Heeding The Calls For Action

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Representative Smith Warner


As we all continue to absorb and respond to the actions of the past few days, it’s important to use this time to become well educated about the history and the present of systemic racism that has led us here. I hear your calls for action and change, and I am working to use my role as a legislator to make progress on systemic issues, including long-needed reforms across multiple subject areas: policing, access to justice, health care, education, housing, and more. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but together we can all make a difference. Here is a link to some great resources; and for an Oregon-specific perspective, watch the video below.  

Youtube Video

Legislative People of Color Caucus Call For Action on Police Accountability                    The Legislative People of Color Caucus issued a joint statement today in response to the ongoing protests in Portland and a call for legislative action on police accountability. I am fully supportive of the action plan presented by my colleagues and committed to making sure that we pass these crucial legislative items. Here is an excerpt from that release:

“In this historic moment, our words are not enough,” the House POC caucus members said jointly. “Only true concerted action can act as a salve for the wounds caused by centuries of targeted state violence on Black and Brown bodies. By prioritizing these criminal justice reform bills, we are upholding our commitment to extend protection under the law to all Oregonians. We are telling structural racism and police brutality that time is up, that justice is nigh, that not only will you be held accountable for your actions, but you will uphold the values in your oath of office: to faithfully, honestly, and ethically protect and serve.”  

Multnomah County Reopening Update                                                                        Multnomah County  will submit its application to enter Phase 1 of reopening on June 5, with the goal to reopen June 12. Public Health Director Rachael Banks announced the County’s Communicable Disease Services team is now meeting the state’s goal of reaching out to 95 percent of new cases within 24 hours. The County plans to expand their team of disease intervention specialists, contact tracers, and case investigators in the event of a future wave of illness. In addition, Multnomah County has detailed a broader reopening framework that centers Black, Indigenous and People of Color in partnership with community groups and leaders from communities of color in the county’s reopening plans. For other recent news in Multnomah County you can read their online newsletter here. The Oregon Health Authority reports up-to-date information regarding testing statistics that can be found on their website. You can review the daily update and read the weekly report that details the overall picture of the COVID-19 response in Oregon. 

Free Coronavirus Testing Available                                                                            American Family Care Portland (AFC) recently announced that it will now offer coronavirus testing to people without health insurance. The move was made possible by recent actions of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). “The AFC team worked hard to implement this program to ensure any Oregonian, regardless of means, can receive testing services,” said Guru Sankar, Managing Partner. “Widespread testing is critical in the fight against this virus and for the safe re-opening of Oregon.” For more information on how to access free testing click here.

Oregon Employment Department Update                                                                            The Employment Department was invited to present before the House Business and Labor Committee on May 27th and May 30th about actions the department is taking to resolve the backlog of unpaid claims. You can watch the committee meeting online here and review the department’s presentation.  Since the hearing, Oregon Employment Department Director Kay Erickson has resigned and been replaced by David Gerstenfeld. In the face of overwhelming volume, Oregon Employment Department (OED) is working to respond to all Oregonians’ claims as quickly as possible to streamline the current volume of unemployment insurance inquiries.Legislative offices will have more support moving forward from an employment department outreach team that will help legislative offices:

  • Collect complete and necessary information from constituents
  • Ensure that information is sent to the Department in a streamlined manner
  • Identify priority cases and equip legislative offices to communicate with constituents about expected wait times
  • Minimize multiple touches per constituent case, to allow more time at the Department for processing claims

Please reach out to my office if you need help in resolving an unemployment insurance claim of any kind.

DMV Offices Opening June 3                                                                                                All DMV offices across the state have been closed since March 25, except 6 offices which have remained open by appointment for commercial driver license issuance only. As Oregon continues its phased reopening, 40 (of 60 total) DMV offices across the state will reopen beginning on June 5 by appointment only. To schedule appointments in the Portland metro area, call  (503) 945-5000.Until further notice, DMV offices will only process certain priority transactions:  

  • Commercial Driver License issuance, renewal, and replacement
  • Standard/Class C Driver License issuance, renewal, and replacement (beginning July 6 replacements will be available online and will no longer be done in-person)
  • ID card issuance, renewal, and replacement (beginning July 6 replacements will be available online and will no longer be done in-person)
  • Driver license reinstatements

Transactions that can be done online will NOT be processed in-person – see the website for all of the things that can be done online. It’s important to note that the DMV will NOT conduct driving tests (skills tests) for new drivers. New drivers needing drive/skills tests are encouraged to work with private, third party testing businesses until further notice.

Upcoming Legislative Meetings                                                                                                The legislature is live streaming upcoming committee meetings that can be watched on the Oregon Legislative Information System. Click on the hyperlinks below to tune in: 

Wednesday, June 3rd:

Senate Interim Committee On Judiciary, at 8am

Senate Interim Committee On Human Services, 12pm

Thursday, June 4th: 

Senate Interim Committee On General Government and Emergency Preparedness, at 8am

Senate Interim Committee On Environment and Natural Resources, at 12pm 

Friday, June 5th: 

Senate Interim Committee On Wildfire Reduction and Recovery, at 8am

Senate Interim Committee On Housing and Development, at 12pm

Monday, June 8th:

Joint Committee On Transportation, at 12pm 

Please reach out to my office if you have any additional questions, or if there’s anything you think I could help with. 



Representative Barbara Smith Warner
House District 45

email: Rep.BarbaraSmithWarner@oregonlegislature.gov I phone: 503-986-1445
address: 900 Court St NE, H-295, Salem, OR 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/smithwarner