End of Summer News and Updates

You can read our previous newsletters here

Hello Friends and Neighbors,

My grandchildren started school this week. They were excited about their classes and seeing friends. Fall is my favorite season! The days and nights are getting cooler and you can smell autumn in the air. New beginnings for our students and another new season to enjoy!


Around the District


Cornelius Place Tour: Cornelius will benefit greatly from Cornelius Place, the new library and affordable housing for seniors. My staff and I toured their construction site today, and I have to say that is was exciting to see the building come to life. I have worked with the City of Cornelius and Washington County Library Services on this project since I first took office in 2015, but this project is really a decade in the making. I am grateful for Rob Drake, the City Manager, and Karen Hill, the Library Director, for their tireless work making this project a reality. We are seeing a housing crisis and now more than ever our seniors need a safe, affordable place to call home. The library will be a blessing to children and adults alike, with community spaces and a continuation of the fabulous services offered at the library.


Forest Grove Day Break Rotary: My Rotary club is spending this month looking at education in our meetings. I started the conversation on Tuesday by reviewing where we are as a state. We have the Joint Committee on Student Success touring the state and hearing from students, teachers, parents, administrators, and others about the goals and challenges we are facing. I feel grateful that so many in our community, even those without school-aged children, are passionate about the opportunities available for local students. It really does take a village to create a great education system.

Virginia Garcia’s Resource Fair in Cornelius: Virginia Garcia does so much in our community, and it was great to see their work in action with partner organizations and government agencies. Senator Chuck Riley and I stopped by to visit the resource fair and visit with staff. While I was there, I was reminded of the story of six-year-old Virginia Garcia. She was accompanying her farmworker parents to Oregon and acquired a simple foot wound, and when economic and linguistic barriers prevented her from receiving the care she needed, it led to her untimely death. Stunned by this tragedy, community leaders joined together to form the clinic in her name. Since its founding, Virginia Garcia has grown from a grassroots volunteer-run clinic into the only Federally Qualified Health Center(s) in Washington County. It’s a wonderful resource in our community!


Forest Grove Farmers’ Market: The market season is quickly passing us by. Just two more months of fresh produce, handmade goods, and delicious, warm food. I recently stopped by the Forest Grove market on Main St for some produce, and of course I stopped to admire the flowers. There are so many farms and businesses supported by these markets, please stop by and check them out before the season ends in mid-late October.

Oregon Veterans’ Affairs Department - Stand Down Event: This was a one day event to helps homeless veterans in our community by providing them with a one-stop connection to key services in our area. A community led partnership connects veterans with essential services along with a hot meal and supplies. Our veterans have made sacrifices for our country, and it is our duty to ensure they receive the services they need to thrive. My father and late-husband served, and I am proud of their commitment to our great nation.


Hillsboro Youth Advisory Council (YAC): We have some talented youth in House District 29! The Hillsboro YAC has taken on an initiative to curb the use of single use plastics, more specifically plastic bags. They are working on a Sustainable Shopping Initiative and presented to the City Council this week. They have spent a great deal of time researching similar policies and conducting outreach to local residents as well as the business community. The City is still fine tuning the initiative, and there will be plenty of opportunity for public input - stay tuned!

Meeting with Hillsboro City Councilor Kyle Allen: I regularly meet with other elected officials to ensure that our local governments are working with the state and are aware of the opportunities coming online from recent legislation. These meetings also provide me with an opportunity to hear about local developments. Councilor Allen and I discussed the City of Hillsboro’s initiative to bring online public internet. To hear the latest updates about this effort visit: https://www.hillsboro-oregon.gov/Home/Components/News/News/9010/1718.

Spotlight on Commuting

TriMet low fares: As a part of the transportation package from the 2017 session, public transit agencies are creating a more affordable fare for those struggling. In Washington County, Centro Cultural is registering people for the Low Income Fare Program at both of their locations, Centro Cultural de Washington County (1110 North Adair Street Cornelius, OR 97113) and Centro de Prosperidad (400 East Main Street Hillsboro, OR 97123). To qualify, a person needs to be 18 to 64 years old, an Oregon resident, making less than double the federal poverty level and not already using Honored Citizen fares to qualify. If you qualify, you'll be issued a personalized Hop card that lets you ride buses, MAX, WES, Portland Streetcar and C-TRAN for $1.25 for a single ride, $2.50 for a day pass or $28 for a month pass. That's 50% to 72% less than Adult fare. Be sure to spread the word about this to other community members! 


