Special Session on Police Accountability and Coronavirus Response

Senator Wagner

Special Session on Police Accountability and Pandemic

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Last week, I shared the People of Color Caucus's call for a special session to address police accountability. Joining in a nationwide wave of protests, thousands across Oregon have protested police brutality and racial injustice as a part of the Black Lives Matter movement. 

This week, Governor Kate Brown announced that she will convene a special session of the Oregon Legislature to address police accountability and the policy response to COVID-19 on Wednesday, June 24th. We have reached a critical moment for enacting much needed change and cannot allow this moment to pass us by. Senate Democrats are ready to work on these vital issues. Right now, we are working hard to finalize the details of legislation we will consider during this special session.

The Capitol building will remain closed to the public during this special session, but walk up testimony will be available at the viewing station outside of the Capitol, where  anyone in Salem will be able to watch all proceedings on screens. Everyone else can watch any committee or floor session, as well as submit testimony to committee hearings, at the Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS) site. Information on how to submit written testimony to committees can be found here. The first committee meeting will be on Monday afternoon.

Police Accountability in District 19 and Beyond

Last Tuesday, the city of West Linn fired Sgt. Tony Reeves for misconduct "and the irreparable loss of public trust and confidence in his ability to be a fair and unbiased police officer," according to Acting Police Chief Peter Mahuna. This news comes after an investigation by the Clackamas County District Attorney's Office. The investigation found that Sgt. Tony Reeves and former Police Chief Terry Timeus both committed misconduct and recommended the revocation of both officer's police certifications.

Over the past several weeks, we have seen many criticisms of the Portland Police Bureau (PPB). In response, activists and leaders have demanded that the city cut the police budget and instead direct funds to community-led alternatives to criminalization and over-policing of neighborhoods. This week, the Portland City Council voted to cut $15 million from the PPB's budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

This op-ed from my colleague, Senator Lew Frederick, is a powerful statement on why now is the time to fight for police accountability and reform. Senator Frederick was also interviewed on KGW about his experiences in Oregon. It is unacceptable that our Black community members don't feel safe in their homes, in their cars, or in our neighborhoods.

If you would like to learn about my support for police accountability measures, and how to be an ally to BIPOC communities, please consider browsing through the links below:

Juneteenth Celebrations

Today, we celebrate Juneteenth and the abolition of slavery and emancipation of African American slaves in the United States. Learn more about the holiday's history and celebrations around the country. Governor Brown recently issued a proclamation in observance of Juneteenth. I look forward to supporting legislation for making Juneteenth a state holiday. 

We must acknowledge a history in Oregon that saw those in power, previous legislatures and governors, pass policies that built racist structures designed to oppress people of color. It is our responsibility, as current legislators, to take action to dismantle these structures and build a state that is truly equitable. 

The annual statewide Juneteenth celebration here in Oregon has been moved online, so you can take part from every corner of the state. Learn how to participate and celebrate here: https://www.facebook.com/juneteenthoregon15/.

Between 4-5 pm today, I'll be speaking at a celebration organized by Respond to Racism LO. Please see the flyer below for more information and make sure to bring your mask and maintain physical distance if you attend!


Business Recovery Center Open in Tualatin


Tualatin Mayor Frank Bubenik cuts the ribbon.

This past Wednesday was the Grand Opening of the Washington County Business Recovery Center. The Business Recovery Center is opening in partnership with the City of Tualatin and Washington County. The Tualatin Chamber of Commerce was selected to be one of four Business Recovery Centers in the county (Hillsboro, Beaverton, Adalente Mujeres, and Tualatin).

The Center is funded by the CARES Act through an agreement with Washington County and will offer services through December 31. The Tualatin location will provide services to Tualatin, South Tigard, Sherwood, and Wilsonville. You can learn more about the Business Recovery Center at this link.

Recent Uptick in State Coronavirus Cases

The most recent increase in COVID-19 outbreaks caused Governor Brown to hit “pause” last week on all reopening plans for seven days. New evidence shows that the virus is spreading at concerning rates, with daily case counts rising to record highs earlier this week.

Because of these outbreaks, Governor Brown has instituted a requirement to wear face coverings while in indoor public spaces, such as grocery stores and other businesses. This mandate will go into effect on June 24th in the following counties: Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Hood River, Marion, Polk, and Lincoln. The Governor has also decided to allow Multnomah County to move to Phase 1 starting Friday, June 19. Recognizing how interconnected our metro area is, the Governor has announced that going forward, the tri-county area will be considered a single region for reopening considerations. This means that Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties will need to wait three weeks before applying to enter Phase 2.



