Upcoming Special Session and Legislative Days

You can read our previous newsletters here.

View in Browser

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

This has been a busy week as I considered the various redistricting proposals presented to Legislators and attended the public hearings to listen to your comments on how the maps should be drawn. In addition to redistricting, I am co-chairing a meeting of the Interstate Bridge Committee on Friday and preparing for the upcoming Legislative Days.  

I have provided a lot of information over the last several newsletters on how you can participate in the redistricting process and I have been an active and attentive listener to comments from both my colleagues and the public, of which 1,977 people testified!  Governor Brown has called a Special Session for Monday and Tuesday on redistricting, and I am excited that I will finally have the opportunity to engage in debate about the maps and to vote on the final proposals.  The Legislature has until September 27th to pass a proposed plan.  If we fail to do so, the responsibility for redistricting will fall to Secretary of State Shemia Fagan.

I am working hard to prepare for the upcoming Legislative Days, which will take place Wednesday-Friday of next week.  The purpose of Legislative Days is to hold interim committee hearings and to lay the groundwork for the next Session.  Since Oregon voters adopted annual sessions in 2010, the Legislature meets for a maximum of 160 days in odd numbered years and 35 days in even numbered years.  The Legislature convenes periodically during the interim for Legislative Days, which happen approximately every eight weeks.  During Legislative Days, Committees hold informational hearings on topics that may lead to legislation in upcoming sessions, hear updates on previous implementations, reports from state agencies and Task Forces, and keep current on the subject areas affecting Oregonians.  Here is the link to follow our committee work next week.

We are beginning to see a small decrease in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Oregon and a slight uptick in vaccinations!  I was incredibly proud that Washington County became the first county in the state to hit a vaccination rate of 80%.  And we currently rank 45th out of the 50 states for deaths caused by COVID.  What this means is that the measures that Governor Brown took early in the pandemic, and the measures like masking and vaccinations that we all are taking now, really do have an impact.  

Finally, I encourage you all to join me on Saturday for my next Town Hall.  This is a great opportunity to talk about the upcoming Special Session and Legislative Days, as well as discuss issues like small business relief and back-to-school concerns.  Register here: tinyurl.com/mclaintownhall

Town Hall Flyer




Hispanic Heritage Month


Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period. 

I hope you'll have the chance to join a celebration in your community, and I have shared a great opportunity to do so in the 'Around Washington County' section of this newsletter.  I also encourage you to keep an eye out for the Tri-Met Hispanic Heritage Month Bus!  It celebrates incredible leaders in our community and you can read more about them here

Hispanic Heritage Month Tri-Met Buswrap




Interstate Bridge Committee logo

The next meeting of the Bi-State Legislative Committee is this Friday from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm.  For more information on the meeting, including an agenda and how to view it and testify, click here

As this has been an ongoing project for a long time here in Oregon and in Washington, there is a lot of information out there, and not all of it is accurate.  We do our best to keep up-to-date with community conversations regarding the bridge and address any "myths" that we hear out there.  This month's newsletter addresses the myth that a tunnel would be an easy solution to the I-5 crossing.

Myth: A tunnel can solve the Interstate Bridge transportation problems just as easily as a bridge.

Fact: A tunnel cannot be feasibly built within the footprint of I-5 without eliminating important connections to Hayden Island, downtown Vancouver, and SR-14. It also comes with significantly more operational, environmental, and historical resource impacts, and would cost more than a replacement bridge.

Radio advertisement

Filibusters Interview on the Interstate Bridge Replacement Program:

I had a great time doing an interview with my Washington State counterpart, Senator Annette Cleveland, on the Filibusters Radio Show with hosts Kelly Love and John Oberg.  Listen to the full interview here.




OHSU Hospitalizations

Hospital Capacity:

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 1,082. There are currently 288 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds.

There are 48 available adult ICU beds out of 656 total (7% availability) and 337 available adult non-ICU beds out of 4,282 (8% availability) in the state..

Note: Please do not visit an emergency department for COVID-19 testing, unless you require emergency care for your symptoms.

Emergency departments in Oregon are under significant strain responding to the current surge in COVID-19. You can find a test here.  

If you have a medical condition that doesn’t require emergency care, contact your provider. An urgent care center may also help you get the care you need and will save emergency departments from added strain.

More information about hospital capacity can be found here.

COVID Daily Numbers

To follow the day-to-day changes in positive cases, vaccinations, hospitalizations, and deaths, please visit the Oregon Health Authority's Dashboard Page here


Delta Variant is very contagious

What you need to know about virus variants:

Sometimes it can feel overwhelming to sort through all the information we come across. The Delta variant continues to be in the headlines, but other variants are in the news as well. 

