Recognizing Oregon's First Indigenous Peoples Day and National Farmers Day

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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Children performing traditional dance

I want to take a moment to recognize the significance of Oregonians marking our state's first official Indigenous Peoples Day this week.  I was honored to vote in favor of the bill establishing this holiday here in Oregon and I am so proud of Representatives Sanchez and Alonso Leon for their leadership in getting this bill passed.  The holiday was established as a day to honor the cultures and histories of the nine federally recognized tribes here in Oregon.  However, honoring our tribes cannot just be about one day, but about a continual appreciation of their tribal roots. 

Mr. McLain at event

Recognizing the past and current contributions of our tribes means a lot to me as a teacher and as a community leader who has worked with the tribal governments in a variety of ways.  It also reminds me of my grandfather, who was of Cheyenne descent.  The photo to the left is of my father (in front) at an event I remember from elementary school.  My father, throughout his lifetime, helped his children and many communities by teaching the cultural beliefs, legends, and history of many of the Oregon tribes.  He was constantly a good mentor for acknowledgement of the importance of our tribal background, lifestyle, and contributions to our world.


Learn more about each of the nine federally recognized tribes here:

Burns Paiute Tribe

Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw

Coquille Indian Tribe

Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians

Confederated Tribes of The Grand Ronde Community

Klamath Tribes

Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians

Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation

Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reservation

If you are interested in learning more about the land you live on and it's tribal history, I highly recommend clicking on the map below to visit the Native Land Digital website. Once there you can enter your address and find out all about the tribe(s) in your area of Oregon.

Interactive Tribal Lands Map




I am currently in the middle of a two-day virtual retreat for the Educator Advancement Council (EAC).  The EAC strives to support educators statewide with a collection of programs and scholarships that support continued learning and training.  I am proud to serve as an Ex Officio Director along with many outstanding leaders in the field of education policy who take time out of their busy schedules because they understand that supporting teachers is of the highest priority.  I look forward to these collaborative meetings and the opportunity it brings to do just that through constant learning and innovation.

Rep. McLain

My next Town Hall will be focused on Education and will be a great opportunity for school board members, administrators, teachers, parents, and students to all communicate their concerns or ideas.  They have started an incredibly challenging year and I believe it is important to provide a space where I, in my role as the Co-Chair of the Public Education Appropriations Committee, can hear feedback on how and where we can improve budgetary support for schools going forward.  Please look for more details to come, but mark October 30 at 9:45 -11:30am on your calendars - come for all or part of the time, we just want to see you there.  If you want to suggest any topics for this meeting, or ideas for future Town Halls, please reach out to my office at - we love hearing from you! 


Town Hall Flyer




Contacting the Employment Department

The employment department says it’s now answering more than 90% of calls within 15 minutes and nearly 80% of calls are answered within five minutes!  This is a huge improvement from the height of the pandemic's unemployment crisis.  If you need to contact the Employment Department by phone for Unemployment Insurance, please call: 1-877-FILE-4-UI (1-877-345-3484).  The most effective way to communicate your issues and get in touch with someone is still by using the "Contact Us" form on their website though.  If you are waiting for an answer to your unemployment question, remember to keep claiming your weekly benefits or file an initial claim if you are unsure if you are eligible for benefits. 





Interstate Bridge Replacement Program Logo

Meeting Highlights for October

Community Advisory Group | The Community Advisory Group dove into two important topics at its September meeting: equity and transit. Members received an overview of the framework outlining the approach the program will take to advance equity through both processes and outcomes.They also received information on transit options and shared the community priorities the program should consider when evaluating solutions.

Executive Steering Group | The Executive Steering Group shared and confirmed understanding of the solutions that do not meet Purpose and Need for an Interstate Bridge replacement. Members discussed progress on program technical work, including desired outcomes, screening criteria, and preliminary design options.
Equity Advisory Group | The Equity Advisory Group evaluated program design options in terms of how they support the program’s equity objectives. Members also reviewed a draft of the Equity Framework, which will define the program’s approach to advancing equity.
Bi-State Legislative Committee | The Bi-State Legislative Committee - which is made up of eight legislators from each state - received a comprehensive update on program work, including timeline and work plan progress, advisory and steering group work, Equity Framework, Climate Framework, and community engagement.


Upcoming Public Meetings 

Equity Advisory Group
Mon, October 18 — 5:30PM – 7:30PM

Executive Steering Group
Thur, October 21 — 10AM – 12PM

Community Advisory Group
Thur, November 04 — 4PM – 6PM
Please note the Oct 7 meeting is cancelled 

Bi-State Legislative Committee
Save the date for the next Bi-State Legislative Committee meeting Wednesday, October 27 – 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM. 





