Do What You Can Do 2/15/19

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Senator Jeff Golden

 *  “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”                    
—Helen Keller

Welcome to the third edition of Do What You Can Do

What's Up

Affordable Housing:

Tuesday, Feb 11 was an historic day.  On a vote of 17-11, the Senate passed what will soon become the country’s first statewide measure to limit rent increases and ban (after the first 12 months of tenancy) no-cause evictions.  SB608 restricts rent hikes to 7% plus inflation per year.

This bill triggered an avalanche of comments. A clear majority asked me to vote for it, though some wanted a lower cap than 7%. More than a few others opposed the bill. Most of them were landlords and realtors, some pointing out that “rent control,” as they called it, always fails. Fewer people, they say, will want to develop or own rental property, which will shrink the supply of housing and make it more expensive. 

Some were more upset by the curtailing of no-cause evictions, which they say tips the scales even more steeply towards bad tenants.Some of the criticism didn’t seem thoughtful to me, but some of it did. Even so I voted YES to move the bill towards the Governor’s desk right now. I made my first-ever speech on the floor of the Oregon Senate to explain why:

Senator Golden SB 608 Floor Speech

As I said then, the critics were right when they say this bill doesn’t begin to solve the housing crisis. That wasn’t its purpose. A solution needs an addition of thousands of units to Oregon’s affordable housing supply, and bills with that goal are coming our way... 

This bill, SB608, offers some immediate relief for people across the state who are feeling the housing crunch. It's an important first step. The bill now goes to the House of Representatives.  I think it has the votes to pass.  From there it could move quickly to the Governor’s desk and into law.

Campaign Finance Reform:

This week the Senate Campaign Finance Committee heard from people who’ve been working on what’s called “small donor match” public campaign financing, which  Portland voters have already approved for their city government.  It would match every dollar a qualified candidate raises with $6 in public funds, as long as the candidate agrees to strict limits on the size and source of the donations he or she raises. There are lots of questions to answer before a bill’s ready to vote on—a big one is where the public money will come from. Donor-match programs are already in place in other states, and I’ll work hard to build support to create one Oregon.  I strongly believe that whoever finances campaigns ends up owning the system. I want that to be all of us. 

Clean Energy Jobs Road Show Announcement


The Carbon Reduction Committee, working hard on the big climate change bill, is going on the road!  We’re gathering testimony from people across Oregon, and that includes the Rogue Valley. Our committee invites you to tell us what you think on

Saturday, February 23, 9am-12noon

Central High Auditorium, 815 S. Oakdale, Medford

This is likely to be a full house; if you want to sign up to testify, it’s a good idea to arrive before 9:00. Comments will almost certainly be limited to either a minute and a half or two minutes. That goes fast, so prepare exactly what you want to say.  Hope to see you there!

What Do You Think?


This week I’d like your guidance about the future of marijuana in Oregon, because several bills are coming up.  The basic argument is between those who want to adjust regulations so that the cannabis industry can mature to provide legal, good-paying jobs and tax revenue, and those who think legalization was a mistake and don’t want to see this economic sector flourish.


What do you think?  Write

Quick Note:

We sent out our mailer and it's been great to hear back from folks! It's been brought to our attention that the email was misprinted, reading

The correct email is, without the period between "Jeff" and "Golden." We appreciate your patience and we're sorry for the confusion.

Do you know other people in the Rogue Valley who might want to know about the issues we’ll be tackling this session, including climate, wildfires and smoke, affordable housing, education (pre-K through higher ed), health care, economic fairness and campaign finance reform?  Please invite them to sign up for this newsletter at We will not share contact information with anyone else for any reason.

And if you like Twitter, follow @SenatorGolden for more frequent and impulsive updates.

Our best to you for now. Please remember to do what you can do.


Senator Jeff Golden
Chair, Campaign Finance Committee
Senate District 3 (Rogue Valley)

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1703
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-421, Salem, OR, 97301
Twitter: @SenatorGolden