November News and Updates

Hello friends and neighbors,

I love the holiday season and the togetherness it brings. Since joining the Legislature, the holiday season has gained new meaning. With just over two months until the beginning of the next legislative session, I see this as my “go-time” to prepare my legislative concepts and ensure I check in with community leaders about the challenges and opportunities of the upcoming session. Please be sure to share your thoughts with me! I am happy to meet in district before the Session begins in February.

Enjoy your family and friends this season. Remember to support our local food banks and faith communities working to bring food, clothes, and toys to families in need. You can donate to my favorite, Family Promise, by calling (503) 844-2919 or sending donations to 183 SE 6th Ave, Hillsboro, OR 97123. 

Around the District

Hillsboro Fire Chief David Downey and I are in front of an antique fire truck.

Public Safety Meetings - In the past month I have met with Police Chief Al Roque of Cornelius, Sheriff Pat Garrett of Washington County, Police Chief Lee Dobrowolski of Hillsboro, Fire Chief David Downey of Hillsboro, and Fire Chief Michael Kincaid of Cornelius and Forest Grove. I am grateful for the time to connect with our public safety officials and review the work of the 2017 Legislative Session. I always appreciate hearing the perspectives of our first responders. These conversation inform my work in Salem and help me to better serve our community. If you have a unique perspective to share - please reach out! I would love to have some conversation and coffee with you.

My staff, Nicole, and I enjoy meeting with constituent, even when it's not planned! We ran into these two at Manaia in Downtown Hillsboro.

Constituent House Party - I joined a Forest Grove party in support of the Clean Energy Jobs bill. In 2018, the Oregon Legislature has an historic opportunity to pass legislation that will make a difference for Oregonians. The Clean Energy Jobs bill will cap and price climate pollution and reinvest proceeds into Oregon’s clean energy economy. This will boost our economy through strategic investments and clean energy incentives. I was grateful to meet fellow community members that share my passion for our environment. Thank you to the host, Devon Downeysmith, for inviting me! See the "Digesting the 2017 Legislative Session" section of this newsletter for a group picture.


Senator Ron Wyden Town Hall - Senator Wyden was in House District 29 for another town hall this month! I emceed for the Senator by facilitating community questions. My favorite question came from a former Pacific student, Pablo, about what the federal government is doing to support Puerto Rico. Myself and other state legislators wrote to Senator Wyden about this issue when the hurricanes first destroyed the energy infrastructure, and I was relieved to hear his commitment to those American citizens. I also appreciate Senator Wyden’s commitment to regular town halls is ambitious. This was his seventh town hall in Washington County in 2017.  I am grateful for the Senator’s leadership and engagement in our community.



Women in the Workplace Panel - I joined Pacific University’s Center for Gender Equity for a panel about the challenges and opportunities women face in the workplace. I joined business administrative officials Jennifer Baker and Dr. Samantha McDonald, Intel's Senior Facilities Planner Kim Coleman, and UPW Facilities Process Engineer Chelsea Tura for a fabulous conversation. Following the Me Too conversations, we tackled the challenges women often face in the workplace and explore creative solutions.


Community Thanksgiving in Cornelius - The City of Cornelius, Washington County Sheriff's Office, and Centro Cultural co-host this event every year. I joined my fellow State Representative, Janeen Sollman, to serve food. There was a wonderful turnout, and I enjoyed seeing our community come together in celebration. Thank you to all the volunteers, agencies, and businesses that made this possible!


I had a wonderful time at my family Thanksgiving! My daughter and son-in-law, Emily and Tom, hosted for the first time. I am so thankful for my family!

Spotlight on...

Veterans - Every year on Veterans Day I reflect on the sacrifice of our military and their families. There are more than 325,000 veterans who call Oregon home, and it is our duty as a state to care for these men and women. The 2017-19 biennium resources for Oregon veterans is a historic $26.1 million, this is more than double what was allocated in 2015-17.  These additional funds will help state and local services to reach veteran communities with a focus on college veteran communities, mental health care, and homelessness. My good friend and colleague, Representative Paul Evans', leadership on this issue has made the difference. As a veteran and a public servant, Paul has done so much to support Oregon veterans. Thank you to Paul and to all Oregon veterans!  

I am pictured here at the 2016 Glencoe High School Veterans Remembrance Day.


Community Needs - Volunteerism and community giving is an important aspect of the holiday season. As we take the time to appreciate our loved ones, many of us will notice the struggles of our friends and neighbors. Please consider supporting one of our fabulous community organizations that are working to improve lives in Washington County. Please support the Forest Grove School Food Pantry, Sonrise and Forest Grove United Church of Christ’s emergency shelters, or any other non-profit in the area! Whether it is donating food, clothing, or cash, or volunteering your time, you would be surprised to learn the impact you can have.