Oregon reaches 4,000 deaths from COVID

Monday, the Oregon Health Authority reported surpassing 4,000 COVID-related deaths in Oregon.  This is a place and a reality that I simply could not fathom back in March of 2020.  My thoughts and condolences go out to everyone who has lost a loved one to COVID. 

Despite declining cases statewide, today OHA reported the highest number of COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon in a single day at 82. 

Death is a lagging indicator and generally follows a surge in cases. In addition, there is often a lag in reporting as OHA’s epidemiologists review death certificates. OHA expects that reported deaths may continue to be high even as daily case counts decrease. This is due to the time lag between when a person tests positive for a case of COVID-19 and when they die with COVID-19.

COVID-19 hospitalizations 

The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 585, which is 59 fewer than yesterday. There are 149 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is 21 fewer than yesterday. 

There are 56 available adult ICU beds out of 682 total (8% availability) and 298 available adult non-ICU beds out of 4,117 (7% availability). 

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.   

Cases and deaths 

There are 82 new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 4,084 the Oregon Health Authority reported at 12:01 a.m. yesterday. 

Oregon Health Authority reported 1,413 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of 12:01 a.m. yesterday, bringing the state total to 345,344

The best way to reduce COVID-19 related deaths is by getting vaccinated.  Safe, free and highly effective vaccines are widely available throughout Oregon. 

Third doses and booster doses are also recommended for those who are eligible.  Getting vaccinated is helping to bring the surge due to the Delta variant under control and can also reduce the likelihood of other variants emerging. 


Oregon Hospital Capacity
Oregon COVID Cases


Simple ways to maximize the protection of cloth masks

When you breathe through a mask, it creates a barrier against respiratory droplets getting in or out. What can you do to make the masks you wear more effective? 

A mask with multiple layers that fits snug is most effective  

  • Choose a mask that fits snugly against the face and is secure under the chin. A mask that has gaps around the nose or on the cheeks allows air to freely exit or enter.  
  • A cloth mask with multiple layers of washable, breathable, tightly woven fabric blocks more droplets than a cloth mask with only one layer of fabric.  
  • Some masks have space to insert a filter. 
  • A cloth mask may be worn over a disposable mask. Do not wear two disposable masks or masks with ventilation valves.  

Finally, pick a mask that is also comfortable. The most effective mask is the one you will wear. 

To read more, visit Oregon Vaccine News

Graphic image offers tips for choosing an effective mask, one with multiple layers that fits snugly.




Oregon has now administered 3,121,602 doses of Pfizer Comirnaty, 1,923,609 doses of Moderna and 221,073 doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. 

As of today, 2,773,754 people have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 2,556,839 people have completed a COVID-19 vaccine series. 


COVID Vaccination rates


Getting answers to your questions about booster doses and third doses

Last week, Public Health Director Rachael Banks and Senior Health Advisor Dr. Ann Thomas of the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) answered questions about COVID-19 booster doses and third doses.  

While the surge in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations has leveled off, Director Banks noted that “the Delta variant is still a threat, especially for too-often overlooked communities. These decreases are not experienced the same across all communities, which means there are still unfair and troubling COVID-19 inequities.” 

Both the booster dose and third dose will help protect those at greater risk of developing severe COVID-19. But all COVID-19 vaccines still provide very high protection against severe illness, including hospitalization and death. 

Who needs a third dose? 

A third dose is for people who are immunocompromised and may not have built up adequate protective immunity with their first series of mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) vaccines.  

Who needs a booster dose? 

Vaccines are safe and the most effective way to protect us against serious illness and hospitalizations due to COVID-19. Find more information and a vaccine site near you today by visiting Get Vaccinated Oregon

For more information, you can read the full story and watch the FB Live video


OHA releases new COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough report

OHA’s most recent update on COVID-19 breakthrough cases, released today, found that 75.6% of the 10,411 reported COVID-19 cases between Sept. 26 through Oct. 2, occurred in people who were unvaccinated. 

There were 2,542 breakthrough cases, accounting for 24.4% of all cases. 

The average age of the breakthrough cases during that period was 46. Forty-nine breakthrough cases involved residents of care facilities, senior living communities or other congregate care settings. There were 91 breakthrough cases in people ages 12 to 17.

To date, there have been 28,075 COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough cases in Oregon. The average age of all cases is 48. Breakthrough cases have been reported in all 36 counties.

