I-5 Bridge Update and Events this Weekend

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Representative Susan McLain
Susan McLain

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

This week's newsletter has some important updates, including on the progress of the I-5 Bridge replacement project, the delivery of the $600 cost-of-living payments to eligible families in Oregon, and the start of the wildfire season here in Oregon.  

It has been a busy week of meetings for me, many of which were on the I-5 Bridge Replacement Program and the progress being to move the modified "Locally Preferred Option" forward.  I am a Co-Chair of the Bi-State Bridge Committee that will also be meeting on July 21st to acknowledge our readiness to move to the environmental review stage of the project.  I encourage you to follow our progress on the Interstate Bridge Replacement Program website, and read more about it in the "I-5 Bridge Updates" section below.

We made it through our first real heatwave of the summer!  I worked remotely for part of last week so that I could cool off with my family at the Oregon Coast.  We are very lucky to live in a beautiful place with such pristine beaches and mountains that offer the perfect opportunity to stay cool and and still enjoy the outdoors.     

FG Farmers Market ad

Last night, I enjoyed a lovely stroll through the Forest Grove Farmers Market.  We are very lucky to have such a great market in our community, which is run by Adelante Mujeres. This year is the 18th anniversary of the farmers market! Join the community to celebrate with fun games, cake, live music, and more on Wednesday, July 20, 2022.  If you can't make the celebration, you can visit the market every Wednesday from 4-8 pm. 

Location: 2030 Main Street 

Farmers Market Advertisement

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I-5 Bridge Logo


Status of Modified LPA Recommendation 

The IBR program’s recommended Modified Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) continues to be reviewed and discussed among the boards, councils, and commissions of local agency partners. In June, Metro’s Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation (JPACT) and the TriMet Board of Directors provided their endorsement of the Modified LPA recommendation, meaning they agree the Modified LPA should move forward through the environmental review process for further study and public input.  The Vancouver City Council and the Port of Vancouver provided their endorsement this week. And yesterday, both the Portland City Council and the Port of Portland unanimously voted to move the modified LPA plan forward,

On July 21, the Executive Steering Group (ESG) will consider a consensus recommendation to move the Modified LPA forward to the environmental review process. The Bi-state Legislative Committee will also meet on July 21* to acknowledge the step to move the Modified LPA forward for further evaluation. Endorsement of the Modified LPA is an important milestone for the IBR program, but does not represent the final design of the replacement bridge. Over the next year, additional analysis, refinements, and opportunities for public input will help shape the program.

*Watch the July 21st Bi-State Legislative Committee meeting here.





On Monday, July 11, Brookings Metro hosted an event exploring the future of U.S. transportation policy through a state-level lens and I enjoyed being a panel member. The academic researchers highlighted findings from a recent University of Texas study surfacing how lawmakers are framing the prospects for state-level policy innovation, particularly with respect to transportation funding and energy transition. I was then joined on a panel by other state legislators from Colorado and Florida, and we discussed our priorities, strategies for aligning key stakeholders, and how new federal funding is affecting legislative agenda-setting.

Watch the panel here or by clicking the image below:

Brookings Institute Panel




Plaza Los Amigos in Cornelius

Congratulations to Bienestar for Plaza Los Amigos Groundbreaking

Today, Bienestar is celebrating breaking ground  on their latest affordable housing project in Cornelius, the Plaza Los Amigos!

Plaza Los Amigos will bring 113 new affordable rental homes, doubling the regulated affordable housing in Cornelius. The 3+ acre site will provide a four-story residential building, 146 parking spaces, a covered all-sport court, a community park with amenities for the new Council Creek regional trail along a former rail line, and more. The project will prioritize families with the inclusion of larger two- and three-bedroom units-- 86 units will be for tenants  earning 60% Area Median Income (AMI); 10 will be for those earning 30% AMI without project vouchers, and the remaining 16 units (12 one-bedroom and four two-bedroom) will be set aside for Permanent Supportive Housing for the most vulnerable people by pairing housing with case management and supportive services.

