Meet the Candidates, Understand Your Ballot and the Ballot Measures

League of Women Voters of Lincoln County Presents Candidate Forum and Discussion of Ballot Measures

On Wednesday, October 19th, beginning at 6:30 pm, at the Hallmark Resort in Newport, the League of Women Voters of Lincoln County will host a discussion of the statewide ballot measures, coupled with a forum for the State Legislative candidates in House District 10 and Senate District 5.  Those include candidates for the Senate:  Senator Arnie Roblan (D) and his challenger, Dick Anderson (R). The Libertarian candidate, Dan Souza, has been invited.  Rep. David Gomberg (D) has also confirmed his attendance and his challenger, Thomas Donohue (R) has been invited.  The presentations from candidates will be followed by a limited question and answer session.  A review of the Statewide Ballot Measures which will appear on this fall’s ballot will round out the evening.  Refreshments will be provided, coupled with time to visit directly with the candidates.  The public in invited to attend and take advantage of an opportunity to focus some attention on local political activity.
The League of Women Voters Voters’ Guide is will be available at the October 19 event, as well as a variety of locations in each community.  It is currently being distributed to libraries, community centers, city halls and other locations throughout Lincoln County.  The nonpartisan election report is published by the League of Women Voters of Oregon.  Qualified candidates for state-wide Oregon offices were invited to respond to questions prepared by league members.  It also includes a summation of the state-wide ballot measures.

League of Women Voters Positions on Oregon Ballot Measures

The League of Women Voters of Oregon has announced its positions on ballot measures that are on the November, 2016 ballot:

Ballot Measure 94: Support – The Oregon Elimination of Mandatory Judicial Retirement AgeAmendment, would eliminate the requirement that judges retire at the age of 70. It would also authorize or require the retirement or of judges with a physical or mental disability or any other cause rendering judges incapable of performing their judicial duties. Action felt that the forced retirement age was age discrimination, against League positions.

Ballot Measure 95: Support – The Oregon Public University Diversification of InvestmentsAmendment would amend Section 6 of Article XI of the Oregon Constitution to allow public state universities to invest in equities. This would allow universities to allow growth through investments other than patents. University Boards will have public meetings, so they meet our positions on being transparent, accountable.
Ballot Measure 96: Neutral – Amends Constitution, dedicates lottery funding for veterans’ support services. Because this is another carve-out of the lottery funds, and because it amends the constitution, the League has concerns. But, these monies are likely needed for veteran’s services.

Ballot Measure 97: Support –  increases certain corporate taxes by establishing a 2.5 percent tax on corporate gross sales that exceed $25 million. Specifically, it would establish a minimum tax of $30,000 plus 2.5 percent of gross sales that exceed $25 million. LWVOR’s position that says, “A tax system that recognizes the individual’s responsibility for government services by providing for broad sharing of the tax burden.” Oregon has faced a consistent revenue shortage for the past 25 years. While Oregon’s economy has grown, voters have placed limits on the state’s ability to impose new taxes, which has caused inadequate funding of schools and public services. In addition, Oregon faces a budget shortfall of $1.35 billion in the upcoming budget period. That is a substantial gap, amounting to about 6 percent of the state budget. According to Oregon’s Legislative Revenue Office, the measure would raise more than $6 billion each budget biennium. This measure effectively replaces losses from Measure 5. Although this measure is somewhat regressive, since it is a statute, the legislature can always correct it later without the 3/5ths vote required from both houses for a tax increase.

We cannot ignore the needs for K-12 schools, human services, the elderly and public safety. Without this additional revenue, we will again see cuts to the services the public needs and wants.
Ballot Measure 98: Neutral – requires that the Oregon State Legislature fund dropout-prevention, career and college readiness programs in Oregon high schools. It would require that the legislature provide at least $800 per student initially and adjusted annually for inflation and population growth. LWVOR supports comprehensive K-12 funding, which is why we support M97, but if M97 does not pass, this measure will likely reduce funding for early childhood education, an area where LWVOR has increased our voice in support.
Ballot Measure 99: Neutral – creates an “Outdoor School Education Fund,” sourced from state lottery proceeds, to support outdoor school programs. The outdoor school initiative seeks to designate about $22 million in state lottery funds for outdoor education for all fifth and sixth graders in Oregon. This outdoor education involves a stay at a camp for a few nights while learning about science. This is a worthy program but we cannot afford more carve-outs of Lottery Funds. We fully expect that the Legislature would provide this funding if M97 passes.
Ballot Measure 100: Neutral -. This measure supports prohibiting the sale of products and parts of 12 types of endangered animals in Oregon: rhino, cheetah, tiger, sea turtle, lion, elephant, whale, shark, pangolin, jaguar, ray, and leopard. We have an LWVUS position on ecosystem protections and this measure would probably not cost Oregon (except ODFW is responsible for enforcing). However, we have no strong positions on this issue.
http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?m=1102316589721&ca=66c69887-e25d-463a-9c61-6dc0b6af4bda

A State of Change: Oregon’s Evolving Identities

FREE DISCUSSION ABOUT OREGON IDENTITY

The March 21, 2015 event is part of Oregon Humanities’ statewide Conversation Project.

