We must stand together

Senator Wagner

Racial Justice Now! Black Lives Matter.

Dear friends and neighbors,

In my last newsletter, I wrote to you about my vision for Oregon and how important it is that we take action to support our most vulnerable community members. This week's updates includes vital information on support available to Oregonians.

Read on for information about how you can continue to lift up our Black and LGBTQIA+ voices, learn about available support for workers in our state, and opportunities to engage with your state government so that we can better serve you.

Senate District 19 Shows Up for Protests

As elected leaders, we have the power to change laws that uphold institutional racism and systems of oppression, and we cannot wait any longer to take action. The People of Color Caucus, which includes my colleagues Senator Lew Frederick and Senator James Manning, has put forth policy proposals to improve police accountability and act against injustice. I am eager to work with my colleagues to advance these important policies. We must act now. Black Lives Matter.

The Oregon Senate Democrats issued a statement in support of the People of Color Caucus' proposals.

Today from 2-5 pm, join a peaceful protest for BLM in Lake Oswego. Please bring a mask and maintain physical distancing as we gather in solidarity.


Click the images below to read news coverage of protests in Tualatin, Lake Oswego, and West Linn.

Markayla Ballard, Tualatin BLM Protest24

Dos and Don'ts for Being Anti-Racist


  • Make an effort to diversify your social spheres by following accounts of Black and anti-racist activists, creators, writers, actors, scholars, and business-owners.
  • Start and encourage dialogues across differences. You might check out this resource from the National Museum of African American History & Culture.
  • Be aware of your implicit biases. This Yale resource can help you understand what that means.
  • Do the inner work to figure out a way to acknowledge how you participate in oppressive systems. The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence offers this tool to help you evaluate your privilege and build empathy for others.
  • Do advocate, speak out, and support organizations working to change the oppressive systems. Some actions include sharing messages from and donating to organizations like the Black United Fund of Oregon, the Urban League of Portland, the NAACP, and Black Lives Matter.
  • Do amplify (online and when physically present) the voices of those without your privilege. You can read about an example of amplification strategies of marginalized voices in this Vox article.


  • Do not expect to be taught or shown. Take it upon yourself to use the tools around you to learn and answer your questions. Many of the resources linked above are great ways to help you get started.
  • Do not behave as though you know best. Believe Black people when they tell you about the oppression they experience and use the opportunity to learn about how we can be better Americans to each other.
  • Do not take credit for the labor of those who are marginalized and did the work before you stepped into the picture. It's a good thing to use this time to start taking an active role in anti-racism, but remember that others have been doing that work for a long time, and that this is about amplifying their voices for change, not taking credit for yourself.
  • Do not make an anecdote about your personal experience to discount anti-black racism. Again, this is about the Black folks who aren't being heard by their neighbors and government, and we need to make sure to let them speak unhindered.

National Gun Violence Awareness Day: Wear Orange

Today is National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Learn more about wearing orange to advocate for a future free from gun violence at this link. 


Click the image to learn more about Wear Orange


Happy Pride Month!

With the advent of June and Pride Month, it is important to remember the Black Trans Women like Marsha P. Johnson and Miss Major Griffin-Gracy who stand at the center of the origin story of Pride. These two were crucial figures who helped galvanize the movement following the Stonewall Riots in New York City, an uprising and rebellion in response to police raids, harassment, and brutality not unlike the protests we have seen nationally this week. As we celebrate and lift up our LGBTQIA+ community members, it is our responsibility to acknowledge the resonance between Stonewall and our current events. Let us work to honor the legacy of the Black Trans Women leaders so that we can move toward broader accountability, allyship, justice, and a transformation beyond status quo.

To learn more about the history of Pride and the Black queer leaders who made it possible, consider spending some time with the following resources:

Food Security & Farmworker Safety Program

On May 29, Governor Kate Brown announced a $30 million investment to secure Oregon's food supply chain and protect essential agricultural workers. The Governor's Office worked with state agencies, farmers, and farmworker advocates to develop a funding proposal to deploy rapid support and resources to Oregon's agricultural producers to meet harvest demands and to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Components of this program include:

  • Distribution of 1 million face masks and 5,000 gallons of hand sanitizer to the agricultural and farmworker communities announced earlier this week.
  • $14 million for mitigation of COVID-19 outbreaks
  • $10 million for agriculture workforce housing
  • $5 million for additional COVID-19 field sanitation
  • $1 million to support additional physical distancing requirements for employer-provided transportation in response to OR-OSHA temporary rules

You can find more details about the program and how funds will be directed at this link.

