July News and Updates

You can read our previous newsletters here

Hello friends and neighbors,

I hope you had a great Fourth of July! I participated in the Hillsboro Parade put on by the Rotary Club and I watched some fireworks in Forest Grove. It’s always an exciting day to reflect on the achievements and opportunities of our country.

School might be out for summer - but I am still working hard! I have numerous legislative task forces and work groups that I am leading or participating in. I am still committed to getting into the community to hear from you. Please continue to share your thoughts, concerns, and priorities for our state.

Around the District


Independence Day: My granddaughter and I had a great time at the Hillsboro Parade run by the Rotary Club! I rode with Senator Chuck Riley and the Mom's Demand Action group. It was a blast!



Peace Pole: Forest Grove's Peace Pole was recently dedicated to our sister city, Nyuzen, Japan. The dedication took place on July 3rd with a delegation from Nyuzen.  We've been sister cities for 30 years and it is a great partnership to promote peace and cultural sharing.


Forest Grove BottleDrop Tour: The Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative is a non-government group made up of beverage manufacturers that ensures packaging is re-used or recycled. They have opened up BottleDrop locations throughout the state in the hopes of encouraging consumers to recycle. I learned on the tour that materials are much better recycled through their facilities versus our curbside recycling. Additionally, there is a program where your bottle deposits can be donated to a non-profit of your choice. Visit https://www.bottledropcenters.com/Give to learn more.


Glencoe High School Speech and Debate: This was my 38th year of coaching or volunteering for Glencoe’s Speech and Debate Team. Each year I am impressed by the level of commitment, thoughtfulness, and brilliance brought by our student competitors. This year was no different. I spent a week in Fort Lauderdale with the Northern Oregon students who made it to the National Competition. There were more than 6,00 students competing. The competing students did a great job and represented our state well - roll tide!



Joint Committee on Student Success: Earlier this year House Speaker Tina Kotek and Senate President Peter Courtney put together a joint committee to address the challenges of our public education system. That committee has been on a statewide tour to discuss potential solutions with students, teachers, families, community leaders, and others. This Thursday they were in Washington County. My staff joined them for their full day of school visits, meetings and round-tables, and the public hearing. I welcomed some of the group at Forest Grove High School (pictured above) and joined them for the public hearing. As a former teacher with more than four decades of in-the-classroom experience, I am grateful for this robust visit. Look at the news coverage here: https://katu.com/news/politics/oregon-lawmakers-tour-state-to-gain-ideas-to-better-education-system. 




Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) Town Hall: Representative Janeen Sollman and I co-hosted this event with APANO. APANO is a statewide, grassroots organization, uniting Asians and Pacific Islanders to achieve social justice through empowerment, organization and advocacy. We spent a good deal of time discussing the Leading with Race report, detailed below, and ways to support communities of color in our area and across the state. I’ve always said that diversity makes us stronger, and I am grateful to live in a community that wholeheartedly agrees. Thanks to all that joined the conversation!

Spotlight on the Leading with Race Report

The Coalition of Communities of Color created this report with the help of other nonprofits and government entities. The 300+ page report highlighted the realities for various communities in our county. It details some of the investments and interventions needed to ensure that all in Washington County have equal access to success. The report discussed findings in a variety of ways; there were sections based on race or ethnicity (Native American, African American, African, Asian And Asian American, Latino, Middle Eastern And North African, Native Hawaiian And Pacific Islander, and Slavic/Russian Speaking Communities In Washington County) and based on location (The Beaverton Area, Cornelius And Forest Grove, Hillsboro, Tigard and Tualatin, and Sherwood).


Forest Grove/Cornelius: As some of the report funders, Forest Grove and Cornelius shared a jurisdictional call out. In just a few pages, the report detailed the history and lived reality for communities of color in our area. One fact I found interesting was that over half of Cornelius’s immigrant population have been in the area since 1999, with the first Latino families coming from Texas to escape oppressive treatment, poor work, and financial prospects. I urge you to read this section and learn about our neighbors.

