Updates on Voting, Census and Fire Recovery

Senator Wagner

Ballots Arrive Soon

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Now that ballots are being mailed out to Oregon voters around the state, I encourage you to take a few minutes to review your voting plan.

Even though there has been lots of concern around U.S. Postal Service efficiency and election security, our state election officials are confident in our strong vote-by-mail experience and our ballots are actually more secure than ever. If you still have concerns about returning your ballot by mail, the drop box locator is live now and you can type in your registered voting address to locate your nearest drop box. You can also use the track your ballot tool to ensure your ballot is received. Please reach out to your local election officials if you’re experiencing any difficulties.

If you have not received a voters’ pamphlet, you can view one here or contact your county clerk’s office. You should also contact your local election officials if you have not received your ballot by October 23rd.

2020 Census Ends October 15th

Last week, I shared that a U.S. District Judge had ruled that the Census must continue through the end of October. This week the US Supreme Court approved a request to suspend that order, meaning that the Census will most likely end before the previously announced date of October 31st.

The Census Bureau is reporting as of October 14th that well over 99.9% of housing units have been accounted for in the 2020 Census. The 2020 Census will cease accepting online responses on Thursday, October 15th at 11:59 P.M. Hawaii time.

Please, if you (or anyone you know) have not yet completed your Census, now is the time to do so and it takes just a few minutes to complete. The Census is confidential and it informs critical funding and appropriate representation in our state and in the U.S. Congress for the next ten years. Visit the 2020 Census page to learn more.

Get Counted!

Fire Recovery and Resources from FEMA

The Governor’s office has put together a Wildfire Resources page that you can access from the Governor’s home page. It has links to many of the most important updates about the status of fires and resources for evacuees. This website is updated regularly. The Department of Forestry’s Wildfire Response and Recovery Overview also has ongoing updates about firefighting efforts, damage reports and more. 

In wildfire recovery news, the legislature's Emergency Board will allocate $20 million to state agencies to help Oregonians affected by the fires. This includes funding for repairs for schools in heavily affected school districts, drinking water system studies in damaged areas and other financial assistance.

Additionally, people who were affected by the Oregon wildfires and straight-line winds and who live in Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn and Marion counties should apply for FEMA assistance even if they are covered by insurance or have registered with other agencies. FEMA is also currently providing several different fact sheets and resources for accessing benefits, determining eligibility and avoiding scams.

Oregon Public Awareness Campaign on Face Coverings Launches Nationwide

Protect Our Community - Mask Up

In collaboration with DIRECTV and Portland-based ad agency Wieden+Kennedy, Governor Kate Brown announced on October 13th that Oregon's public awareness campaign to inform the public about the urgent importance of wearing face coverings has launched nationwide. Wieden+Kennedy provided their creative services at no cost to the state, and DIRECTV is covering the costs of airing the ad campaign.

At home, Oregonians have shown incredible care and respect by overwhelmingly wearing masks in public to protect themselves and their communities. Alongside other measures like practicing good hand hygiene and physically distancing, this has helped us achieve some of the lowest rates of coronavirus transmission and death nationwide. We face this pandemic as a country, and it will take all of us in Oregon and across the United States to overcome its challenges. To learn more about the campaign, read this press release from the Governor’s Office.

Rain and Face Coverings OHA

Community Spotlight: Clackamas Women's Services

I also want to celebrate the work of Clackamas Women’s Services and their partners at A Safe Place Family Justice Center. The dedicated staff members of these organizations recently received a $50,000 grant to provide support to law enforcement and victim-service providers experiencing vicarious trauma through their work with victims of crime. They are one of twelve sites in the nation to be selected for the Vicarious Trauma Response Initiative program and grant.

During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we are so lucky to have caring and dedicated professionals devoted to trauma-informed, coordinated community response to domestic and sexual violence in Clackamas County. This grant will ensure that staff members get the self-care support and mental health wellness they need to be effective advocates and providers to the community members they serve.

Congratulations to Clackamas Women’s Services on their successful grant application, and thank you for doing the work you do! To learn more about the organization, the services they provide*, and to find their donation link, please visit this link.

*Please be aware that internet and phone usage can be monitored and is impossible to erase completely – if this is a concern, please seek assistance from a friend or neighbor to access resources.

Intimate Partner Violence

As always, please let me know if you need any assistance. My office and I will work to connect you with resources and get answers as quickly as possible.


RW Signature

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