You’ve probably heard of the League of Women Voters. You may know that we sponsor candidate and informational forums. You might even know that we are not affiliated with any political party and our membership includes Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Green Party members, and others. Perhaps you are aware that the League functions on the national, state, and local level. What you may not know is that the League also studies issues of regulation and government structure at the appropriate level and sometimes we adopt positions on those issues.

How does the League decide on which issues it will take a position? The League must first study an issue. League studies take two years or more and involve in depth analysis of the issue. Once the study is complete it is distributed to all state League members. Those members read the study and then come together for discussion and response to a series of consensus questions. If there is consensus on an issue, the League will vote to take a position on the issue.

Over the years our local League has adopted positions on the funding for the Coos County Library System, the Center for Early Childhood Education and Oregon Water Rights, to name just a few. A complete list of national League positions is available on the League website www.lwvor.org and state positions at www.lwvor.org/take-action/current-positions

Recently, our members carefully reviewed documents submitted by the Jordan Cove Project. We followed pertinent Oregon LWV public positions created through our grassroots studies and reviewed the applicant’s documents within the framework of our positions to address deficiencies. We concluded that the Project’s permit applications as submitted did not adequately address the environmental, economic, and cultural impacts, nor did they provide adequate justification to support approval. As a result, our Coos County League of Women Voters (LWV) joined with three other LWV groups from counties located along the proposed pipeline route to submit comments and reasons to deny these applications. You may read the comment documents posted on our website www.lwvcooscounty.org.

On Thursday evening, Jan. 31, LWV of Coos County will provide an informational forum at the Egyptian Theatre from 7–9 p.m. where scientists and other experts will review ecological aspects of the Jordan Cove Project and its influence on the ecology of the estuary, recreation, fishing, hunting, bay access and navigation. Please join us and bring your questions.

Susan Thornton

North Bend

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