August News & Updates

You can read our previous newsletters here

Hello Friends and Neighbors,

This summer has been one of the hottest on the books. I hope you have been able to stay cool and enjoy outdoor activities. With just a few weeks left of summer fun, I send my best to your families!

Around the District


Our education leaders: In preparation for the new school year, I met with the superintendents of the Forest Grove and Hillsboro School Districts. Forest Grove has a new leader, Dave Parker, and I am optimistic about his vision for the district. As a long time educator and administrator, Dave will use his compassion for students and his institutional knowledge to improve the classroom conditions for all students in our schools. In Hillsboro, Mike Scott has led Hillsboro School District for almost 10 years. I am pictured about with Mike and Beth Graser at HSD. Under his leadership, the district has expanded career and technical education while raising graduation rates for all students. I have high hopes for the 2018-2019 school year!



Community Conversation on Education: A great group of current and retired teachers gather to discuss the challenges and opportunities within our education system. We discussed a broad array of issues that teachers, students, and parents face as they enter and navigate our schools. Did you see the article in the Forest Grove News Times about the event? You can read it here:


OPB’s Think Out Loud in Cornelius: Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Dave Miller was in our area to host his show “Think Out Loud” with a panel of Washington County leaders. The panel members were: Shweta Moorthy of the Coalition of Communities of Color, Commissioner-elect Juan Carlos Gonzalez of Metro, Erika Lopez of the Hillsboro School Board, Stefan Saing of the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO), and Maria Caballero Rubio of Centro Cultural de Washington County. They discussed the Leading with Race report and what it’s like to live and lead in the County as a person of color. It was great to see one of my favorite OPB shows live and hear the fabulous dialogue from the panel members. You can listen to the broadcast here:




TriMet’s new General Manager, Doug Kelsey: I had the chance to get lunch with Doug and other legislators to hear his vision for TriMet and public transportation in our region.  Before joining TriMet, Doug served as Chief Operating Officer at TransLink in Vancouver, B.C., and president of the bus and rail companies. His leadership in Vancouver has prepared him to manage and expand transit with an eye toward equity.



Tour of the Family Justice Center: My office put together a tour of the Washington County Family Justice Center to share this resources with other State Representatives. The Center has only been open since April, but it has already had a huge impact in our community. Survivors of domestic violence now have a one-stop visit to get a restraining order, access services, and seek counseling. The Center even has a virtual courtroom to remove barriers for survivors seeking legal relief. Housed in the Center is the Domestic Violence Resource Center, Community Action, Voices Set Free, the Oregon Department of Human Services, Oregon Law Services, and more.



Director Keith Hormann, Forest Grove Light & Power: Forest Grove is a full service city, the utilities are managed by the City. I met with the new Director, Keith Hormann, to hear about the operations of the utility. Keith has been with Forest Grove Light & Power for more than two decades. We also discussed my Qualification-Based Selection legislation, as it’s a priority for Forest Grove Light & Power, and how a carbon tax would impact their work.  


Spotlight on Fires of the West

Thank you to our firefighters! Our firefighters have worked tirelessly to address the various fires on the landscape. Oregon, California, and other states are seeing one of the worst fire seasons on record. Although firefighters have knocked down or contained a number of major fires, we remain at Preparedness Level 5 both here in Oregon and at the national level. There are currently (as of August 9th) 51 large, uncontained fires burning in 15 states. The Oregon Department of Forestry has worked to contain major fires statewide. Some successes include:

  • South Valley Fire is 100% contained and was turned over to the Central Oregon District today at 0800.
  • Garner Complex is 87% contained and was transferred back to the Southwest Oregon District yesterday.
  • Snowshoe Fire in SE Douglas County has passed 90% containment. Crews are completing mop-up.

A total of $58.2 million has been spent on the firefighting efforts (as of August 6), with ODF likely paying $15.8 million of the total. The 10-year annual average for these costs is $34 million, meaning that we are on our way to doubling that average this fire season. With the high temperatures, low moisture, and potential for wind, the worse may be yet to come. Stay vigilant!  

Photo courtesy of the Oregon Department of Forestry, dated August 3, 2018.

Legislative Work

Task Force on Autonomous Vehicles: Our work for the 2018 report is coming to a close. The report is currently being drafted based on the numerous task force and workgroup meetings. We will meet two more times before the report is completed to address policy changes needed to allow for testing of autonomous vehicles in Oregon. We have examined many elements of the law and how AVs would impact the law and the function of an AV during the testing phase. We will continue to work after the September 15th due date and shift our focus to deployment and long term ramifications of the technology.

Qualification-Based Selection:  My informal workgroup met last month to continue the dialogue around improving public contracting. We have agreed that pricing information needs to be considered by public agencies before they select a contractor, and we are still working on the when and how that information will be used. We have another meeting at the end of the month. I remain optimistic that we will find consensus among local governments and industry.

Educator Advancement Council: I know how challenging the first few years of teaching are, and I am proud to be working to improve those conditions for teachers. We have broken into different workgroups, Launching New Networks Workgroup, the Fiscal Model Workgroup, and the Supporting New Educators Workgroup, to build a program that will offer supports to teachers across the state. I am serving on the Launching New Networks Workgroup and listening into the other two. If you have questions about our work or would like to participate via public testimony, please visit:

Constituent Policy Ideas: I am proud to be working on multiple pieces of legislation brought to me from thoughtful community members. One is related to disease screenings for newborns, and I am working with other legislators on this issue. I am also working on an update to our lemon laws. This is an effort to strengthen consumer protection in the automotive industry. If you have an idea that you would like me to consider - please let me know!

Upcoming Events

With the busy end of summer rush, with vacations and back to school time, I am taking August off from hosting a town hall or community conversation. I am planning town halls and intimate conversations for September. Additionally,  I welcome opportunities to address various community groups - please let me know if you would like me to join yours!

Save the Date - Youth Civic Empowerment Summit: My high school intern, Luda, is putting together a summit for her peers to learn about civics and advocacy. It will take place Saturday, September 29th from 1 - 4 PM at the Hillsboro Civic Center. The event is geared towards high schools students who want to improve their communities by advocating for policy changes. Please help spread the word!


My family and I spent time at the beach this summer. It's great to spend time with my growing grandchildren. I hope you enjoy the remaining moments of summer! I look forward to hearing from you and continuing to serve our community.

Yours Truly,


Representative Susan McLain

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