Community Outreach Updates and November Meetings

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Representative Susan McLain
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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

This is my first newsletter since the horrific attack by Hamas in Israel almost two weeks ago, but I am still no closer to finding the right words and will certainly not claim to have any answers to the ongoing conflict in the region. However, I do want to take this opportunity to send my condolences to anyone who has lost family or friends in either Israel or Gaza. I was comforted by the words of President Joe Biden and am also reminded by what Martin Luther King, Jr. said:

Image of Peace Bird


Thank you to everyone who attended my Constituent Coffee on Wednesday in Forest Grove. It was a great opportunity for casual conversation about issues that matter to our community. Don't forget that I have another Constituent Coffee this Saturday in Hillsboro. Details can be found in the "COMMUNITY OUTREACH" section of this newsletter.

This October has been particularly busy with meetings on Education and Transportation, preparing my two personal bills for the Short Session, a great trip to Southern Oregon for an Educational tour (read all about it in the "Community Outreach" section), and preparing for upcoming November Legislative Days and the next Bi-State meeting on replacement of the I-5 Bridge. Here are a couple of important upcoming Legislative dates to keep in mind:

Oregon-Washington Bi-State Committee Meeting on the I-5 Bridge: November 3rd at 9am

November Legislative Days: November 6-8

Joint Committee on Public Education Appropriations: November 20th at 2pm

I will have more information on how you can watch these meetings and a thorough review on each of them in future newsletters so stay tuned!



  • Legislative Update on Measure 110
  • Update on Replacement of the I-5 Bridge
  • Community Outreach Review
  • Upcoming Events in Washington County
  • Tips for Speeding Up Your PaidLeave Oregon Application
  • How to Order Free COVID Tests


It was nice to be back in the Capitol on Monday for an "in-office" day with my Chief of Staff, Carolyn Lee, and an important Transportation meeting.

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National Principals Month



October marks the celebration of a special group of leaders in our community – our school principals. These dedicated individuals play a pivotal role in shaping our students’ futures and the trajectory of our education system.

This month-long celebration is an opportunity to recognize and thank our principals for their unwavering dedication, exceptional leadership, and remarkable impact on student success.

I am honored to celebrate the extraordinary individuals at the helm of our schools and the difference they make every day transforming our communities here in House District 29. Thank you to all the principals in the Hillsboro and Forest Grove School Districts, and a special thank you to all the principals I was privileged to work with during my 42 years as an Educator. 


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SECTION HEADER: Legislative Days




From the Senate Majority Office Press Release: October 18, 2023, the Joint Committee on Addiction and Community Safety Response had its first meeting. Committee members and the public heard from practitioners, services providers, and researchers about Oregon’s existing public health infrastructure and its role as part of our response to the drug crisis. The next meeting of the committee will focus on the state’s public safety response.

“We heard over and over yesterday: Oregon was struggling to treat addiction before fentanyl changed the game, and now, we have even further to go to keep people safe and healthy. While it’s clear that we have a lot more work to do, I believe we are one step closer to addressing critical issues in Oregon’s addiction response system,” said Senate Majority Leader Kate Lieber (D - Beaverton & SW Portland), co-chair of the Joint Committee.

full recording of the meeting can be found here and the full agenda can be found here.

“Oregonians across the state are providing vital prevention and treatment services, meeting people where they’re at and saving lives. They need more support to maintain and expand this work,” said Representative Jason Kropf (D - Bend), co-chair of the Joint Committee. “The ideas and perspectives we heard yesterday and will hear in our next meeting from public safety officials are critical as we further dig into how to deliver the solutions Oregonians need now.”

The Joint Committee on Addiction and Community Safety is the Legislature's hub for the coordination of an urgent public health and public safety response to the drug crisis. Through the 2024 session and beyond, this bipartisan, bicameral group of legislators will provide oversight of state programs and funding while seeking short- and long-term solutions to keep Oregonians safe and healthy. 

This committee is co-chaired by Senate Majority Leader Kate Lieber (D – Beaverton & SW Portland) and Representative Jason Kropf (D – Bend). The full membership of the committee can be found here.

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SUBJECT HEADING: I-5 Bridge Updates




The Interstate Bridge Replacement program has formed a new advisory group to focus on recommendations for community benefit efforts. The Community Benefits Advisory Group (CBAG) met for the first time Sept. 27 to kick off their work. The CBAG will develop recommendations to leverage the program’s work to achieve the greatest positive benefit to the communities in the program area and broader region, in alignment with the program’s equity framework and community priorities.

The CBAG is intended to complement the work of the program’s existing advisory groups and will include balanced representation from Oregon and Washington. CBAG includes two co-conveners who also serve on the IBR Executive Steering Group (ESG) — Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle and Portland City Commissioner Mingus Mapps. Other representatives include the two state transportation departments, a member from both the Community Advisory Group (CAG) and Equity Advisory Group (EAG), local residents and businesses in the program area, as well as organizations representing housing, workforce development, parks and recreation, urban design and art, disability rights, environmental justice and cultural interests.

