Saturday Coffee @ MHCC Maywood Park



Rep. Michael Dembrow 
NE Portland, Maywood Park & Parkrose

Phone: 503-986-1445


E-Newsletter                              9/28/2011

Friends and Neighbors,


Well, fall has arrived, and change is clearly in the air. I experienced a sense of change very dramatically yesterday at the biennial Oregon AFL-CIO convention in Eugene. I was there as a delegate from the PCC Federation of Faculty and Academic Professionals. As always, the convention brought together hundreds of workers from a wide range of fields, all committed to rebuilding Oregon’s economy in a fair and forward-thinking way.

What was really historic and inspiring about this year’s convention was its support for a resolution in favor of marriage equality. The Federation rarely gets involved in “social issues,” but in this case the delegates were moved to action by the many examples of unfair treatment when certain workers are excluded from the benefits of marriage. I was able to help with the drafting of the resolution, which passed out of committee unanimously and with only one no vote from the assembly as a whole. Coming right on the heels of the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, this action by Oregon’s trade unions (both private sector and public sector) is a sign of changing times and sends a powerful message for the future.

In this newsletter, I’ll mention some of the highlights of last week’s round of committee hearings. I’ll go into more detail in this week’s constituent coffee on Saturday (details below).

Oh yes—one thing is not changing. I’m back in the classroom, teaching a course at PCC-Cascade. I love it, as I always have.

Constituent Coffee: THIS Saturday, October 1st

We’ll have plenty to discuss for this month's coffee on Saturday. I'll have lots of details on what happened last week during committee meetings in Salem, as well as updates on potential legislation for the February session. Join me this Saturday, Oct. 1 from 9:30 to 11:00 AM at Mount Hood Community College's Maywood Park campus on NE 102nd and Prescott. We'll be on the second floor in Room 223. There is coffee on-site and plenty of parking. See you Saturday!

Joining the Caucus Leadership Team

The House Democrats have a leadership group headed up by Caucus Leader Tina Kotek, assisted by several whips and assistant leaders, responsible for coordinating the policy and political activities of members and staff. Last week I was elected by my colleagues as Assistant Leader for Policy, a position previously held by Rep. Jefferson Smith, who left the position after he decided to run for Mayor of Portland. My specific role will be to help define our caucus policy priorities and work with staff to help members succeed in their policy goals. This is a real honor, and I’m committed to putting in the time and doing my best to make this next session a successful one.

Welcome Alissa!

Yesterday the Multnomah County Commissioners selected Alissa Keny-Guyer to fill out Ben Cannon’s term as State Representative for HD46. (Ben has left the Legislature to become Governor Kitzhaber’s education advisor.)

Alissa brings a very strong Human Services and Healthcare background, having served on the boards of the Northwest Health Foundation and the Multnomah County Commission on Children and Families. She has a real passion for social justice and improving the lives and creating opportunity for all Oregonians. Alissa will be an outstanding legislator, and I look forward to partnering with her on a number of policy issues.

She, Senator Dingfelder, and I are already planning our first town hall together. Stay tuned for news about that.

Bike Town Hall a (Soggy) Success

About 25 brave souls came out in a light rain last Saturday to join me and Jackie Dingfelder for our Third Annual Bike Town Hall. The weather cleared up as we got going from Wilshire Park, and we had a great time and tour of NE Portland. Greg Raisman from the city’s Bureau of Transportation was our tour guide and leader, and deserves major kudos for all his help. He set up opportunities for us to view the completed Cully green street and raised cycle track, and hear from cully neighbors about progress on Safe Routes to Schools in the area. We also visited an intersection project in the Rose City Park neighborhood where neighbors came together to paint an intersection, and create community art on each corner.

We heard from Ben Cannon about his bill that helped create neighborhood greenways with reduced speed limits for bicycle and pedestrian (and vehicle) safety. And, we saw an exciting project at Frasier Park where an unused playground is being de-paved to make way for a large community garden. The ride finished at Seven Virtues Café in the North Tabor neighborhood where we heard about efforts to increase livability and strengthen the community there. It was a lot of fun, and I’m already looking forward to next year’s ride.

Community Meeting on Changes to Oregon Health Plan

There are a lot of changes underway with the Oregon Health Plan, including some focused on delivery of care. Legislation passed earlier this year set a vision for local Coordinated Care Organizations with a goal of better health, better care and lower costs. 

Under the legislation, HB 3650, local Coordinated Care Organizations (CCOs) would be responsible for administering the delivery of physical, mental, addictions, oral and other health care to the more than 600,000 child and adult Oregonians served by the Oregon Health Plan. These organizations would be given flexibility and incentives for care that keeps people healthier, including health equity, preventive services and team-based care for chronic illnesses. A final proposal for such organizations will be delivered to the February 2012 Legislature by the Oregon Health Policy Board. Pending approval, the first CCO would launch in 2012. Currently, four work groups made up of 133 people from around the state are meeting monthly to help inform the plan for CCOs. 

The Oregon Health Policy Board and Oregon Health Authority are holding community meetings across the state to provide info and gather public input on CCOs. Please bring your ideas about how CCOs could work best in your community. Your input will be given to the Oregon Health Policy Board members to be used as they develop the final proposal for CCOs. 

The Portland meeting is set for the evening of October 10th. If you're interested in learning more about these changes, or have input you'd like to share with the Health Policy Board, I encourage you to attend the meeting:

Monday, Oct. 10, 6-8 p.m.
University Place Hotel & Conference Center
310 Lincoln Street
Portland, OR 97201

Documents and Testimony for Interim Committees Online

With interim committees meeting multiple times leading up to the February session, the legislative website has been updated to include agendas, exhibits and submitted testimony for interim hearings. You can access this info from the committees page. As always, you can see interim committee schedules here and watch any hearing live online here.


See you Saturday,



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