I have long admired the work Bienestar does to provide housing support to our Latinx residents in Western Washington County. They offer an invaluable service to our community by building and maintaining much-needed housing properties.  They are not just building housing for those in need but fulfilling their core tenet of creating hope for people and our community. A safe and comfortable place to live offers a foundation for a better life for those who have struggled to make ends meet and many generations will benefit from what they are creating with the groundbreaking today.  Congratulations again to Bienestar!



Washington County to collaborate with Community Organizations on robust Workforce Development investments

Washington County is partnering with nine community-based organizations to advance services, trainings, and educational opportunities for local workers. The organizations selected are Centro Cultural of Washington County, IRCO, Muslim Education Trust, Northwest Regional Education Service District, Portland Community College, Portland YouthBuilders, Urban League, Working Theory Farm and WorkSystems. Altogether this county investment, made possible by American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding, is aimed to serve hundreds of local workers over the next two years. 

Workforce Development Program Goals: 

  • Provide employment training, career development, and wrap-around supports that connect residents to quality jobs for workers displaced by the pandemic and specifically focused on marginalized communities including—BIPOC, women, veterans, people with disabilities, low-income and rural residents. 
  • Strategically invest in local workforce partners to build and expand capacity in the local workforce development system. 
  • Create new opportunities for workers to enter or advance in their careers, including career exploration, career basics classes, retraining or “rapid training” programs, scholarships, etc. 
  • Develop industry-targeted training programs to address worker deficits in local industries that have either been adversely impacted by the pandemic or have dominant local industry clusters. 

Thoughtfully working with partners on continuity of investments 

Contracts have been awarded to these nine organizations that support multiple sectors including manufacturing, technology, healthcare, construction and building trades (pre-apprenticeships) among others. 

The awardees were selected as part of a solicitation process for organizations and educational institutions that desired interest in partnering with the County and guided by the Washington County Board of Commissioners. 

Using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars 

While these funds are responsive to near-term pandemic impacts, we are also taking this opportunity to work with these, and other local partners, to strategically plan for and build a more comprehensive and collaborative workforce development system in Washington County. 

To-date, Washington County has invested over $2.5 million of its federal funding to support the local workforce and for small business development. Recently, the County’s Economic Development program was recognized nationally for its continued commitment in advancing an equity-centered, data-driven recovery strategy.  

Washington County is receiving two allocations of $58 million that must be obligated by the end of 2024. The first phase of the County’s ARPA framework has included investments in surviving COVID-19, community stabilization and wellness, small business support, workforce development, community engagement, and continuity in government services. Washington County is currently planning for the second ARPA phase. The Board of County Commissioners will finalize the planning process in the summer and fall of 2022 and anticipates reviewing potential investment options throughout late-fall and winter 2022. For more information visit www.co.washington.or.us/recovery for all updates related to ARPA. 



Forest Grove Concours d'Elegance this weekend!

Attend the longest-running Concours d’Elegance in the Pacific Northwest and enjoy more than 300 classic and modified cars on the tree-shaded campus of Pacific University. Enjoy live music, food, a beer garden, and a wine pavilion at this historic Greater Portland Event. All proceeds benefit Rotary Club Foundation Scholarships and Community Service projects.

I would like to say a special congratulations to my fellow Rotarians at the Forest Grove Rotary Club for all their hard work in putting on this amazing event every year!

This year's theme: A Tribute to British Elegance 

Sunday, July 17, 2022

At Pacific University in Forest Grove

Concours d'Elegance event!



La Strada Chalk Art Festival in Downtown Hillsboro

La Strada dei Pastelli Chalk Art Festival is an annual Washington County multi-cultural event unlike any other offered in the Portland Metro region. During this FREE two-day summer festival, the public will be able to see nationally-recognized and emerging visual artists use bold, colorful pigments to create larger-than-life drawings down the center of the street(s); most averaging 10’x10’.

