Rural Northwest Oregon Updates Volume 28

Senator Suzanne Weber

Throughout the summer months I was able to hold office hours in multiple locations in Senate District 16. Affording me the opportunity to visit with upwards of a hundred constituents in face to face, one on one meetings to hear their concerns and suggestions for legislative concepts.  This turned out to be very successful and those that participated gave me deeper insight into many topics that legislators regularly discuss in the Capital that impact everyone in our community.  Here are a few examples of topics that were discussed.

  • Homelessness and the impact on the community as well as those that are not housed.
  • Covid mandates preventing or delaying licensure.
  • DEQ permitting process for seafood processing plants.
  • Tillamook Creamery and the impacts legislation has on them.
  • Rural fire services being overtaxed during heavy tourist season.
  • Parking issues and road construction.
  • County Fairgrounds usage and needs.
  • Pediatric Mental Health Care in our rural communities.
  • Highway Safety.
  • Manufacturing in our district.
  • Offshore windmills and their environmental and economic impacts. 
  • Public Libraries.

Around the District

Shae Bangs

I had a very informative meeting with Shaelyn Bangs of Clatsop County.  Her perspective needs to be shared with you so we can all work towards a better outcome for our children.  Shaelyn came to me with a goal.  She wants to improve access to pediatric mental health.  The problem she sees first hand is that kids can’t get in to receive services they need. It took Shaelyn 3 years to get a diagnosis and she is still not able to find a consistent provider to treat her.

The message is clear, there are not enough pediatric mental health specialists in our state. 

Shaelyn did not come to just tell me about a problem, she came with ideas on what we could do to make it better.  She would like to see "drop-in" type resources, outside of the school setting, for young people to seek mental health support.  While Shaelyn started this conversation, I'd like to bring others into it.  What are your thoughts?  Have you or someone you are close to had experience that you would like to share.  

Moose Lodge

I had a wonderful dinner at the Tillamook Moose Lodge where we were joined by Moose International Board of Directors Chairman, John Sipes.  

The Moose is about celebrating life together, serving those within the local communities, supporting children in need who deserve a second chance, and standing by senior members as they enter their twilight years.

The Moose presence is felt in over 1,400 communities across nearly 50 states and four Canadian provinces, plus Great Britain.

Marsha Kirk

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Banks for constituent meetings where I was hosted by Marsha Kirk at the Log Cabin Visitors Center.  Through these constituent meetings I've been able to discover local issues that I can have impact on.  In Banks, one issue that was brought to my attention was that the redesign and construction of the intersection coming into town took away business parking spaces.

I was able to bring this issue to our ODOT manager and in turn he asked for a re-draw of the designed intersection.  The re-draw is being reviewed now and I am optimistic that they will have done their best to solve this issue.  


Thank you Recology for hosting me on tours of your sites in our district.  I was able to tour the Astoria Transfer Station, the Warrenton office and shop location, and the Organics site in North Plains.  The best part about these tours is getting to visit with people and hear about the jobs they do and the impact they have on our community's wellbeing.  I also enjoy seeing how the operation works and the ways that our local companies are looking to grow.  

Recology Western Oregon provides garbage and recycling collection services to residents and businesses in Clatsop County, including Astoria, Cannon Beach, Gearhart, Seaside, Warrenton, and Unincorporated Clatsop County. 

Recology Organics – North Plains. This site processes approximately 55,000 tons annually of yard trimmings and food scraps. The facility uses a state-of-the-art aerated static pile system to process organics efficiently. Their quality assurance program includes routine nutrient, metal, and pathogen analysis to ensure a high quality and consistent product.

CWWC tour august 15th

The Clatsop Working Watershed Cooperative tour was fantastic!  Led by a group of dedicated professionals who work on farms, in the forest, and in fisheries within Clatsop County. Their mission is to ensure a healthy and vibrant future for communities and working lands on Oregon’s North Coast through good stewardship, dialogue, and cooperation. 

Natural resources businesses have a long history in Clatsop County and continue to be an important part of the local way of life. Through forestry, farming, and fishing Clatsop Working Watershed Cooperative is working to keep our economy vibrant and diverse.

I am proud to be a part of this group and I encourage you all to take a look at how you too can get involved. Clatsop Working Watershed Cooperative 


Join me on YouTube or Soundcloud for this months episode of From The District where we discuss the wonderful visits I've had this month and the important work going on throughout the district.

