Position Statement: Social Policy


Based on in-depth interviews with 41 local people of color, the League of Women Voters of Marion and Polk Counties is aware that racism is widely experienced in the Salem area. Each person we interviewed told of incidents they had experienced personally, and how these experiences had impacted their lives. Common situations in which discrimination was experienced involved stores, restaurants, job, school and law enforcement agencies.

In order to help create a “Climate of Inclusion” in our area, LWV/MPC is committed to pursuing several approaches:

  • Support existing Civil and Human Rights laws, regulations and policies by pressing government, business, schools, employers, law enforcement and others to be accountable for enforcing these laws;
  • Support victims of racial discrimination in trying to get fair treatment;
  • Support the work of the Salem Human Rights and Relations Advisory Commission and other groups committed to cultural awareness and upholding everyone’s human rights;
  • Insure that human rights groups have sufficient authority to protect human rights;
  • Encourage full representation of people of color on the Human Rights Commission and other related agencies;
  • Support and/or initiate efforts to raise awareness about the wide extent of racist behavior and the impact this has on individual lives;
  • Support and/or initiate efforts to raise awareness of the wide range of cultural and racial diversity in our community and foster an atmosphere of inclusion;
  • Explore new approaches to resolving racism.

The League of Women Voters of Marion and Polk Counties believes that the present public aquatic facilities in our community are inadequate to meet the needs of our population. We support maintaining and upgrading existing public facilities as well as adding facilities as need increases and finances allow.

We support year-round programs which include instruction, therapy, recreation and competitive swimming. Community programs should include the lifetime skills of swimming and water safety and should be both affordable and accessible for all members of the community.

We support the following options as potential sources of revenue for construction, land purchases and refurbishing public aquatic facilities:

  • Bond measure
  • Private funding/grants
  • State and federal funds, e.g., Urban renewal funds, Lottery funds, Measure 66 funds, Land Water and Conservation funds, Community Development Block Grants
  • Systems Development Charges

We support the following options for funding the operation and maintenance of public aquatic programs and facilities:

  • User fees
  • Local government funds gained through careful examination of budgets for other local government services
  • Private funding/grants
  • Other revenue sources, such as a dedicated tax

The following public or private jurisdictions may be appropriate to manage the ongoing operations of aquatic facilities and its programs:

  • Parks and Recreation Department/City of Salem
  • Salem-Keizer School District 24J
  • Marion and Polk Counties
  • Chemeketa Community College
  • Public agencies sharing financial responsibility
  • A regional Aquatic District that may be created
  • Public-private management partnership between local government and a non-profit organization

The League of Women Voters of Marion and Polk Counties understands that there are a number of barriers to adequate perinatal care in Salem and in Marion County. Community efforts are needed to help resolve shortages of funding, information and professional caregivers. Priority should be given to increasing the availability of providers. Efforts to remove other barriers which limit a woman’s access to care are also needed.

The League supports:

1. Increasing the number of providers of maternity care to give all pregnant women access to care early in pregnancy.

2. Expanding opportunities for certified nurse midwives to provide perinatal care, including delivery services.

3. Comprehensive county-wide planning for maternity care services.

4. Utilizing resources most efficiently by encouraging public and private sector partnerships.


The League of Women Voters of Marion and Polk Counties supports a mix of housing throughout all areas within the Urban Growth Boundary, consistent with our position on Capital Improvements Financing. (October 1979)

League members support site review as a part of the City of Salem’s approval process for multi-family housing. We support opportunities for public input in the development of clear, concise standards for site review.

The League supports efforts to meet the need for affordable multi-family housing in Salem. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

a. New multi-family housing starts;

b. Upgrading existing multi-family housing;

c. Incentives for private enterprise;

d. Rent subsidies.


The League of Women Voters of Marion and Polk Counties endorses programs for special housing for the elderly, the handicapped, and the low-income.

The League supports a mix of funding programs for such housing, including: direct subsidies to renters (primary emphasis); low interest loans to developers; income tax credits or deductions for developers, owners and/or renters; property tax deferrals or defrayment for developers, owners and/or renters (less emphasis); alternate sources of financing such as government grants and private funding. Quality controls for the various funding programs are necessary.

The League supports a mix of housing programs for Special Needs Populations, including: government-owned or operated; HUD Section 8; Housing Allowance; experimental housing such as shared housing; both single and mixed-type units. Local control for these programs is desirable.

The League should support efforts to eliminate barriers that exist in providing special housing. These include: educating developers, realtors, the general public, and the targeted populations about housing needs; changing zoning laws and building codes to allow more flexibility in providing special housing.


The League of Women Voters of Marion and Polk Counties supports:

1. The provision of services to prevent and deal with delinquent and dependant/neglected children is, in part, a responsibility of government.

2. Financing of juvenile programs is jointly a responsibility of federal, state and local governments:

  • Federal funds should be allocated through the state whenever feasible;
  • The state should require a basic standard of service;
  • Cooperative planning for the wise use of funds should involve participation among various levels of government and should include public input from the communities directly affected.

3. The League supports the concept of Community Corrections. We advocate attention to school districts since they have unique opportunities to reach all children.

4. We believe a broad range of services should be available to meet the needs of all delinquent/dependent youth.

5. We encourage well-planned, innovative services in the search for answers to juvenile delinquency

%d bloggers like this: