Land Use Leadership Initiative (LULI)

Established in 2012, LULI is training the next generation of land use leaders.

We wouldn’t be able to provide free leadership trainings without generous support. Thank you to this year’s partners: AARP Oregon, the Wheeler Foundation, and the Carpenter Foundation, AllCare Health, Oregon Community Foundation, Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, and the Department of Land Conservation & Development and Oregon Department of Transportation's Transportation Growth Management Program.

  • Do you have a passion for making a difference in your community? 
  • Do you want to expand your advocacy tools and have a greater impact? 
  • Do you love Oregon and want to protect our farms and forests, conserve natural areas, and enhance quality of life in urban and rural communities? 
  • Do you want your local government to take the challenges addressing climate change and social and racial equity seriously? 

If you answered YES to any of these questions, then we have a great opportunity for you! 

1000 Friends of Oregon was founded in 1974 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit public interest watchdog for government agencies tasked with managing land use issues.  For almost half a century, we've operated independently of partisan politics, holding local governments and state agencies accountable to ensure that the innovative system Oregon adopted with Senate Bill 100 (most commonly known through urban growth boundaries and farmland protection) is carried out true to the spirit of sustainable land use. 

But we know that the integrity of the land use system is best supported by active civic involvement of residents in their own communities. That's why we've always worked with local residents to ensure that land use decisions are informed and sound. To enhance that work, we started the Land Use Leadership Initiative (LULI) in 2012 to educate and activate local leaders and passionate community members on land use issues. 

Initially, LULI was a statewide program, but over the years we've recognized that the program was best tailored to regional areas with a focus on issues that are relevant to participants. 

All elected officials in Oregon should be required to take a course like this. I learned more in a few weeks than I did in four years as a Medford City Council member.

-John Statler, LULI graduate

Land Use Leadership Initiative participants (also known as LULIs) connect through interactive training, site visits, and workshops. The program showcases Oregon’s innovative land use planning system, highlights the most-pressing land development issues and creates a forum for LULIs to further hone leadership skills to help create and advance solutions to issues that matter to them.

In 2018 we expanded the LULI program to and held our first out-of-Metro cohort in Southern Oregon to empower current and emerging land use leaders across Oregon. After a second LULI program in Southern Oregon in 2020, we expanded again and ran two LULI programs in 2021, in Portland Metro and the Southern Willamette Valley. 

We have now run nine cohorts, graduating nearly 200 LULIs! Our plan is to expand into more areas of the state and to continue to offer two cohorts a year.

2018 S.O. Luli


Only about 24 people are selected to participate in each cohort, and applying is often very competitive. We encourage any interested person to apply, and work hard to create diverse cohorts consisting of people from all racial, gender, socio-economic, and political backgrounds.

Over the course of nine sessions, LULIs participate in interactive workshops, site visits, and trainings that cover the fundamentals of land use policy. LULIs also have the opportunity to develop and hone leadership skills such as advocacy, public speaking, research, and public engagement. The LULI program features:

  • An orientation where LULI participants connect and network, learn about the creation of Oregon’s land use planning system and establish goals for the program.
  • Interactive training sessions with community leaders, agency staff, elected officials, and data specialists.
  • Skill-building opportunities, where LULIs work with each other and with seasoned activists and decision-makers to become more effective champions of their own issues.
  • Reviews, where LULIs can interact with session speakers and LULI graduates to reflect on lessons from throughout the LULI program. 
  • Support for ongoing connection with past and future LULI fellows and 1000 Friends of Oregon policy staff.
  • Assistance with transportation, childcare, and other program expenses.
  • Access to an online portal with session materials, speaker contact information, and interactive forum to connect with the LULI network.

(While we prefer to meet in person, due to Covid-19 we have also modified the workshops and trainings to be held virtually and site visits to be completed individually instead of as a group.)

Where will we be next?

In 2022 we are planning to run two cohorts. The first is taking place in the Spring and Early Summer in the Rogue Valley.

Check back here in the Spring of 2022 to learn where the second cohort of the year will be based.

Want to learn more, or have a question about LULI? Use the form below to send us a message. 

More about LULI:
Past LULI Focuses
  • 2012  Statewide | Oregon's Statewide Planning Goals & Guidelines
  • 2013  Statewide | Oregon's Statewide Planning Goals & Guidelines
  • 2014  Portland Metro | Climate Smart Communities
  • 2016  Portland Metro | Southwest Corridor Project
  • 2018  Southern Oregon | Oregon's Statewide Planning Goals & Guidelines, and Local Housing Issues & Solutions
  • 2019  Portland Metro | Climate Smart Communities Revisited
  • 2020 Southern Oregon | Housing Issues & Solutions and Wildfire
  • 2021  Portland Metro & Southern Willamette Valley | Missing Middle Housing and Effective Advocacy
  • Orientation
  • Where did the land use program come from, and how is it structured?
  • The whys and hows of urban growth boundaries
  • Housing for all
  • Transportation that works for everyone
  • Building (and re-building) fire- and climate-resilient communities
  • Agriculture and food systems
  • Healthy forests, energy facilities, and other rural land use issues
  • Ins and outs of advocacy
What LULI graduates have to say:
John S. | LULI Southern Oregon Graduate 2018

“All elected officials in Oregon should be required to take a course like this. I learned more in a few weeks than I did in four years as a Medford City council member (and I sought out trainings during my term!).”

Stuart C. | LULI 2014-15

"LULI was important to me personally, along with my career efforts. Because of LULI, I realized more clearly that I wanted to pursue a career in planning, and I am now set to begin PSU's MURP program this fall! I also know that I have a solid network of LULI's that I can reach out to for questions or information – priceless!"

Princess F. | LULI Southern Oregon Graduate 2018

“I was given an amazing opportunity that reminded me why I advocate for affordable housing. This program gave me resources to use and go to when working on land use issues with others.”