September 2017 Newsletter

Hello friends and neighbors,

Summer has come to a close, but the effects of this hot, dry season will live on. It’s estimated that we’ve spend $340 million on fires as a state as of September 18th. I am grateful for the men and women that dedicated their lives to fighting these fires. I have personally sent in thank yous to these amazing individuals, and I encourage you to do the same!


The signing for the End Profiling Bill (House Bill 2355) took place during Legislative Committee Days. The advocates and elected officials that gathered were all estatic about this important step for racial justice in our system.

Around the District

The most exciting moment of my summer was the wedding of my eldest daughter, Emily, and her new husband, Tom. It was so wonderful to see their families come together with friends to celebrate the love and support that marriage offers. Congratulations Emily and Tom! I am so happy to see you two shine!


I testified before the Hillsboro City Council to update them on the 2017 Legislative Session.

Habitat for Humanity Tour: Affordable Housing has been a focal issue for my legislative priorities since I began serving in the Legislature, and it’s been an issue I’ve been deeply concerned with for some time. Our community does not have enough low-income housing and we are failing to serve a portion of our constituency. West Tuality Habitat for Humanity is working tirelessly to address that shortfall. Earlier this month I toured two construction sites, their Re-Store, and everything in-between. I was impressed by their operations, inspired by their volunteers, and motivated to meet their vision: a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live and housing poverty and homelessness are eliminated. In the 2017 Session, we doubled resources for homelessness and committed an additional $20 million to preserving affordable housing. We have more work to do, and I am looking forward to committing additional state resources to this issue.

Forest Grove's Sidewalk Chalk Art Festival was a blast! My graddaughter and daughter-in-law invited me to join the fun.

VolunteeringMy Rotary (Forest Grove Daybreak) teamed up with our the Hillsboro Rotary to give back to our community. The Inukai Family Boys & Girls Club serves all of Washington County and it was an honor for our Rotary groups to come together around them. We put together backpacks full of school supplies to give to students that rely on the Boys and Girls Club.


Meeting with Constituents: My last constituent gathering was a Listening Post with Rep. Janeen Sollman. The district she serves, House District 30, covers most of Hillsboro and North Plains. I serve House District 29 which covers west Hillsboro, Cornelius, and Forest Grove. We truly have a shared community and it was great to hear from those that were able to attend!



Cornelius Place Groundbreaking: I am ecstatic that this project broke ground this weekend! I spoke at the Groundbreaking Celebration with Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, Metro Councilor Kathryn Harrington, and more. This has been a priority of mine since I took office in 2015. In the 2016 Session I helped to secure $500,000 of state funds for the project, and I have been happy to support the City of Cornelius and Washington County Library Services wherever I was able.

Centro Cultural de Washington County and the City of Hillsboro co-hosted an event at Shute Park, the all-new "El Grito” Community Celebration. This was an important cultural celebration for many in our community. We are so blessed to live in such a diverse, embracing community!

Digesting the 2017 Legislative Session

I was honored to be the only legislator to speak at the Portland Ceremonial Signing of House Bill 2017.

Transportation Package: This was my main project of the last Session. I was proud to join the 14 member committee that wrote the bill, and I am proud of what we were able to create. House Bill 2017 had a lot of different components, and I am sure you have heard some highlights. I am particularly excited about our investment in public transportation.

We went across the state, from Ontario or Newport and many places in between, and heard from communities just how important access to public transportation is. I heard from many seniors that rely on public transportation to get to the doctor’s office and the grocery store. In rural Oregon, I heard about the issues folks are having getting to those appointments. HB 2017 includes a revenue source for public transportation for the first time in our state’s history.  The bill created a new statewide transit-dedicated 0.1% employee payroll tax which is expected to generate $103 million annually. These funds will be a game changer for smaller transportation districts, and we will see the impact on equity of transit access across the state.


Cover All Kids: Senate Bill 558 expands eligibility for the Health Care for All Children program to include all children residing in Oregon below 300% of the federal poverty level. The concept has been introduced in the Legislature for years and has gained more support each time. I’ve supported it since my first Session in 2015, and I am glad it finally passed! I attended the singing with my staff, Nicole, and intern, Ivan. It was great to see the advocates that fought for this legislation celebrate their victory. Thousands of children are better off because of their work, thank you to all that advocated for this concept!

Legislative Work

Leg Days: This week is Legislative Committee Days in Salem. Monday through Wednesday was full of committee meetings, meetings with stakeholders and agency staff, bill signings, and other activities. It was great to be back at the Capitol and catch up with my colleagues! The other two days of the week I am in Coos Bay for a transportation tour. The House Transportation Committee and other stakeholders will see operations at the Port of Coos Bay and learn about transportation in that region.