To date, 4.5% of all vaccine breakthrough cases have been hospitalized and 0.8% have died. The average age of vaccinated people who died was 81.

The number of vaccine breakthrough cases identified in Oregon remains very small when compared to the more than 2.75 million Oregonians who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The latest breakthrough report can be found here.

Report shows that rate of COVID-19 cases in unvaccinated people is currently approximately four times higher than in vaccinated people.


Vaccine cartoon


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 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.

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: They have extended their program into October. Visit their website for exact dates and times. Pfizer for ages 12 and older. Located at 13565 SW Walker Road.

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.




Kicker Rebate Finalized - Oregonians will get 17% of 2020 State Income Tax Back!

The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis (OEA) confirmed earlier this month a nearly $1.9 billion tax surplus, triggering a tax surplus credit, or “kicker,” for the 2021 tax year.

Instead of kicker checks, the surplus will be returned to taxpayers through a credit on their 2021 state personal income tax returns filed in 2022.

To calculate the amount of the credit, multiply the 2020 tax liability before any credits—line 22 on the 2020 Form OR-40—by 17.341 percent. This percentage is determined and certified by OEA. Taxpayers who claimed a credit for tax paid to another state need to subtract the credit amount from their liability before calculating the credit.

What’s My Kicker? calculator is active on Revenue’s website for personal income tax filers now. Access the calculator from Revenue Online. To calculate a kicker credit, a taxpayer will enter their name, Social Security Number, and filing status for 2020 and 2021.

A person is eligible to claim the kicker if they filed a 2020 tax return and had tax due before credits. Even if they don't have a filing obligation for 2021, they still must file a 2021 tax return to claim the credit. There will be detailed information on how to claim the credit in the 2021 Oregon personal income tax return instructions.

Keep in mind that the state may use all or part of a taxpayer’s kicker credit to pay any state debt they owe, such as tax due for other years, child support, court fines, or school loans.

Visit to get tax forms, check the status of a refund, or make tax payments; call 800-356-4222 toll-free from an Oregon prefix (English or Spanish); 503-378-4988 in Salem and outside Oregon; or email For TTY (hearing or speech impaired), call 800-886-7204.


Governor Kate Brown Issues Statement on Indigenous Peoples’ Day

(Salem, OR) — Governor Kate Brown issued the following statement Monday:

“Today is long overdue. I am proud that we can officially recognize today as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Oregon. I’d like to thank Reps. Sanchez and Alonso Leon who introduced the bill this session recognizing this important day, and everyone who worked so hard to pass the bill to make today a reality.

“Oregon’s Indigenous, Tribal, and Native peoples have been stewards of our forests, fish, wildlife, lands, and waters since time immemorial. Today, we recognize not only that historical and cultural heritage, but our continuing partnership with Oregon’s sovereign Tribal governments as we work together towards a more just and equitable future.

“Oregon’s historical treatment of Indigenous people is stained by racism, discrimination, forced removal, and violence. We cannot change that past––but we can work together to dismantle the legacies of colonialism and racism just as they were built, brick by brick.

“No matter where you are in Oregon today, remember, you are on Indigenous land. Today, we pay our respects to the nine federally recognized Tribes in Oregon, and honor all the Indigenous peoples who have long called these sacred lands their home. We are grateful to be here today.”





National Farmer's Day

Yesterday was National Farmers Day!  National Farmer’s Day is an opportunity to focus on the contributions of hard-working farmers across the nation.  The day, which falls at the end of harvest season, pays tribute to the men, women, and families who put food in the grocery stores and on our tables.  Not only do they provide us with the food we eat, but they also contribute to our economy in numerous ways, as we well know here in Western Washington County.  From manufacturing and marketing to tourism, farmers keep communities like ours going strong.

I am proud to have grown up on a small dairy farm in Marion County where I learned the value of hard work and the importance of protecting our farm lands.  During my time in office, I have come to know quite a few of the farmers in Western Washington County and have visited many of their farms.  I appreciate how fortunate we are to live in such a beautiful and fertile place where the lands make successful farming possible.  

If you are looking for more ways to support your local farms, The Oregon Farm Bureau has a directory of 260 farm stands and u-picks offered by farmers across the state!  Local farmers markets are also a great way to connect directly with the growers in your community and to gain a greater understanding of where your food comes from.

