Dear Friend,

Tragically, the coronavirus death toll has surpassed 227,000 nationally, and the pandemic continues to devastate our communities and economy. People in NW Oregon and across the country need relief. The House passed critical legislation in May to stem the loss of life and blunt the worst effects of the pandemic, but the Senate failed to act. Earlier this month I helped pass an update to the Heroes Act that reflects what our country needs now — aid for schools, workers, businesses, child care, testing and treatment, and more.

I’m continuing to meet with members of our community to discuss and find solutions to the challenges we are facing. Some of the issues I’ve been working on include:


Fighting for Working Families

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The pandemic has brought economic hardship to many families. One important way we can help struggling families is to make sure children have access to healthy meals. I led bipartisan legislation that allows schools to keep providing meals even when school buildings are closed, and I recently visited schools that are doing a wonderful job of serving their communities.

Moms play a large role in our workforce, but entrenched gender roles mean that they also continue to take on a majority of child care and household responsibilities. The pandemic has made this balancing act untenable for many mothers, forcing women out of the workforce in Oregon and across the country. We must do more to support families during this difficult time, so I’m fighting for the $57 billion investment in child care that’s included in the updated Heroes Act. Read more about my plan to save child care and make it more accessible here.


Creating Quality Jobs

ImagePaid on-the-job training programs can change lives. I am helping to lead the National Apprenticeship Act, which will invest more than $3.5 billion to create and support nearly one million new Registered Apprenticeships over the next five years. It was inspiring to hear from labor leaders, apprentices, and pre-apprentices about programs in Oregon that are expanding opportunities and helping more people access good-paying jobs during a roundtable and visit with IBEW Local 48 apprentices. These programs do more than provide jobs; they change lives.


Protecting Our Climate and Our Ocean

ImageEvery person on this planet benefits from a healthy ocean, but we must do more to protect it. As Co-Chair of the House Oceans Caucus, I’ve been a longtime advocate for ocean climate action and I’m excited that four of my bills, and six bills I’m co-leading, are included in the comprehensive Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act. This package of legislation will also capture the power of the ocean to help mitigate the climate crisis.

As we work together to address the climate crisis, I am committed to centering environmental justice. That means supporting Tribal sovereignty, formally and meaningfully consulting with Tribal leaders, supporting the priorities of Tribal Nations, and respecting Indigenous and Traditional Knowledges. It was an honor to join hundreds of Tribal leaders and activists for the National Tribal Leadership Climate Change Summit for a productive and substantive conversation.


In Case You Missed It

  • ImageWhen I heard that community leaders didn’t have enough information about a major COVID outbreak in Clatsop County, I asked Oregon Health Authority and Pacific Seafood to convene a virtual town hall meeting to help answer the community’s questions.
  • I met with representatives from the Small Business Recovery Center at Adelante Mujeres, a small business owner who benefitted from their services, and officials from Washington County to discuss challenges and opportunities facing small businesses during the COVID pandemic.
  • I celebrated with the community in Rainier as they completed an important rail safety project. Federal support makes a big difference in small communities, and I’ll keep advocating for the resources Oregonians need.
  • We all want our schools to reopen—but only when it’s safe. Thank you to the teachers who shared their insights and frustrations with me as they work hard to support their students.
 

   

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