The kick-off meeting provided members with an overview of the IBR program and the approach to community benefits for the program. The group also discussed the program’s equity framework and how community benefits recommendations will be considered through this lens.

“This is going to be a year-long conversation of how we do this,” Program Administrator Greg Johnson told the group. “How we include mitigations, how we take aesthetics, how we take workforce and meld them into a vision of what this program could be.”

Members of the new advisory group will be asked to bring their expertise to the table as the group considers potential opportunities and develops recommendations. An opportunity for public input will be provided at each meeting and materials including videos of past meetings, agendas and presentations can be found on the program’s Meetings & Events calendar.


Picture of Johnell Bell

By: Johnell Bell

In today’s world, equity is top of mind when it comes to building a workforce. The Interstate Bridge Replacement program is striving to be an example of how large infrastructure projects can successfully minimize barriers and provide opportunities for participation.

We have ambitious goals for this program when it comes to promoting equitable opportunities for workers and communities who have historically been excluded from large infrastructure projects. And to accomplish them we are using the IBR program’s equity framework to promote economic opportunity for equity priority communities.

An important aspect of the program’s equity goals is exploring ways we can support opportunities that help people change the trajectory of their lives. These include investing in their business and hiring people in their community; providing well-paying jobs; or giving a mother, a young person or a houseless individual training in a pre-apprenticeship program.

In the past, many large transportation projects harmed long-standing communities of color by uprooting them. As a further injustice, the financial benefits of these projects were realized by interests – and people – outside the immediate project area. Today, the IBR program is committed to ensuring equitable processes and outcomes in all aspects of our work. This includes applying an equity lens for community engagement activities, designing construction packages competitive for DBE firms, and advancing workforce diversity to ensure that all voices are heard, and all communities can experience the economic benefits.

To accomplish this, we held our first formal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) outreach event in Vancouver, Washington, this past summer. Program leadership continues to meet with DBE leaders and organizations across the region. The program team will continue to conduct outreach to workforce development organizations, contractors, and public agencies to ensure we are answering questions about potential IBR program opportunities, including workforce development, potential future construction packages, and DBE certification.

With construction currently scheduled to begin around the end of 2025, we are conducting a study with the help of workforce organizations on both sides of the river to determine how many carpenters, ironworkers, electricians, designers and engineers we will need to construct this project. Understanding the raw numbers will help inform us where the program could potentially be most effective in making investments in pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs. This includes high schools and community college programs, to get the people trained and ready to construct this once-in-a-generation project.

The program team also recognizes that it’s not enough to simply recruit new workers. As we continue to explore ways to help minimize barriers to workforce participation, we will consider ideas such as on-site day care and vouchers to help remove child care as a barrier to employment.

To learn more about how we are centering equity and promoting DBE participation and building our workforce, please join us for our upcoming equity roundtable, “Road to Prosperity: A Conversation About Workforce Diversity and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises” on Thursday, Oct. 5, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The event will be live-streamed and available for replay on our YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook platforms.

Together, we can build a bridge that moves people, products and vehicles, while at the same time raising communities that need a boost and a voice in this once-in-a-lifetime project.

Johnell Bell is the principal equity officer for the Interstate Bridge Replacement program and the chief executive officer of Espousal Strategies. Contact him at 503-897-9218 or

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On Tuesday, I spoke with KATU about the budget challenges that ODOT currently faces due in large part to declining gas tax revenues. This is an issue that I am working very hard on and that the Legislature will continue to address in both the 2024 and the 2025 Legislative Sessions. As I described to KATU, 

"We actually have been working on this for over five years, and it's a situation where, as you know, there are a lot of different variables that take place -- not just in the political process in our sessions, but also with the technical work and the changing of both the environment and inflation," she said. "We have to do it thoroughly, and we have to do it correctly, and we have to do it in a way that is going to be a long-term success, but we are not ignoring it."

To read or view the story, click on the image below:

KATU News Clip on ODOT Budget
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SECTION HEADER: Community Outreach



Last week, I took an incredible trip down to Southern Oregon for an Educational tour put together by Southern Oregon University. I started the tour with State Representative Pam Marsh and a meeting at the Phoenix-Talent High School where we discussed Wildfire Recovery support and Education funding in Oregon. I began my teaching career at the old Phoenix-Talent High School over 40 years ago and it was incredibly special and meaningful to be back there as a Legislator. I also received a tour of the Widfire Recovery area and it was heartbreaking to see how much had been lost in the Labor Day fires of 2020, but also inspirational to see how the community has rebuilt and continued to thrive.  

After Phonex-Talent, I headed to Southern Oregon University and had a very meaningful discussion on Behavioral Health challenges at the SOU Student Health and Wellness Center where we explored the ongoing need for strong student support, especially in the area of behavioral health. Lunch was a roundtable of Eduction Leaders, including Southern Oregon's President Bailey, Rogue Community College's President Weber, Superintendents from Ashland and Medford, and many others. Thank you to Nick Keough with the Oregon Student Association and Jonah Liden of Rogue Community College for the great tour of the SOU campus in the afternoon! 

