12/15/23 Senate District 15 Newsletter

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Senator Janeen Sollman

Friends and Neighbors,

Upcoming Events

Community Conversation this Saturday, December 16

Join us at the Starbucks in Forest Grove, just off Hwy 47, at 3424 Pacific Ave, Forest Grove 97116. We will be meeting in person on Saturday, December 16th at 10:00 - 11:00am and hope to see you there.


Legislative Updates

White House State Legislative Convening on Gun Violence Prevention 

This week, I had the honor of being invited to attend the White House Convening of State Legislators on Advancing Gun Violence Prevention Efforts where the Biden-Harris Administration announced their Safer States Initiative to provide states with additional tools and the support they need to reduce gun violence and save lives. The colleagues able to join me on this trip to DC were: State Rep Lisa Reynolds, State Rep Jason Kropf and State Rep Ricki Ruiz. In order to help states advance this agenda, the Justice Department released information on their website for ideas on how states can take action to reduce gun violence. You can find more information HERE.

  • Establishing a State Office of Gun Violence Prevention;
  • Investing in evidence-informed solutions to prevent and respond to gun violence, including community violence interventions, Crime Gun Intelligence Centers, and implementation of Extreme Risk Protection Orders;
  • Strengthening support for survivors and victims of gun violence;
  • Reinforcing responsible gun ownership, including by requiring safe storage of firearms and reporting of lost and stolen firearms;
  • Strengthening gun background checks, including by enacting universal background checks legislation and removing barriers to completing enhanced background checks; and
  • Holding the gun industry accountable, including by banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and enacting firearm-specific liability laws to ensure that victims of gun violence have their day in court.

The Safer States Agenda, and the model legislation was released the same week we observe the 11th anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. This horrific event shocked our nation, and is forever engraved in our minds. No one should fear for their lives while at the grocery store, movie theater, in their place of worship, at school, or just going about their day. Turn on our local news any night and hear how we are facing an epidemic of gun violence and crime in Oregon. Together, we can and must solve this public health and safety crisis. Gun violence, gun suicide does not discriminate, it is happening in all corners of our state. This work can and must happen in a bipartisan way, with common sense solutions to save Oregonians. Recently, I was appointed to the Oregon State Crisis Intervention Program Advisory Board with the Criminal Justice Commission. I am joined by Representatives Lisa Reynolds and Court Boice. I look forward to exploring solutions together.


Oregon Kids Credit - New in 2024


In 2023, the legislature created the Oregon Kids Credit, which is a refundable credit for low-income people with young dependent children. Families with $30,000 or less in annual income can claim up to $1,000 per child, for up to five children aged five and below. Since the credit is refundable, the portion of credit that is more than what a person owes will be refunded to them. 

Who Qualifies

The amount of credit is based on age and number of dependent children, and modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), BUT even people who don’t owe any tax can claim the refundable credits.  For those with a MAGI of $25,000 or less, the full credit is $1,000 per child for up to five dependent children ages 0 to 5 at the end of the tax year.  The credit is reduced when MAGI is more than $25,000 and is eliminated at $30,000. All filing statuses are eligible for the credit except for Married Filing Separate.

How to Get Credit

Eligible families need to file an Oregon state income tax return—something many of them may have never done because their low incomes mean they haven’t had a filing requirement.  Families may need help with filing a return – learn more here about Oregon Kids Credit and other programs.  Learn more here about free tax preparation assistance and resources.

Listen. Learn. Act.

Ride Along - Forest Grove Police Department 

Thank you Officer Zach Bickford from the Forest Grove Police for your time and patience for all my questions during our ride-along. The service that our first responders provide to the community and their dedication to public safety is deeply appreciated. Ride-alongs with first responders provide an opportunity for me to listen, learn, and act from their critical perspective.

Photo Collage

2023 Oregon Business Plan Leadership Summit 

This week, the Senate District 15 team attended the 2023 Oregon Business Plan Leadership Summit. This annual event brings together elected, civic, and business leaders to discuss the challenges and opportunities our state faces. The theme of this year's Leadership Summit, Thinking Big, called for a bolder vision and action to grow our industry sectors and economy, to revitalize Portland's Central City and other communities, and to address critical housing and infrastructure needs. More than 1,200 people attended this years summit at the Moda center, and nearly 1,000 watched the livestream. Governor Tina Kotek, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, Senate President Rob Wagner, and House Speaker Dan Rayfield were among many of the elected officials that attended and spoke and the summit. 


Out and About in Senate District 15

Hillsboro Safe Rest Pods

Hillsboro’s safe rest pods on SW 17th Avenue re-opened earlier this week. This location will serve 75 people year-round, providing a safe, warm, and dry place for our unsheltered neighbors just in time for the holidays. While there is still much more work to be done to address our states housing crisis, this project showcases the important role cross-sector partnerships play in providing greater access to the services our houseless community needs. Thank you, Governor Tina Kotek, community partners, and leaders from Open Door HousingWorks, Washington County, and the City of Hillsborfor the work you have done to bring this project to fruition.


