Hello friends and happy summer to you!
I hope the sunshine is finding you all well. That cold and rainy March weather here in the Valley seemed like it would never end!
Below you will find some updates throughout the community of HD 25. As always, please let me know if my office can be of any assistance to you!
State Representative - HD 25
Addressing Homelessness Responsibly
Homelessness is an issue pushing its way into all of our communities whether it is local community members struggling to find affordable homes, or in dealing with the homeless population that is being pushed out of bigger cities into nearby small towns.
Right here in District 25, Newberg is trying to find a solution to mitigate the intended and unintended consequences of this growing homeless population being drawn from nearby urban centers.
The complexity of this issue was demonstrated last year when the City of Bend proposed a homeless encampment next to a K-12 school. This created a movement of local citizens and the local teachers' union to start a petition to amend the city charter to restrict public dollars for homeless camps near schools as a way to protect kids from obvious risks/conflicts. People from across the political spectrum came together in Bend to agree that they needed to address the homeless issue, but do it wisely and protect children and families. Bend's petition states that public dollars should not be spent on putting homeless camps/facilities near schools, and citizens should be able to vote on larger public expenditures to construct these facilities. We all agree that we must help and have compassion for our neighbors that are facing these difficulties, however, public policy must also consider the needs, livability and safety of our citizens.
On March 30, 2022 the city of Newberg approved a $400,000 grant of ARPA application dollars for a tiny home cluster serving homeless individuals with proposed drug/alcohol rehab and mental health services to be provided by Providence. The problem is that the privately owned site is located within 100 feet of a K-12 school (this hits especially close to home as this is the school my own children attend). There was very little notice given to the neighbors, the school, or the community that the city was considering such a huge grant for this project. Furthermore, community members weren't given the opportunity before the grant was awarded to understand the issue and give constructive feedback to the city. Other publicly owned properties available for this type of facility are located in more appropriate places where children wouldn't potentially encounter those dealing with a drug or mental health crisis. Members of the local community in Newberg have banded together to circulate a petition drawn from the bi-partisan Bend proposal. Over the past week Newberg has seen an outpouring of interested citizens helping to circulate the petition.
You can read more about the public policy being proposed at Oregon Catalyst, a local opinion writer's article in Newberg, and at newbergkidsnotcamps.com.
The City Council of Newberg is now also considering an additional new ordinance to allow the practice of car camping at designated areas around the city. You can read the proposal here and here [PDF] from the City of Newberg.
Public Comment Open
Oregon's Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance program, now called Paid Leave Oregon, is a new program that allows workers in Oregon to take paid time off for times that impact families, health, and safety.
You are invited to participate in one of three rulemaking public hearings in July on the 42 rules summarized here. This is one option to provide comments on these rules, but you can also provide written comments via email. The deadline for public comment is August 1st. You can submit comment(s) or ask any questions to [email protected].
To register, please select the meeting above you wish to attend. If you need to participate by phone, Zoom will provide you with the conference line number after you register.
Thursday, July 21, 2022, from 10 a.m. – Noon
Saturday, July 23, 2022, from 9 – 11 a.m.
Tuesday, July 26, 2022, from 4 – 6 p.m.
Events in the District
Congratulations to everyone at the St. Paul Rodeo and in the St. Paul community for another incredible Fourth of July Rodeo weekend! With record attendance, perfect summer weather and a phenomenal event to showcase it was not to be missed. If you did, start planning for 2023 soon!
The highlight of any summer in Newberg is the Old Fashioned Festival at the end of every July. Be sure to mark your calendars July 28-31!
Lastly, join the Keizer Chamber as they celebrate and support local businesses at the annual Keizerfest August 11-14!
email: [email protected] I phone: 503-986-1425
address: 900 Court St NE, H-479, Salem, OR 97301