Wildfire Updates and Start of the Candidate Blackout Period

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Representative Susan McLain

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Today will be my last newsletter from this account until after the General Election on November 8th.  Starting September 9, the “blackout period” begins, meaning Legislators running for office are prohibited from using state resources or official social media accounts for mass communications with their constituents 60 days prior to an election.  I will also not be on Facebook or Instagram during the blackout period, but I will send newsletters periodically via Mailchimp as I am allowed to use my own resources to communicate with you.  And you can always reach out  to my office via email or phone.  Email is the quickest way to reach us as we are not currently working from the Capitol and can't answer our phone directly.

Contact information for Rep. McLain



At the opening of the Valfre at Avenida 26, a new affordable housing complex in Forest Grove named after Val Valfre.

Valfre Event




Interim Work logo

The Interim work continues to be very busy as I try and balance meetings with other Legislators, elected officials from different levels of government, advocates, businesses, and constituents with the work that needs to be done on crafting bills and working on budgets for the 2023 Legislative Session.  I enjoy the meetings as they are a great opportunity to learn new information and perspectives, and to thoughtfully consider policy problems, solutions, and hear what constituents are saying. 

This week I had an important meeting with the Chairs of the other Education-related committees.  We are working hard on bills that have to do with supporting teachers and teacher retention, and how we can make the classroom a better experience for a wide variety of students. I also had several meetings this week on Land Use issues as we continue to deal with the issues of affordable housing, industrial needs, and support for our agricultural communities. 

Rep. McLain at the Capitol

This morning was a great briefing from the Governor about her work on the Semiconductor Taskforce and the opportunities that brings for all Oregonians. This work, along with the CHIPS Act, has the potential to expand a unique career path and educational opportunities and economic growth for Oregon.  Next week I will be providing updates at the Washington County Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Infrastructure, Education, Affordable Housing, and other issues that matter to our local business leaders.

September 23rd is the first deadline for Legislators to submit their 2023 Session bill concepts to Legislative Counsel so that they can be drafted into actual bills.  There are several personal bill concepts that I am working on for 2023, including an updated version of my newborn screening bill from 2022, a bill that focuses on caseload work for education professionals, one that makes it easier for Veterans to use the Oregon Promise to attend college, and an important one that extends the conversation to make permanent an emergency program that pays full-time parent caregivers of children that require extensive care. 

Rep. McLain speaking at affordable housing event

Rep. McLain speaking at opening of an affordable housing complex


My Legislative Days Committee Hearings

Below is a list of the Committees that I serve on, with hyperlinks to view their Legislative Days hearings.  If you cannot watch live, the videos will be archived at the same links.

Joint Emergency Board Subcommittee On Education - 9/21, 11:30-2:00

House Interim Committee On Agriculture, Land Use, and Water - 9/21, 2:30-5:00

Joint Committee On Transportation - 9/23, 8:30-11:00

Joint Emergency Board - 9/23, 1:00-3:30 


Upcoming Town Halls on 9/17 and 9/24

To accommodate as many people as possible, I am hosting two Saturday town halls in September!  I will provide an update on Legislative Days and we'll have a great dialogue on policy issues for the 2023 Session.  Come with your questions and comments.

September 17th at 10:00 am on ZOOM: REGISTER HERE

September 24th at 10:00 am at the Cornelius Library 

Town Hall Flyer



Visiting Our Farmers Markets 

If you can't make it to one of the Town Halls, you can also find me at either the Cornelius or Forest Grove Farmers Markets this Fall.  I'll be out there enjoying all the vendors and taking an opportunity to meet with constituents and hear about the issues that are most important to them. 

Farmers Markets Visit



Back to School

As a teacher of 42 years, back-to-school time is always special as students and teachers prepare for the endless possibilities for the year ahead. So as kids head back to school this week, I wish all students, parents, and educators a happy and healthy school year. I also want to express my gratitude to our educators and support staff who have been on the frontlines for the past two years. Despite challenging circumstances, they showed up every day to ensure that our students had the best opportunities for success. And one last thing for all drivers: DON'T FORGET TO SLOW DOWN IN SCHOOL ZONES!!!!