From the district September 4th

Legislative Days is almost upon us.  On September 27th, 28th, and 29th we will be meeting with our respective committees in the Capitol.  The goal is to be able to get reports on what is happening with the bills that were passed in the regular session and to see how those bills are performing.  I am honored to continue serving on the following committees:

Was also recently asked to serve on the Oregon Hunger Task Force and have humbly accepted.  Please check out the information at the task force webpage and join me as I dig into the data prior to my first meeting.

Oregon Hunger Task Force – All Persons Have The Right To Be Free From Hunger

You can access your county status of hunger 2023 data sheets by following the links below.

Status of hunger


Clatsop County  Columbia County  Tillamook County

Washington County.   Multnomah County

LPRO Committee list

We are happy to share that the Legislative Policy and Research Office (LPRO) has published the 2023 legislative summary reports and made them available online. The 15 individual reports are organized by policy areas noted below and highlight policy measures that received a public hearing in a policy committee in session.

LPRO’s Summary of Legislation web page can be found here and is linked on the home page for LPRO: The Summary of Legislation page is set up for browsing by policy topic, checking out full summaries of legislation available by year, or searching for past summaries. You can also click on the policy areas below to read the new legislative summary reports.

The LPRO staff has also published a Storymap web page, which is designed to introduce members of the public to the Oregon Legislative Assembly. It includes information about the structure of the Legislative Assembly, an overview of legislative service agencies and commissions, legislative schedules and procedures, and how an idea becomes law.

Summary of Legislation – Legislative Summary Reports (2023) – Policy Areas

This month, LPRO will release their second publication in the series: Legislative Summary Briefs. These briefs will highlight substantive changes to Oregon’s policy landscape based on measures considered during the 2023 legislative session.

I appreciate the work that LPRO has done, and I do hope you find it as useful as I do.  

Paid leave

Who’s eligible for Paid Leave benefits?

If someone is eligible for benefits, it means they’re able to participate in Paid Leave. Employees who work in Oregon and who made at least $1,000 the year before they apply for Paid Leave may be eligible for benefits. 

  • If you work full time, part time, or for more than one job or employer, it counts.
  • If you’re self-employed or an independent contractor, you’re not automatically covered—but you can choose coverage. Find out how to choose coverage and what it means to be self-employed or an independent contractor.
  • Tribal governments are not automatically covered, and are not required to participate but can choose to offer coverage.
  • Federal government employees are not eligible for Paid Leave benefits.

Home - Paid Leave Oregon

District Announcements

Saddle mountain

Oregon State Parks has announced that Saddle Mountain State Natural Area reopened Sept. 6 at 9 a.m. 

The park was closed while crews made extensive safety repairs to the 2.7-mile trail (5.5-mile roundtrip), improved parking, and added two new vault toilets. 

Look for the new picnic table at the top of the 3283-foot peak! 

Bring your own water and wear clothing and footwear appropriate for a difficult trail that gains over 1,600 feet in elevation. 

Cell service is spotty. Make sure you tell someone where you're going and expected return before you hike.

Not up for the hike? Take a 200-foot stroll to the picnic area and an awesome view of the mountain. 

You may see rangers and volunteers in the park and on the trail as they continue work on the park-wide rehabilitation project. 

Saddle Mountain is open dawn to dusk. No water is available. No overnight camping is allowed. 

Image description: A wood plank rests on the steel base of a picnic table. A hammer and tape measure are on top of the plank and other tools are nearby on the rocky ground. A ranger is walking uphill near a guardrail.


St. Helens Department of Motor Vehicle changes

Effective Monday, September 18th, 2023, the St. Helens DMV office will have a service hour change. The office will now have a midday closure from 12:30-1:30pm.

Unfortunately, the variability of staffing levels has been impacting DMV offices statewide, with reduced staffing levels becoming more frequent. In an office without a midday closure, staff must be cycled off the counter at different times for lunch. That cycling must begin early and in some offices, there are lunch periods that begin as early as 11:00am and end as late as 2:00pm. This leaves that office shorthanded for the bulk of the middle hours of the day and results in long wait times. With a midday closure most employees can be at lunch at the same time, increase the possibility of taking close to a full lunch break, and then return to the counter with a stronger contingent of staff to serve customers in the afternoon. Despite the office being closed for a time during the middle of the day, customers will face shorter wait times preceding and following the closure. 

Current Office Hours

New Hours

St. Helens DMV

500 N Columbia Hwy Suite 400, St. Helens OR

M, T, Th & F 8:00am – 5:00pm & W 10:00-5:00pm

St. Helens DMV

500 N Columbia Hwy Suite 400, St. Helens OR

M, T, Th & F 9:00am – 5:00pm & W 10:00-5:00pm & closed midday 12:30-1:30pm

I am hopeful that this change will increase the level of service at this critical DMV office and allow the community to continue to access vital services.

