11/17/2021 House District 30 Newsletter

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Representative Janeen Sollman

Friends and Neighbors,

Virtual Community Conversation

Following the November Legislative Days (15th-17th), join me for a virtual Community Conversation on Saturday, November 20th from 10:00-11:00am. This is a great opportunity to ask your questions, share your concerns and listen to the conversation. Register to attend here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

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Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program Updates

State to Pause Accepting New Applications for the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program on December 1

Information for Renters

Anyone who has fallen behind on rent or may get behind on December rent is encouraged to apply for emergency rental assistance right away, but before Dec. 1 at 11:59 p.m. at oregonrentalassistance.org.

After Dec. 1, the agency encourages people to apply for other emergency rental assistance programs across the state to receive the 60-day safe harbor period (90 days in Multnomah County and unincorporated areas of Washington County). Some cities and counties received ERA funding directly from the U.S. Department of Treasury:

People can also contact 211 or Community Action Agencies in their area.

During the pause, OHCS and local program administrators will continue processing all remaining completed applications quickly, prioritizing those outside the 60-/90-day windows of protection. The agency expects that all completed applications in the queue will be processed and paid as soon as possible.

OHCS will be notifying anyone with an incomplete application to complete their application before that deadline through a series of correspondences.

If a renter has received an eviction notice, they should call 211. If a renter has received a court summons for eviction, they should call the Oregon Law Center’s Eviction Defense Project line (888-585-9638) or send an email to evictiondefense@oregonlawcenter.org to seek legal help.

Federal funds for OERAP nearly fully allocated to applicants. State pursuing additional federal, state resources to continue rental assistance.

Oregon Housing and Community Services estimates that nearly all the $289 million in federal emergency rental assistance allocated by the U.S. Department of Treasury to the state of Oregon has been requested, and the program will be fully subscribed in the coming weeks. As a result, the state announced Friday a pause in accepting new applications for the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program (OERAP) for six weeks, starting on Dec. 1, at 11:59 p.m. The pause will ensure the state can keep its commitment to every Oregon renter that applies for assistance until that time. In the intervening weeks, OHCS will work with the Governor’s Office and legislative leaders to pursue solutions at the federal, state, and local levels to continue to help Oregon renters.

The state allocated the federal funding more quickly than many other counties and states. Oregon is currently ranked 7th nationwide in percent of federal emergency rental assistance (ERA1) funds paid or obligated. The U.S. Department of Treasury allocated a total of nearly $360 million to Oregon, in two waves, ERA1 and ERA2. Of that total, $289 was available for rental assistance payments. OHCS estimates that nearly all of the funds for rental assistance have been requested based on applications received to date.

“It is clear the need for emergency rental assistance is far greater than the amount of federal funding available for the program at this time. This pause will allow the agency to advocate for additional federal funding or other resources at the state level, focus on quickly processing applications and assess whether we have adequate funding available to accept new applications,” said OHCS Director Margaret Salazar.
The OERAP program has provided more than $130 million in emergency rental assistance to more than 19,600 Oregon renters impacted by the pandemic. In addition to the eviction moratorium and the more than $319 million in rental assistance distributed in 2021, the OERAP program has been critical to staving off evictions for nonpayment statewide. The agency acknowledges that despite these measures, renters are still at risk.

“We continue to be concerned about the many renters who are at risk for experiencing the trauma of eviction. OHCS is working around the clock to continue accelerating payments and we are fighting for more resources for Oregon,” said Salazar.
OHCS will shift the focus to advocating for more federal funding and processing applications currently in the queue. The agency is in the process of formally requesting additional federal funding after the state met a critical benchmark of paying or obligating at least 65% of ERA1 funding by Sept. 30. At the beginning of October, OHCS submitted a letter requesting U.S. Department of Treasury funding and will submit a formal request next week. In addition, Governor Brown and legislative leaders continue to explore potential solutions using alternative state resources while requests for federal funding are pending.

Legislative Updates

HB 2570: Computer Science Education - 2022 Session

In the 2021 Regular Session, I was a Co-Chief Sponsor of HB 2570 that would establish a strategic plan to provide every student in Oregon with Computer Science education. The bill passed out of the House Education Committee with bipartisan support, but unfortunately it did not make it out of the Full Ways and Means Committee. This is a crucial first step in a nine-part plan (as shown below) to make computer science education fundamental because currently, the state of Oregon has no intentional plan for integrating computer science into our education systems and therefore, limiting the opportunities and full potential of our students. I look forward to working on this important policy.

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2021 Legislative Summary Briefs

Our wonderful team at the Legislative Policy and Research Office (LPRO) has prepared the 2021 Legislative Summary Briefs for those interested in seeing how policies passed this session will impact the state. Separated by main topic areas, these are great summaries to read and see what came out of Oregon's 2021 Legislative Session. You can find those summary briefs on the LPRO website here. See a small sample below or click here for a direct link.

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Out and About-Working for House District 30

Clemency in Oregon

On Friday, I listened in on a panel discussion in Salem regarding clemency in Oregon. I was honored to be invited into this space. The Restorative Justice process can be very transformational for AIC's (Adults in Custody) and also for those negatively impacted by their actions. Every time I am brought into these rooms I learn more. Humanity. I saw it here, at OSCI for the Inside-Out program and I have witnessed it at Oregon Youth Authority's Maclaren. Thank you for allowing me to serve our district, be here, seek change and grow from this. Congratulations to Aliza Kaplan for being honored for the amazing work you do to change lives. Read more here. Thank you to Governor Kate Brown for her bold leadership regarding clemency granting.

