East County Voices - TriMet, Seniors & Survey Results


Representative Chris Gorsek
Fairview, Gresham, Troutdale & Wood Village

Phone: 503-986-1449     900 Court St. NE, H-485 Salem Oregon 97301
Email: rep.chrisgorsek@state.or.us     Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/gorsek
East County Voices 



On Friday (March 29), both the House and Senate will hold an “In-District Day.” All committee meetings and floor sessions are cancelled, and I am excited to spend the day touring facilities operated by the Port of Portland and meeting with the local leaders in the Wallace Medical Concern.

In the News

I have been working hard to improve our public transit system for years. I recently took that work to the next level by introducing legislation to bring more accountability to the TriMet Board.

I am extremely pleased that House Bill 3316 caught the attention of transportation reporter Joe Rose of The Oregonian. Rose does a good job explaining how and why my bill would shift authority from the governor – who currently appoints all 7 members of the board – to empower the region’s local governments. HB 3316 calls for a TriMet board with two appointments from all three counties - Clackamas, Washington and Multnomah; two appointees from both the City of Portland and Metro Council; and the governor would retain one appointment. I also include an important provision so that the appointees representing Multnomah County must live outside of Portland.

After fighting for increased transit service as a Troutdale city councilman, it became clear to me that TriMet’s board is far too removed from the people who rely on public transportation. By giving appointment authority to local governments, riders will have greater access to those who make the decisions about the agency’s leadership.

Click here to read The Oregonian’s full coverage of this bill.

Listening to You

Thank you to everyone who took our community survey. I want to share a few of the results with you here and I encourage you to visit my Facebook page where I’ll be talking about the results with you more in depth. Click here to join the conversation on Facebook.

1. Your top three priorities for the legislature this session:
 1. K-12 Education Funding
 2. Higher Education Funding
 3. Government Efficiency

2. Most of you rated the effectiveness of the state legislature as Fair.

3. You were strongly opposed to eliminating the $50 tax credit for political contributions

4. Restoring our K-12 education funding to maintain or increase service levels was the most important accomplishment for the legislature this session.

5. Our E-Newsletter is now East County Voices. We received a lot of good suggestions and Ofelia M. is the winner with the submission of East County Voices. Thank you to everyone who sent in their suggestions.

Community Events

Senator Monnes Anderson and I hosted a Community Town Hall on Education on March 19 at the Fairview Town Hall. Thank you to our panelists and to everyone who came out to join us - it was a great night.

I also had a great time volunteering at the Oregon Food Bank on March 23. The Oregon Food Bank is a great organization that does much needed work and I was happy that I was able to help. Here I am working with Rep. Jeff Reardon filling boxes to send out to partner food banks.


Legislative Updates

Protecting Our Seniors
One of my top priorities as a State Representative is to protect seniors and our vulnerable populations. For decades, the Senior Property Tax Deferral Program has been helping low income elderly Oregonians remain in their own homes by allowing them to defer property taxes until they move, die, or sell their home. During the Great Recession, declining housing values and increased enrollment threatened the program’s solvency. In order to save the program, the Legislature limited enrollment by tightening eligibility requirements, including removing reverse mortgage holders. On March 13, I voted for House Bill 2489, which permanently grandfathers in these reverse mortgage holders into the program. This extension will allow people to stay in their homes and ensure that our seniors have some peace of mind. Letters have been sent to residents in my district if their information showed that they would be affected by this bill. If you think you may be affected and haven't received a letter, then call the Oregon Department of Revenue at 1-800-356-4222.

Development in Troutdale
One of my top priorities this session is working to strengthening the economy in our district. That is why I introduced House Bill 3139. This bill is designed to provide the funds needed to dismantle the old sewer plant, located behind the outlet mall in Troutdale. We can then prepare that land, which sits in the Urban Renewal District, for development and bring much needed economic growth to this area

Protecting Taxpayer Money
I testified in support of House Bill 2955, a bill that I introduced earlier this session. This bill protects your money by enforcing current law that requires public agencies to prove that contracting out services will be cheaper than completing the same service from within the agency. It’s important that public agencies are spending your money wisely and this bill will help make sure that your money isn’t being wasted on expensive private contractors.

Click here to view my testimony on HB 2955.

Stay in Touch

You can keep up with all the action here in Salem, by liking my page on Facebook. Visit my Facebook page by clicking here.

As always, my staff and I love to hear from our constituents and if you have a question or want to let us know what you think about a bill, email me at Rep.ChrisGorsek@state.or.us or call us at 503-986-1449.


Chris Gorsek