Simultaneous to the visual arts exhibitions, local performing artists fill the air with rhythm and sound from the festival’s main stage. Enjoy watching the performances with food and beverages (including beer and wine) from a selection of food carts.

La Strada Chalk Art event



For too many Oregonians, covering daily expenses has become a challenge as the cost of living has skyrocketed. That’s why in March, Oregon Democrats led the passage of House Bill 4157, a one-time $600 cost-of-living payment to over 236,000 low-income Oregonians across every corner of the state. The bill passed with bipartisan support in the House and the Senate and I was very proud to vote for it.

This week, the Oregon Department of Revenue announced that all checks and deposits have been successfully distributed to eligible Oregonians.

To qualify, households must have received the Earned Income Tax Credit on their 2020 tax filing and lived in Oregon the last six months of 2020. This policy allows for people who filed an amended 2020 tax return by April 15, 2022 and claim the EITC to receive this payment. Households across the state were eligible for the payment.

A total of nearly $141.8 million was distributed to 236,314 qualifying recipients. Households that received a direct deposit were mailed a letter explaining the payment. Households that received a paper check received information about the payment on their check stub. 

Stimulus payments delivered






Paid Leave Oregon has refreshed its website and now is available at: paidleave.oregon.gov

The website is more user-friendly, and the information you want is easier to find. It has:

  • Information for employers, employees and self-employed people
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Rules on how the program will work
  • Program resources and fact sheets
  • A “Get Involved" section with:
    • Information on upcoming engagement opportunities
    • A way to request for the Paid Leave team to present to your business or organization
    • A contact form, where anybody can submit questions to receive a response within two business days. We encourage employers, employees and the public to use this form to contact us with questions.

The new site also has Google translate features, is more accessible, and mobile friendly.

This winter, Paid Leave Oregon will launch a new comprehensive website in 11 languages, which will include interactive tools for employers and employees. We will announce later when that website is available.

Want to learn more about Paid Leave?

More information about Paid Leave Oregon is online at paidleave.oregon.gov






Spread of BA.4 and BA.5 COVID-19 subvariants reinforces need for vaccination and boosters

The BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants are now the predominant COVID-19 variants in Oregon and across the United States. BA.4 and BA.5 are slightly more transmissible than the BA.2 Omicron subvariant, which was significantly more transmissible than the early COVID-19 variants.While the current COVID-19 vaccines may not protect everyone from catching the virus, they remain effective at preventing severe illness and death. Everyone age 6 months and older is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, so entire families can be better protected from the virus.

Scientists aren’t yet sure whether BA.4 and BA.5 cause more severe disease than previous variants, but recorded cases are approaching levels seen during the Delta wave.

Last week, Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) released a new forecast for how COVID-19 – specifically its BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants – may affect people in Oregon. As of last week, 423 people were in the hospital with COVID-19, and OHSU predicts that number to peak at 479 by mid-July.

Staying safe: As with any COVID-19 variant, there are ways to protect yourself. Most importantly, make sure you’re fully up to date with all your vaccinations and boosters. Even though you can be infected with BA.4 and BA.5 despite vaccination, the vaccines remain very effective at protecting you against severe illness and death.

Also consider wearing masks in public indoor places like retails stores, movie theaters or gyms, and move any social activities outdoors, whether it’s to your backyard, a local park or a restaurant patio. When you do wear a mask, choose a well-fitting mask  that provides a high level of protection. You can also double up and wear a cloth mask over a surgical mask (not the other way around).


Where can I get a vaccine or booster in Washington County?

All of the major health systems are providing COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters.  You can use this CDC tool to figure out when to get your booster. 

vaccine graphic


Washington County Vaccine Team: The team is in the community five days a week providing vaccinations at schools, shelters, and other locations. These are walk-in clinics. No appointment, ID, or insurance is required. This schedule lists public clinics only. We are now giving additional boosters at these clinics. 

In-home vaccinations: Are you or a loved one unable to get to a vaccine clinic because of a disability or other physical or mental health barrier? See if you qualify for a free in-home vaccination by calling 503-846-8123, emailing us or filling out this form.

