News from Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici

June 6, 2016

Dear Friend,

May was a busy, productive month. I wrapped up my spring town hall series with meetings in Sherwood, Portland, and Newberg. I value these discussions because they give me the opportunity to hear directly from the people I represent so I can bring their ideas back to Capitol Hill. We talked about diverse issues, including campaign finance reform, education, and climate change. In May I also welcomed the top Democrat from the Education Committee, Representative Bobby Scott, to Oregon to join me on tours of PSU's early childhood learning center, Portland Community College, and a job-training program run by United Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 290. I joined with Oregon leaders in calling for a temporary halt in oil train traffic until we can find out what caused Friday's derailment near Mosier. Summer also means I've welcomed new summer interns to my Washington, DC and Beaverton offices.

Here's what I've been working on:

Trusting Kids are Safe at School
As a mom, I trusted that my kids—and all kids—were safe at school. For families in Portland, trust has eroded following recent reports that some Portland Public School students were exposed to lead at school. That's unacceptable, and I share the frustration and disbelief felt by mothers, fathers, and caregivers of our students. Families shouldn't have to worry about whether the drinking water in their neighborhood schools poses serious risks to their children's health. We need to do better for our kids, and that means taking action on public health problems that affect our children. I am committed to working with families, educators, and local, state, and federal officials to find answers and solutions.


Hosting Congressional Leader in Oregon
I serve on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, and I know we must do more to invest in our children and families. I brought Congressman Bobby Scott, the top Democrat on the Committee, to Oregon to show him how Oregonians collaborate and innovate to address the challenges facing working families. We talked about the challenges parents face in accessing quality, affordable child care, and how to better transition students into the workforce. I'm looking forward to bringing our ideas to Congress to craft policies that give children, young people, and families more opportunities to succeed.


Standing Up for Access to Contraceptives
We need to do all we can to prevent unintended pregnancies—especially among young people—and that includes making sure they have access to contraceptives. When the Hillsboro School Board was considering changing the contraceptives policy at the school-based health center, I spoke up for access to contraceptives and reproductive health services. Even though the majority of the Board voted no and missed an opportunity to improve access to contraceptives for their students, I'll continue to stand up for women seeking to take control of their reproductive health.

Combating the Opioid Abuse Epidemic
Too many communities in Oregon and across the nation have seen the destruction caused by opioid addiction. Even my own family has suffered the heartbreak of losing a loved one. Last year in Portland, two people died from opioids every week. Across the nation, countless families, doctors, nurses, and public safety officers have pleaded for Congress to act, and in May, the House passed a series of bipartisan bills to combat and treat the growing epidemic of opioid abuse. But that was only a start. We must do more to make sure people struggling to overcome addiction can access treatment and recovery programs.

Supporting Willamette Valley Farm Workers
People across the Pacific Northwest and the nation enjoy agricultural products from the Willamette Valley, but too often the most basic needs of the workers in this industry are not met. On a recent visit to McMinnville, I saw how the community is supporting hardworking farm workers who contribute to the success of our region. Virginia Garcia's McMinnville Clinic offers an integrated approach to primary care, mental health, and dental health and serves 7,000 people annually who face barriers to receiving care. I was also able to see how two innovative housing communities are helping workers and their families find affordable, stable housing. It's this community-focused approach that makes Oregon a better place to call home.

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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