Although we all feel the itch to return to “normal”, we must stay vigilant to contain the virus in our state. We must continue to follow guidance from our public health and safety officials in order to keep our communities and loved ones safe.

Don't Throw Shade - Physical Distancing


I am joining DACA recipients and allies in celebrating the victory of Thursday’s Supreme Court decision. SCOTUS ruled that the Trump Administration cannot proceed with its plan to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The DACA program was enacted by President Barack Obama in 2012; it protects individuals who were brought to the United States as children by providing documentation allowing them to study, work and avoid deportation.

I'm so proud of my former intern, Christian Calzada, for all of his work to protect DACA and immigrant rights - check out his interview in the Lake Oswego Review! Part of my support of DACA includes helping to launch the DREAMer Resource Center at PCC. I encourage you to take a look at the United We Dream website for more information and additional ways to support the DACA program.

Yesterday, the US Supreme Court allowed DACA to stay in place - but we've got more work ahead of us to make these protections permanent!

Pride Month Updates

Saturday, June 13th marked the fourth anniversary of the tragic Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida. This event became a chilling call to action for us to prevent violent acts against our most vulnerable communities. Since then, Oregonians have shown leadership by acting to curb gun violence. Given that 2019 alone saw 417 mass shootings across the United States, we must continue to work for strong protections for our community members. 

Although gun violence has represented one threat to our LGBTQ+ neighbors, recent attacks on queer rights from the current administration are equally dangerous, especially in the midst of a pandemic. Queer individuals were already more likely to experience discrimination in healthcare settings, even with the protections provided by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Accessing healthcare without fear of discrimination is critical to our country and our state’s ability to safely navigate through this pandemic. 

While Oregon had already enacted LGBTQ+ non-discrimination protections, Monday’s Supreme Court ruling on the inclusiveness of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is an important victory for the LGBTQ+ community, who will now benefit from the workplace protections provided under the Civil Rights Act regardless of state residence. It is encouraging to see these rights reaffirmed by the Supreme Court, but there is still much work to be done in inclusivity and justice across the United States, including here in Oregon. 

After a week of civil rights attacks against LGBTQ+ individuals comes deeply disturbing news of recent murders and disappearances of Black transgender women and gender-nonconforming individuals across the country. As we mourn their losses, let us honor their memories by supporting our queer neighbors. Join me in practicing allyship with the LGBTQ+ community by rejecting transphobia and demanding swift justice for those we have lost. Now more than ever, we must stand in solidarity with our diverse and beautiful LGBTQ+ community here in Oregon.  

To learn more about LGBTQ+ allyship and what you can do to help beyond protesting, consider taking a look at the following resources:

If you or a loved one are transgender and are in crisis, please contact the Trans Lifeline. These are difficult times, please take care of yourselves.

Welcome to Summer Interns

On a lighter note, I am pleased to welcome two talented and motivated new interns: Enam Al-Bustami and Lane Duckett. Enam and Lane will be a vital part of the outreach and policy work we do with - and on behalf of - the constituents of Senate District 19! I encourage you to take a moment to read through their bios below.

Enam Al-Bustami

My name is Enam Al Bustami and I am from Salem, Oregon. I am currently a Junior at the University of Oregon where I am majoring in Political Science and double minoring in Legal Studies and Arabic. Once I graduate from college, I hope to go to law school and become a civil rights lawyer. In my free time, I like to read a good book or hang out with my close friends. I am excited to gain more knowledge and experience this summer so that I am able to successfully help my community in the future.

Lane Duckett Bio

My name is Lane Duckett. I was born in Oregon, grew up in Austin, Texas, and currently live in Lake Oswego. I am an avid gardener, artist, and a hiker. I am transferring to the University of Oregon this fall to study Political Science. I am passionate about constitutional law and political philosophy, and hope to become an attorney or a professor. This internship gives me the wonderful opportunity of both observing government work and participating in legislative processes. I hope that come summer’s end I will feel that my work was meaningful and benefited the people of my communities. 

More Resources

If you're struggling to cope in these stressful times, consider reaching out to one of these resources:

  • To reach the Disaster Distress Helpline, call 1-800-985-5990, or text TalkWithUs to 66746. 
  • If you or a loved one is in crisis, dial Call 800-273-TALK (8255) or go to this link.
  • Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.
    • You can also visit thehotline.org, but for your safety please be aware that computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear.

Please let me know if you need any assistance in the weeks ahead. My office and I will work to connect you with resources and get answers as quickly as possible.



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
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH9hnaqShRCD12OPH5yOy7w/videos