I believe it is important for both growers and farmworkers to have a strong voice in the State Legislature and I am committed to being one of them.  Last Thursday night, Representatives Salinas, Sollman, and I were privileged to meet with many of our House District farmers to talk about the issue of farmworker overtime.  It was a very productive and respectful dialogue and I look forward to continuing the conversation.  A special thank you to Dave and Ellen Vanashe for hosting in their spectacular barn and to Jacque Duyck Jones for helping to organize the event and encouraging participation. Below are two pictures from the evening and also two from when I visited the Vanashe Farm a couple of summers ago.

Vanashe Farm



Cultural Coalition of Washington County Grant Applications Due October 18

The Cultural Coalition of Washington County (CCWC) is currently accepting applications from arts, humanities, and heritage organizations looking to fund projects taking place in 2022. These grants are open to nonprofits, governmental agencies, and public schools.

Three different levels of funding are available:  

  • Level 1: up to $1,000 
  • Level 2: up to $2,000, 501(c)(3) status is required 
  • Level 3: up to $5,000, for school districts and foundations only

Funding must be used for one of these five things:

  1. Marketing and promotion 
  2. Professional development and capacity building
  3. Increasing public art opportunities
  4. Education and cultural learning programs
  5. Increasing youth access to the arts  


Questions? Contact

Cultural Coalition of WashCo grant application advert





Social Security checks going up by 5.9 percent, the highest increase in decades

* This story appeared on on 10/13/21

WASHINGTON — The Social Security Administration announced Wednesday that recipients will receive a nearly 6 percent increase in benefits next year.

The boost in benefits, which will affect nearly 70 million people, is being fueled by a spike in inflation caused by supply chain bottlenecks, worker shortages and other economic disruptions from the Covid pandemic.

The larger checks will begin to arrive for most recipients in January.

At the end of December, about 8 million recipients of Social Security’s Supplemental Security Income program, which is for people who are disabled or receive little income, will start to receive increased payments.

Rising inflation contributed to the Social Security Administration determining that the cost-of-living increase, or COLA, will be 5.9 percent for 2022. Data released Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that prices rose by 5.4 percent on an annualized basis in September and the inflation rate rose a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent in September from August.




Weekly Fire Report

This past week Legislators received their final fire season report from the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Chief of Fire Suppression and the State Fire Marshal. Oregon has continued to experience a consistent fall weather pattern of generally cooler temperatures and increased moisture.  This weather pattern is projected to continue in earnest and has led to forest protection districts west of the Cascades, except for Southwest Oregon District, to declare an end to fire season for their districts. In eastern Oregon and Southwest Oregon District, expect the end of fire season to take another week or two, as they have not currently received enough moisture to sufficiently reduce fire risk to the level necessary to end fire season.

When a district declares the end of fire season, it means public fire restrictions and forest operator fire restrictions are lifted.

  • Related to public fire restrictions:  Oregonians are able to initiate open burning without a permit on ODF-protected lands, but should check with their fire department for other local burning restrictions that may still be in effect. Other public use restrictions that end after fire season include those that limit or restrict campfires, off-road driving, mowing dry grass, or non-industrial power saw use, just to name a few.
  • Related to forest operator fire restrictions: Forest operators are no longer required to follow fire season requirements around response preparedness, such as requiring firefighting equipment be readily available on active operations in case a fire starts.

While fire season may be officially over in many areas of the state, it is still critically important that people behave safely and responsibly to prevent wildfires. Debris/other open burning is one of the leading causes of wildfires in Oregon. In the off season, we will continue to educate people on how to burn safely, which includes refraining from burning on warm, windy days; staying with the burn until it’s dead out; and periodically returning to the burn site to ensure it doesn’t escape in the future.

Large Fire Costs:  ODF suppression costs are currently estimated at $127.8 million in gross costs and $67.5 million in net costs (following reimbursements from FEMA and other federal agencies). ODF and Department of Administrative Services have been coordinating closely with the state’s Catastrophic Wildfire Insurance Policy brokers, as net suppression costs have exceeded the $50 million insurance deductible.  Based on today’s net cost estimate, the state is positioned to make an estimated claim of $17.5 million against the $25 million policy.  

OSFM suppression costs are currently estimated at $21 million.


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.




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, using the “Need Help?” button found on most state agency websites or visiting

Education Links

Local Government

Utilities Assistance

Food and Housing Assistance



Oregon Health Authority



Beautiful Fall foliage in Forest Grove - courtesy of Robin Rice 

Fall in Forest Grove

Pumpkin patch


Yours truly,

Representative Susan McLain

Representative Susan McLain
House District 29

email: I phone: 503-986-1429
address: 900 Court St NE, H-376, Salem, OR 97301