League of Women Voters of Umpqua Valley

Mission Statement

League of Women Voters® of the Umpqua Valley is a grassroots, nonpartisan political organization which encourages informed and active participation in government in order to build better communities statewide.

LWVUV’s purposes are to influence public policy through education and advocacy, and to provide support for League members and the League organization.

Advertisements

May Primary

Primary Election May 21, 2019electoral-college

Link to local ballot measures: http://www.co.douglas.or.us/clerk/county_measures.asp

Link to local candidates running for office in Douglas County, OR. http://www.co.douglas.or.us/clerk/Current_Candidate_filing.asp 

Visit Vote411.org for more voting information and to check your registration. Sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the Umpqua Valley.

Vote411_medlogo


Advertisements

Juvenile Justice

Date:   April 23, 2019

Action Alert To All League Members and Oregonians

From:  Karen Nibler, Social Policy Coordinator, Barbara Ross, Corrections Portfolio, and
Norman Turrill, LWVOR President

SHOULD JUVENILES BE CHARGED AND SENTENCED IN ADULT COURT?gif_law_justice_001-w2

Justice prevails!! SB 1008 changes the criminal code to keep juveniles charged with criminal offenses in the realm of the Juvenile Court except for waiver hearings on serious person to person offenses. It also does not allow for sentences of life without parole for youth who commit offenses before 18. Second Look after half of sentence is served and/or Transfer to the Department of Corrections will have hearings and can result in parole release.

We all recognize that juveniles are impulsive and react quickly without thinking through the consequences. This bill takes into consideration immaturity and other factors in the life of a juvenile when sentenced for a serious offense. We think it is wise to consider the factors influencing juvenile behavior and the potential for learning and rehabilitation.

The Senate has already passed this bill 20 to 10 votes. Please contact your representative in the House. The House Judiciary will hear this bill on April 24 and most likely will send it to the House floor for a vote. It has to have a 2/3 vote to pass and change the law, as required by the Measure 11 constitutional amendment. Reaching all representatives is critical to let them know we want to keep juveniles in the Juvenile system.

Please e-mail or call your representative. Contact info is on the Oregon Legislative System. Thank you for adding your voice!

For more information, contact Karen Nibler at niblerk@comcast.net or Barbara Ross at bross7017@gmail.com. Both of them would be happy to exchange comments.

Census is One Year Away

 

american-flag-clip-art-waving-waves-wOn April 1, 2019, the U.S. Census Bureau’s press briefing marked one year out from the official reference day for the census.

“The Constitution requires that each decade, we take a census of the population to determine the number of seats each state will be allocated in the U.S. House of Representatives,” said Census Bureau Director Dr. Steven Dillingham. “To meet that requirement, we go to extraordinary lengths to ensure we count everyone once, only once, and in the right place. We know that the 2020 Census is important to every community. Census data guide how federal, state and local funding for critical services such as schools, fire departments and health care facilities is distributed.”

“Data literally shape the future of your community. That’s why it’s so important that everyone understands that responding to the 2020 Census is safe, easy and important,” Dillingham continued.

According to the Census Bureau, in 2020, all households will have the option to respond to the census online, over the phone and by mail. They have tested systems to handle this technique.

The first enumeration of the 2020 Census officially begins January 21, 2020, in Toksook Bay, Alaska. In March 2020, the Census Bureau will mail invitations to respond to nearly every household in the country and activate the online response form. Responses to the 2020 Census are confidential and protected by law and can only be used to produce statistics.

Link to Census Bureau

Why it is critical to get the 2020 Census right:  

  • Getting an accurate count in the 2020 Census is critical to all American communities.
  • Millions of people including community groups, local officials and business entrepreneurs rely on the Census to provide accurate, comprehensive data about our nation that impacts us all:  

Census data is the basis for fair political representation and this data is used to draw district lines reflective of the population. 

Support SB 870

ACTION ALERT! Support SB 870, National Popular Vote

Date: April 2, 2019
To: All League Members and Oregonians
From: Norman Turrill, LWVOR President
Marge Easley, NPV Portfolio Chair

CONTACT YOUR SENATOR TO URGE SUPPORT FOR NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE (NPV)

Success is within reach to make Oregon the next state to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. SB 870 will be heard in the Senate Rules Committee on April 3 at 1pm. This is the same bill that has passed the House four times in recent sessions, only to be blocked in the Senate each time. Fourteen jurisdictions with 184 electoral votes have already passed the bill. Eighty-six votes are needed before the Compact goes into effect.