Newport, Oregon, March 21, 2015: What is an Oregonian? Our state and its citizens have many identities, including an Eden of freedom and verdancy, a laboratory of democracy, and a land of logging. How might diverse interpretations of Oregon help us better understand the past, present, and future of our state?

Richard Etulain

Richard Etulain

This is the focus of “A State of Change: Oregon’s Evolving Identities,” a free conversation with Northwest native and prolific history writer Richard Etulain on Saturday, March 21, 2015 at 2:00 PM in the community room at Oregon Coast Community College, 400 SE College Way, Newport. This program is hosted by the League of Women Voters of Lincoln County and sponsored by Oregon Humanities.

Etulain is professor emeritus of history at the University of New Mexico, where he taught American history and cultures and directed its Center for the American West, and has taught at Northwest Nazarene University and Idaho State University. He holds a doctorate in American history and literature from the University of Oregon. Etulain is the author or editor of fifty books; his most recent is Lincoln and Oregon Country Politics in the Civil War Era. He is currently working on a new book, Abraham Lincoln and the American West.

Through the Conversation Project, Oregon Humanities offers free programs that engage community members in thoughtful, challenging conversations about ideas critical to our daily lives and our state’s future. For more information about this community discussion, please contact M. Podesta at 541-765-4422 or at emmyrumsey@cablespeed.com.

Oregon Humanities (813 SW Alder St., #702; Portland, OR 97205) connects Oregonians to ideas to change lives and transform communities. More information about Oregon Humanities’ programs and publications, which include the Conversation Project, Think & Drink, Humanity in Perspective, Idea Lab, Public Program Grants, and Oregon Humanities magazine, can be found at oregonhumanities.org. Oregon Humanities is an independent, nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities and a partner of the Oregon Cultural Trust.

Measure 89 Would Provide Momentum for Federal ERA: Guest opinion

By Guest Columnist
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on October 18, 2014 at 1:47 PM, updated October 18, 2014 at 1:48 PM

In this March 2013 photo, Leanne Littrell DiLorenzo, founder of VoteERA.org and chief petitioner for Oregon's Measure 89, discusses her proposal to add the equal-rights amendment to the Oregon constitution as Reps. Julie Parrish, R-West Linn, and Wally Hicks, R-Grants Pass, listen during a news conference at the state Capitol in Salem. (AP Photo/Jonathan J. Cooper)

In this March 2013 photo, Leanne Littrell DiLorenzo, founder of VoteERA.org and chief petitioner for Oregon’s Measure 89, discusses her proposal to add the equal-rights amendment to the Oregon constitution as Reps. Julie Parrish, R-West Linn, and Wally Hicks, R-Grants Pass, listen during a news conference at the state Capitol in Salem. (AP Photo/Jonathan J. Cooper)

By Leanne Littrell DiLorenzo

Why is it important to vote yes on Measure 89?

(1) Women are not equal in the Oregon Constitution.

(2) Women are not equal in Oregon case law, as there is an exception for “biological differences.” Current case law exempts discriminatory laws that are “justified” by specific “biological differences” between men and women, and Measure 89 would remove that exemption.

(3) Women are not equal in the United States Constitution.

Measure 89 will establish state policy banning discrimination based on sex.  The language of Article I, Section 20 of the Oregon Constitution, written in 1857, has not changed.  Under it women could not vote, could not serve on juries, most could not own property, and women still do not have equal pay for equal work.

Measure 89 will provide momentum for women’s equality in the U.S. Constitution by engaging all those who are still working on the federal ERA to follow Oregon’s lead.  After 91 years the federal Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) has still not been added to the U.S. Constitution, even though it has been introduced in Congress every single year since 1923.  It passed in Congress once in the ’70s but fell three states short of the deadline for ratification.

The U.S. Constitution still does not adequately protect women.   “Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t,” said U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in 2011.