Back to School Safety


FGSD Meal Services for the New Year

School Lunch image

Due to the expiration of the USDA waivers which allowed for meals to be free for all students, there will be changes to meal service for the new school year. Breakfast will continue to be free for all students. However, lunch will not be free for all students. Please refer to the Nutrition Services page on the district website for full details, whether your student qualifies for free/reduced lunch and general pricing information. If you have further questions, please contact the Nutrition Services Department at 503.359.8110.


forest grove school district logo

Correction to Bus Route Mailer

From the Forest Grove School District: 

Please be aware of an error contained in the bus route postcard which was mailed to all district families. The error was with the "Wednesday, Late Start Days AM Pickup time." The correct time for the Late Start AM Pickup should read "One hour later than regular pickup time." For example, if your student's Regular AM bus pickup time is 7:22am, your student's Late Start AM Pickup time will be 8:22am. We apologize for the error and the resulting confusion.

As a reminder, the first Late Start Wednesday will be September 14, 2022.


Back to School sign

Hillsboro Schools Welcome Students Back!

Hillsboro School District teachers and staff were in top form to welcome students back for the first day of school on Tues. Sept. 6 and Weds. Sept. 7, 2022. See 607 photo highlights from 30 schools here.  There are some great pictures of students and teachers excited to be back at school!


Deadline for Public Service Loan Forgiveness Waiver is October 31

Now through October 31st, you may be able to receive credit for student loan payments that previously did not qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Learn more here: ow.ly/V7iO50Kpetr

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Waiver Deadline is 10/31



Suggested Back-to-School Links & Readings

Useful information graphic

Apply Online for Free and Reduced School Meals 

Hillsboro School District 2022-23 Calendar

Hillsboro School District Transportation Information

Hillsboro School District Back-to-School Packet 

Forest Grove School District 2022-23 Calendar

Forest Grove High School Back-to-School Packet

Forest Grove School District Transportation Information

Forest Grove District Curriculum Adoption Information

SAT and ACT Dates for 2022-23

***NEW: Forest Grove School District still taking applications for 4-year-olds for pre-kindergarten

***NEW: Which Oregon community college programs net students the highest pay?





Monthly celebrations and awareness campaigns are a great way to bring attention to important causes and are also an opportunity to celebrate cultural identities and historical achievements.  September has some very important campaigns that I would like to draw your attention to: Suicide Prevention Month, National Preparedness Month, National Hispanic Heritage Month, and Newborn Screening Awareness Month. 

Please see below this image for more information about each of these campaigns.

September Awareness Month


National Suicide Prevention Month

988 Crisis Line

It’s a time to raise awareness about suicide as a serious public health problem and to highlight the role that everyone plays in preventing suicide.  It is a serious public health problem that can have lasting harmful effects on individuals, families, and communities. There are many factors that contribute to suicide. The goal of suicide prevention is to reduce factors that increase risk and increase factors that promote resilience.

Part of making suicide prevention month a success is having the right resources to communicate and the right messages to raise awareness and increase prevention efforts. This toolkit from the CDC can help. Also, please remember that anyone who is in crises or needs support can call 988


Preparedness Month

National Preparedness Month

Here in Oregon we have learned some very powerful lessons over the last several years about being prepared.  My thoughts go to cities like Talent/Phoenix and Detroit that were completely decimated by the 2020 wildfires.  Preparedness saved many lives then and it will continue to be an important tool in ensuring we have the tools and systems in place to weather unpredictable events like wildfires and earthquakes. 

Make your preparedness plan here!


Hispanic Heritage Month banner

Hispanic Heritage Month

We celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month to recognize the achievements and contributions of Hispanic American champions who have inspired others to achieve success.

Want to explore Hispanic/Latino heritage in more depth? Discover documents, exhibits, films, blog posts and more from the National Archives and Presidential Libraries that highlight Hispanic culture. Explore the site here.