Please email your state senator as soon as possible to urge support for SB 870. Here are a few helpful talking points:

  • The League’s national position states that “the direct-popular-vote method for electing the President and Vice President is essential to representative democracy.” The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact provides an excellent pathway to achieve this goal.
  • The Electoral College in its current form creates an unfair system and damages public trust in U.S. elections. If left in place, our country will continue to have a system in which votes in some states are worth more than votes in others.
  • Winner-take-all laws were passed by most states during the 1800s and were never envisioned by the founding fathers. The result of winner-take-all laws is that presidential campaigns only pay attention to the 11 swing states. Voters in non-swing states tend to feel that their votes don’t matter, so some decide not to vote at all.
  • NPV allows all votes to be counted equally, no matter where they are in the country. Under NPV, urban areas would not hold more sway than rural areas, since the combined population of the 100 biggest cities is about one-sixth of the population, roughly the same as the population of rural America.
  • The candidate with the most votes wins in every other election in the country. The U.S. is the ONLY practicing democracy where the candidate with the most votes is not assured of being chosen the national leader. Polls have shown for decades that more than 70% of voters, in both major parties, have felt that the candidate with the most popular votes should be the winner.

We appreciate your immediate action on this issue. You can find your senator’s contact information here. Also, please consider attending this historic hearing to demonstrate a strong show of League support.

For more information, contact Marge Easley, NPV Portfolio Chair.

NPV

National Popular Vote.

Call your legislators! The following are excerpts from our Legislative Reports that the League of Women Voters of Oregon produces each week and their website.

paul-dufour-500191-unsplashThanks to all who responded to the NPV Action Alert.

Please keep the pressure on legislators to vote yes on SB 870. We are seeing nationwide momentum for election reform, which includes an acknowledgement of the flaws in our Electoral College system. It’s especially important to provide Oregon’s Republican legislators with facts (LINK to Answers to Common Questions about National Popular Vote) to counter the partisan myths about NPV.

Here’s a sampling of NPV news from around the country:

  • Delaware, 3 electoral votes. On March 7, the NPV bill passed the Delaware Senate on a bipartisan vote and is now headed to the House for likely passage. The governor has indicated he will sign it. This just happened.
  • New Mexico, 5 electoral votes. We await news from where the bill sits in the Senate Rules Committee after passage in the House.
  • Maine, 4 electoral votes. There are high hopes for as the legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee recently voted 6-3 to endorse NPV on a party line vote.
  • Colorado, 9 electoral votes. The NPV bill awaits the governor’s signature . Opponents have threatened to put a popular referendum on the ballot to attempt a reversal.

Eleven Democratic-leaning states and the District of Columbia already have voted to enter the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Democrat-controlled Colorado will soon join the list, giving the compact 181 of the 270 electoral college votes needed to elect the president.

In Oregon, SB 870, the Senate version of the National Popular Vote Bill, was introduced on February 25 with an unprecedented 40 sponsors and 8 chief sponsors. This is the same bill that has been blocked by Senate leadership after passage in the House four times in recent sessions. However, we are very hopeful that this year will be different.

NPV supporters have just been told that Senate President Courtney and Senator Ginny Burdick are finally willing to allow a Senate vote on the NPV bill this session. It is important that legislators hear from as many constituents as possible that support for NPV is high. Please call or email your state legislators as soon as possible to urge support for SB 870.

Check the National Popular Vote website for the latest updates.

Call your legislators!

Call About HR 1 Today!

The U.S. House will begin debate of HR1, the For the People Act, today! We need you to continue to urge your Representatives to support final passage of this legislation and oppose any amendments that would weaken the bills overall purpose: a stronger democracy.

Use the Capitol switchboard number (202) 224-3121 to call your Representative today! And tell them:

  • Vote Yes on HR1, the For the People Act
  • Vote No on amendments to weaken the bill or on a motion to recommit.

This sweeping democracy reform package is an unprecedented opportunity to put the power of our government back into the hands of the people where it belongs. The support of grassroots activists like YOU has pushed this bill to advance, we are so close and we cannot give up now! Call your Representative today! 

EMPOWERING VOTERS. DEFENDING DEMOCRACY.
U.S. HOUSE WILL VOTE ON HR1 THIS WEEK!
Voters across the country voted for democracy reform up and down the ballot in 2018, sending the 116th Congress a clear message that the country is ready for bold, comprehensive democracy reforms.

And now, HR1, the For The People Act is on the verge of passing the House of Representatives – THIS WEEK the House will vote on this historic piece of legislation. 

Call your Representative TODAY through the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and urge them to vote to pass H.R. 1 – the  “For The People” Act.

HR1 is the biggest democracy reform agenda many of us have seen since the Voting Rights Act. This bill will revamp our voting system, implement fair redistricting, and crack down on dark money in elections so that voters have a stronger voice at the ballot box.