Viruses like SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, mutate or change constantly. This mutation is a natural process that results in new variants. You can think of a variant as a stronger, more harmful version of the same virus. Some variants disappear, and others persist. Multiple variants of SARS-CoV-2 have emerged in the United States.

At this point, the original variant that caused the initial COVID-19 cases in January 2020 is no longer circulating as newer variants have evolved.

Learn more and get answers to common questions about variants on the Oregon Vaccine News blog.

For more information on COVID-19 variants, watch this video from the CDC

Virus Variants and the vaccine




Vaccine cartoon

We have seen a slight uptick in people getting vaccinated this week, and as the hospitalization information above shows, we need to do everything we can to prevent the spread of the Delta variant.  Vaccines are simply the best tool we have to prevent our hospitals from reaching capacity and having to ration care.  The last two weeks have also seen both the state of Oregon and the Federal government mandate vaccines for their employees, which may account for the increase in vaccinations we are seeing. 

Vaccinations in Oregon:  Yesterday, OHA reported that 8,392 new doses of COVID-19 vaccinations were added to the state immunization registry on Sept. 13.

The seven-day running average is now 7,403 doses per day.

Oregon has now administered 2,886,031 doses of Pfizer Comirnaty, 1,875,138 doses of Moderna and 206,735 doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.

As of today, 2,685,261 people have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 2,443,376 people have completed a COVID-19 vaccine series.


Does the COVID-19 vaccination really make a difference?  

Wondering about whether vaccination has an impact on COVID-19 cases? Here’s an image that shows the case rate in people who are vaccinated and those who aren’t.

Vaccination remains the most effective tool for slowing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting against severe illness.

Graph shows unvaccinated case rate peaking at 700 and breakthrough case rate peaking at slightly over 100.


Washington Co. Vaccine Information: 

Every Oregonian age 12 and up is eligible for a vaccine. Twelve to 14 year-olds must be accompanied by either a parent, guardian or someone designated by the parent. If someone other than a parent or guardian accompanies the 12 to 14-year-old, they will need to provide proof of parental/guardian consent. 

Proof of consent is either:

  • A signed consent form (available in English and Spanish on the All4OR.org site) 
  • A written or typed note that includes the parent/guardians name, relationship to the young adult, their date of birth, a statement saying they consent to young adult being vaccinated and the parent/guardian signature.

Fifteen-year-olds do not need to be accompanied, and do not require parental consent in the state of Oregon.

NEW! Washington County's Mobile Vaccination Van: Our van is traveling the county to make it easier for people to get the vaccine close to where they live or shop. Find the schedule here.

Beaverton Resource Center: Most Fridays from July 16 through September 24. See the flier for exact dates and times. Pfizer for ages 12 and older. Located at 13565 SW Walker Road.

Vaccine locations in WashCo


Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Centers: All vaccination events are open to the community, do not require an appointment, and do not require you to be a Virginia Garcia patient. You do not have to have insurance in order to receive a vaccine. If you have insurance, please bring your card with you. Remember, vaccines are free!

Local pharmacies: As of April 27, 2021, pharmacies are required to offer second/boost doses to people who received their first dose somewhere else.

How much does the vaccine cost?  Vaccines are provided free of charge to the recipient. If you have health insurance, you may be asked to provide that information so the vaccinator can bill your insurance an administration fee.

A note about Boosters: I know there has been a lot of confusing information out there about booster shots, but as of now, only immuno-compromised people who took either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines are eligible for a booster shot. See the image below for more information on who may qualify:

Booster shots - who qualifies




I want to take a moment to honor one of Forest Grove's hero fire fighters who lost his battle with cancer this week.  Captain Rick Ilg was an important part of our community and I send my heartfelt condolences to his family, his colleagues, and to all in Forest Grove who knew him.  You can read more about Captain Ilg and the impact he had on the community here.


Centro Cultural Logo

Summer of Impact at Centro Cultural in Western Washington County:

I am proud to share with you the incredible work that Centro Cultural has done in Western Washington County, especially during the pandemic where they have stepped up to serve the community in a variety of ways from housing services, to food banks, to providing vaccinations.  We are lucky to have such an impactful organization in our community.  Here are some of their highlights from this summer:

  • 100 students attended Summer STEAM in person this year—read more here!
  • Since June they helped vaccinate more than 170 people with 4 community events and have more events planned for the fall
  • 81 volunteers helped pack 2,062 bags of food from the Oregon Food Bank for the Migrant Seasonal Farmworker Food Program delivered to camps throughout Washington County
  • They served 9,193 individuals through their Free Food Mercado in the month of August
  • 340 jobs were posted to their new job board since May, helping connect community with living wage jobs

Thank you Centro Cultural!


