Our Children’s Trust has exciting news to share: “YOUTH v GOV” – the independent feature-length, award-winning documentary by acclaimed Director Christi Cooper, Barrelmaker Productions, and Vulcan Productions about their federal case, Juliana v. United States – will begin streaming globally on Netflix starting April 29th! This is an incredible opportunity to watch the story of the Juliana 21 and their critical climate case, all around the world!
The global release of this film – streaming in over 30 languages worldwide – will be the first opportunity millions of people around the world will have to see the stories of these brave young Americans. For millions around the world, it will be their first time hearing about this landmark climate case. And it will be the first time they learn about Our Children’s Trust and the critical work they do to help young climate leaders secure their legal rights to a safe climate.
Every person who sees the film can become an ally, an advocate, and a voice speaking out alongside and in support of the Juliana youth. The plaintiffs await a court decision that, if favorable, could soon put them back on the path to trial.
Tell others to watch it too! Share the film with everyone you know: friends, family, neighbors, co-workers.
Get Ready to Watch! One of the simplest but most powerful actions members of our community can take to support these young climate leaders in this moment is to watch the film and share it with others. Help spread the word so that people around the world learn about their case and the durable, sustainable solution to the accelerating climate crisis that these young people are seeking in our courts.
State and local Leagues, and individual League members, have a critical role to play in helping to limit future climate change and protect the planet.
The League is calling for prompt action to cut this country’s GHG emissions, invest in a clean energy economy, and help the world’s poorest countries tackle the challenges of climate change.
The League believes that climate change is a serious threat facing our nation and planet. The League believes that an international approach to combating climate change — including through energy conservation, air pollution controls, building resilience, and promotion of renewable resources — is necessary to protect public health and defend the overall integrity of the global ecosystem. The League supports climate goals and policies that are consistent with the best available climate science and that will ensure a stable climate system for future generations. Individuals, communities, and governments must continue to address this issue, while considering the ramifications of their decisions, at all levels — local, state, regional, national, and global.
It has been 101 years since women won the right to vote in America. Today, women are still powering our democracy.
In the wake of the 2020 Presidential Election, the right to vote is in a vulnerable state, with new barriers popping up every week. Defending our democracy requires renewed investment from individuals and corporations alike.
This panel discussion featured voices and perspectives of the League of Women Voters, SuperMajority, LULAC, and Black Voters Matter, organizations working to build more trust in our elections, grow our electorate with equity, and create fairness for voter access. We covered the intersection of gender and race in the voting rights movement, fighting deliberate barriers to voting, and how to build community power, dismantle disinformation, and get out the vote in 2022.
We would like to bring to your attention to the following information in the hopes of increasing awareness of Oregon gun violence prevention efforts.
There are two initiatives, IP 17 and 18 currently circulating for the 2022 General Election to reduce gun violence. Since the League has a policy of not taking a stand on initiatives before they reach the ballot, consider the following to be information only and not an official League endorsement.
The petitions are sponsored by the faith-based coalition Lift Every Voice Oregon and supported by a cadre of organizations and volunteers from across the state:
Initiative Petition 17: Requires permit to acquire firearms; police maintain permit/firearm database; criminally prohibits certain ammunition magazines
Initiative Petition 18: Prohibits manufacturing/possessing/transferring many semiautomatic firearms; criminal penalties; exceptions require firearm registration, restrict use
How is this related to the League?
The League of Women Voters holds positions on gun safety. Thus the Oregon efforts tie in to national focus on this matter.
Here’s an example of league action on gun control. On November 3rd, 2021, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v Bruen, marking one of the first times that the Supreme Court addressed the scope of the Second Amendment since 2008. In September 2021, LWVUS, alongside the Leagues of Women Voters of New York and Florida, filed an amicus briefin this case.
The Impact of Gun Laws on Elections
The amicus brief argued that the New York law is in line with the types of regulations that are allowed under the Second Amendment because it protects the safety of the electoral process.
There is a long history of firearms being used to intimidate voters, especially voters of color. One Supreme Court Justice concluded that since the beginning of Reconstruction, there has been a “coordinated [system] of intimidation and violence” against voters of color. This history has continued with the wave of voter intimidation in the past few elections.
Throughout this history of attempts to intimidate voters, the League has fought to secure the safety of election sites. One example is during the 2020 election, when the League fought to protect voters from violence at polling locations in Council on American-Islamic Relations of Minnesota (CAIR-MN) v Atlas Aegis. In this case, a private, armed mercenary organization was hired to monitor various polling sites to prevent “voter fraud.” A federal district court judge blocked the organization from deploying members to intimidate voters and issued a five-year consent decree that prevented actions like this from happening in the future.