Hillsboro: Hillsboro, another funder of the report, had a stand alone jurisdictional section. Two out of five Hillsboro residents are people of color. I was not surprised, rather disappointed, to learn that Latino females are the lowest paid full-time workers in Hillsboro. It’s a reminder that the gender pay gap is real, and it impacts women of color most severely.  There is a lot more interesting facts in the report, I again urge you to read this section.

Calls to Action: By far, this is the most important aspect of the report. While it’s important to recognize the inequalities, we must focus on solutions and those solutions need to be accessible to all community member. This report has those solutions, listed below. Please look these over and consider how you can help advance them in your life and in your community.

  • Cross-Sectional Change: Policy strategies should take into account the compounding effects of institutional racism from education to economic development to housing to health and more.
  • Democratic Government: Equity, inclusion, diversity and leadership need to be central to our government, and communities of color are leading strategies to bring about transformational change.
  • Cultural Specificity: Communities of color have varied histories and lived experiences in Washington County, and that needs to be considered in policy and process design.
  • Education: Education is an important pathway for economic empowerment, an important basis of community building and cultural identity development among youth. These systems should celebrate and support diversity by creating culturally competent systems and ensuring curriculum matches the classroom. As a former teacher, I know our schools can do this and I am encourage that the Hillsboro and Forest Grove School Districts will take this to heart.
  • Equitable Economic Empowerment: We need pay equity and we need opportunities for advancement for people of color. Whether it is a loan or access to fair housing, we know that communities of color face different realities than their white counterparts.
  • Political Representation and Civic Engagement: Although we are the  most diverse county in the state, that isn’t reflected in our leaders. I am committed to supporting our leaders that are from underrepresented communities.
  • Community Building: We must build a culture of compassion where everyone is respected and made to feel welcome. Let’s celebrate diversity and the richness it brings to our community.
  • Research Justice: Communities of color are experts in their own lives, possessing experiential, historical, and cultural knowledge. When crafting policy, we must include and raise these voices.

Legislative Work


Wetland Workgroup: Chair Brian Clem appointed myself and Representative David Brock Smith to lead a workgroup on wetland regulations. We have met twice and discussed a variety of issues related to wetlands (the second meeting is pictured above). Our goal is to create clear, consistent, fair, and predictable removal-fill permit and exemption processes, while upholding the state policy of conserving, restoring, and protecting the waters of the state and the ecosystem services they provide. We will meet five more times this year to address specific issues. If you have any input, I would love to hear from you!

Task Force on Autonomous Vehicles: This group has been working hard since Spring to bring recommendations to the Legislature on legislation needed to adapt to AVs in our state. This week the full committee met to hear recommendations from our four subcommittees: Subcommittee on Licensing and Registration, Subcommittee on Cybersecurity and Long-Term Policy, Subcommittee on Law Enforcement and Crash Reporting, and Subcommittee on Insurance and Liability. We will have more subcommittee meetings in the coming months as we continue to work on policy changes needed to prepare for AV technology.

Air Transportation: As a part of my House Transportation Policy Committee, I have begun taking a holistic look of each mode of transportation that our state transportation system (passenger and cargo) rely on. I first took a look at railways during the May Legislative Days and I am planning to examine air travel during the upcoming September Legislative Days. Our airports are vital to recovery from a natural disaster. I am eager to share with my committee the needs and importance of air travel.

Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS): You may recall that I am working on updating our QBS process so it works better for all jurisdictions. Earlier this year I convened a stakeholder group to find a consensus on common sense improvements. I have continued to discuss this policy with industry and local governments since the first stakeholder meeting, and I am optimistic about our process. Our next meeting is next week - stay tuned.


Bipartisanship in the 2018 Legislative Session: Although the political discourse has become more polarized at the federal level, our Oregon Legislature works well together. I am proud to work with other legislators from a variety of backgrounds and political leanings. Take a look at the graphic above to see our stats for the last session!