Drive Less National Challenge: Transportation is our largest cause of CO2 emissions. These emissions are harmful to our environment and contributing to the extreme weather patterns we have seen. Please join me in driving less from October  1st - 15th, maybe we’ll fall into a new routine and drive less year-round!

Legislative Work

Qualification-Based Selection (QBS): You may remember my work with QBS from past newsletters. I have continued to meet with local governments and industry leaders on solution to this tricky public contracting process. We have established a smaller working group to address the points of disagreement. That group, led by me, will meet later this month. My hope is that we will find a compromise that works for all local governments and all industry partners.

Autonomous Vehicle Task Force (AVTF): Our task force met multiple times throughout the summer, both as a whole group and in the four smaller groups. Our draft report is live and can be read in full here: https://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/Get-Involved/Documents/AVTF-2018-report-draft.pdf. In our next meeting, there will be opportunity for public comment at our September 10th meeting. To learn more, visit https://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/Get-Involved/Pages/Task-Force-on-Autonomous-Vehicles.aspx.


Wetlands Regulations: Agricultural regulations are difficult for farmers, and we must do more to ensure farmers can comply with regulations without a large burden. That is not that case when it comes to wetlands and agricultural ditches.  In the last workgroup meeting, we discussed the regulations surrounding ditches and the hoops farmers must jump through to maintain or clean their ditches. Two farmers shared their experience, and a small working group was formed to come up with regulatory alternatives.  

Constituent Bill Ideas: Government works best when it works for the people. If you have an idea about how to make the state government serve Oregonians better - let me know! We are nearing the deadline to submit concepts to our legislative counsel for drafting. Myself or a staff member are happy to talk!

2018 Civic Scholars

Calling all teachers! I have been asked to select three teachers that are committed to civic education for a scholar program through the Classroom Law Project. Now more than ever, educators need support, tools, and strategies to empower students to engage and participate in the democratic process. Civic scholars receive free attendance to the Oregon Civics Conference and will receive sub pay and travel assistance. The conference will take place on Friday, December 7, 2018 at the State Capitol in Salem, Oregon. If you are interested - please write to me at rep.susanmclain@oregonlegislature.gov. I will have a brief phone call with those interested before making my selection.  Please reach out to my office by Monday, September 24th to indicate your interest.

Upcoming Events


Youth Civic Empowerment Summit: September 29th | 1 - 4 PM | Hillsboro Civic Center, room 113

This event is meant to bring youth and public officials together to collaborate on ways youth can make a difference. Through a mix of listening to panels with both public officials and youth leaders, and interactive workshop activities that will give attendees the chance to both analyze current issues and the space for youth to get involved as well as providing resources and information to help build a plan to get involved and make a change. Organizations attending the event include the Hillsboro Youth Advisory Council, Lake Oswego Students for Change, and the Bus Project. Light snacks and water will be provided.

If you have any questions or would like to RSVP feel free to reach out to civicyouthempowerment@gmail.com.

Thank you to the Hillsboro Chamber for sponsoring this event.

Forum on Career and Technical Education with Rep. Janeen Sollman: On October 1st at 5:30 PM at the Hillsboro Brookwood Library. We will have experts from the Hillsboro School District, Forest Grove High School’s Viking House, and the Hillsboro Chamber’s School to Career program there to discuss CTE education. Our area is an example for the state - come learn about these efforts and find out how you or your business can support local students.

This will be my last newsletter until after the election. Our Chief Clerk’s Office has informed us of the standard “blackout” period where we cannot send newsletters or mass communications using state resources. I will be sure to update you on my work in November. You’re always welcome to write to me with questions or comments - rep.susanmclain@oregonlegislature.gov. You’re welcome to call as well - (503) 986-1429.

Please enjoy your fall and all the festivities throughout our county. From pumpkin patches to football games, there are plenty of opportunities for family fun. I hope to see you around!

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