Let them Play; Race, Rural Inequities: Live Fireside Chat with State Legislators

Roblan State

Let Them Play!

Ready Schools, Safe Learners

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I hope you are doing well and staying safe. Thank you to all you do support the health and safety of your loved ones, community members and those in vulnerable health. In so many ways, we must look out for one another.

Over the last several weeks, our office received numerous emails and messages regarding part of the Phase 2 Reopening Guidance for recreational sport that involves participants coming into bodily contact. Parents expressed deep frustration that our children are missing out on too much, and we should find ways to allow more sports and activities for our youth.

I understand your frustration. As the former principal and math teacher for Marshfield High School in Coos Bay, I know the value of youth sports for overall health, social support and personal growth.

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is working closely with the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) to offer guidance based in public health, science and disease modeling. Overall, Oregon has done a great job distancing and flattening the curve, but we have also seen a rise in positive cases and hospitalizations.

Lincoln County Public Health announced 14 new cases of COVID-19. This brings the current count to 198 cases. While OHA continues to provide daily updates County by County, it is important to understand that this virus is still, and in some cases, growing in our communities.  Therefore, we must follow the recommended guidance as we get the virus under control and do our best to prevent further infections so we can get back to the recreational activities youth and families enjoy. The current guidance is listed here and you can scroll down to see guidance for specific activities.

We will strive to do everything we can to ensure our students have every opportunity to succeed. That’s why it’s important we continue to do what we can to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and make thoughtful decisions as we reopen.

Please let me know if you have follow-up questions, and please stay engaged with my office.




KXCR  "Fireside Chats" (simulcast live): 

Conversations on race and racism, and rural inequities in healthcare amidst COVID-19

Every Tuesday, our regional  legislators will participate in a virtual radio conversation and discussion where rural and coastal Oregonians can listen and share their thoughts on the challenges and opportunities during the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

This week’s “Fireside Chats” will focus on two current topics of critical importance statewide: race and racism, and rural inequities in healthcare related to COVID-19.

What: KXCR 90.7 FM  "Fireside Chats" 

When: Tuesday, June 16

Time: 5:00 p.m.

Join us live on Twitter and Instagram or tune into on KXCR ttps://www.twitch.tv/kxcr_streaming or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/kxcr90.7/


The first half of the hour will be dedicated to a conversation on race and racism.


Sen. Lew Frederick has spent years in the Oregon Legislature introducing bills aimed at changing how police treat People of Color.  Sen. Frederick had successes passing legislation on racial profiling but faced legislative battles when it came to bills addressing turning over investigations of local police shootings to state authorities.  He will chat about the Oregon’s Legislature People of Color Caucus, and partnering with their Republican colleagues in asking Gov. Kate Brown to convene a session to pass new police accountability legislation this summer in a special session. 


The second half of the show will be dedicated to a conversation on rural inequities with regards access to health care intensified by COVID-19.


Many small and rural hospitals in Oregon face budget shortfalls owing to the economic conditions arising from actions to reduce the number and severity of COVID-19 infections. Specifically, non-emergency procedures, which provide revenues to the hospitals, were suspended to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The Emergency Board provided additional support from federal revenues for Oregon’s thirty-three rural Type A and Type B Hospitals.

This portion of the program will focus on how rural coast legislators are responding to rural healthcare, education and the economy amidst the coronavirus pandemic..


An infographic on updated numbers from the Unemployment Insurance division at OED.

Additional Information and Resources:

Governor Kate Brown announces one-week statewide pause on pending county applications for reopening: Governor Brown said the state would pause all reopening applications for at least one week due to a noticeable increase in COVID-19 infections in Oregon. Read more

Governor Kate Brown announces comprehensive coronavirus testing plan for long-term care facilities: Governor Brown announced this week that Oregon will be implementing a comprehensive coronavirus testing plan to protect the residents and staff of long-term care facilities, prioritizing those facilities at greatest risk for outbreaks. Read more.

The Small Business Development Center and Small Legal Business Clinic will hold a webinar from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 18 about the legal considerations for reopening your business space during the Covid-19 crisis. The presentation will include information from the CDC, OSHA, and Oregon State guidance and requirements for Phase I and Phase II. Register here.

Reopening Guidance Tool: The Oregon Health Authority has created a single document with the guidance associated with each phase of the reopening framework.

Governor Kate Brown announces healthy schools reopening council: Governor Brown announced this week that she will convene a Health Schools Reopening Council to advise her and the Oregon Department of Education during the Ready Schools, Safe Learners K-12 school reopening process. The council will ensure all community voices – especially those representing school employees and Oregon’s Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other communities of color – have a forum to give feedback as school districts develop a safe return to school for Oregon’s students. Read more.

Additional News updates:

A Washington County deputy has been booked for attacking an inmate.

OPB is profiling the protests and the black leaders organizing the events.

Tigard Tualatin students organized a march on what would have been their last day of school, calling for racial justice.

Multnomah County is making Juneteenth a paid holiday for county employees. Some companies, like Nike are also making the day a paid holiday.

Today, the Oregon Supreme Court vacated the Baker County Judge’s ruling.

Governor Brown also announced efforts to prepare inmates with high risk factors for early release.

Rural Oregon leaders got together to discuss defying Stay At Home Orders.

There was a variety of follow up coverage on the 7 day reopening pause Here are a few: The Oregonian, Pamplin, OPB.

This has a great list of community action agencies across Oregon which may have resources that would be helpful to constituents in your districts.