Kid Governor

Campaign to Elect the 2024 Oregon's Kid Governor Kicks-Off  

The Oregon Secretary of State invites all Oregon 5th grade students and their teachers to participate in the campaign and election of the 2024 Oregon Kid Governor. 

What is the Oregon Kid Governor program?

Oregon’s Kid Governor® (ORKG) is a statewide civics program for 5th graders managed by the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office. It is an affiliate of Kid Governor®, an award-winning civics program created by the Connecticut Democracy Center (CTDC).

Timed to coincide with Election Day in November, ORKG offers each elementary school in Oregon the opportunity to enter one student candidate into a statewide election that other 5th graders vote in. Classes can nominate a classmate to run for office, vote in the election or both. Toolkits of in-class lessons guide teachers and students through the program to learn about civics, including how to vote, the Oregon Legislature, The Oregon Executive Branch, and the Oregon Supreme Court. The program is free and provides teachers with classroom toolkits to help guide their students through the curriculum.

ORKG candidates work with their classmates to create a campaign video outlining:

  • Why they want to be Oregon Kid Governor
  • Their leadership qualities and skills
  • A community issue that they want to address and why it's important
  • A 3-point plan that will help 5th graders across Oregon make a difference on that issue

From the pool of nominees, a selection committee will choose the final 7 candidates and the Secretary of State’s Office will post the videos online. During Election Week, registered classes watch and analyze the campaign videos and vote for the platform and candidate they want to support. The candidate with the most votes statewide is then named Oregon Kid Governor.

The winning candidate serves a one-year term with all the benefits and responsibilities of being Kid Governor. These duties include sharing their issue statewide with constituents, writing posts for an official blog, meeting with students and adults across the state, and participating in events with the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office.

The current kid Governor is Lea and her platform is on promoting kindness and preventing bullying. Watch her video here.

Past governors include:

Each Oregon school or homeschooler that chooses to participate will nominate one 5th grade student. Oregon's Kid Governors are elected by fellow 5th graders from across the state. During the week of November 6th through the 14th all participating 5th graders will view the finalists' campaign videos and will vote for their favorite nominee. The winner will be announced on or before December 1st.

During their one-year term, Oregon's Kid Governor will work with the Secretary of State's office on their campaign issue and will meet with Oregon leaders and legislators. In past years, we have had Kid Governors work on anti-bullying efforts, combating racism, and helping animals.

For more information or to register and access the lesson plans visit

OSU Update

Work on wildfire risk map version 2.0 is under way

Your input is needed!  Please attend and participate in one of the Wildfire Hazard Map County Meetings.

September 8 Serbu Juvenile Justice Center 2727 Martin Luther King Blvd Eugene OR, Lane County AOC District 5 - Benton, Lane, Linn 2:00 PM

September 15 Tillamook Creamery 4165 N Hwy 101 Tillamook OR, Tillamook County AOC District 7 - Clatsop, Columbia, Lincoln, Tillamook  2:00 PM

September 18 600 NW 6th St, Grants Pass, OR 97526, Josephine County AOC District 4 - Coos, Curry, Douglas, Josephine 2:00 PM

September 19 Jackson County Offices 10 S. Oakdale Avenue, Medford OR 97501 Jackson County ONLY – 9 am

September 21 Running Y Resort, 5500 Running Y Road, Klamath Falls OR 97601 AOC District 2 - Crook, Deschutes, Harney, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake 2:00 PM

September 28 500 Court St Moro, OR 97039, Sherman County AOC District 3 - Gilliam, Hood River, Morrow, Sherman, Wasco, Wheeler  2:00 PM

September 29 Justice Center, 4700 N W Pioneer, Pendleton OR 97801 AOC District 1 - Baker, Grant, Malheur, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa  2:00 PM

October 4 Wingspan Event & Conference Center, 801 NE 34th Ave, Hillsboro, OR 97124, Meeting Room 2, Washington County AOC District 8 - Washington, Clackamas, Multnomah  2:00 PM

October 6 820 SW Ash, Dallas, OR 97338, Polk County AOC District 6 - Marion, Polk, Yamhill  2:00 PM

The meetings can be accessed virtually by following this link:


Please always include your name, location, and telephone number when contacting my office.  


Capitol Phone: 503-986-1716  District Phone: 503-300-4493
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, S-405, Salem, Oregon 97301
Email: Sen​
Website:  ​​