2015 Session Off to a Strong Start

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2015 Session Off to a Strong Start

  • Town Hall Recap
  • Child Care for Working Families
  • Expand Opportunity, Reward Work, Ensure Fairness
  • Swan Island Air Quality Forum Report
  • Meet My Staff: Andee and Robin

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

As many of you know, Governor Kitzhaber has resigned and former Secretary of State Kate Brown was sworn in as Oregon’s 38th Governor last Wednesday.  My focus throughout this difficult time has been to make sure the Oregon Legislature is able to do the people’s work and meet the challenges facing our state.

As the legislative session moves ahead, I look forward to working with Governor Brown to create opportunities for all Oregonians to prosper. You can read my full statements on Governor Kitzhaber’s resignation and Governor Brown’s swearing in here and here.

Read on for more detailed updates from the Capitol and from our community.

Town Hall Recap

Thank you to everyone who came to the town hall that Sen. Chip Shields, Rep. Lew Frederick and I held on January 31st, just prior to the start of the session.

Over 250 people joined us at Portland Community College Cascade Campus.  It was great to get a sense of what’s on people’s minds.  Questions focused on affordable housing, education funding, police accountability, health care, and many other topics. 

I always want to hear from you, so if you have questions, concerns, or want to share your priorities with me, please email me any time at rep.tinakotek@state.or.us.

Child Care for Working Families

Families with young children face real challenges as they balance responsibilities at home and at work – especially those who struggle to afford the high cost of quality child care.  

The Employment Related Day Care Program (ERDC) provides critical support for thousands of low-income, working parents by helping them access and afford quality child care.  During the budget cuts of the Great Recession, ERDC was scaled back and unable to support all the eligible families who were applying for the program.

This session, I’m championing a bill (HB 2015) that would strengthen and expand the ERDC program.  Our economy is steadily growing, and now is the time to reinvest in ERDC so it can better help low-income working families.

I urged my colleagues to support the bill in a public hearing on February 9th and will do so again this week.  You can read more about it in the Statesman Journal, “Bill would expand accessible child care to low-income families” and Portland Tribune, “Lawmakers propose to expand child care subsidies.”

Expand Opportunity, Reward Work, Ensure Fairness

Oregonians who work hard deserve a chance to pursue the American Dream. Yet more Oregonians are struggling to stay in the middle class and face increasing challenges to afford a college education, find a good job, save for a home, and build a secure retirement. 

That’s why Democrats in the Oregon House developed a 2015 legislative agenda that will expand opportunity, protect working families, and boost local economies. Learn more by watching this video, “Fighting for Oregon’s Future."

"Fighting for Oregon's Future"


Swan Island Air Quality Forum Report

In December, the Swan Island Air Quality Forum held its final meeting. This marked the end of a year-long process to address concerns with air quality and nuisance odors experienced by neighborhoods above Swan Island. I appreciate the hard work and dedication of community members, the Swan Island Business Association, and Vigor Industrial throughout this process. 

Unfortunately, the Forum did not produce tangible results for neighbors, nor a reduction in nuisance odors.  I applaud the hard work of Vigor and Neighbors for Clean Air for taking the initiative to work outside the Forum to address Vigor’s potential contribution to this problem and look forward to hearing more about their work.  

You can learn more about this process and read a final report and evaluation on the Forum’s work by visiting the Oregon Census Project’s website here.

Meet My Staff: Andee and Robin

If you'd like to set up a constituent meeting in the district during session, please email rep.tinakotek@state.or.us or call 503-986-1444 and my staff will work to set up an appointment. 

If you haven't met Andee or Robin yet, here's a bit more information about my hard-working District Director and Legislative Assistant:

Andee Short – District Director

Andee worked as a Legislative Assistant to former State Senators Jackie Dingfelder and Suzanne Bonamici before joining the Speaker's staff in 2013.  Andee also teaches U.S. history to high school seniors as a volunteer coach of the national championship winning Grant High School Constitution Team. She graduated from George Washington University where she studied U.S. History.

Robin Wright – Legislative Assistant

Robin arrived in Oregon from California to attend Willamette University over 8 years ago, fell in love with the state, and never left. Having spent the last four years working for Oregon non-profits in immigrant rights advocacy and North Portland neighborhood revitalization, she is thrilled to be working with the Speaker of the House Tina Kotek this session. As the Legislative Assistant, Robin partners with District Director Andee Short to respond to constituent inquiries about proposed legislation, provide constituent services, and meet with constituents in the district.

As always, it is a pleasure to represent you.



Tina Kotek

State Representative
House District 44
Speaker of the House

email: Rep. Rep.TinaKotek@state.or.us I phone: 503-986-1200
address: 900 Court St NE, H-269, Salem, OR 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/kotek