Empirical evidence also shows that guns increase the likelihood of violence during disagreements, and as our amicus brief points out, “conflicts arise at every phase of the electoral process — between voters who support opposing candidates, between protesters and counter-protesters at politically charged rallies, or with election officials counting votes — voters frightful of mixing guns with unrest may limit voting-related activity or even sit out of the electoral process entirely.”
Ensuring the safety of the elections and the public’s safety while exercising their right to vote is critical. Laws like the ones that have been passed in New York are meant to ensure states and localities have the flexibility and freedom to create laws and regulations that best suit the needs of their communities while protecting the safety of sensitive areas like polling locations.
LWV will continue to support laws that protect and empower Americans within both our democratic system and daily life.
Who else is working on this issue?
The League of Women Voters works with the Center for American Progress, an independent, nonpartisan policy institute that is dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action.
HERE is an example of their recent report on prevention of gun violence.
Join us for a community discussion led by Alisa Harvey to deepen our understanding of American democracy. The topic we will explore is Martin Luther King and the Voting Rights Act. This has particular resonance today. Ms. Harvey will use the Harvard Case Study Method, which is an interactive teaching style that will be new to many of us.
Using this method, we will see the events as they unfolded in real-time. “The intention behind teaching these cases is to help students and the community recognize the importance of being engaged, and encouraging public discourse on these critical issues with historical knowledge as people make decisions with regard to voting,” Ms. Harvey says. Students and community members will think about the legacy of equality efforts in America and make connections to contemporary rights and protest movements.
The 20-page case study and questions will be emailed to participants upon registration prior to the event to allow time for study and to formulate answers to discussion questions in advance.
Ms. Harvey was sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Oregon to train on the Harvard Case Study method in Boston with Harvard Professor David Moss. She applied the method in her classes this past school year and will now give the community the opportunity to take part in a case study.
Join us Thursday, August 20th at 7:00pm via Zoom. Please register at http://lwvor.org/oregoncivics/ far enough in advance to study the material before the meeting.
On Tuesday August 18, 2020, at 11 AM, the LWV Klamath Falls participated in one final commemoration ceremony to honor the 100th anniversary of the LWV and the passage of the 19th amendment, gaining women the right to vote. Two trees recently planted were joined by a new bench with a plaque on it. The tree and bench are located on the Klamath Wingwatchers trail, located near the Visitor Center at 205 Riverside Drive on the west side of Highway 97.
Herald and News Story
It took the prompting of a mother to her son to help ratify the 19th Amendment on Aug. 18, 1920, clearing the way for voting rights for many women whose efforts to attain it had spanned decades.
That day, State Rep. Harry T. Burn’s vote garnered the two-thirds majority needed to make the 19th Amendment official. Many, mostly white women could officially vote eight days later.
To celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the ratification, League of Women Voters of Klamath County charted their own path down the Ken Hay Nature Trail on Tuesday, where they celebrated 100 years of voting rights, commemorated the efforts that led to the ratification, and shared about the struggles that remain in the pursuit of voting.
The event is the third piece of what has been a year-long effort to mark 100 years of women earning the right to vote. Other pieces included a dramatic play and the book “Timeless Recipes: The Great Fight to win the Vote for Klamath County.”
Klamath Falls Mayor Carol Westfall, dressed in Suffrage purple and gold, marveled at the actions of Burns and his fellow legislators, and all the women who helped pave the way to the vote.
“It really changed the course of this nation,” she said.
Westfall was one of about 20 attendees, including founding members of the League of Women Voters of Klamath County, to join the walk along the portion of the Klamath Wingwatcher’s Lake Ewauna Nature Trail. Many dressed in hats, and/or carried signage that reflected the time period of Suffrage Movement and that still resonates today: “Votes for Women,” “Equality for Women,” and “Voting is a right.”
Leslie Lowe, longtime treasurer and member of League Women Voters of Klamath County, emphasized the long history of securing a woman’s right to vote dates back further than the centennial anniversary.
“It’s really important to remember that that the fight to get the right to vote and actually be able to cast that vote has gone on since before the Declaration of Independence,” Lowe said. “It’s not just history, it’s alive today.”
Women in Klamath County had been able to vote since Nov. 5, 1912, when Klamath County men voted in favor 919-688.