Senate District 15 - Small Business Spotlight

Hillsboro Barbell - Powerlifting Gym 

Business Logo

Hillsboro Barbell is a local Latino-owned business, located in the heart of downtown Hillsboro that opened for the first time in March 2023. 

This friendly and welcoming gym aims to be the go to place on the westside of Portland for powerlifters, strength athletes, and the everyday recreational lifter. They have a wide selection of barbells, specialty bars, weighted plates, and even have IPF, USAPL, and USPA approved equipment for competition. 

Are you looking to build strength through training and proper nutrition? If so, Hillsboro Barbell is here to help with their powerlifting, strength training, and nutrition coaching appropriate for all ages and skill levels so you can maximize your results and learn proper lifting techniques.

Hillsboro Barbell is more than happy to show you how to use the equipment, and will help guide you as you progress in your training. Members can access the gym 24/7 for just $50 a month, and they also offer $10 day passes. If you're interested in checking them out visit hillsboropowerlifting.com, or send them a personal message on their Instagram: @HillsboroBarbell. Located at: 232 NE Lincoln St Ste E, Hillsboro, OR 97124

Community Outreach

Cornelius Fire and Rescue Toy Drive


Embrace the spirit of giving with the Cornelius Fire Departments annual OregonToy Drive!

This year, let's come together to make a difference in the lives of children who could use a little extra magic during the holidays. 

Drop off a new, unwrapped toy at a collection point and be a part of creating smiles that last a lifetime. Every contribution counts, no matter how big or small!

Last Date to Donate: 12/18
Location: Cornelius Public Library (Toy Bin) 1370 N Adair St., Cornelius, OR 97113

Cornelius is still accepting toy applications for families located in Cornelius! You can pick up applications at the Cornelius Public Library or the Cornelius Public Safety Building. Last day to turn in applications is the 15th of December at 5pm. Drop them off at the Cornelius Public Safety Building (1311 N Barlow St, Cornelius, OR 97113)

Casa of Oregon - Sister Adele 2024 Scholarship


The purpose of this need-based scholarship is to encourage and provide individuals of farmworker families that live in Oregon with the opportunity to further their academic or technical education at the educational institution of their choosing.

Individual awards range from $1,500-$5,000 per scholarship winner. Amounts awarded are determined by number of completed applications received and scoring.

Applications must be submitted by Friday, February 16, 2024 at 11:59PM. If you are interested in applying, or know someone who is click here.

Eligibility Information:

  • Maintain Oregon residency with a permanent Oregon address.
  • Be enrolled during 2024-2025 academic year in an accredited community college, 4-year or graduate college/university, or trade/technical/vocational school (does not have to be an Oregon school).
  • Be from a farmworker household (within the last 5 years). 
  • Hold a high school diploma or its equivalent (GED) or be pursuing/enrolled in a qualified academic program by the end of June 2024.
  • No specific GPA is required, although your GPA will count toward your total score.

If you have any questions about eligibility, or need accommodations to turn in a hardcopy, please contact CASA at sas@casaoforegon.org.

Learn more about Sister Adele and the scholarship program here.

Learn more about other financial resources that CASA offers to students here.

Oregon Civics Bee


Do you know an Oregon middle-schooler who’d like to flex some civics muscles and compete for up to $1,000 in cash prizes? If so, the inaugural Oregon Civics Bee is the perfect opportunity.

OBI is proud to support the Bee, which is open to all Oregon students in grades six, seven and eight. Participating students must write a 500-word essay that identifies a community problem and explains how to address it using founding principles and civic virtues. Essays must be submitted no later than Jan. 8 using an online portal on the Oregon Civics Bee website, where students and their families can find additional guidance on founding principles, civic virtues and more.

A panel of judges will pick the 20 best essays and invite their authors to the May 30 Oregon Civics Bee event at Willamette University in Salem, where a quiz-style competition will identify the champion and runners-up. Second- and third-place finishers will receive awards of $750 and $500, respectively. The champion will win $1,000 and receive an invitation to Washington, D.C., to compete in the National Civics Bee in fall 2024. Intrigued middle-schoolers and their families can learn more by visiting the Oregon Civics Bee website, which features guides for teachers, students and parents, answers to frequently asked questions and, of course, the entry portal.

Additional Resources

Senate District 15 – Event Calendars

Federal Delegation Links

Education Links

Food and Housing Assistance

Be good to yourself and each other. ❤

Onward & Upward,


Senate District 15 lies on Kalapuya land. The Atfalati were the northernmost band of the Kalapuya that lived along the Tualatin River in present day Washington County. Many of the Atfalati descendants are members of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon today. The Indigenous Peoples of this land experienced a painful history of colonial violence, sickness and removal from their land. The Atfalati are the foundation of Oregon's past and we must honor them well into our future.    

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1715
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, S-207​, Salem, Oregon 97301
Email: Sen​​​.JaneenSollman@oregonlegislature.gov
Website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/sollman