New Laws (effective July 1, 2018)

Workers’ Issues: On July 1st about 301,000 Oregonians got a raise! While earnings for the wealthiest in our society have skyrocketed, low-wage workers have struggled to make ends meet with stagnant or declining wages. I’m proud to have voted yes to raise the wage, and I am ready to keep fighting to create real and lasting opportunity for all Oregonians. Along with a rise in the minimum wage, workers will also see the benefits of the Fair Work Week law. Far too many workers have schedules that give them little control over their lives, make childcare arrangements difficult or impossible, and give them no certainty what their hours or paychecks will be from week to week. Oregon’s Fair Work Week law will provide some much-needed predictability and stability for workers at large companies (500+ employees worldwide) in food service, hospitality, and retail jobs. We were the first state in the nation to offer this worker protection - and I was proud to vote yes.  

Distracted Driving: Please keep your eyes on the road and refrain from texting and driving! Fines for driving while distracted increased on July 1st;  repeat offenders of Oregon’s distracted driving laws will face stiff new penalties. If you receive three violations within 10 years, it could result in a fine of up to $2,500 and six months in jail. For the sake of the safety of those around you (and now your wallet) - please put your phone down!

School Harassment Policies: The #MeToo movement has sparked a dialogue about harassment across the nation. Oregon has participated in a number of ways. We passed HB 4150 requires school districts to share certain information with students, staff or other individuals following the conclusion of an investigation related to sexual harassment. The bill came from an awful case of harassment in Salem (you can read about it here: https://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2018/03/high_school_basketball_harassm.html). The bill ensures that students know their rights, how to make reports, and where they can find help. While we have more work to do,  this an important first step in addressing and preventing sexual harassment and violence in our schools.

The JANUS Decision


The Supreme Court dealt a blow to organized labor this year. I was a union member for 43 years and I will always stand with labor unions. They ended child labor, gave us a higher minimum wage, fought for retirement security and the family and medical leave act, and they gave us the weekend. Now, more than ever, we need to stand together and fight for working Oregonians and the rights of unions. That’s why I joined union members after the ruling was announced to say it loud and clear - the Oregon Legislature will continue to work to strengthen the rights of workers to unionize and bargain. I am pictured above with SEIU 503 members.

Upcoming Events


Community Conversation on Education: Join me Saturday, July 28th at 10 AM at the Forest Grove Library’s Roberts Room. We will be discussing education needs in our state and I will report back to the Joint Committee on Student Success. Please RSVP to my staff, Nicole, if you can make it - nicole.stoenner@oregonlegislature.gov.

Celebrate Hillsboro: On Saturday, July 21st, downtown Hillsboro will become a celebration zone! Be entertained with live music, arts and crafts, free health screenings, eco-friendly activities, the Hillsboro Farmers’ Market, and community information booths that promote the Hillsboro 2035 Community Plan. The event will run from 9 AM to 4 PM. I hope to see you there!

46th Annual Concours d' Elegance: Antique and Collector Auto Show: My Rotary Club helps to put on this annual event. This year it will take place on Sunday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM at Pacific University. Enjoy more than 300 classic cars, live music, food, a beer garden, and a wine pavilion at this historic Greater Portland Event. Tickets range from $6-20 and all proceeds benefit Rotary Club Foundation Community Service projects.

Cornelius Take Care of Your Library Day: Also on Sunday, a chance for volunteerism. This great opportunity to help your community by shelving books, dusting shelves and assisting in keeping the library at its best. It will take place at the Cornelius Library from 10 AM - 12 PM.  

I am off to the beach with my children and grandchildren for the weekend. I hope you also find time this summer to visit with family and friends.

Yours Truly,


Representative Susan McLain

email: Rep.SusanMcLain@oregonlegislature.gov I phone: 503-986-1429
address: 900 Court St NE, H-376, Salem, OR 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/mclain