Senator Kayse Jama’s Legislative Newsletter 3/15/ 21

Senator Jama

March E-Newsletter

Hi Friends and Neighbors,

I hope you all are staying safe and well. As we continue to navigate the public health crisis please be kind to yourself and others, follow public health guidelines and check in with your neighbors when you can. I know this is still a challenging time, I thank you for your persistence and commitment to our community.

There are a lot of updates in this months' newsletter, so let's get right to it. 

1. Bill Highlights:

  • SB 778 - Office of Immigrant and Refugee Advancement 
  • HB 3112 - Oregon Cannabis Equity Act
  • HB 2002 - Justice Reinvestment 
  • SB 94A - State Landscape Contractors Board

2. General News

  • Statement on the attack toward Commissioner Hardesty 
  • Remembering Breonna Taylor
  • Oregon Redistricting
  • 2021 Oregon Legislative Session Housing Priorities
  • American Rescue Plan
  • New Summer Learning and Child Care Package  
  • Tutorial Videos on How To Engage Remotely
  • Covid-19 Vaccines Scam Alert

3. Upcoming Events

  • Community Conversation on Rent Assistance (3/19)
  • March Zoom Office Hours (3/18 and 3/23)
  • Immigrants and Refugees: The Path to Justice (3/27)
  • Upcoming Townhall (4/5)


SB 778 - Creates an Office of Immigrant and Refugee Advancement to oversee statewide immigrant and refugee integration strategy by: (1) tracking bills and concepts that impact the immigrant and refugee communities, (2) tracking and publishing where the state is making investments in the refugee community, (3) advocating for resources that can be leveraged from the federal government, and (4) monitoring the protection of immigrant and refugee data to ensure that information does stays private and is not shared with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

HB 3112 - The Oregon Cannabis Equity Act would establish a Cannabis Equity Board within the office of the Governor to provide equity oversight of the cannabis industry in Oregon. HB 3112 provides an opportunity for Oregon to pass the most comprehensive, holistic approach to cannabis equity in the United States. Passage of this bill would ensure cannabis tax revenue and other state funds are directed towards communities disproportionately impacted by over-policing and cannabis criminalization by: (1) studying the impact of cannabis prohibition on Black, Indigenous and Latinx (BIL) communities, (2) providing behavioral and mental health care for BIL community members, (3) reducing Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) registration fees⁠⁠, (4) establishing wealth rebuilding programs⁠⁠, (5) providing equal opportunity for BIL ownership in cannabis⁠⁠, and (6) providing free and auto expungement for cannabis offenses⁠⁠. 

HB 2002 - The Justice Reinvestment bill will build a different vision of public safety — one that is built on accountability, healing, and opportunity by: (1) reinvesting in community-based services that are culturally specific and centered in healing, (2) supporting survivors by increasing funding for and access to community-based victim services, (3) rebuilding lives after incarceration, and reimagining probation and parole to reduce the likelihood of reincarceration and reoffending while increasing public safety, (4) strengthening the role of courts to match the prison sentence to the specific facts of each case, reforming the 1990s-era mandatory minimum sentences that led to mass incarceration, (5) protecting against COVID-19 outbreaks in jails and prisons, and preventing unnecessary or inappropriate incarceration, (6) freeing-up resources for housing and healthcare by ending the use of arrest and incarceration as the default response to unmet healthcare and other basic needs, and (7) ensuring reforms and reporting that reduce racial disparities in the justice system.

SB 94A - My first bill-carry - Senate Bill 94 A came out of the Senate Committee on Business and Labor with a unanimous 5-0 vote and was passed on the floor earlier this week. Senate Bill 94A expands the options for licensure from the Oregon Landscape Contractors Board and adopts safer and more accessible protocols for this process by giving the Board greater flexibility in conducting the practical skills test and allowing the test to be hands-on, handwritten, or electronic. It also modifies the requirement that the examination's practical skills component must be done within eight hours on a single day, allowing for these valuable and practical skills exams to align with the schedule of typical business practices. Watch my speech here.



Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty is the first Black woman elected to the Portland City Commission. She has been a long-time criminal justice reform and police accountability advocate, and I appreciate her dedication to this issue amongst many others over the past decades. However this important advocacy work also makes her a potential target by those who oppose these reforms. Attacks against her identity and work in the community reflect the more extensive, historical context of Black leaders, especially Black women, being targeted for denouncing white supremacy. Instances such as these speak to the larger problem of institutionalized racism, embedded in our police departments, within our leadership and the media--have all collaborated to forward a false narrative. We must stand against systemic racism and stand up for women, especially women of color, who are disproportionately targeted for being a leader and advocating for reforming our communities. I condemn these actions in the strongest possible teem. I'm with Commissioner Hardesty and it is because of this that I demand this incident be fully investigated.