There are several local ways that you can celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, including attending El Grito events in Forest Grove and Cornelius sponsored by Adelante Mujeres and Centro Cultural.  See the "Around Washington County" section of this newsletter for links to those events.

Do you love documentaries and television programs?  PBS has a great list of programs that celebrate the diversity of Hispanic and Latino cultures.  Here are some suggestions:

Lights, Camera, Acción

Building the American Dream

Jovita Idar: Mexican American Activist and Journalist

Chilly & Milly

La Manplesa | October 6


Newborn Screening Awareness

Newborn Screening Awareness Month 

Newborn screening saves lives by identifying conditions that can affect a child’s long-term health or survival. Early detection, diagnosis, and intervention can prevent death or disability and enable children to reach their full potential. Each year, millions of babies in the U.S. are routinely screened, using a few drops of blood from the newborn’s heel, for certain genetic, endocrine, and metabolic disorders, and are also tested for hearing loss and critical congenital heart defects (CCHDs) prior to discharge from a hospital or birthing center.

I have been a strong advocate for improving Newborn Screening protocols and expanding testing here in Oregon.  In the last Legislative Session, I was the Chief Sponsor of HB 4109, which would have made adjustments to the Northwest Regional Newborn Bloodspot Screening Program Advisory Board’s membership, meeting, and reporting requirements and outlined when the Advisory Board must consider the addition of new diseases to the screening program.  It was a bill that would have improved the functionality of the Advisory Board and ensured that newborn testing in Oregon kept up with scientific advancements so that we could save as many lives as possible.  The bill did not pass but I will be bringing a similar bill back in the 2023 Legislative Session.

Please take a minute to watch this video, which was made by an Oregon family as a testimonial to the impact that delaying or denying newborn screening opportunities has on families, and in particular the children with rare diseases.  I have worked with the Monaco family for years to improve newborn testing in Oregon and they are so dedicated to the cause.  Their son, Emmett, who is featured in the video, just recently passed away from Krabbe Disease and my heart goes out to them.  They are continuing to push for newborn testing as part of Emmett's legacy




Interstate Bridge Replacement Program Logo


Community Engagement Event: Why Equity Matters in Infrastructure 



Save the date to join the IBR program’s latest roundtable discussion, “Why Equity Matters in Infrastructure,” on Wednesday, September 28, from 6-7:30 p.m. The event will focus on what the IBR program is doing to promote equity in both processes and outcomes and will also address how social justice lends to or takes a cue from infrastructure. The roundtable will feature IBR program staff and other individuals in the community with equity expertise.

This event will take place virtually via Zoom, with a live stream available on the IBR program’s YouTube channel. Panelist discussion will be followed by a Q&A session, with questions provided by participating equity priority community members. Stay tuned on the IBR program's meetings and events calendar for registration details. 


Upcoming Advisory Group Meetings:

Community Advisory Group - Thu, September 8 — 4:00PM – 6:00PM 

Executive Steering Group - Thu, September 15 — 10:00AM – 12:00PM

Equity Advisory Group - Mon, September 19 — 5:30PM – 7:30PM 







Reminder about Upcoming Events

There are many great events coming to the area this September and October.  I have shared some of these in previous newsletters, but as the Legislative Blackout Period begins on September 9th, this is my last opportunity for a while to recommend some fantastic community events!

Upcoming Events banner


Salsa Fest &El Grito at Cornelius Farmers Market - September 16

Forest Grove Corn Roast and Harvest Festival - September 17-18

Valley Art Sidewalk Chalk Art Festival - September 17

Centro Cultural's El Grito Celebration - September 17

Welcome to Fall Free Community Swim in Forest Grove - September 24

Forest Grove Oktoberfest - September 24

OrenKoFest - September 24

Suicide Prevention Event at American Legion Post 002 - September 30

Grave Matters Cemetery Tour in Forest Grove - October 8

Lions Club Run/Walk for Sight 5k/10k - October 22

Celebrating Forest Grove Dinner and Auction - October 22

Day of the Dead Celebration at Forest Grove Farmers Market - October 26

Drug Take-Back Day - October 29

Verboort Sausage Dinner - November 5




Updated Boosters Available in Oregon

On Sept. 1, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed the use of updated COVID-19 booster shots that are specifically tailored to combat the two most prevalent omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5.