Joan Balin Staunton, one of two surviving founding League of Women Voters founding members present, also helped start the Klamath County chapter in 1976 after moving to Klamath Falls from Federal Way, Washington.
Anita Ward, also a founding member, attended the event as well.
Staunton said both saw the chapter actively help institute Kindergarten in Klamath County before it became a statewide requirement.n She recalled efforts to get people registered to vote at grocery stores in town.
Staunton encourages women to take leadership roles and participate in the community.
“It’s so important for women to be active,” Staunton said.
Heather Tramp, executive director of Klamath County Chamber of Commerce, said that from an early age, her great-grandmother instilled in her the importance of voting.
Tramp said her great-grandmother grew up during a time when women could not vote and the impact of that has not been lost on her.
“I’m thankful for the women and the men that stepped up and got us that right,” Tramp said. “That led me to a lifelong passion for being involved at our local, our state level, and our federal level.
Gutierrez, who also spoke at an event celebrating the centennial on Feb. 9, emphasized that “women earned the right to vote.”
Gutierrez called the period that lead up to the ratification one of the “darkest” periods of history, in part due to hunger strikes and oppression toward women who took part in the Suffrage Movement.
“Women went to jail for this cause,” Gutierrez said.
“Timeless Recipes: The Great Fight to win the Vote for Klamath County,” the 100th Anniversary cookbook and history lesson elaborates, describing the experiences of women who fought for voting rights:
“They picketed for the right to vote, were put in jail, and some declared insane. Jail guards grabbed, dragged, beat, choked, slammed, pinched, twisted, and kicked the women, with no consequences to the guards.”
Lowe emphasized than in 1920 and beyond, despite having the technical right to vote, women of color still had many barriers between them and the polls.
“Although they had the right to vote, they didn’t have the opportunity to vote because of poll taxes and a whole variety of ways that they were kept from the polls,” said Leslie Lowe, treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Klamath County, “Until the Civil Rights Act of 1965, and here we are today, 55 years later, and we’re still dealing with the same oppression.”
Emily Strauss, president of the League of Women Voters of Klamath County, spoke of additional barriers to voters on behalf of Diane Shockey, who served the past year as chair of a committee to organize the centennial celebrations. Shockey is dealing with COVID-19 and is expected to recover, according to Strauss.
Wingwatchers Trail Info
Klamath Wingwatchers has developed a 2.5 mile trail along the western shore of Lake Ewauna and on both sides of Highway 97 as it enters into downtown Klamath Falls. Along this trail, Wingwatchers planted over 1500 trees, shrubs, and other plants that provide shelter and food for the many species of wildlife that utilize the area. Picnic tables and benches, information kiosks, and signage enhance the walking experience. Pets are welcome so long as they are leashed and owners use poop bags, which are provided at the start of each trail. Licensed bicycles are permitted so long as the rider is respectful of pedestrians. Brochures at the head of each trail tell about native plants and the trail. Here is our interpretive guide.Here is our native plants brochure.
Election security and the ability to vote by mail or remotely instead of at a polling place has become a major question for the 2020 general election.Of course Oregon has had mail-in only ballots since 1998. Now other states will look at Oregon’s system to learn some best practices.
Oregon’s Vote-by-Mail is secure and accurate. It protects voter privacy. Plus, it has many security features to prevent fraud and election interference.
This video is about Election Security with the Vote-by-Mail process in Oregon. It shows the many safeguards that are used to ensure that all votes are counted accurately, that the election process is secure from interference and fraud, and that the privacy of all voters is protected. Elections Director Tim Scott explains how Oregon’s vote-by-mail process works with slides and videos. He also answers audience questions about the incidence of fraud, voter suppression and the security of vote-counting in other states.
We have 20 days as of June 10, 2020 to get fair maps on the ballot in November, and we need all hands on deck! In a matter of minutes, your help can move us closer to reaching our goal.
Sign IP 57 and join us in the fight for a fair and transparent redistricting process in Oregon! The petition calls for an independent citizen-led redistricting commission that will ensure Oregonians choose their representatives and not the other way around.
We believe Oregon voters should choose their politicians—politicians should not choose their voters. Have you signed IP 57?
In this time of uncertainty, there is one thing we can all agree on; every Oregonian deserves to be represented and every eligible voter’s vote should count. That’s why we joined People Not Politicians, and together we have launched a statewide signature gathering campaign for IP 57 to put redistricting reform on the ballot this November and give everyday Oregonians the opportunity to make our voices heard.
What does IP 57 call for? Anindependent, citizen-led redistricting commission.
