Upcoming Town Hall

House Speaker Tina Kotek

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The chilly fall weather is a perfect time to follow current events at the local and state level. While the national news can get you down - especially when we read about our fellow Americans whose lives have been devastated by natural disasters - I hope you’ll join me in working for change here in Oregon to make sure our state is a welcoming place where everyone can have a fair shot at success. Please join me next month for my fall town hall.

Mark Your Calendar! Upcoming Town Hall

Please join Senator Lew Frederick, Representative Tawna Sanchez, and myself for a town hall next month. We will debrief the 2017 session, discuss some community issues, and share what we’re hearing about the 2018 session. We look forward to your questions and learning about your priorities for North and Northeast Portland.

WHEN: Saturday, November 4, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

WHERE: PCC Cascade Campus, Terrell Hall Auditorium

(on the corner of N. Kerby and N. Jessup)

September Legislative Days

Legislators meet periodically in Salem when the legislature is not in formal session, approximately every two months. In September, interim committees met for the first time since the end of session. Agenda and meeting materials for each committee can be found here.

Here are some highlights of some of the issues that my office is following:

Education and Early Childhood - The Education Committee got an update on the status of the state’s plan to meet the requirements of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) (Oregon’s plan was approved by the U.S. Department of Education in late August). They also had an informational hearing on the impact of class sizes on student achievement which will be a continued focus of their work. The Early Childhood and Family Supports Committee met the new Early Learning Division Director, Miriam Calderon. There was an informational overview of the Office of Child Care audit which has spurred the creation of a work group that will present legislation in the 2018 session to ensure safety in child care settings.

Housing - The Human Services and Housing Committee heard a presentation from the City of Portland, the first city in Oregon to pass a local affordable housing bond, about the challenges of using municipal bonding authority for affordable housing development. Certain legal restrictions in Oregon’s constitution prevent local jurisdictions from efficiently using bond proceeds for affordable housing. A possible change was discussed to ensure that local jurisdictions can get the greatest “bang per buck” out of voter-approved bond dollars to ensure that local governments can build as much housing as possible with limited resources. The committee will have a bill to address this issue in the 2018 session.

Clean Energy Jobs and Cleaner Air Oregon - The Energy and Environment Committee kicked off a process to continue the effort to develop a Clean Energy Jobs program in Oregon. This program, to be refined through stakeholder work groups this fall, would set an annual cap on greenhouse gas emissions and incentivize businesses to meet reduction goals through a market-based strategy. You can find more information on the Clean Energy Jobs Work Group website.

The committee also heard an update from the Department of Environmental Quality about the Cleaner Air Oregon program being developed to reduce health risks from point-source industrial pollution. The first draft of the program rules has been released for public comment. The deadline to submit feedback is December 15. For more information or to sign up for updates, click here.

Equifax Breach - The Judiciary Committee and the Business and Labor Committee heard presentations from the Oregon Department of Justice about the Equifax data breach that has affected thousands of Oregonians.  The state released this  Scam Alert with helpful links and information if you believe you were impacted by the breach.

Health Care - The Health Care Committee heard from Pat Allen, the new director of the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). The agency has undergone sweeping changes within its leadership ranks. Director Allen, who hails from the Department of Consumer and Business Services, introduced his new team and provided a broad overview of what’s to come for the agency. The OHA is on-track to meet their September eligibility/renewals deadlines and has taken a thoughtful approach to transition Medicaid enrollment services to the Department of Human Services.

In the District

Housing - On September 22, I attended the St. Johns Story Slam and Tenant Rally hosted by the St. Johns Center for Opportunity and the Community Alliance of Tenants. Community members from St. Johns shared their stories about housing insecurity and displacement felt in St. Johns. We heard from Titan Manor residents like Coya Crespin, a mother of two who faced the same no-cause eviction given to all residents in her apartment complex. Even though some Titan Manor residents relocated, many were able to stay due to the City of Portland’s relocation ordinance.

The City of Portland will need to implement additional anti-displacement strategies to keep people housed in communities like St. Johns. Some ideas are land banking for collective and public ownership, set asides for affordable new developments, preserving the already affordable housing that people live in now, and increased tenant protections.

Pedestrian Safety - The city is now able to lower speed limits on residential streets without having to go through a lengthy state approval process, thanks to House Bill 2682 passed by the legislature this year. The new transportation package also included $1.5 million to improve pedestrian and traffic safety at the George Middle School crossing at Midway and Columbia Blvd. in North Portland. Watch for some community meetings this fall to discuss that future work. Finally, our office is also supporting community efforts to implement (finally) the St. Johns Truck Strategy to improve safety and calm traffic along N. St. Louis St. and Fessenden St. I strongly encourage the city to live up to its commitments in this dangerous corridor.

Please Stay Engaged

Our democracy relies on public involvement and advocacy.  I hope you will participate in your state government by contacting me about what is important to you.

If you'd like to set up a constituent meeting in the district before or during the upcoming session, please email rep.tinakotek@oregonlegislature.gov or call 503-986-1444 and my legislative assistant, AmyBeth Stevens, will work to set up an appointment.

Thank you for reading!



Tina Kotek

State Representative
House District 44
Speaker of the House

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