This past weekend marks one year since the death of Breonna Taylor, a 26 year old Black woman shot in her home by police. In the time since, we have had a reckoning about police culture and how systemic racism continues to be a dangerous stain on institutions we should be able to trust. We must continue to work diligently to make Oregon a safer and more just place for all of her residents. This is why I continue to prioritize listening to our Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities, and supporting the work of my colleagues in the BIPOC Caucus of the Oregon Legislature. Our voices have been marginalized for too long while we have unevenly borne the brunt of racist policies. Breonna should still be with us today, and that she is not is a somber reminder of our duty to continue working toward a future when our BIPOC neighbors can live in their homes, their towns and their country without fear. Black Lives Matter. Photos by @Mark_W_Graves


Legislative and Congressional Districts are redrawn once every decade to ensure each district is fairly represented in the Legislature and the U.S. House of Representatives. I can't emphasize enough how important it is that the community's voices, especially those that are historically undercounted by the system, are heard and incorporated into this process so that we have equitable and accurate representation. 

Check out the flyer above for the schedule of the upcoming hearings.

To determine your district, visit

Visit to learn about Redistricting.


Oregon legislators unveiled housing priorities amounting to $535-million in investments to build more shelters, protect our un-housed neighbors, and create paths to homeownership for tribal members and people who live in manufactured homes. This is the most unequal recession we have ever faced and therefore, I have committed from day one to stay focused on helping tenants who have lost their income through no fault of their own and help keep people housed.


Oregon Senate Democrats’ advocacy has paid off with the American Rescue Plan which responds to the pertinent need of resources for Oregonian families and businesses. Thank you to Senator Merkley & Wyden and Representatives Blumenauer, Bonamici, & DeFazio for the much-needed support Oregon Senate Democrats have been asking for Oregon families and small businesses. What does passing the American Rescue Plan mean?

1. Deliver immediate relief to working families bearing the brunt of this crisis by sending $1400 per-person checks to households. 

2. Support communities that are struggling in the wake of COVID-19 by providing direct housing and nutrition assistance, expanding access to childcare and affordable health care. 

3. Protect workers by issuing a high standard of protection that covers a broad sector of workers to ensure all essential workers are protected from unsafe working conditions and retaliation. 

4. Invest heavily in education by providing financial support to K-12 schools so that we can reopen safely and provide support to colleges and universities. 

5. Get dollars directly in the hands of small businesses as well as critical support to local and state governments to begin Oregon’s recovery from COVID-19.


Last week, Governor Kate Brown, Senate President Peter Courtney, and House Speaker Tina Kotek unveiled a restorative $250M Summer Learning and Child Care package to support Oregon’s kids and families as Oregon continues to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 public health crisis has been an immeasurable struggle for teachers and parents across the state, and this is a valuable investment in Oregon’s students as we begin to recover from the pandemic. 


Check out these tutorial videos made by the Legislative Policy and Research Office (LPRO) that I hope will be helpful to you all as you engage with remote legislative committee processes.

1. How to find a bill or committee agenda on OLIS

2. How to sign up to testify on a bill

3. How to submit written testimony on a bill

4. How to join a Microsoft Teams meeting and functions within Microsoft Teams


Many of you will have seen stories of unofficial volunteers helping seniors and vulnerable folks schedule vaccination appointments in Oregon and across the U.S. While neighborly care has been a vital and much-appreciated resource throughout the pandemic, the Oregon Department of Justice is also warning Oregonians to remain vigilant of possible COVID-19 vaccine scams


OPB: Oregon Democrats eye evictions, foreclosures, homelessness in 2021 housing legislation

Portland Tribute: Lawmakers ready to spend millions on housing



Join us this Friday, 3/19 from 6-8 PM at our community event focusing on rental assistance. Even though everyone is welcome, please note that this event is primarily for the constituents of SD 24 only. Pre-registration is required.

Registration link:


Save The Date for our upcoming joint town hall with Representative Jeff Reardon.

  • Date: April 5, 2021
  • Time: 5:30 - 7:00 PM
  • Location: Zoom

More information regarding the topics of the event as well as the registration link will be updated soon!!


Zoom Office Hours is the opportunity for our office to engage with community members by listening to constituents' ideas and concerns so that we can serve the people of SD 24 more effectively. I will try my best to hop on whenever I have time but staff will be there!!

  • March 18 from 12:00 - 1:00 PM
  • March 23 from 4:00 - 5:00 PM

Zoom link:


Thank you to the Minoru Yasui Legacy Project
and the Japanese America Museum of Oregon for inviting me to speak at your upcoming event - Immigrants and Refugees: The Path to Justice. In Oregon, March 28 is designated Minoru Yasui Day to honor Min’s tireless fight for equality, humanity, and civil rights. 

This event is free and open to the public so please register if you are interested:

That's all for this month's newsletter. As we venture forth, let’s all remain committed to practicing the strong public health habits we’ve formed over the last year. Wearing our masks, washing our hands, and watching our distance will remain important tools for keeping our communities safe and our kids in the classroom as the vaccination effort continues. Anytime, if you have any questions, feedback, or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact my office. My staff and I will be more than happy to help you as best as we can.

Stay safe and be well.


Capitol Phone: 503-986-1724

Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-409, Salem, OR, 97301



Instagram: @SenatorKayseJama

Twitter: @SenatorJama 

Facebook: @SenatorKayseJama