The balanced commission would be made up of 12 citizens with 4 from each of the two largest political parties and 4 who are not affiliated with the largest parties.
Incumbent politicians, lobbyists, and political operatives are BANNED from the commission.
Commissioners may not favor or discriminate against any candidate, elected official or political party.
Democracy doesn’t stop and neither do we.
The League of Women Voters of Oregon and People Not Politicians need your help. Your signature today makes all the difference in making sure Oregonians can vote for a fair, transparent, and independent redistricting citizen’s commission this November.
It’s simple. Just visit the People Not Politicians website and take a few steps. First, read Initiative Petition 57. Next, enter your information to get your petition. Then, print, hand-sign and mail in your signature sheet.
Other organizations that support the People Not Politicians petition:
Find more information about gerrymandering in Oregon HERE.
Democracy as an ideal and process has always been at the heart of the mission of the LWV. From its incepetion as a way to gain women’s suffrage, the organization has focused on voting rights, and by extension, elections, and thus the whole basis of representative democracy.
In the Spring of 2020, the avenues of democracy have been severely challenged by a global pandemic which has restricted the movement of millions of people. The restrictions have affected every part of the process, from voting and elections, to the US census, on which future representation is counted for Congress. In preparation for a national election in the US and other countries, including South Korea, Israel, and the UK, government leaders have been forced to consider how to invite participation during a near-total social shut-down.
Here are some thoughtful articles on some of these issues in the U.S. The LWV is closely monitoring how the US will promote the workings of our democratic institutions.
While Census forms continue to be collected and counted, the Bureau has postponed or suspended operations around in-person survey collection in hard-to-count communities. Depending on guidance from the CDC, they may also delay the deployment of enumerators hired to go door-to-door and collect outstanding survey data from houses that have not completed the survey online, via phone, or by mail. There are still ways for these communities to participate in the census—online, by mail, or by phone—and the League continues to monitor how the census plans to ensure hard to count communities still get included.
The Census Bureau is being incredibly transparent about the decisions they are making around their operational plan. They continue to hold stakeholder calls, brief officials, and issue guidance to partner organizations who are helping to get out the count! The census timeline is mandated by federal law and the U.S. Constitution. The Census Bureau is doing everything in their power to help those living in the United States, fill out their questionnaires in the appropriate time frame.
Completing the census is about collecting the necessary information to determine funding for our community needs. Census data is used to distribute billions of dollars in funding that goes to ensure that public safety, health facilities, businesses, and communities have the resources they need to take care of their communities. The League is a partner of the Census Counts Campaign which has issued digital guidance on how to turn in-person events into digital ones for those participating in Get Out the Count activities! We have also built out a robust census action kit for individuals and Leagues to use when helping get out the count.
The most important thing we can do right now is to submit the questionnaire via one of the three ways we’ve already discussed. The second most important thing we can do is to ask our friends, families, and yell across the street to our neighbors—“Have you taken the Census, yet?”
The CDC recommendation for social distancing to contain the coronavirus comes at a time when many Americans are preparing to cast their ballots in upcoming primary elections. While voters’ health and that of their communities is paramount, the League of Women Voters still encourages voters to exercise their right to vote! There are many ways for voters to participate in elections while mitigating their risk of exposure.
Early and Absentee Voting
Some version of early voting and absentee voting, or vote-by-mail, is available in every state. For people in high-risk categories of the virus, the League of Women Voters encourages these voters to limit their exposure to crowds on Election Day. Even voters who are not high risk and want to do their part to curb the virus should consider these options. The more voters who cast their ballots early, the fewer long lines and crowds we will see on Election Day.
Local Board of Elections
If voters have missed their absentee ballot deadlines, they still may be able to vote without going to a busy polling place. Many local boards of election offices can support voters in casting a ballot in person and avoid busy polling places. Voters can find their local board of elections information on the League’s election website VOTE411.org and reach out to learn if this is an option where they live.
We are all familiar with crowds and long lines on Election Day, especially first thing in the morning, over lunch hours, and after work. Voters can limit their interaction with the public by planning to vote during non-peak hours, like the middle of the morning and afternoon.
The League’s nonpartisan election website VOTE411.org has everything voters need to find out their options for participating in early and absentee voting. VOTE411 will also have special alerts on primary election days highlighting any changes to normal voting procedures, including any last-minute changes to polling locations. The site is a personalized voting information hub where voters can check their registration, find their polling place, see what will be on your ballot, and more.