What is different about the updated booster shots?  The newly authorized shots are the first updates to the original COVID-19 vaccines that were introduced in late 2020. They use the same mRNA technology as the original vaccines. The key difference between the original COVID-19 shots and the new “bivalent” version is that the latter consists of a mixture of mRNA that encodes the spike proteins of both the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and the more recent omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5.

As of late August 2022, the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants are dominant worldwide. In the U.S., currently 89% of COVID-19 infections are caused by BA.5 and 11% are caused by BA.4.

The inability of the original vaccine strains to prevent reinfection and to trigger long-term protective immunity prompted the need for the reformulated vaccines.

Find out where you can get the new vaccine in Washington County.

Recommended reading: PBS News Story on Updated Vaccine

New Covid Vaccine Information


Questions about Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is officially in Oregon with 60 documented and 35 suspected cases so far. The Oregon Health Authority just launched a website full of information and resources regarding Monkeypox (hMPXV) and I recommend taking some time to familiarize yourself with the information.


Washington County COVID-19 Vaccine Locations

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


In-home vaccinations: Are you or a loved one who is (5 years or older) 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 Washington County, 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.

Forest Grove Farmers Market: This vaccination clinic is held every Wednesday night from 3-8 p.m., inside the farmers market located at 2030 Main Street in Forest Grove. 

M&M MarketPlace: This clinic is located at 346 SW Walnut Street in Hillsboro. It is open every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. No appointments, ID or health insurance required. Testing also available at this site. Call the Vive NW hotline at 844-291-4970 with questions.

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




businesses cartoon


Recovery Resources for Businesses

*This list is courtesy of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce 


Public health for businesses

Oregon Mask Guidelines for Businesses:

Masks are not required for most indoor settings, but you still need to wear a mask in health care settings to keep everyone safe. Some businesses and schools may still choose to require masks. People may also choose to continue to wear well-fitting masks to protect themselves and others. Oregon’s full rule on masking, including a list of health care settings where masks are still required, is located here.

**To download mask signs for your business, visit the Oregon Health Authority's mask information page.


Monkeypox Information For Businesses 

Monkeypox (hMPXV) cases have recently been identified in the Portland metropolitan area, including in Washington County. The risk to most people remains low. However, some social groups and some employees who come into regular contact with the skin of customers or clients are at higher risk. 

If your business includes skin-to-skin or close personal contact with clients or items that their skin has touched, you can take extra steps to prevent the spread.  Read about how to protect your employees and customers at this Washington County resource page


Heat Illness Prevention & Wildfire Smoke Exposure Rules 

Oregon OSHA has new rules related to heat illness prevention and wildfire smoke exposure, which became effective June 15th and July 1st respectively. Go to the Heat stress or Wildfires​topic pages at OSHA for rules, publication, and training details.




Important Notice to Update Contact Information If You Receive Benefits

If you receive Oregon Health Plan (OHP) or other benefits, including long-term services and supports, food, cash, or child care benefits and services from the state, please keep your contact information current. This way, you can keep getting important messages about how to keep the benefits you qualify for.

Update your contact information - Make sure the state has your current mailing address, phone number, email, or other contact information. This way, the state will be able to contact you about your benefits. You can update your contact information:

Online at benefits.oregon.gov - Create an account or log into your existing account. Available in English or Spanish

By phone - Call the Customer Service Center at 1-800-699-9075 (TTY 711), M-F, 7 AM to 6 PM. Interpreters are available. You can also get an interpreter in your preferred language before talking with staff. Find a language line at benefits.oregon.gov.

Local Community Partners -  Visit bit.ly/ohplocalhelp to find an OHP-Certified Community Partner.

Any Aging and People with Disabilities, Area Agency on Aging or Self-Sufficiency Programs Office anywhere in Oregon - Find locations and phone numbers at Oregon.gov/DHS/Offices. Interpreters available.

People enrolled in a Coordinated Care Organization (CCOs) can update their information through their CCO. Visit bit.ly/ccoplans to find CCO phone numbers.​




Prevent Wildfires


Northwest Oregon Forests Move To Extreme Fire Danger

With hot, dry and windy conditions in the forecast, forestland in northwest Oregon protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry will be in Extreme Fire Danger as of 1 a.m. Friday, Sept. 9, with additional public restrictions on campfires and open flame, off-highway vehicle use, mowing dry grass, and other activities.

With this change, all ODF-protected lands will be in extreme fire danger. Fire danger and associated restrictions for all lands protected by ODF can be found on the ODF website at tiny.cc/odffirerestrictions.

Starting Friday in northwest Oregon, off-highway vehicle trails will be closed, campfires completely banned, and some forest roads will close to vehicle traffic. For northwest Oregon, this includes all ODF-protected lands in Clatsop, Columbia, Tillamook, Washington, Clackamas, Marion, Polk, Linn, Lincoln & Benton counties, including the Tillamook, Clatsop and Santiam state forests.

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for northwest Oregon and southwest Washington starting 11 a.m. Friday through 11 p.m. Saturday, indicating critical fire conditions. The NWS is predicting a moderate-to-strong east wind event starting Friday and continuing through at least Saturday night. Historically, east winds and dry conditions in late summer have resulted in some of northwest Oregon’s largest wildfires, including the 2020 Labor Day fires. 

Precautions such as these can prevent most wildfires:

  • Check current fire restrictions for the area before visiting: Under extreme fire danger in northwest Oregon, campfires are banned and off-highway vehicle trails are closed.
  • Check your vehicle for dragging tow chains that can send sparks into roadside vegetation.
  • Don’t park or idle on dry grass or brush – the hot exhaust system can set it smoldering in seconds.
  • Smoke only in an enclosed vehicle. Properly dispose of cigarette butts.
  • If you see smoke, call 911.
  • Always have fire extinguishing tools on hand.


Possible Power Outages Ahead of Expected Wind Event

Article from KOIN

Residents in Oregon are being alerted about the potential for power outages later this week as officials warn about expected critical fire danger on Friday and Saturday.

Fire danger is expected to rise on Friday, Sept. 9, starting around mid-day as winds from the northeast ramp up across the region. Some in Oregon and Southwest Washington will be living in areas covered by a red flag warning, while others will be under a fire weather watch, as of Wednesday afternoon.

Portland General Electric and Pacific Power alerted their customers to the likelihood of power shutoffs as a result of the increased fire danger.

Pacific Power says about 12,000 customers in Linn, Douglas, Lincoln, Tillamook, Marion and Polk counties could face a power outage as a result of the winds, specifically in the following areas: Stayton east through the Santiam Canyon, Lebanon, Sweet Home, Lincoln City, and Glide east along the Umpqua Highway.

Meanwhile, Portland General Electric says it is “likely” they will be shutting off power for at least one area of Portland in the West Hills on Friday and Saturday. In a Wednesday press release, the company said it will only resort to this power shutoff if absolutely necessary.

“If you have a medical need for electricity, make a plan now in case of power outages,” Multnomah County officials tweeted Wednesday afternoon.

Residents are advised to make a plan, which includes making a list of emergency contacts, preparing an outage kit, making sure batteries are fully charged or have a generator, having a back-up for extended outages and having a transportation plan in case you need to leave home.

Items in an outage kit should include a battery-operated light, emergency medical supplies, equipment and assistive devices with your contact information, ice packs and an ice chest for medication, fresh batteries and power banks, food and water for up to 72 hours, according to Multnomah County officials, who also remind residents to not forget about their pets.



Oregon Rising Logo

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

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

Happy Fall image


Yours truly,


Representative Susan McLain
House District 29

email: Rep.SusanMcLain@oregonlegislature.gov I phone: 503-986-1429
address: 900 Court St NE, H-477, Salem, OR 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/mclain