Traffic Incident Response Tour: My staff and I joined Rep. Janeen Sollman’s staff, Drew, to see ODOT’s Region 1 Transportation Dispatch Center. It was very informative to see how they manage the real time travel estimates on highways, and to see how they respond to crashes. They have done a great deal of work to reduce traffic by decreasing the time it takes to clear a car crash. In 2015 and 2016 it took their Traffic Incident Response teams 41 minutes to clear a crash. Through careful collaborations with fire and rescue teams, towing companies, and other stakeholders, they’ve shaved that time to 38 minutes for January 1st - July 31st of 2017.  This is incredibly important because it helps clear traffic quicker, and we have seen a rise in car crashes across Oregon.



Tour of Transportation Recycling Location: I am able to do the best work when I have the most information. For that reason, I try to take every opportunity to learn more about an industry. My staff toured the LKQ location in Portland. LKQ Corp sells recycled auto parts and new aftermarket parts at a lower cost. This is so important that we use all three Rs: recycles materials, reuses materials, and reduce production of new materials. The LKQ Corp system helps contribute to all three Rs. That LKQ Corp location processes twelve vehicles a day. Their staff removes parts that can be resold and sorts the other parts of the vehicle for recycling. From the tires, to copper wires, to scrap metal, all parts of the vehicle are disposed of in a responsible manner.

Important Information

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): Earlier this month we learned that the DACA program will be sunsetting. I know many of my former students benefited from DACA. Some were able to attend institutes of higher education because of the program, some were able to work legally, and many enjoyed the security DACA brought. I am heartbroken that the security that many have enjoyed is gone. There are 11,000 individuals in Oregon that are DACA. They were my students, they are your neighbors, they are our community members. I stand with DACA recipients because I know how valuable these individuals are to our community.

Fire Update (as of 9/18): This has been the summer of fires. Legislators have had a weekly briefing with our State Forester, Peter Daugherty. Peter and his staff have done a great job with little resources. To date, we have had over 942 fires on Oregon Department of Forestry. So far, our Department of Forestry has caught 96 percent of fires at 10 acres or less and saved millions of dollars by acting swiftly. Our dry, hot summer created an environment ripe for fires. The increase in lightning caused fires is staggering; we’ve had 271 fires started by lightning this year in comparison to 27 in 2016. Even still, humans caused 668 fires this season and remain the largest cause of wildfires in our region. It’s important to remember to be cautious and adhere to recommendations from our fire fighting agencies. If you are looking for a way to support our forests, I recommend looking into Keep Oregon Green, a non-profit focused on preventing forest fires. 

Be College Ready: Oregon 529 Saving Network’s Be College Ready program is now statewide! The Network launched it as a pilot program in elementary schools in five school districts for the 2015-16 school year and expanded it to 15 districts the next year. The goal of Be College Ready is to help young families learn the value of saving for higher education early in a child’s life using the Oregon College Savings Plan. With results showing an increase in Oregon College Savings Plan accounts among participating school districts and communities, they have decided to expand it again! Participating schools will receive free homework folders, pencils and bookmarks for every student. These schools will also distribute information and provide opportunities for families to learn more about funding higher education expenses and how the Oregon College Savings Plan can help.  Additionally, 100 families will be eligible to win a $100 Oregon College Savings Plan account! Visit to learn more!

Public Records Request: All of my legislative records are public. This is to ensure government transparency to the public we serve. It also means that the public can ask for information: my schedule, legislative budget, and more. I received a public records request from Richard Ellmyer at in late August. Richard asked for the list of emails subscribed to this newsletter. While we passed House Bill 2874 this Session to exempt your emails from public records, it does not go into effect until October 6th. I wanted you to know about the request. If I had a legal option, I would not have disclosed your email. If you receive an email for Richard, you know how he recieved your email. The good news, after October 6th the emails subscribed to my newsletter are exempt.

Upcoming Events

Small Business Coffee: My intern, Ivan, has completed his survey of small businesses. We are hosting a coffee for interested businesses on TOMORROW, September 26th at 3:30 PM at Centro Cultural’s Centro de Prosperidad in downtown Hillsboro. There will be businesses to network with, chamber representatives to connect with, and a representative from Oregon's Office of the Small Business Advocate.

Save the date! My October Constituent Gathering will focus on social justice. Meet me at Shute Park on Saturday, October 21st from 12:00 - 1:30 PM.

The interim between legislative sessions is a great time to connect with the community and work on policy for upcoming sessions. I am happy to meet with you on either of these issues at any time! Just contact my office to set up a phone call or meeting - (503) 986-1429 or

Yours Truly,


Representative Susan McLain

email: I phone: 503-986-1429
address: 900 Court St NE, H-376, Salem, OR 97301