Pictures from Southern Oregon Visit




Visit the Hillsboro Market before they close for the season and then come join me for coffee and conversation! This constituent coffee is an excellent opportunity to dialogue about the issues that matter to you in an informal setting. I hope to see you in Hillsboro on 10/21. 

Constituent Coffee flyer


Thank you to everyone who came out to my Constituent Coffee in Forest Grove on Wednesday. We had great discussions about transportation funding, affordable housing, agricultural lands, the Rail to Trail program, and supporting foster youth in our schools. I always enjoy these small settings where everyone has a chance to contribute to the dialogue and a very big THANK YOU to the team at BJs for letting us pull together some tables and providing excellent customer service, as always!

Photos from Constituent Coffee


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Attend the Fire Safety Open House at the Cornelius Fire Station this Saturday, October 21st. They will have rides in the fire trucks, fire extinguisher demonstrations, information on several safety programs they provide, and a chance for you to meet your local firefighters. There will also be free hotdogs available!

Saturday, October 21st from 10-2 at the Cornelius Fire Station at 1311 N Barlow Street.


Cornelius Fire and Rescue Logo




On October 8th, M&M Marketplace and the City of Hillsboro unveiled the new mural "Together We Have a Bright Future" by the talented Li Tie. It was a celebration of unity, culture, and the power of art. If you have not had a chance to see the finished artwork, please stop by when you get a chance and show your appreciation for this vibrant artwork in the heart of our community. 

The mural is located at M&M Marketplace - 346 SW Walnut Street in Hillsboro.
New Mural In Hillsboro




I know you're excited for leaf pickup this year so I'm sharing the leaf pickup schedule a little early! Just search your address to receive your collection schedule. Leaf pickup begins Sunday, October 22. The digital map, collection guidelines, and Saturday drop-off information are located here:

Leaf pickup




Can you boogie like bat? Can you shamble like a skeleton? Can you groove like a ghoul? Join the Forest Grove Library when they celebrate spooky season with their Monster Mash Dance Party in the Rogers Room. Come for the costume contest, stay for the music, fun, and games! All ages are welcome!

2114 Pacific Ave, in Forest Grove.

Forest Grove Library Monster Mash



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Since it started accepting applications on Aug. 14, Paid Leave Oregon has been tracking and posting data on the Oregon Employment Department’s dashboard. The latest data through Oct. 6 shows about 22,000 people have applied for benefits to date, and applications have increased quite a bit in recent weeks.

So far, Paid Leave has approved about 13,000 applications and paid about $21 million in benefits. Benefit payments started going out to Oregon employees with approved claims on Sept. 13.

Employees: If you plan to apply for benefits, you can speed up your claim by:

  • Informing your employer about your leave before you apply
  • Using the “What You Need to Apply for Benefits Checklist” and making sure you upload the correct documents for your type of leave
  • Checking your Frances Online account regularly for action notices and messages
  • Making sure to put the employer's name on your claim as it appears on your W2 or paystub

If your claim has incorrect information or if you don’t notify your employer, your claim may be delayed. Please use the checklist or check out the Apply on Frances Online video to help you get ready to file your claim!



Beginning September 25, every U.S. household can again place an order to receive four more free COVID-19 rapid tests delivered directly to their home. Before You Throw Out "Expired" Tests: Check FDA's website to see if your COVID-19 tests' expiration dates have been extended.

Get your covid test

Need help placing an order for your at-⁠home tests?
Call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489).


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SECTION HEADER: Important Resources

My office has compiled a list of resources for our community. You can click on the images below to open a document with the relevant links. If you know of a resource that should be included here, or you need a resource and are having trouble finding the information you need, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office at


Education-related resources


Click here, or on the image to the right for a list of Education-related resources. This includes links to the Forest Grove and Hillsboro School Districts, the Oregon and US Departments of Education, information on how to pay for college, student lunch programs, and much more!


Wildfire Prevention Logo


Click hereor on the image to the right for important resources related to wildfire prevention and recovery. This list includes links to current fire restrictions and recreation site status maps, the Oregon Department of Forestry's fire prevention tip page, and important resources for wildfire victims. 


Resources for Veterans


Click here, or on the image to the right for a list of important resources for Veterans, including links and phone numbers to the various divisions of the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs, local Washington County assistance, supportive and community-based groups like the American Legion, and mental health resources.  


State and Local Government Links


Click here, or on the image to the right for links to important local and state government pages, including the Hillsboro, Forest Grove, and Cornelius city government pages. You can also access the Oregon Legislature's page, and other important state agency sites, like the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Unemployment Department, and the Oregon Health Authority.

Important Resources


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Scenes from the Annular Eclipse during my trip to Southern Oregon!

The Eclipse


Yours truly,

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Representative Susan McLain
House District 29

email: I phone: 503-986-1429
address: 900 Court St NE, H-493, Salem, OR 97301