News from Representative Suzanne Bonamici
 

March 31, 2016

Dear Friend,

Spring has arrived! In Washington, D.C. the cherry blossoms are in full bloom along the Tidal Basin, and soon the roses in Portland will be budding. For many families across Oregon, March means spring break. My Capitol Hill office was excited to welcome more than 50 Oregon families for tours and visits. And many advocacy groups and organizations visited my DC and Oregon offices for policy discussions, so this month was very busy. Talk about March Madness!

Here's what I've been working on:

Helping Older Americans Age with Dignity
As the population of older adults continues to grow and Americans live longer, more productive lives, our nation's policies must keep pace. I recently took a leading role in passing a bipartisan update to the Older Americans Act (OAA). The OAA supports a wide range of programs, including nutritional and transportation services, in-home and legal assistance, and family caregiver support. The bill also includes meaningful provisions to combat elder abuse. I've packaged and delivered meals to older adults and seen just how much OAA programs help seniors remain connected to their communities and avoid costlier long-term care. The OAA programs make it possible for millions of older adults to remain independent and healthy, and to age with dignity in their homes and communities.
Hearing Directly From You
For me to do the best job I can in Congress, it's important to hear directly from Oregonians. This spring, I'll be hosting a series of town hall meetings across the First Congressional District. Town hall meetings provide the opportunity for me to hear about issues facing the people who live in our diverse district, and to learn how I can help. My staff will also be available to meet individually with anyone experiencing problems with federal agencies. You can find the full schedule here, so please stop by when I'm in your community. Your valuable feedback informs the work I do when I'm back in Washington, D.C.

Increasing Safety on College Campuses
College should be a time when students can learn and grow in a safe, supportive environment. Unfortunately far too many students experience sexual assault at their colleges and universities, and survivors often struggle to find and access support services on campus. Last week, I visited a training program for people who provide support or advocacy services to student survivors. Also survivors also need to be able to seek campus-based health services without worrying whether their privacy will be protected. In Congress, I'm working on preventing sexual assault and giving survivors the resources and privacy necessary to heal, seek justice, and continue their education.
Upgrading Childhood Nutrition Programs
Too many hardworking families struggle with food insecurity and we know that access to nutritious foods is essential to children's healthy development and long-term success. This week I gathered some of Oregon's leading nutrition and food security advocates for a roundtable discussion about child nutrition. We discussed the need for Congress to update and modernize federal child nutrition programs, including through my bipartisan legislation to expand access to nutritious meals for young children.

Congressional Art Competition
Each spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school visual arts competition to recognize and encourage artistic talent in each congressional district. I'm accepting entries from high school students in the district, and look forward to seeing the artwork from the talented students I represent. A panel of local artists will select the winner, and his or her artwork will be publicly displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol Building. As the co-founder of the bipartisan STEAM Caucus, I know that arts education helps students develop creativity and problem-solving skills. The deadline for submissions is April 15, 2016. Students who are interested in participating can visit bonamici.house.gov/art.

You can find more updates on my work around the district and in Washington, D.C. on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. 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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