LOC News

LOC Women’s Caucus Officially Recognized

The League of Oregon Cities (LOC) has officially recognized a caucus of women government officials to support and give a voice to women who serve Oregon’s 241 incorporated cities as mayors and city councilors. A survey of Oregon cities in 2019 showed that women made up about 43% of all elected officials then in office. The latest count showed only 71 Oregon cities have a woman mayor (29%).  

Membership in the LOC Women’s Caucus is open to any woman who is or has served on a city council, or as a volunteer appointed to a board, commission, or committee of a city that is an LOC member.   

Central Point City Councilor Taneea West Browning, incoming president of the LOC board, along with former Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz, led the effort to form the LOC Women’s Caucus. Browning said she was inspired by the warm welcome she received from Fritz when she first joined the LOC Board, and Fritz’s generous help in sharing her knowledge and experience.  

“I had not had that with any other board appointment I’ve held,” Browning said. “This group can provide that kind of support for elected women throughout Oregon.”  Browning will take her new position as the LOC Board President in January and serve for a one-year term.

The mission of the Women’s Caucus is to: promote positive and effective relationships among women city officials, their communities, political leaders, and the LOC; build and increase capacity of women to engage in and serve in local government; serve as a resource to the LOC Board in formulating policy and to serve in leadership positions; and support, encourage, and highlight the successes of women city officials. The caucus will also provide encouragement to women who may be considering running for public office, and provide opportunities for former city council members to support and mentor women currently serving.  

More than 100 women responded to calls for the formation of the LOC Women’s Caucus, which now joins the recently formed LOC People of Color Caucus as another exciting addition to the League of Oregon Cities’ growing platform of diversity.  Both caucuses were developed to acknowledge and support the continuing changes of Oregon’s populations and leadership.  The Women’s Caucus was approved by the LOC Board of Directors at its June 2021 meeting. A slate of officers for the new group will be elected at the League’s annual statewide conference in Bend in October.  

Women city council members, former council members, and members of city-appointed boards, commissions and committees who are interested in joining the new caucus can apply through the LOC website, www.orcities.org.  Contact jhafner@orcities.org for more information.

The LOC is the trusted, go-to resource that helps Oregon city staff and elected leaders serve their cities well and speak with one voice.  LOC is available to provide cities what they need to build thriving communities, through advocacy, training and information.  Created in 1925 through an intergovernmental agreement of incorporated cities, the LOC is essentially an extended department of all 241 Oregon cities.

For more information, contact Albany Councilor Marilyn Smith at Marilyn.Smith@cityofalbany.net  

Updated 8/13/2021