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Incoming President’s Remarks: Rebecca Gladstone

A message from incoming LWVOR President Rebecca Gladstone

Elected during Convention 2019, Rebecca Gladstone will begin her term as President of the League of Women Voters of Oregon in July. Norman Turrill will continue his term through June. Rebecca’s welcome message below outlines the League’s organizational goals and mission for the coming years.

May 21, 2019

From: Rebecca Gladstone, incoming LWVOR President

To: Convention attendees and all League members

Thank you to our outgoing President, Norman Turrill. He has been a calm, organized, reliable president for 4 years. He has set a standard of excellence for delegating work, a hallmark of good leadership. I call it “Share the Joy- League mentoring”. The Board of Directors, LWVOR, would like to Thank President Turrill, a member of the LWV, which does accept men as members.

I’d like to thank you for the honor of this position and for your promises of support, to me and to each other. Teamwork will be the hallmark of this term, like Lucie from Curry County offering Emily in Klamath Falls, to trade forum help for website help. Here’s a quick forecast for this term, our issues, what we can accomplish.

First of ALL- Have you Voted yet? ELECTION DAY IS TODAY! Pass it on!

This is why we formed the League of Women Voters! Voter Service is the heart of the League. We worked 100 years ago to GET the vote. Now we need to Get OUT The Vote! Remember the silent majority? On November 3, 1969, President Nixon, called out to “the Great Silent Majority of fellow Americans, I ask for your support”. Since the 2016 election, we have seen what some call the TRUMP BUMP! Thanks to President Trump, more people are energized to turn out to vote, to march around the world, to rally groups to lobby days at our Legislature, to resurrect issues we thought comfortably settled, like abortion access. Data show (WA Post) that arguably, non-voters elected President Trump, since there were more of them than Trump or Clinton voters. The League does not support or oppose candidates or parties. We certainly do not support election by default or neglect.

We want to motivate informed voters. Because an ill-informed electorate is dangerous.

We need to Protect the vote

We can be proud in Oregon. Other state Leagues are envious of Oregon’s–

  1. Vote by Mail. In Oregon, we led the country with VBM. Other states are making it their own and some call it Vote From Home to make it their own. I say Go for it- We like it!
  2. Voter Registration- Motor Voter. We led the nation with Automatic Voter Registration. We started with the DMV. When you get a drivers’ license, your signature is on file electronically and your ballot signature is compared to your drivers’ license signature.

    But there are Oregonians who don’t drive. The intention in 2015 was to start registering voters through the DMV, to test the process, and roll it out to other state agencies. We need to push for #FilerVoter. We sign our taxes and there is access to those signatures for ballot comparison. We can expand our inclusion by registering tax payers to VOTE, through the Dept of Revenue. Remember No Taxation Without Representation? This would not include our non-voting populace and there are reliable system checks for this.

  3. PAPER ballots The League urges for using paper ballots with a voter-verifiable paper trail. There are 12 states that still vote without paper trails. These make our 2020 election security vulnerable. We are not naïve. Some here will remember the “Ballot Box 13 scandal” of 1948, when a boxful of paper ballots was found and counting it then turned an election for LBJ. With our likely adoption of Oregon SB 944, instituting Risk-Limiting Audits, the gold standard of election monitoring, I feel more secure. The League can help by recruiting and training Election Observer Teams. We in this room do not need to be this workforce- think Partners! Share the JOY- League mentoring!
  4. But–Election Hacking. We need to have secure elections. Thank you for supporting the Cybersecurity & Privacy TODAY study. We have to protect our elections. There are 2 ways to worry about this. Actual system hacks need professional defense. Voter discouragement by propaganda is a call to arms for the League. We must rally to fight fake news, foreign intervention, and partisan distractions from serious issues. Each vote matters and we need to inspire our discouraged non-voters that we are here for them. Promote our Vote411 on line, our other Voters’ Guides, and League events.

2020: An Exciting year!

Voter Service– 2020 will be the Most Important Election of our lifetimes! I have heard that repeatedly and am chilled to think of what is at stake and how true it will be this time. Please plan to come to our Fall Workshop for Voter Service Training.

Census 2020– Dr Maher on the CENSUS called on the League for support! Her reference was: Response Outreach Area Mapper. We will continue to fight fearful Census oppression with the “citizenship question”. The best example I can think of is for transportation planning. Our count for traffic planning of who uses the roads isn’t just for registered citizens or voters, but for all who live here and use our roads.

Redistricting Thank you to Norman and Candalynn for the superb work on this very important work, promising to be another way Oregon is setting priorities that other states can follow.

Local League Issues– Hearing your comments here has been the most encouraging and motivating thing for this convention, for me. We have good notes, will go back and review. We will work to improve communications, recordkeeping, and publicity. When people ask you what happens to our dues? Dues versus PMP, per member payment, is confusing. The answer needs to address what services are provided. We should address and push for action toward clarifying and revising our financial assessment model, national, state, and local, at Council, with an eye toward improvements at the 2020 Convention. Thank you!

Advocacy– Our grassroots Voter Service team is specialized and so is our Action team. I have been asked—“Where is the League on this?” We need help and I am ready to Share the Joy with Governance issues, come and talk to me or Alice about this!

In closing, we need to play to our strengths, count on each other for help. We do not need to do it all. Share the Joy, recruit and mentor new members. Be tolerant of changes that should not leave us behind, those of us sitting here as mostly mature white women. We have a weighty legacy to uphold as we look forward to the next 100 years. Lastly, I want to call on all of us to help take care of each other and ourselves. Our current political climate is so stressful. We need to pace ourselves and avoid drama, focus on our goals, and march forward.

Thank you.

Becky

Rebecca Gladstone
LWVOR incoming President 2019-2021