Do What You Can Do 4/23/20

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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

For the time being we’ll be using this newsletter to provide links to what we think are some of the most useful resources for weathering the COVID-19 pandemic. Please be sure follow the guidelines and social distancing practices provided by our public health authorities to get us through the crisis.

Madrones Trees - Jack Leishman

We know you might be missing the outdoors, so we thought we'd bring the outdoors inside. This photo was provided by Jack Leishman. Have a photo you've taken and want to share with us? Send it to with the subject “Photo Reminder.” We’ll use some in future newsletters.

Keeping Current on COVID-19

Yesterday was Earth Day—the 50th annual Earth Day, in fact. Plans were in place for tens of millions worldwide to celebrate in the streets, reflecting the spirit of the less organized crowds who took to the streets in April of 1970. They were there to insist that we pause our usual busy-ness to think carefully about whether we’re being the kind of stewards that our one and only planet needs.

Those plans, like everything else these days, had to change. People did indeed gather in the millions, but in Zoom and Skype rallies, conferences, conversation and concerts instead of the streets. They helped each other remember that a livable future depends on more than navigating our way out of the COVID crisis, that the work that so many of have done for so long to lighten our footprint on planet Earth has to continue and expand—and that there’s satisfaction and pleasure in moving that work forward together.

If you’re among the many Rogue Valley folks who feel the shared responsibility to hand the next generation the healthiest environment we can, to reduce the pollution and toxic load that’s come from our industrial expansion over the years, then consider using this time to get more involved. Wherever your interest lies—healthy fish and wildlife habitat, forest conservation, air, water or soil quality, reducing toxics and plastic waste, urban sprawl, conserving farmlands, stemming climate change—there are groups, both local and national, working hard for what you want. Give them a call or email to see how you might pitch in.

Jeff and Dan - Campaign Finance

Rep Dan Rayfield and I at a townhall on campaign finance reform last year

One more non-COVID note, and a welcome one: this morning the Oregon Supreme Court threw out an old court ruling that effectively made it impossible to limit donations to political campaigns, which over the years made Oregon distinctive among states for the political power of special-interest money.

We’ve been waiting a long time for the legalization of campaign finance limits. There’s some complexity around today’s decision, but in November we’ll be voting on a measure that clearly establishes our right to regulate money in political campaigns. I hope and believe most of us will say yes, so that I can work in the 2021 session to craft a clear, straightforward system that shifts power from Oregon’s special interests to its citizens.

Another story breaking this morning is the Governor’s lifting of the ban on non-urgent (or “elective”) medical and dental services, effective May 1. The ban came out of the desperate shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)—masks, gowns, gloves—for healthcare workers and others on the frontlines of the Covid crisis. With PPE supplies stabilizing, those non-urgent services can resume, to the relief of plenty of Oregonians who’ve patiently waited for treatment, and to mostly smaller hospitals that can now restore something like business-as-usual. This is a welcome early step towards a fully-functioning Oregon.

There will be more soon. Early this week the Governor released a general outline for re-opening our state in three stages, the first unrolling in May. We don’t yet have specific decisions on particular businesses and activities.  Those are being hammered out this week and next. I hope to have details for you in the next newsletter.

For now I’ll just say that it’s difficult to imagine a harder policy challenge than finding the right balance between effectively re-starting our economy and following the soundest scientific guidelines for protecting public health. More and more of you have been weighing in on this challenge... and you don’t agree. Some folks are pleading for a quick release of all kinds of businesses from restrictions so they can return to work, along the lines of what the state of Georgia is beginning tomorrow. Others urge us to stay the course of strict lockdown a little longer, until more tests are available and we can be sure we have the healthcare capacity to handle major surges of infection that are one possible outcome of sending Oregon back to work. I’ve heard it said that where you stand on this issue depends mostly on your personal situation: if you’re economically comfortable and stable, it’s easy to lounge around the house and tell your legislator to stay the course. But if you’re close to the economic edge, and federal money and unemployment payments aren’t reaching you, it’s a different story. 

