Do What You Can Do 3/1/19

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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 fourth edition of Do What You Can Do.

What's Up

Housing/Tenant Protection:

At a signing ceremony today in the Governor's office, SB608 became the country's first statewide law to cap annual rent increases and eliminate no-cause evictions. 

SB 608 Signing

I wrote about this hotly contested bill three weeks ago when I supported it in my first-ever Senate floor speech. It has flaws, but Oregonians will now be protected from the worst landlord practices. It's true that it doesn't directly relieve our housing crisis. Now we have to deliver on measures that will. One of the hardest conversations will be about requiring cities to increase the density of housing in residential districts. That will change some of our neighborhoods in ways that, to put it mildly, not everyone will like. Stay tuned for another policy balancing act.

Climate Action:

The Joint Legislative Carbon Reduction Committee roadshow came to Medford on Saturday, February 23rd. We were greeted by a packed house at the Central High School auditorium. 

HB2020 Hearing in Medford

Photo by KOBI5

Folks spoke passionately for and against the Clean Energy Jobs Bill in about equal numbers. By my on-the-fly tally, 68 people supported the bill, 62 opposed it and 9 fell somewhere in between. 

This is unusually tough legislation. The belief that I campaigned on--that Oregon should step up to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a fast, bold way--hasn't changed, but the challenges of taking it on as a state instead of a nation, and protecting some people from excessive economic harm, are complicated and real. We'll keep working on it... stay tuned on this one, too.

Mandatory Vaccines

The most heated argument so far this session has been over HB3063, which would remove most exemptions for mandatory childhood vaccinations as a condition for attending public school. You've weighed in with hundreds of comments, probably 5 to 1 opposing the bill. Some of you have been asking me for months to study this issue carefully with a skeptical eye to what's presented as the best objective science. I have striven to do that.

This has been an especially tough issue, partly because almost all my Democratic colleagues support vaccination mandates and partly because I know dedicated, honest healthcare providers--people not in the pocket of pharmaceutical corporations--who also want to see nearly all children vaccinated. In the end I decided to publicly oppose the bill, delivering this testimony to the House Health Care Committee.

What Do You Think?

Voting Age

This week I'd like your guidance on an early-stage proposal to lower the voting age to 16. Oregon is one of several states considering the change. Let me know what you think.

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