News from Representative Suzanne Bonamici

July 2, 2015

Dear Friend,

History was made in June when The Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality, bringing us one step closer to ending discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community. This month I met with advocates working to address the epidemic of sexual assault on our college campuses. Back home in Oregon, OHSU raised $1 billion for cancer prevention research. I visited a potato farmer whose business will expand through access to international markets. And I toured an underwater robotics program that highlights the benefits of hands-on learning. Here's a rundown of June.

A Victory for Marriage Equality
The Supreme Court issued a momentous ruling in favor of marriage equality, ruling that states cannot deny same-sex couples the right to get married. As President Obama said, "when all Americans are treated as equal, we are all more free." Although the Supreme Court decision is a powerful step in the right direction, too many members of the LGBTQ community still face discrimination in employment. We must recommit to working toward equal rights for all. Read my statement in response to the Supreme Court decision.

Addressing Campus Sexual Assault
I met with the founders of End Rape on Campus to discuss the epidemic of assault at our universities and what can be done to prevent it. I recently sent a letter to the Department of Education asking for clarification regarding what records school officials can access. All students should feel safe on their college campus. They should not have to worry that records from a counseling visit may be accessed or made public. I will continue to work with advocates to ensure we are creating safe, supportive environments at our universities.

Celebrating $1 Billion to Fight Cancer
Oregon reached a major milestone for cancer research. Oregon Health and Science University met a challenge to raise $500 million, which was matched by Phil Knight. The resulting $1 billion will be used for cancer research and to bring some of the best researchers in the world to OHSU to focus on early detection. OHSU will also build a new facility for cancer research. Read the Oregon Congressional delegation statement here and read more about OHSU's plans here.

Small Businesses and Trade
I visited Sherwood's Amstad Produce, where they grow and process potatoes. Owner and General Manager Jeff Urbach took me on a tour and I even got to drive the tractor! A family-owned business, Amstad has been in Oregon for more than 50 years. Jeff told me about new opportunities to export his potatoes, which will result in longer hours and higher pay for his employees. Opening our country to more international markets will help him maintain this family business and continue to employ up to 100 people. Read more about my visit to Amstad Produce and why I support trade done right.

Hands-On Learning with Underwater Robotics 
Hands-on STEM courses are an effective way to get students excited about learning. I visited with Warrenton High School students participating in the school's underwater robotics program. Students design and build the robots and run underwater simulations to retrieve objects from the sea floor. The program captures students' interest and reinforces the subjects they are learning in school. It also fosters creative and innovative thinking, which is what businesses are looking for in future employees. Read more about my visit here.

As always, you can find more updates on my work around the district and in Washington on Facebook and Twitter. You can also contact my Oregon and Washington, D.C. offices with questions, comments, or for assistance with a federal agency. This mailbox is not monitored. To contact me via email, please use this secure web form.


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