Rep. Brad Witt e-News



Representative Brad Witt D-Clatskanie District 31 Phone: 503-986-1431    900 Court St. NE, H-374, Salem Oregon 97301 Email:    Website: State Seal
February 9, 2015              E-Newsletter              Volume 9, No. 2

 Join us on Facebook


Hi Everyone,


This past week the work began in Salem. Bills have started rolling out of our committees and on Friday two of them hit the House floor for a vote.  Thanks to everyone who has been contacting my office to share your thoughts and feelings on upcoming legislation.  A great way to stay abreast of topics or bills that you care about as we move through this Legislative Session and it’s 3000 expected bills, is to set up alerts on topics or bills that you care about.  The Oregon Legislature webpage has some great tools to keep you up to date:

I also welcome visitors.  If you are planning a trip to Salem and your State Capitol, please contact my office!  It is YOUR Capitol and I work for you!  It was a pleasure to meet with several folks from our district in my office this week who talked to me about their programs and their hopes for the future.

I had the opportunity to hear from local advocates on the struggles facing Head Start & Healthy Start in making good on their mission.  Established in 1965, Head Start promotes school readiness for children in low-income families by offering educational, nutritional, health, social, and other services. Since its inception, Head Start has served more than 31 million children, birth to age 5, and their families. In 2013, Head Start was funded to serve nearly one million children and pregnant women in centers, family homes, and in family child care homes in urban, suburban, and rural communities throughout the nation.

In our community, the program was able to serve an estimated 60% of the children eligible to receive Head Start services. Due to limited funding, 40% of eligible children were not able to attend Head Start and in the past year they have had to cut transportation for children.  In spite of budget challenges, Head Start programs are dedicated to providing the highest quality comprehensive services to children and families with a continued commitment to excellence.

Their priority is to serve children in poverty, foster care, homeless shelters, and those with special needs.  Head Start makes a big difference for children and families. In 2012-13  407 families were served.  Thanks to this program children are developmentally ready to enter kindergarten and are up to date on medical, dental and immunization needs. 

One parent sent me a picture of her and her young daughter along with a letter explaining, “Head Start is not just about educating the student, it is about educating parents and by doing this, we are encouraging growth within our community.  We are growing and becoming stronger individuals because of the Head Start community, and this will empower our children.”

Boyd Ruby and Bill Blank from Columbia County Habitat for Humanity also came to the Capitol to update me on their organization, the great work they are doing in our community and how legislators can best help.  Safe, stable housing is the foundation for thriving families and a thriving middle class. Columbia County Habitat for Humanity believes that everyone needs a decent, affordable place to live.  During the ession they are advocating for tax exempt status on properties that Habitat will build homes on for struggling families, an asset leveraging program known as “Build Tomorrow’s Homes Today” and Habitat would like the legislature to renew and expand Oregon’s IDA Tax Credit.  More information on these priorities is available at: Habitat for Humanity Oregon


Thanks for taking the time to read my newsletter!



 Pictures with head start advocates and ODVA service dog