Oregon Worker Relief Fund

When the pandemic hit and so many lost their jobs, thousands of immigrants and refugees in Oregon were not able to receive state or federal financial relief due to their immigration status. These community members have a significant role in the prosperity of our state as farm workers, food-processing workers, housekeepers, construction workers, landscapers, caregivers and day laborers, and more.

That's why the Oregon Legislature allocated $10 million back in April to start the Oregon Worker Relief Fund (OWRF), which provides financial support directly to Oregonians who have lost their jobs yet are ineligible for Unemployment Insurance and federal stimulus relief due to their immigration status, and now face hunger, homelessness, and economic hardship. OWRF has already begun disbursing some funds to families, but OWRF chair Martha Sonato says that the fund expects to “be ready to accept applications at full capacity by early June and we expect these funds to be fully deployed in 30 days.”

If you would like to donate to the OWRF, you can do so here. If you would like information on applying for OWRF assistance, click here. The website is available in both English and Spanish.

The Executive Order on Climate

Although coronavirus has dominated the headlines, the work necessary to implement the Governor’s Executive Order on Climate has continued behind the scenes. In early March Governor Kate Brown initiated an expansive Executive Order to implement science-based emission goals and direct state agencies to immediately pursue strategies for climate action. 

Earlier this month, DEQ submitted a preliminary report about the agency’s understanding of the Environmental Quality Commission's legal authority to cap and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in specific covered sectors, outlining program development and a stakeholder engagement process, previewing policy considerations and initial core program design elements, and describing how the public and stakeholders can comment on this report. Over the next six months, DEQ will be collecting input from communities, businesses, leaders and stakeholders--work that you can follow at this link here.

Public Utility Commission Survey

The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) has launched this survey to learn what Oregon residents think of available telecommunications services. Residential telephone and cellular service customers are encouraged to take this survey to provide input about the quality of service received and whether there is access to appropriate telecommunications services for individuals and communities to thrive.

The results will help inform a report that is due to the Oregon State Legislature as part of HB 3065. This bill directs the PUC to establish a public process investigating the relevance of the "carrier of last resort" or COLR obligation on the state's telecommunications providers given the recent changes in technology and policy in the industry. The COLR obligation requires telephone companies to provide access to telephone service in their designated service territory without discrimination.

For additional information on the COLR investigation, visit this link.

Census Call to Action

Data collected during the census is key to helping guide how many dollars in federal assistance Oregon will receive over the next 10 years to fund our schools, hospitals, roads, and more. As this pandemic has made clear, we are going to need those dollars more than ever before, so an accurate count is critical. The good news is that we will have more time to ensure everyone in this state is counted, because the Census Count has been extended and will now end on October 31st.

Visit the census website here or call 844-330-2020 to make sure you are counted. If you have any further questions, I encourage you to visit Oregon's Census page at this link. There you can find answers to frequently asked questions, helpful resources, and contact information for experts on the 2020 Census.

Reopening the DMV

Starting on June 3, some DMV offices opened by appointment only. The DMV began taking calls to schedule appointments on June 1. It’s important to note that not all DMV offices will be accepting appointments due to staffing impacts and social distancing requirements. The department continues to encourage customers to do what they can online or through the mail, and they created a video to let you know about some of the transactions you can complete from home today.

More Resources


Family Law


Public Benefits

Physical Distancing is Still Important

Finally, I also want to take a moment to once again thank you all for your dedication to flattening the curve by following physical distancing guidelines even as we continue reopening Oregon. We must continue to be mindful that we are still in the midst of a pandemic.  Please be respectful of your neighbors by keeping your physical distance, wearing face masks over your nose and mouth, and hand-washing regularly!

Be well and take care,


Senate Majority Leader Rob Wagner
Senate District 19

email: Sen.RobWagner@OregonLegislature.gov I phone: 503-986-1719
address: 900 Court St NE, S-223, Salem, OR, 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/wagner