Elections and Debates, Coronavirus and Civil Rights: from the LWV-OR
Public health declarations are already affecting our elections. Vote by mail will become more important and our public candidate events are already being revised or cancelled. We are looking at the challenge of collecting initiative signatures.
Vote by Mail Senator Wyden is proposing to mandate national emergency vote-by-mail. The need for it is clear as two states, Louisiana and now Georgia, have delayed their presidential primaries. Oregon has vote-by-mail, with ballot return envelope postage now pre-paid. The League still strongly recommends using the ballot dropboxes instead, as many already do, to keep costs down.
Debates and Events LWVOR Voter Service is adapting by trying to change to virtual debates with distance audiences, looking for ways to give audiences the opportunity to ask questions and listen to candidates remotely. This is challenging as public meeting size limits are getting smaller. The studios we are working with are concerned about how they will sanitize their equipment and some candidates are already cancelling for these much smaller events.
One of the main functions of the LWV is to promote voter participation. Voters should be educated about candidates and issues.
The LWV hosts hundreds of events and programs every year to educate voters about candidates in thousands of federal, state and local races, as well as distribute millions of educational materials about state and local elections.
Why it matters
The leaders we elect make decisions that affect our daily
lives. Elections are our chance to stand up for what matters most
to us and to have an impact on the issues that affect us, our
communities, our families and our future.
What we’re doing
The LWV hosts hundreds of candidate debates and forums across the country each year and provide straightforward information about candidates and ballot issues. Through print and online resources, including VOTE411.org, we equip voters with essential information about the election process in each state, including polling place hours and locations, ballot information, early or absentee voting rules, voter registration deadlines, ID requirements and more.
Candidates’ Forum in Klamath Falls
The League of Women Voters of Klamath County will hold a Candidates’ Night at the Klamath County Public Library on Tuesday, April 14 from 6 – 9 pm. It is co-sponsored by the Library. We would like all voters to participate, no matter your party affiliation.
Our organization is Non-Partisan. This is not a debate. It is an opportunity for Klamath County voters to hear all candidates who choose to participate, and allows them to answer written questions from you, our audience.
We will invite all 13 candidates, from all parties, for the Congressional seat in District 2, as well as local candidates in contested races (currently Sheriff and County Commissioners). We hope you will come to listen and ask questions.
Election rules differ state by state, and sometimes change from year
to year. Using VOTE411.org, voters can confirm their polling location,
check if ID is required, and see what their personal ballot will look
like. Confirming this information before heading to the polls saves
voters time and helps voters make more informed decisions.
What we’re doing
We have long been a trusted source of objective and nonpartisan
election information. Since 2006, VOTE411.org has served tens of
millions of voters. By entering one’s home address on VOTE411.org,
voters can see ballot questions they will be voting on, compare
candidate responses to League questions and much more!
all participants must provide a valid email address to receive study
materials one month before the seminar. Participants are expected to
read the materials provided and be prepared to engage with fellow
attendees under the direction of the teacher leaders, using Harvard’s
case study method.
background and press release
In August of 2019, the
League of Women Voters of Oregon sent 13 Oregon high school history
and government teachers to a three-day training course at Harvard
University as part of a nation-wide curriculum development program. 5
of the Oregon teachers came from the Klamath Basin region: one from
Klamath Union HS, two from Mazama HS, one from Lost River HS, and one
from Paisley HS. These five teachers are currently using their new
materials based on historical case studies in their classes and find
it challenging and invigorating for their students. In May, 2020
these five teachers will offer a public forum using their new
teaching methods so the community can experience the lessons of
President Madison’ tenure as they apply to our country today.
Business School developed their case method project to bring this
professional development opportunity to high school teachers across
the U.S. Their aim is to deepen students’ understanding of American
democracy. Based on the highly successful experience of Harvard
Business School and other graduate and professional programs that use
case-based teaching, they believe this method can be employed to
strengthen high school education, ensuring a more exciting, relevant,
and effective experience for students and teachers, especially for
students in history and democracy classes. Harvard University
believes it presents a unique opportunity to help reverse the broad
decline in civic education – and civic engagement – in the United
States. Each case study explores a key decision point in the history
of American democracy.
This year for the first time, Oregon participated by sending 13 teachers from across the state. Now the public in the Klamath Basin will be able to benefit from the teachers’ new skills by sitting in a two-hour actual study session, where they prepare by reading the study materials and then sit with others to discuss it under the teachers’ direction, much like their students did in their classes this year. This will be a one-time unique opportunity for community education directly from Harvard University, sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Klamath County and Klamath Community College.