Labor Day, the Census, and OED Updates

Representative Andrea Salinas

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

This past weekend, Aaron Danielson was killed in downtown Portland, and I extend my sincere condolences to his family and friends. Today, along with other elected officials and community leaders, I signed a statement condemning the acts of violence taking place in Portland. The violence must end, and we must collectively work to restore peace to Portland.

For over 100 days, Oregonians have been protesting against police violence and racial injustice. Any public plea for help of this duration cannot be reduced to one simple narrative. Speaker Kotek wrote about the Portland protests in her latest newsletter and offered her perspective on the situation’s complexities and nuances. I am grateful for her thoughtful analysis, and I encourage you to take a moment to read it here.

I do not pretend to have all the answers to solve the many problems we face as a community and as a state. What is clear is that the work needed to dismantle systemic racism will not occur overnight, and it will require all of us. I was proud to commit to doing this work and to creating a culture of shared accountability with other Lake Oswego community leaders. You can read our op-ed here. I invite you to join us.

Be safe and be well.

In solidarity,

Rep. Salinas Signature

Andrea Salinas, State Representative

Staying Healthy and Safe this Labor Day

In my conversations with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), they shared with me that past holiday weekends have resulted in COVID-19 outbreaks in Oregon. Keeping family, friends, and neighbors safe is a top priority, so cancelling or modifying holiday weekend gatherings might be necessary. If you do decide to make plans this weekend, here are four questions OHA recommends you ask to help determine the risk:

Labor Day Safety Tips

The good news is that by following the public health guidance, case counts in Oregon have decreased since the end of July. Last week, Governor Brown removed Multnomah County from the COVID-19 watch list. These positive trends are encouraging, but we must remain vigilant. We know how quickly the tide can change, and I personally want nothing more than for my daughter, and all students, to return to safe, in-person school instruction. So, my family and I will continue to wear our face coverings, socially distance, and following the public health guidance to do our part to help ensure our schools can open sooner rather than later.

Oregon Employment Department

Last week, the federal government approved the Oregon Employment Department’s (OED) application for the Lost Wages Assistance program’s first four weeks (July 26-August 15). This temporary emergency measure gives an extra $300 per week to people who are out of work due to COVID-19 and receiving unemployment benefits.

The Lost Wages Assistance Program has a limited budget, so the duration of the program is uncertain and depends on the number of states that participate and the number of payments that go out. Since the money comes from FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund, it may also be depleted in the event of a natural disaster. The Oregon Employment Department will seek additional weeks of Lost Wages Assistance benefits as soon as they become available.

You automatically qualify for this program if you:

  • Received unemployment benefits from July 26, 2020 through August 22, 2020; and
  • Self-certify you are unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19.

OED is still working to implement these benefits, but they hope to start issuing payments in late September. They will supply updates on their website and Facebook page.

Additionally, during his testimony before the Senate Interim Committee on Labor and Business, OED Acting Director David Gerstenfeld provided preliminary estimates for the implementation of other programs that will provide additional assistance for Oregonians. You can find the rough timelines in the graphic below. I was especially pleased to hear that the agency is making progress toward paying Oregonians for the waiting week period. Senator Ron Wyden worked hard to secure this benefit, and I have been eager to see it implemented here in Oregon.

OED Timeline

There was no OED webinar this week, but the webinars will resume on Thursday, September 10th at 1:00pm with program experts focusing on PEUC and Extended Benefits. For future webinars, OED needs your feedback to ensure these Thursday afternoon sessions are helpful. Please feel free to email me at, and I will pass along your ideas to OED.

Finally, here is the link for last Thursday’s school employee webinar, and the link to the webpage with related school employee recess information.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if you need any assistance or have any questions.

Foreclosure & Eviction Moratoriums

Earlier this week, Governor Brown extended the foreclosure moratorium through December 31st to protect Oregon homeowners and business owners. Her Executive Order 20-37 extends the moratorium the legislature implemented in the first special session via House Bill 4204. To learn more, you can read the Governor’s press release here.

Having a safe place to call home is more important than ever, which is why I’m continuing to work with my colleagues to extend the eviction ban. I know the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a temporary halt on evictions, but there is still a great deal of uncertainty as to how that will work. The Governor’s office is currently evaluating this federal order, and I will continue to pay close attention to this process.

These are critical steps to help keep families housed and businesses afloat; however, moratoriums do not address the balloon payments that may await families and business owners at the end of the emergency declaration. Congress needs to do more to provide significant financial relief to the many struggling Oregonians and to prevent a housing crisis of significant magnitude.

COVID-19 Emergency Coverage

If you are uninsured and were not able to sign-up for private health coverage due to COVID-19, you can still enroll. has made it easier for uninsured consumers to enroll in coverage through its existing national emergency or major disaster exceptional circumstances special enrollment period (SEP), also known as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) SEP.

People who experience a qualifying life change are eligible for a standard special enrollment period that allows them to sign up for a plan 60 days before or 60 days after their life change to enroll in a plan. Examples of a life change include loss of coverage due to loss of employment, marriage, addition of a new family member, gaining lawful immigration status, and a change in residence. Oregonians who were eligible for a standard special enrollment period, but missed this window due to COVID-19, can use the FEMA SEP to enroll in a plan. You will need to submit proof of your life change, but you do not need to submit proof that you have been affected by COVID-19. Applications are being accepted at if the life change is a loss in coverage, and at 800-318-2596 (toll-free) for all other life changes.

For more information, go to

Fill out the 2020 Census by September 30!

Wednesday, September 30th is the final day to complete your 2020 Census form. If you plan on mailing in your census form, it must be postmarked by September 30th and received by October 7th at the Census Bureau’s data processing center. With the recent attacks on the United States Postal Service (USPS) and the resulting delays in mail delivery, I am concerned about census questionnaires being received in a timely fashion. So, if you are going to mail in your response, please do so sooner rather than later. Or, you can fill out the census online or by phone in just 10 minutes. You can find more information at or

Be counted today!

Census Reminder

Town Hall Save the Date

On September 30th, I will be hosting a virtual town hall on Zoom from 6:00-7:30pm. Join me for an update on September Legislative Days, a presentation about the campaign finance reform efforts in Oregon, and more. We will also be answering your questions, so please submit them in advance to

Please register for the town hall in advance here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information on how to join the meeting. I look forward to the conversation and hope to see you there!

email: I phone: 503-986-1438
address: 900 Court St NE, H-485, Salem, OR, 97301