Do What You Can Do 6/11/2020

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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


We’ve enjoyed your recent photos of beautiful Southern Oregon so much that we want to share more. 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

Before jumping straight to the topic that’s claimed all our attention the last three months, I want to share a couple of things on my mind.

First is a stunning story that came out today after months of investigation. If you have any interest at all in Oregon’s forests, the cluster of arguments over the level of timber harvests and how they affect jobs and the economy, and where we have to focus to get public services back on track, this article is must reading. I’ll be using it as Chair of the Senate Wildfire Committee, pushing to re-introduce a bill that fell short in the broken 2020 session for an independent study to compare Oregon with other western states on how the timber industry is taxed.

Second is the momentum that continues to build in Oregon and across the world to finally deal with the systemic brutality against people of color. How many people care about this issue? Here is a hint.

The demonstrations across Oregon are more constant and widespread than anything anyone can remember. It’s good to know that the vast majority of them (all of them in our Valley, as far as I know) have been peaceful. When it comes to the fiery images we see on television or online, there are some important questions to ask before we jump to conclusions about the source of the violence.

BLM Medford

*Image by Travis Toll from Medford, Oregon.

What’s our plan for Oregon? Legislators are slated to gather in Salem soon for a special session, focused mostly on Covid-19 issues. But beyond that we’ll be putting forward this three-part package for near-term action:

  1. A new process, probably under the Department of Justice, for independent investigation of any minimally credible charge of excessive use of force by police.
  2. Revival of a 2020 session bill to plug holes in existing arbitration rules that have let some abusive officers off the hook.
  3. Creation of a Public Safety Workgroup to bring proposed changes to the 2021 legislative session. Those will probably include increases in screening and accountability standards for sworn officers, control of citizen boards over policing in their communities, and use of cameras to document more to be determined.

Okay, onto Covid 19.

A week into Phase 2 (details on what that means are at the general website), we’re getting a taste of the risk that’s part of the reopening process. As I write these words on Thursday, June 11, the Oregon Health Authority is announcing 178 new cases, the highest daily count yet. This NPR article shows us second on the list behind Arizona in the percentage increase of new COVID cases reported each day.


What we don’t yet know is how much of this spike comes from the rapid increase in testing for Covid—more tests mean more people test positive—and how much is from increased infection rates. I’d say we DO know enough to stay cautious as we get out and about more. Those distancing, masking and sanitizing guidelines you’ve heard so many times? I hope you’ll keep them up.

And if you’re one of the people from all over the state urging me (and every other legislator) to make sure that kids can resume all kinds of team sports in the fall—we hear you. State policymakers are looking this one over from every angle. No decision’s been made yet; I’ll have more to say when there’s more to say.

That’s it for now. Take care of yourself and others—


Senator Jeff Golden, Oregon Senate District 3

Basic Information from the State of Oregon

OHA Coronavirus Update Banner

Important Updates

  • On June 10th, Governor Brown announced that Oregon schools will reopen this fall. She will be convening a Healthy Schools Reopening Council, which will advise the Governor's office and the Oregon Department of Education throughout the reopening process. Oregon Public Broadcasting outlined the state's requirements for school districts as they create their blueprints, which are due August 15.

  • School districts are preparing for summer school to support students with needs that were not met this spring through online schooling. OPB outlined the steps school districts are taking to support students this summer while keeping them safe and healthy.

  • The World Health Organization has published new guidelines regarding face masks. 

  • As of June 8, Jackson County Libraries have reopened

Resources for Current Information

Other Resources

Business Resources:

  • USDA has a Rural Development COVID-19 resource page with information about Rural Development loan payment assistance, application deadline extensions, and more, including in Spanish.

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  • Business Oregon has created a Small Business Resource Navigator with both resources for businesses and business survival tips to get through the crisis. Business Oregon has also compiled this useful table, which can be used to locate PPE manufacturers and distributors.

  • The Ashland and Medford Chambers of Commerce have put together resource pages to help employees and employers. Click here for Ashland. Click here for Medford. 

Social Services:

  • The National Alliance on Mental Illness has a helpline if you are struggling with mental illness in this stressful time, as well as many support groups of all kinds. The helpline is available from 9 AM to 5 PM at 503-230-8009, or toll-free at 800-343-6264. Visit their website here to find out more.

  • The Governor has created a Coronavirus FAQ for immigrants and refugees in a variety of languages.

  • Oregon Recovers has put together a list of resources for those struggling with addiction.
Grocery shopping

Meals for All: 

  • Oregon Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education’s Food Hero website with resources about meal budgeting, planning, and recipes. Its searchable database has plenty of quick, tasty, healthy and low-cost recipes.

  • The Oregon Food Bank has put together a "Food Finder" page to help locate local pantries and food assistance sites. 

  • Access has put together a lengthy list of local food pantries.

For Parents and Students:

  • Need more reading material? Check out Jackson County's digital library services. 

  • OPB created a list of at-home learning resources to help keep kids engaged while they're stuck at home.

  • PBS is putting together daily activities for kids who have to stay home due to school closures. You can sign up to get those activities sent too your email if you sign up here.
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Capitol Phone: 503-986-1703
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-421, Salem, OR, 97301
Podcast: Capitolizing