Making Democracy Work

First Thursday Luncheons

See who is speaking this month!

About First Thursdays

Once a month (except July and August) The League of Women Voters of Deschutes County hosts a luncheon. League Board members discuss current issues and invite local experts to be our host speakers.

Everyone is invited to this luncheon. Please arrive by 11:00 am if ordering from the menu. The speaker will begin at noon. There will be time for questions and answers at the finish of the presentation. No RSVP needed.

Black Bear Diner
1465 NE 3rd St.
Bend, OR 97701
The corner of Third and Olney

See the Calendar Page for list of all events

the new political landscape

Speaker will be Judy Stiegler, former State House Representative and Political Science Instructor at COCC and OSU Cascades. She teaches Intro to US Government and Politics, and State and Local Government and Politics

Ms. Stiegler studied at the University of Oregon and Lewis and Clark College, Northwest School of Law.

She will cover the new political landscape nationally and locally and also address the idea of the National Popular Vote.

women's health

Speaker will be Liliana Cabrera, of Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette.

Liliana Cabrera comes to Central Oregon from the Central Coast of California. Prior to moving to Redmond, Liliana worked as a Community Health Educator for Planned Parenthood in Monterey County. Her work as a Community Educator has allowed her to follow her passion to work in the field of social justice and given her the opportunity to do so in Central Oregon.

bend-la pine school district funding

Speaker will be Shay Mikalson, Superintendent of Bend-La Pine School District.

In this role, Shay Mikalson oversees all educational and administrative issues, and develops operational procedures for the District; recommends review procedures for the allocation of staff and for special studies authorized by the Bend-La Pine Schools' Board of Directors, and directs the assignment of school administrators.
Shay has earned a statewide reputation for increased student achievement.

casa of central oregon

Speakers will be Jenna App, Executive Director, and Leslie Fritch, Associate Director of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Central Oregon.

Jenna graduated from Vassar College and the University of Arizona College of Law. She clerked for the Alaska Court of Appeals and was a Fellow with the National Association for Public Interest Law. Before moving to Bend in 2013, she practiced law in Alaska and directed a lobbying and consulting practice.

Leslie became a CASA in Sonoma County, CA in 1997 and has been an enthusiastic supporter and volunteer ever since. She received a degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley with an emphasis in Ethnic Studies.

CASA advocates for children in the foster care system.

Central Oregon Health Council

Speaker will be Rebeckah Berry, MS, CHES, Operations and Projects Manager at the Central Oregon Health Council (COHC).

Rebeckah has supported projects like the Pain Standards Task Force, a regional group of providers committed to educating their peers around the topic of safer opioid prescribing and evidence-based alternatives for individuals living with chronic or persistent pain. She managed the development of the 2016-2019 Central Oregon Regional Health Improvement Plan, and supports the work of numerous committees and workgroups striving to serve our communities in their effort toward creating a healthier Central Oregon.

Ms. Berry received her undergraduate degree from Rutgers University, her Masters of Science at the University of Kentucky, and is credentialed as a Certified Health Education Specialist.

Rebeckah moved to Bend, Oregon in 2006. She spent eight years working at Deschutes County Health Services as a Programs Coordinator and Health Educator, where she worked closely with school districts and non-profit organizations throughout Central Oregon, increasing the accuracy, consistency and comprehensive nature of their sexual health education among students and consumers of varying ages and backgrounds.

Rebeckah enjoys mountain biking, all kinds of trail running, and backpacking. She looks for opportunities to be outside as much as possible. Before she began working at the COHC, Rebeckah and her significant other traveled the US and Canada in their minivan for a year exploring and enjoying nature.

at risk youth services in central oregon

Speaker will be Amanda Gow, Director of Community Programs, Cascade Youth and Family Services and Program Manager, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon.

Amanda is a native to Bend and graduated in 1999 from Bend Senior High and holds a degree from the University of Oregon in International Business.

Amanda began working with J Bar J in 2011 as part of the events and development team. During that time she oversaw J Bar J's biggest fundraiser, the Oregon High Desert Classics.

In 2013, Amanda accepted the position of Program Director for the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Amanda is also a Big Sister to an 11 year old girl and truly believes and lives the mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters.