From Senator Bonham: "Don't 'Portland' My Oregon

View in browser
Senator Daniel Bonham

Legislative Newsletter


Welcome back, and thank you for reading.

“Don’t ‘Portland’ My Oregon”

A week ago, a small group of storefront business owners in The Dalles wanted to meet and discuss a Project Turnkey purchase happening in our town. Statewide, there are government-nonprofit efforts to buy up hotel properties and convert them into temporary housing facilities for our homeless population.

Word got out over the next day that the meeting was taking place. 

columbia gorge

When I arrived… instead of one large table and a small group, there were 80-100 residents and a microphone waiting for me. 

My words in the Senate afterward best-encapsulate how I feel. Watch here.

Image credit to Columbia Gorge News.

People there from all political stripes shared their compassion for helping homeless people who want to get back on their feet. The majority of those who spoke expressed frustration about the state overstepping its authority by imposing restrictive measures regarding the siting of Project Turnkey and navigation center projects, while simultaneously restricting law enforcement’s ability to keep drugs, violent crime, and property theft off our streets.

Umbrella policies for the entire state often neglect the uniqueness and individuality of every district, city, and town in Oregon.

The housing laws which compel projects like these don’t say “You may,” they say, “You shall.” This forces local governments and districts to often act against their own interest. In this case, state of Oregon mandates have forced The Dalles to place a controversial project at the gateway to the Downtown District.

When policies are made in Salem that impact housing, lawmakers need to ensure that restrictive mandates are not imposed that force outcomes. Using words like “may” instead of “shall” give local governments the authority and flexibility to best-address their local community’s needs.

Prior Newsletters

I’ve tried to focus on a different subject each week in my newsletter. If I didn’t write about them in this specific edition, that certainly doesn’t mean I haven’t been working hard to address some of the most important issues we face each week.

Stop I-205 tolling

Universal Health Care in Oregon

Keep Our $5,200 (average per family) Kicker

Oregon’s Best Solution to Gerrymandering

Politicians' Pay Raises

Constituent Moments


Thank you to Estacada Mayor Sean Drinkwine and City Councilor Joel Litkie for joining me for an entire day here at the Capitol.

Both joined me on the Senate Floor. 




Thank you to the Columbia Gorge Habitat for Humanity for making a visit!

They really are the “trendsetters” for affordable housing.

Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage.

Click Here to Subscribe to Senator Daniel Bonham's E-Newsletter.

I’ll be back with more updates soon.

Until then,

Senator Daniel Bonham, District 26

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1726
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-423​​, Salem, OR, 97301