News from Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici

October 14, 2016

Dear Friend,

Students have returned to school, the days are shorter, and a lot has been happening in Northwest Oregon and Washington D.C. I continue to be concerned about discoveries of lead in school drinking water, so I partnered with my colleagues to introduce a bill that would help schools pay for lead testing. It was exciting to announce federal grants for upgrades to the runway at McMinnville Municipal airport, a road project in Tigard, and for Craft3, a non-profit community lender, to support local economic development. And I was proud to vote for bipartisan legislation to improve the juvenile justice system. The bill will reduce recidivism, support reintegration, and make safety a priority.

Here's what I've been working on:

A Lifeline for Residents Facing Eviction
Recently Cal-Am Properties, a California-based manufactured-home park owner, threatened many residents of Beaverton's Heritage Village with eviction if they didn't promptly make costly repairs to their homes. That's unacceptable and unfair. With housing prices and rents at historic highs, many of these residents would struggle to find a new place to live if they were evicted. I urged Cal-Am to work with residents to find a reasonable solution that respects residents and keeps them in their homes. In response, Cal-Am has withdrawn the eviction notices and promised to be more compassionate. Although this is encouraging, I will continue to work with Heritage Village residents to make sure this company doesn't resume its unfair demands.


Preventing Student Debt Default
At town hall meetings and when I'm out talking with Oregonians, I often hear about the stress of student loan debt. Too many students are leaving college with large amounts of debt. Income-driven repayment plans reduce the likelihood of default—but the application process is complicated. Many borrowers either never enroll or are dropped from their plans when they don't complete the annual recertification process. I introduced a bipartisan bill to help at-risk borrowers get and stay in income-driven repayment plans. The SIMPLE Act is one way to help millions of Americans, including those facing severe hardship, avoid financial ruin. That's good for student borrowers, their families, and the economy.


Preparing Students for the 21st Century Workforce
When I visit schools in Oregon, I see how hands-on Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs engage students and prepare them for success after high school—regardless of whether they go to a four-year college, a trade school, or directly into the workforce. I was proud to support a needed update to the Career and Technical Education Act that provides more funding for CTE programs and takes important steps to help more students excel in school and in the workforce. With this new support and guidance, programs like the Auto Technology class at Aloha High School can better prepare students for success in the 21st Century economy.

Improving Our Water Infrastructure
Waterways in Oregon and across the country are essential to commerce, economic growth, and public safety. The update of the Water Resources Development Act will benefit thousands of Oregonians who rely on our waterways for their livelihoods. Importantly, Congress finally provided aid for residents of Flint, Michigan, who have been without safe drinking water for two and a half years. Although I support this legislation, it's not perfect. When Congress returns in November, I will work to make sure that Oregon's priorities are represented in the final bill.

You can find more updates about 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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