At the event, I met Sterling Cunio who shared a moving, thoughtful poem he penned through his own experience and perspective that runs deep. He has graciously agreed to let us share his words with all of you. 

Yes - I. Hear - I.

Try to imagine the society we could be,

If we - believed it possible to redeem those once deemed incorrigible.

Imagine as a society if we shifted our focus from permanently convicting to uplifting

and what could we do

if we viewed crime as a multiple intertwine of complex factors

and not just the rotten soul of bad apples and just think if we actually listened to the academics who’s research shows the best way to reduce gang activity is to prevent the adverse childhood experiences that begin it.

Starting with proper nutrition and stable housing provided by adults that are caring, responsible and drug free.


Imagine the society we could be if it was impossible for a kid to get an AK-47 in the city, mental health care was free for those living in an alley and we helped those in the penitentiary return as good men to fatherless families.

Imagine the society we can be once we understand commuting prisoners inspires change and reinforces rehabilitative belief that good things come from good deeds

and that no matter how dark one’s history may be

there’s reason to believe commitment to self-improvement can get a person through it.

Imagine the society we could be If we perceived Personal transformation as a form of Justice,

When an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind wouldn’t we rather see

Individuals become better people as amends for misdeeds.


Imagine the society we could be

if we believed we could reconcile systemic injustice,

eliminate racial disparities evident in excessive sentencing,

empower marginalized communities by reuniting families

and codified hope as a policy in the form of clemency--and granted it to people like me.

And Anthony, T. Tardy ,TJ and Josh Cain

and I could name 20 who if commented could help heal the city

of roses


Where city leaders with no 1st hand street life experience are overwhelmed with a violence pandemic now imagine

if they found insight in the wisdom of those who transcended it and now want to give back and help mend it. Those who know how to replace fist to face with let us communicate peacefully

and even if we disagree we can do so without resorting to felony.


So PLEASE hear my hearts plea and consider forgiveness for those like me.

Those once told our future could hold no good

so we dedicated our existence to a redemptive resistance

that defies the narrative that defines us as uncaring thugs

and now stand here today a testament of Love.


Because it wasn’t the harshness of tough on crime primitive philosophies that changed my mind

It was humane empathy and feminine energy that transformed me.

And it wasn’t decades of legal battles that freed me--It was an act of Mercy In Governor Brown’s clemency,

that took me from being bricked in to on the bricks

from Life without parole to as good as life gets.

Free. Surrounded by family and friends.

Determined to help those still imprisoned within a system that condemns poor men for their acts as dysfunctional youth. Who Denied 2nd chances at life lay awake alone at night and wonder if anybody care so I’m here to remind y’all they’re still there and

Yes - I care.


Although free I carry a burden with me

despite my liberty I’ll forever owe a debt to society so let me tell you what redemption looks like for me


 Redemption is

 transforming past transgressions into future contributions.

 Offering insights to switch gunshots at night to illuminating light

 illustrating journey

 Let them see

 how even the guilty can become loving.


Redemption is picking up litter off beaches because it matters for future generations, it’s helping others without hesitation and using the preferred pronouns of THEY I once put down.

it’s an ex-homophobe embracing the trans-community and former gang rivals now working together to promote unity while restoring our status as an asset to the community.

It’s caring about every living thing equally

All people, water streams, forest trees and honey bees.

Redemption is building greenhouse gardens to help feed the hungry and showing the youth theres more to life than hustling and money.

It’s showing those I’ve harmed before I’m sorry

not in words conveyed but in how I live each day.


Redemption is once freed Instead of hanging out to partly I’m at the university asking people to help expand clemency And if you agree with me then raise your peace sign quickly so the world can see the type of society we can be.

Redemption is ending all my poetry with


-Sterling Cunio

Clemency Event Pics

Community Outreach

Hillsboro Firefighters Annual Toy and Joy

I am once again hosting a Toy and Joy barrel through Hillsboro Firefighters Random Acts of Kindness, now through December 9th. Your generosity was incredible last year.

**Thanks to several donors already, they have lots of toys for children 8 and younger, so are trying to put an emphasis on toys for children 8 and older. Please consider books, games, STEM activities, sports equipment, art supplies.

If you would like to donate a new unwrapped toy, please email my office for location information. 

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Book Launch Celebration - If Flowers Could Talk

Come see House District 30 resident Brigette Harrington at her new book launch celebration for "If Flowers Could Talk." Brigette previously wrote "My Oregon" which won her a trip to the Christmas tree lighting at the White House several years ago! She is an amazing and inspiring young lady in our community and I am so excited to read her new book and take care of some holiday gift shopping.

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Native American Heritage Month

Washington County Cooperative Library Services has created a list of books and movies to celebrate Native American Heritage Month. Visit here or click on the image below to explore the list.

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Additional Resources

 House District 30 Links

Federal Delegation Links

Education Links

Food and Housing Assistance

Be good to yourself and each other. ❤

Onward & Upward,


Capitol Phone: 503-986-1430
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, H-487, Salem, Oregon 97301
Email: Rep.JaneenSollman@oregonlegislature.gov
Website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/sollman