We must get this bold, transformative set of reforms to strengthen our democracy and return political power to the people over the finish line but we cannot do it without your help!

Call your Representative TODAY through the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and urge them to commit to vote YES on  H.R1.

Yours in the fight!

P.S. Don’t want to call? Send an email using our action tool instead!

Redistricting Forum Round 2

cropped-Combo5-w

You are invited to an educational forum about Redistricting, AKA Gerrymandering.

If you would like to know more about this important subject that affects every election, please attend.

Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019
1:30 to 3:30 PM
Roseburg Public Library
1409 Diamond Lake Blvd, Roseburg, OR
South Umpqua Room

Here’s a link to a PDF that will fill you in about how/why it’s done in Oregon.

Link to why we do redistricting all over the country. It’s all about the national census that will take place in 2020, making the next census critical to redistricting done in the following year, 2021.

Here’s a great link to the Brennan Center information on the subject.

Please plan on attending this interesting meeting. The state League of Women Voters of Oregon will present a compelling case. Let’s hear from you, too!

This meeting is open and free to the public. Refreshments will be served.

For more information, email lwvuv.info@gmail.com or call [541] [672] [6982].

Healthcare Film Presentation

The League presents “Sick Around the World”, a healthcare video.

salud-ambiental

  • Roseburg Public Library in the Ford Room
  • 1409 Diamond Lake Blvd, Roseburg
  • Tuesday, February 19th at 1:30PM to 3PM

Four in five Americans say the U.S. health-care system needs “fundamental” change. Can the U.S. learn anything from the rest of the world about how to run a health-care system, or are these nations so culturally different from us that their solutions would simply not be acceptable to Americans?

FRONTLINE correspondent T.R. Reid examines first-hand the health-care systems of other advanced capitalist democracies — UK, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, and Taiwan — to see what tried and tested ideas might help us reform our broken health-care system.

The video is 56 minutes long. There will be discussion following the video.

This meeting is free and open to the public.

In the Executioner’s Shadow

This film event is about Justice, injustice and the Oregon death penalty.

gif_law_justice_001-w2Join the League of Women Voters of Umpqua Valley and Oregonians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (OADP) for the showing of the film, “In the Executioner’s Shadow”.

Friday, February 8th, 2019
6:30 p.m.
Roseburg Public Library Ford Room
1409 NE Diamond Lake Blvd, Roseburg, OR

This film casts a penetrating look at the consequences of the death penalty through three powerful stories – the rare perspective of a former state executioner who comes within days of executing an innocent person; a Boston Marathon bombing victim who struggles to decide what justice really means; and the parents of a murder victim who choose to fight for the life of their daughter’s killer. As the battle to overturn capital punishment comes to a head in the U.S., this provocative film challenges viewers to question their deepest beliefs about justice.

Following the 54-minute film, a discussion will follow. We want to know what you think.

Please attend.

••••••• Admission is free and open to the public •••••••

The League of Women Voters of Umpqua Valley is a co-sponsor of this Oregonians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (OADP) event

New Transparency Rules

House Approves Rule Changes to Improve Transparencypaul-dufour-500191-unsplash

The Oregon House of Representatives on Monday, January 14th, passed three rule changes in the interest of transparency entering the 80th Legislative Assembly.

These changes were submitted to House leadership by a bipartisan group of legislators: Rep. Paul Holvey (D-Eugene), Rep. Sherrie Sprenger (R-Scio), Rep. Barbara Smith Warner (D- Portland) and Rep. Ron Noble (R-McMinnville). The group made these recommendations after close consultation over the past month with the Chief Clerk.

“This is a positive step to bring greater transparency to the business of the House,” Holvey said.“These rule changes are in the public interest and will provide Oregonians a better understanding of which legislators and stakeholders are proposing bills in the Capitol.”

The first will require all amendments submitted to policy bills bear the name of a member or stakeholder group. Currently, committee amendments can be anonymous (8.23).

Secondly, a change will require that all committee bills bear the name of a member or stakeholder group that has requested the bill. This will apply to all bills filed with the Chief Clerk effective January 22, 2019. Currently, there is no such requirement for stakeholders to be identified on any measure introduced by a committee (12.10).

“The cumulative impact of these two rule changes will eliminate anonymous measures or amendments when originating in House policy committees,” Sprenger said. “Transparency is not a partisan issue, and I was glad to see leadership take up these changes so swiftly.”

Additionally, new rules will require at least one hour must pass during the short session before the House can act on a bill that has returned with changes from the Senate. This change (11.01) will align the House rules with the Senate rules during short sessions, allowing more time to review measures prior to voting.