on the Legislative Session

Marge Easley
Oregon's 79th Legislative Assembly convened on February 5 and went by in a flash. "Short sessions" take place in even-numbered years and cannot exceed thirty-five days, which means an extremely tight timeline to get legislation passed. When Oregon's Constitution was changed to allow for annual sessions in 2012, the intention was to limit short session bills to minor tweaks and budgetary fixes. Yet this session we've seen the introduction of very ambitious bills, such as enshrining healthcare in the Oregon Constitution as a universal right, the Clean Energy Jobs bill, and disconnecting Oregon from the federal pass-through business tax deduction. The League's action team describes these bills and many more in the LWVOR Legislative Report, sent out each week during the session. I highly recommend it as a comprehensive summary of legislative issues from a League perspective.

My work at the Capitol this session focused on two hot topics-Gun Safety and National Popular Vote. There were many trips to the Capitol for action meetings, talking with legislators, and delivering testimony. A major gun safety success was the passage of the Boyfriend Loophole Bill, making Oregon the first state to pass gun legislation following the Parkland, Florida, shooting. We're determined to build on this success and fight for an Oregon assault weapons ban next year. The National Popular Vote Bill, however, languished for the fifth session in the Senate Rules Committee, blocked by Senate leadership. The behind-the-scenes politics have certainly been discouraging, but we're determined to keep trying, so let's hope 2019 will be a better year for NPV.

The Day at the Legislature on February 23 was well attended by League members from around the state. In addition to updates from the League's action team, attendees heard about the investment of public funds from State Treasurer Tobias Read, affordable housing from Alison McIntosh of Neighborhood Partnerships, oil trains from Rep. Smith Warner's aide, the Joint Committee on Student Success from Rep. Carl Wilson, the Clean Energy Jobs Bill from Sen. Michael Dembrow, and the work of the Legislative Fiscal Office from Ken Rocco.

We're already looking ahead to the 2019 Legislative Session, so please consider volunteering to follow an issue or specific bill. For a session preview, be sure to sign up for Legislative Process Day, coming up in January of 2019.


Upcoming LWV of Portland Program:
Reducing Portland's Carbon Footprint

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30),
Multnomah County Building,
501 SE Hawthorne, Portland, OR

The League of Women Voters of Portland will present an educational panel discussion to explore how Portland is working to reduce its carbon footprint. The City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability will give an overview of the plan, including the goals and our progress so far. The Northwest Earth Institute will explain what individuals can do to lower their personal carbon footprint and will offer opportunities for involvement in Earth Day activities and beyond. Local businesses will discuss what they are doing to thrive and grow while lowering the carbon footprint of their businesses.

The program will be recorded by Metro East Media for rebroadcast after the program and will be available on the League of Women Voters website, http://lwvpdx.org/. Funding for the recording is provided by the Multnomah Bar Foundation. Parking is available on the street. Multnomah County Building is easily accessed by public transportation. TriMet options include bus lines 4, 6, 10, 14, 15 and the Portland Streetcar.


Rep. Kurt Schrader's Town Hall

Lissa Willis
Approximately 80 people attended the Feb. 10 Town Hall meeting at Lakeridge Jr. High School, Lake Oswego to hear 5th District Rep. Kurt Schrader report on his recent activities. After a candid and fairly discouraging update about actions and activities in Washington, D.C., Schrader took questions (selected by lottery) from the audience. The liveliest exchanges centered on DACA and gun safety.

An immigration attorney and an immigration activist commended Schrader's effort on immigration reform but insisted that more needed to be done to protect law-abiding Dreamers who are being uprooted and deported. All were astonished to hear Schrader say that a clean DACA bill would pass the House almost unanimously - that both parties strongly support Dreamers being granted a path to citizenship. The problem, he said, was the House Speaker Paul Ryan will not allow a vote.

Several participants strongly challenged Schrader's recent vote to allow those with concealed handgun licenses (CHL) to carry their weapons in all 50 states. One participant said this was in effect "undoing gun safety progress that we have fought hard to put in place." Schrader responded that CHL holders were trying to be obedient and weren't the ones to worry about.

Another speaker spoke emotionally of the fear and anguish Americans experience virtually daily with gun assaults reported around the country, asking Schrader to "stand with us!" Schrader agreed that the news is wrenching, and that it's awful to live in fear, but he didn't respond to calls from the audience to "do something about it."

Schrader also commented on several other topics. He was hopeful about our health care system and posited that between the Affordable Care Act and state systems, Oregonians have relatively good coverage compared to those in other states. He described our mail-in paper ballot system as a model for the nation, especially in these cyber-hacking times. Lastly, he shared that a super-majority of either party makes for poor government. He said that when party representation is fairly evenly divided, there's a better chance for discussion, solutions and decisions that take in the considerations of a majority of the voters, as legislators are forced to work in a bi-partisan manner. Asked about what citizens can do to make their voices heard, he encouraged people to show up at town hall meetings, call and write their representatives, but not to bother contacting representatives outside their own voter districts, as they would be screened out.


Coming Events

General Meeting: Tuesday, March 13: “Civic Imagination”: 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Oswego Pointe Clubhouse, 5065 Foothills Dr., Lake Oswego

Dine & Discourse: Monday, March 19, 6:30 to 8:45 pm, White Orchid Thai Cuisine, 18740 Willamette Drive, West Linn. RSVP: Libby Medley (medleylj@gmail.com) by March 17.

LWVCC Board Meeting: Tuesday, March 27: 9:30 a.m. Social, 9:45 AM Meeting, Pacific West Bank, West Linn

Lunch & Learn: March 30, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm, Szechuan Kitchen, 15450 Boones Ferry Road, $15.00, payable at door.  Jan Rimerman will speak on Art in Lake Oswego. RSVP: Karen Griffin, 503-635-0985 or karen.griffin80@gmail.com.