That makes sense. Sometimes we’re not very good at putting ourselves in the shoes of people with less buffer from serious harm than we have. But you might be interested in this just-released survey, which shows a large majority of Oregonians—both urban and rural, and of every political party—in a strongly stay-the-course frame of mind.

Support for Oregon's Stay at Home Order - Research by DHM Research, graphic design by Killer Visual Strategies

Research by DHM Research, graphic design by Killer Visual Strategies

That could well change in months to come, as almost everyone wants to see Oregon get back to work (and wouldn’t mind an outing to a restaurant or the library or mall, either). Signs are we’ll move in that direction in a week or two, though we don’t yet know the pace. We’ll update you as we learn more. In the meantime, please, as much as you can, stick with the distancing and stay-at-home practices that have yielded good progress through the month of April. To those of you having a particularly tough time, please hang in there. We’re not forgetting you, and we’ll keep doing everything we can to get vital assistance where it’s needed. Thanks for doing your part to get our community through this. We will get there.


Senator Jeff Golden
Senate District 3 (Rogue Valley)

Important Updates

what it takes to reopen

Resources for Current Information

OHA Coronavirus Update Banner

Other Resources

How You Can Help:

Conditions for Relaxing Social Distancing
  • We’re all in this together. That has been made clear by the generosity of Oregonians across the state. When called to help, you stepped up and supported the fight against COVID-19. Thank you.

  • Governor Brown has put together a great list of 10 things you can do to help your community while maintaining social distancing. OPB has another list 

  • While we're stuck at home, please remember to fill out the U.S. Census. That information is critical to making sure people are accurately represented in government and get the resources they need. The self-response window opened on March 12 and can be accessed online at, over the phone in 13 languages, and by mail. The website is available in 59 languages; simply click the globe icon on the top right corner of the main page to open a drop-down menu of options. As of now, the response window will be open until October 31st.

  • If you are a retired medical professional and would like to volunteer to help those in need of treatment, you can sign up here.

  • Rogue Valley Recovers has a whole host of information and ways that you can help in our community.

  • The Red Cross is asking people to still go out and make blood donations if they feel well enough to do so. The Surgeon General has stressed the importance of donating blood at this time, and the Red Cross has taken extra steps to make sure that donors and Red Cross employees stay safe. You can read more about them here, and you can make an appointment to donate blood at or by calling 1-800-733-2767.

Business Resources:

Business Oregon Logo
OED Unemployment Flow Chart

Social Services:

Meals for Students: 

Many school districts will continue to provide free meals for students.

For the Medford School District: Free “grab and go” meals for kids 18 and under will be served at six locations throughout the district (on weekdays) from Monday, March 16 through Tuesday, March 31. That includes the week of spring break. Breakfast will be served from 9:00AM - 10:00AM and lunch will be served from 11:30AM - 12:30PM.

Meal Times for Medford School District

Locations are as follows:

  • North Medford High School  1900 N Keene Way Dr, Medford, OR 97504
  • Howard Elementary School 286 Mace Rd, Medford, OR 97501
  • Jefferson Elementary School 333 Holmes Ave, Medford, OR 97501
  • Roosevelt Elementary School 1212 Queen Anne Ave, Medford, OR 97504
  • Jackson Elementary School 713 Summit Avenue, Medford, OR 97501
  • Oak Grove Elementary School  2838 W Main Street, Medford, OR 97501

Visitors are asked to enter through designated doors, pick up a meal from the cafeteria and then take the meal to go. Gathering inside the school will be discouraged. We are grateful to our MSD staff who are volunteering to staff the sites!

For all other school districts offering this valuable service and more information on how our schools are responding to COVID-19, please refer to the links below:

Meals for All: 


For Parents and Students:

Food Hero Logo
PBS Kids Logo

Please remember to watch the news and follow the advice from experts at the CDC, OHA, and Jackson County Public Health, and directives from the Governor's office. We'll get through this and we'll do it by working together. 

If you find this list of resources helpful, please forward this email to friends and co-workers in the Rogue Valley.  A big part of our challenge is to get qulaity information out to everyone. Anyone can sign up for this newsletter at

We will not share contact information with anyone else for any reason.

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1703
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-421, Salem, OR, 97301
Podcast: Capitolizing