Oregon's Reopening, Local Investments, Women Veterans' Conference & More


Senator Floyd Prozanski
South Lane and North Douglas Counties
District 4

900 Court St. NE, S-413, Salem Oregon 97301
Capitol phone: 503-986-1704
Email: sen.floydprozanski@oregonlegislature.gov
Website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/prozanski
e-Bulletin                     May 2021

If you're having trouble viewing this message, please visit my legislative web page at http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/prozanski/, click on "News" in the lower left-hand column and scroll down.

Dear friends,

    While times remain tough, this may be the most upbeat e-bulletin I've been able to send in some time. Thanks to vaccination efforts, an end to the COVD-19 pandemic appears in sight; your Legislature continues to meet for its 2021 Regular Session; and stable federal leadership means much-needed resources for recovery are beginning to flow into Oregon. That said, challenges remain: COVID-19 continues to claim lives and the sunny, dry weather that we've enjoyed of late bodes poorly for the fire season ahead.

    Last week, Governor Brown announced targets for fully reopening Oregon's economy:

  • When a county reaches 65 percent of individuals 16 and older having been vaccinated against COVID-19, the county will be able to choose to move into the low-risk category.

  • When a county reaches 70 percent of individuals 16 and older having been vaccinated, the county can exit the risk level metrics completely. (There will still be mask and distancing requirements in many cases, but businesses will be able to return to otherwise normal operations. It should be noted that businesses will still be able to require customers to wear masks. For the safety of their employees, many businesses owners I've spoken with since the CDC made its recent announcement have stated that they plan to still require everyone to mask up inside their businesses, especially since there isn't an easy way to verify who has been fully vaccinated. Please be respectful of these business owners' decisions.)

    At last check, Lane County is at 58 percent and Douglas County at 37 percent of individuals 16 and older vaccinated. While there is light at the end of this long tunnel, it's important that we all stay vigilant by continuing to do our part to keep COVID-19 and its variants from spreading by: masking up, getting vaccinated, maintaining safe social distancing if un-vaccinated, and frequently washing hands with soap and water.

    Also last week, the
federal government took its final step toward making the Pfizer vaccine available to children, recommending the vaccine for use in kids 12 and older. The Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine is now being offered again at some locations. Vaccine clinics have begun accepting appointments and walk-ins.

    Part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) included substantial funding to Oregon for local community investments. Unprecedentedly, each representative was allocated $2 million and each senator $4 million to support specific projects in and around their districts. I received dozens of requests from local governments and nonprofits for assistance using these funds. I'm happy to share that I was able to support the following projects in Senate District 4, among others, by pooling resources with fellow legislators in some cases to extend the reach of Oregon's federal ARPA dollars:

Lane County

  • Food for Lane County
  • Vida McKenzie Community Center –– rebuilding the center that was destroyed in the Holiday Farm fire
  • SquareOne Village –– Peace Village affordable housing
  • McKenzie School District –– gym roof replacement
  • Family Relief Nursery –– South Lane (also serving Drain)

    Douglas County

  • UCAN –– build a new walk-in freezer for donated frozen foods and kitchen remodel
  • Douglas County Fire District No. 2 –– fire engine replacement
  • NeighborWorks Umpqua –– secure temporary housing for crime victims
  • Glide Revitalization –– operational funds and financial assistance to families impacted by the Archie Creek Fire
  • UCC –– vocational training scholarship for long-haul trucking program
  • City of Sutherlin –– repair/replacement of fire-impacted Central Avenue

     Click here to listen to my latest interview with Kyle Bailey on KQEN's "Inside Douglas County" for the latest information about the ongoing legislative session in Salem and what I'm working on.

    Below you will find information on:

- Emergency Rental Assistance Program
        - Oregon Women Veterans' Conference
        - 2019-2021 Arts Commission and Cultural Trust Awards
Blue River Post Office Back Open!

    I hope this information is helpful and informative for you or someone you know. As always, feel free to share your comments, questions or concerns with me by phone, mail or e-mail.

                                                               Sen. Prozanski signature

Emergency Rental Assistance Program

    The Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program (OERAP) opened for applications this Wednesday, May 19. The program will distribute $204 million in federal funding to help with rent or utilities payments for low-income households (households at 80 percent of Area Median Income or less, and which have experienced a financial hardship). OERAP can cover current/future rent, in addition to past rent. Instead of tenants applying through their community action agency or other local organization (as was the case with past rounds of tenant-based rental assistance), there will be one centralized, statewide tenant application run by OHCS. The application portal can be accessed here.

Oregon Women Veterans' Conference

    The Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs is excited to announce the return of the Oregon Women Veterans' Conference, which will be held virtually for the first time on Saturday, May 22. This free biennial conference, organized by ODVA for more than 22 years, celebrates the contributions, diversity and strength of Oregon's women veteran community, and is the largest gathering of women-identifying veterans in the state. Last year's scheduled conference had to be canceled due to the pandemic.

    Women veterans make up one of the fastest-growing segments of the Oregon veteran community, with an estimated 25,000 women veterans living in the state today, representing nearly one-tenth of overall veteran population. This year's virtual conference will be presented using Whova, an event management platform that will enable ODVA's team to replicate major aspects of the in-person conference, while gathering in a safe, accessible and engaging manner. The program will include inspirational speakers, informative seminars and breakout sessions, and opportunities to network with other women veterans and receive direct assistance in accessing earned benefits and other resources.

    Women veterans who have served in every era and branch of military service are invited to join in this inspiring event. Attendance is free, but registration is required. Please visit wvc.oregondva.com for more information or to register today.

2019-2021 Arts Commission and Cultural Trust Awards

    During this biennium (2019-2021), the Oregon
Arts Commission and Cultural Trust awarded 2,200 grants for a total of $34.3 million across Oregon! In Senate District 4, grants were awarded to:

  • Cottage Theater
  • Elkton Education Community Center
  • Eugene Opera
  • Eugene-Springfield Youth Orchestras
  • Lane County Historical Society
  • Rural Art Center –– Lorane
  • Very Little Theater

    Additionally, a partnership with the Oregon Community Foundation and the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation created a $1.2 million Artist Relief program which funded 643 artists across the state.

Blue River Post Office Back Open!

    On May 3, Blue River's Post Office reopened following the Holiday Farm Fire! This important resource for the community is once again serving residents of the McKenzie River Valley. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was planned that I hoped to attend but it was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. (The event has since been rescheduled for June 2 at 11 a.m. but that conflicts with Senate floor session in Salem.)

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