Digesting the 2017 Legislative Session

It is not unusual for legislative concepts and bills to take a few legislative sessions to be enacted into law. These concepts are developed in the interim between sessions and re-introduced once some issues have been resolved. There were plenty of great ideas in the 2017 Session that will come back in 2018 or 2019 after they’ve received more work.

Clean Energy Jobs - The Clean Energy Jobs bill is one such concept. During this interim, the bill was refined by four bi-partisan workgroups made up of legislators and stakeholders from a wide range of industry and interest groups. Using the lessons learned from others that have implemented this policy, like California and Quebec, we will create a program that benefits all. We will ensure that businesses are capable and have time to implement the program: it needs to be clear, simple, fair, and equitable for all business. Our state is poised to reap the rewards of such a policy: more well-paying jobs, clean air, and local, renewable energy. Clean Energy Jobs will raise $700 million per year to benefit communities hit first and worst by climate pollution. The bill includes a specific provision to reinvest a portion of proceeds to help the communities that need it most -- communities like ours in Washington County, where the effects of climate change have been felt by our farmers, first responders, families, and communities.

Currently, more than 52,000 Oregonians already work in the clean and green economy producing $7 billion in goods and services. Two good examples in House District 29 are Thunderbolt Racing in Cornelius where fruit juice waste is converted into ethanol, and Blooming Nursery where the state’s largest solar thermal project heats a 54,000-square-foot greenhouse.  It will create opportunities for Oregon workers with new jobs and job training, and create an estimated 357 clean energy jobs in our community. Just imagine what major new investment could do for Washington County!

The guests of the Forest Grove Clean Energy Jobs house party.

Household Hazardous Waste Stewardship - In the 2017 Session I introduced House Bill 3105 which would create a stewardship program for household hazardous waste, such as garden pesticides, nail polish, cleaning supplies, etc. These materials can have a dangerous impact on public health and on our planet if not properly disposed. My concept would direct manufacturers to create or hire a stewardship organization to support and fund collection events for these materials. While there are collection sites across the state, they are often underfunded and cannot meet demand. This bill will help localities offer more collection and allow consumers to have options to properly dispose of household hazardous waste.

During the Session I will be able to introduce two bills. The Household Hazardous Waste bill will be one. During the November Legislative Days,  I met with Senators and Representatives to explain the changes to the bill and ask for their support. Myself and/or my staff met with seventeen other legislative offices to discuss this concept. In laying this groundwork I am hopeful that this concept will pass in 2018.

Legislative Work

November Legislative Days - All five of my committees, House Committee On Transportation Policy (Chair), Joint Committee On Legislative Audits (Co-Chair), House Committee On Agriculture and Natural Resources (Vice-Chair), Joint Committee On Transportation, and House Committee On Education, met this month for updates. I also met with legislators, constituents, and lobbyists on issues that will rise to the top of the 2018 Legislative Session. The environment will be a focus of the Session. As we digest and understand the impacts of wildfires on our state, we will also be working on the Clean Energy Jobs bill to mitigate those impacts of climate change.


Oregon Transportation Forum - As the new Chair of the House Transportation Policy Committee, I was invited to participate in a panel about the transportation package passed in the 2017 Session. We had an honest conversations about what we did well and what we must continue to work on. Our goal is to create a system where the Legislature made continuous investments in our infrastructure, instead of large packages every five to ten years. By creating a Joint Transportation Committee between the House and the Senate, we will ensure that the Legislature is taking a holistic view of our transportation system.

Legislative Commission on Indian Services Fall Meeting - At the beginning of the month I joined hundreds of state and tribe officials for a collaborative, all-day meeting. Our relationship with the nine sovereign tribes in the state is essential to ensure tribal voices are apart of our decision making and to ensure services are available to all. I was happy to participate in these conversations and build stronger State-Tribal relationships.

Upcoming Events

December Constituent Gathering - Join me on Saturday, December 9th at 9 AM for a constituent gathering at Centro Cultural (1110 N Adair St, Cornelius, OR 97113)! I want to engage in a community discussion on ways to give back this holiday season. 


Pre-Session Town Hall - Save the date! Senator Chuck Riley, Representative Janeen Sollman, and myself are co-hosting this event on Thursday, February 1st at 6 PM at the Hillsboro Civic Center.

Yours Truly,


Representative Susan McLain

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