Four former Oregon Supreme Court justices took the extraordinary step of writing an open letter in favor of Measure 89 to debunk several arguments made by detractors. Their June 2014 letter is signed by former justices Paul De Muniz, W. Michael Gillette, Richard William Riggs and George Van Hoomissen. It made clear that women do not have the strongest protection in the Oregon Constitution. They said “… no current provision in the Constitution expressly provides those protections … Instead, the protections available to women are present as a result of case law … Measure 89 would remove the biological differences exception.”  This is why women would ultimately have full equality.

One opposition group says others’ rights could be affected by passage of an Oregon ERA. The justices stated: “The text of the ERA itself provides that nothing in it will diminish the rights of any group under any provision of the Oregon Constitution. …Oregon’s Office of Legislative Counsel has also issued opinions further supporting that nothing in ERA proposal will diminish the rights of any other group. At least 22 states have adopted equal rights amendments in their constitutions. Not one of the ‘concerns’ voiced by [detractors] has ever come to pass in those states.”

The Justices concluded with another reference to the detractors of the measure: “They are mistaken to oppose passage of the Oregon ERA. We believe that passage of the Oregon ERA will acknowledge the contributions and importance of more than 50% of our citizens by finally providing women express recognition in our state’s most important document, its constitution.”

The women who sought the right to vote needed to resort to the initiative just as we have. On five separate occasions, Oregonian editor Harvey Scott was against women gaining the right to vote even though his sister was Abigail Scott Duniway, the leader of the suffragist movement of the Pacific Northwest and the first woman to vote in Oregon in 1912.  But the women prevailed.

Measure 89 has broad bipartisan support.  In addition to the four former Oregon Supreme Court justices, supporters include former Court of Appeals Judge David Schuman, former Oregon Attorney General Dave Frohnmayer and Oregon Women Lawyers.  Supporters come from a long list of organizations, elected officials, community leaders and Oregonians from all over the state, including U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, former Congresswoman Darlene Hooley, former state Sen. Margaret Carter, YWCA, NAACP of Eugene, Oregon Business Association, League of Women Voters, Democratic Party of Oregon, Clackamas County Republican Party, AFSCME and many more.

Please join me in voting “yes” on Measure 89.

Leanne Littrell DiLorenzo is chief petitioner for Measure 89 and founder and president of VoteERA.org.

http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/10/measure_89_would_provide_momen.html#comments

League of Women Voters – Oregon Endorses Ballot Measure 89 – Oregon Equal Rights Amendment

LWV

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 14, 2014
LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS Announces
2014 General Election
Ballot Measure Positions
The League of Women Voters of Oregon (LWVOR) supports the following measures:
Measure 87 – Student Opportunity Fund
Amends Constitution: Requires creation of a fund for Oregonians pursuing postsecondary
education, authorizes state indebtedness to finance fund.
This is a constitutional amendment, because debt incurred by the State to create this
dedicated permanent fund must be added to the list of approved bonding in order to allow
the Legislature to issue bonds for these student grants. Implementation of the measure will
be in statute. “The League of Women Voters of Oregon believes the primary goal of
Oregon’s public postsecondary education should be to provide a broad spectrum of higher
education for professional, vocational, and personal enrichment to all qualified and
motivated individuals.”
Measure 88 – Driver’s Cards
Provides Oregon resident a “driver card” without requiring proof of legal presence in the
United States.
The LWVOR Farmworker Issues position says, “…the state has a role in supporting the
sound and fair relationship between farmers and the agricultural workforce, with the goal of
economic and social justice for both parties”. In addition, there is also support in the League
of Women Voters of the United States positions in regard to Equality of Opportunity,
Immigration, and Meeting Basic Human Needs.
Measure 89 – State Equal Rights Amendment
Amends Constitution: State/political subdivision shall not deny or abridge equality of rights
on account of sex.
LWVOR supports “equal rights for all regardless of sex.” Although LWVOR worked for many
years to pass a national amendment, the League believes that governments at all levels
share the responsibility to provide equality of opportunity for education, employment and
housing for all persons regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age,
sexual orientation or disability.
The League of Women Voters of Oregon does not take a position on any of the other ballot
measures.
Visit our website for more detailed information at www.lwvor.org
Contact: Robin Wisdom, LWVOR President
Phone: 503-581-5722
Email: r.wisdom@lwvor.org
The League of Women Voters® of Oregon (LWVOR) is a grassroots, nonpartisan political organization
that encourages informed and active participation in government in order to build better communities
statewide. LWVOR’s purposes are to influence public policy through education and advocacy