Centro Cultural El Grito Community Festival:


Join us for El Grito Community Festival, presented by Centro Cultural and the City of Hillsboro! This free celebration features live music, kids’ activities, hot food and other vendors, interactive community booths, and a traditional El Grito de la Independencia ceremony. COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place and vaccines will be available from Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center's mobile vaccine clinic.



It's Corn Roast Time!:

I'm looking forward to attending this year's Corn Roast at Pacific University on Saturday after my Town Hall.  This is always a favorite activity for my grandkids and a great way to celebrate our community.  I hope to see many of you there!

Corn Roast Flyer



The Chalk Art Competition is always popular with my grandkids!

chalk art at the Corn Roast



Clean Water Services Plant: Fernhill Wetlands:

I had a great opportunity today to join other legislators in a tour of the Fernhill Natural Treatment System here in Forest Grove.  Fernhill is part of more than 700 acres in Forest Grove owned by Clean Water Services for water resources management. It utilizes natural treatment systems, or wetlands, to improve water quality by removing nutrients, cooling, and naturalizing the water after conventional treatment. Fernhill is designated an Important Bird Area and is also home to beavers, frogs, coyote and other wildlife.  As you can see from the pictures below, it is a beautiful setting and I encourage you to visit for a picnic or to explore the trails!

Fernhill Wetlands in Forest Grove




Weekly Fire Update:

We continue to be at Preparedness Level 5 both nationally, and here in Oregon.  To date there have been 1,025 fires this year in Oregon on ODF-protected lands, which have burned 225,830 acres.  However, this only tells half the story.  If you include all lands in Oregon (public and private), we have had 1,748 fires and lost 825,983 acres.  

Currently the largest fire burning in Oregon is the Cougar Peak Fire in Southern Oregon (see map below).  This fire has 86,170 acres burning, with 31,783 acres falling on ODF-protected lands.  It is only 6% contained as of today, and it threatens 968 structures with 10 already destroyed.  The good news is that burning conditions moderated significantly over the weekend and a weak cold front is expected by tomorrow.

For more information on active fires in Oregon, click here

Active Fire Map


Wildfire Recovery Resources

OEM has put together this list of contacts to help speed up the process of replacing these documents:

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 will be updated regularly.  

Legal ResourcesOregon State Bar’s Lawyer Referral Program, Oregon lawyers, through the Oregon State Bar, are partnering with FEMA and the American Red Cross to provide legal assistance on FEMA claims, contract claims, insurance claims, landlord-tenant matters and more.

The Department of Forestry’s Wildfire Response and Recovery Overview has ongoing updates about firefighting efforts, damage reports, and more.  

FEMA UpdatesFEMA has provided several different Fact Sheets and resources for accessing benefits, determining eligibility and avoiding scams.

Wildfire prevention flyer



In a spot of good news, Oregon's unemployment rate dropped to 4.9% and the economy added 7,900 jobs in August.  Those are not just good post-pandemic numbers, but some of the best overall numbers in state history.  It shows that the herculean efforts taken by the State Legislature, the Governor, and the Federal Government have all contributed to a robust employment market and we continue to recover at an impressive rate. 

I also understand that not everyone is recovering from the pandemic economy yet, and I encourage those who are in need of benefits, or job search assistance, to check out the resources provided in this newsletter.  The Employment Department is a great resource and for those struggling to pay rent, the Rental Assistance Program is still available.  In addition, families with children should see some extra support in their bank accounts starting today, as the second payment of the federal Child Tax Credit program was released.

Need help for when federal benefits end? Repeats info in article.



If you need rental assistance, please click on the image below to learn about your rights and available assistance.  For help in navigating this process and for other opportunities for assistance in your local area, please visit Washington County's Community Action page.

Rental Assistance in English
Rental Assistance Spanish





Employers and Employees

The following list of resources is from Oregon’s Secretary of State’s Office. The fastest way to get in touch with the SOS team is by emailing business.sos@oregon.gov, using the “Need Help?” button found on most state agency websites or visiting www.oregon.gov/smallbusiness.

Education Links

Local Government

Utilities Assistance

Food and Housing Assistance



Oregon Health Authority


Flowers and trees in Forest Grove


Yours truly,

Representative Susan McLain

Representative Susan McLain
House District 29

email: Rep.SusanMcLain@oregonlegislature.gov I phone: 503-986-1429
address: 900 Court St NE, H-376, Salem, OR 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/mclain