Tektronix: This is a walk-up clinic operated by Oregon Health Authority. It is located at 2540 SW Alan Blumlein Way (inside Building 58) in Beaverton. The clinic is open Thursday through Saturday from 12-7 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 

Beaverton Resource Center: This clinic takes place every Friday inside the Beaverton Resource Center, 13565 SW Walker Road. Make an appointment at Project Access Now's website

La Mixteca Oaxaca: This clinic is open every Sunday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. It is operated by Oregon Health Authority and Vive NW. It is located at 1050 SE Walnut Street in Hillsboro. No appointments, ID, or health insurance required. Testing is also available at this site. Questions? Call the Vive NW hotline at 844-291-4970. 

Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center: Vaccination and testing at the new Hillsboro 7th Avenue clinic (226 SE 7th Ave) is open to all community members. You don't have to be a Virginia Garcia patient. Testing is drive-thru and vaccination is walk-up. Hours are M-F, 9a.m. to 4 p.m. You will need an appointment. Find more information at VG's website.

Centro Cultural: This clinic is located at 1110 N Adair Street in Cornelius. It is open on the last Saturday of each month from 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. No appointment, ID, or health insurance is required. Find more information at Centro's website




Wildfire Safety


ODF urges wildfire prevention with all of Oregon in fire season

As of July 11, all Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) districts are in fire season. This means that public use restrictions may be in place where you live or at a destination you plan on recreating to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires.

Compared with previous years, this is a slightly delayed start to the season for the state. The heavy rains in May and June of this year have helped in that. However, ODF urges Oregonians to remain vigilant in preventing human-caused wildfire.

“Don’t be lulled into complacency because of the weather,” said Mike Shaw, Fire Protection Division Chief. “July and August historically have higher fire activity, and ODF is ready to respond, but we need the cooperation of Oregonians so we don’t strain our resources on fires that could have been avoided.”

A large concern for the agency are the ground fuels, like grass, that grew tall due to the spring rains but will dry out quickly, becoming a greater risk for human-caused fires. Those ground fuels will be able to catch fire easily and will then burn and spread quickly. Therefore, it is extremely important for Oregonians to continue to practice wildfire prevention this summer.

Wildfire prevention for Oregonians means:

  • Make sure your campfire is cool to the touch before going to sleep or leaving your site. Don’t forget to Drown, Stir, Repeat.
  • Go back and check on your debris burn site to make sure nothing reignites due to the heat.
  • Don’t park your car over dried grass and make sure it is regularly maintained in order to reduce the risk of sparks.
  • Don’t flick a cigarette onto the ground. It may be just enough to start a grass fire.
  • Check local restrictions and fire danger levels.

ODF protects over 16 million acres of private, county, state, and federal land from wildfire. Most districts start their fire season around May or June, and the season ends around the end of October. This year, the Southwest Oregon district was the first to declare on June 1, and the Northwest Oregon district was the last to declare on July 11.

For more information on how you can help prevent wildfires, visit keeporegongreen.org.


Wildfire 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.




picture of veterans

Washington County Veterans Resources:

American Legion Post 0002: (503) 357-3660

American Legion Post 104: (503) 642-4907

American Legion Post 006: (503) 648-7191

Washington County Disability, Aging, and Veteran Services: (503) 846- 3060

Hillsboro VA Clinic: (503) 906-5000

Paws Assisting Veteransinfo@paveusa.org

Veterans of Foreign Wars: (503) 895- 1342

Hillsboro Elks Lodge: (503) 648- 1862

Rock Creek Veteran Resources | Veteran Resources at PCC : (971) 722-7743 or 7744

Veterans Support | Pacific University


Mental Health Services:

  • Washington County Crisis Line | 503-291-9111
  • Crisis Text Line | Text “Connect” to 741741
  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline | 1-800-273-8255
  • Trevor Lifeline | 1-866-488-7386





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


I beat the heat last weekend at one of my favorite places on earth!

Oregon Coast Sunset


'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