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 Table of Contents  

  • Start of Session Town Hall
  • First Week in Review
  • Happy Lunar New Year
  • Black History Month
  • Connect with Our Team
  • Emergency Rental Assistance
  • Resources

  Start of Session Town Hall - February 4th, 2022  

It's that time! The start of session has begun, and I have so much to share with you. I'll be going over my top five legislative agenda topics for this session.

I'm hosting a town hall with some very cool 😎 friends of mine, including Secretary of State Shemia Fagan, to let community members know what's happening right now and what to be aware of for the rest of the short session.

Please bring your questions or thoughts - I'm excited to be in community with you this Friday on Zoom!

We will have Spanish and ASL interpreting throughout the meeting.
RSVP: bit.ly/DreaTownHall2022

Join my start of session town hall this Friday at 6:30pm on Zoom!

  First Week in Review 
 

On February 1st,  the 35 day 2022 legislative session was called to order. This session, the House Democratic caucus is committed to addressing the pandemic, housing costs, support for educators, workforce training and development, childcare availability, access to healthcare services, and climate change resiliency.

New Leadership
In addition to Speaker Rayfield, there are some new leaders in the Oregon House. Representative Julie Fahey is the new House majority leader and Representative Vikki Breese-Iverson is the new House minority leader. Representatives Ruiz, Marsh, Power, Kropf, and Hudson are all Assistant Majority leaders. Representative Sanchez is Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means.

I'll be serving along with Representatives Power and Nosse on the House Democratic leadership team as Deputy Whip. You might be wondering what a "whip" does - the name simply refers to a representative's role to count the votes on an issue brought to the floor. 

Committee Assignments
With a couple of new Committee assignments, I will be serving on six committees this session which include: 

  • Joint Committee on Ways and Means
  • House Rules Committee
  • House Natural Resources and Environment Committee
  • House Housing Committee
  • House Revenue Committee
  • Join Tax Expenditures Committee
     
My Legislative Agenda Update
Some of the bills on my legislative agenda are scheduled to or have already had a public hearing!

You might be wondering, what is the difference between a public hearing and a work session? Public hearings are where community members can submit testimony on bills and legislative members can ask questions. Work sessions are where committees and their legislative members actually vote on bills.
 
  • HB 4099 which will establish a Racial Equity and Justice Youth Collaborative at the Oregon Department of Education, will be up for a public hearing on Thursday, February 3 in the House Education Committee at 3:15 PM. You can sign up to give oral testimony or submit written testimony in support of the bill here. You can tune in to the public hearing here.
     
  • HB 4058 is a response to the heat dome last year and the wildfires our communities are experiencing due to the climate crisis. The bill had a public hearing in the House Energy and Natural Resources committee on Wednesday, February 2nd. HB 4058 with -2 amendments establishes a heat pump deployment program and provides air conditioning units and air purifiers to our most vulnerable community members. The bill also directs the Public Utility Commission to address the increase in utility bills due to increased usage of cooling or heating systems during extreme weather events. You can review a recording of the meeting here and review submitted testimony here.
     
  • SB 1536 is a complementary bill to HB 4058 that is chief sponsored by Senator Kayse Jama and addresses renters' rights to access cooling. The bill had a public hearing in the Senate Housing and Development Committee on Wednesday, February 2nd. You can review of a summary of the bill here. You can also review a recording of the meeting here and review submitted testimony here
     
  • SB 1510 addresses how people of color are targeted disproportionately in police stops throughout the state by limiting police traffic stops and arrests for low-level offenses. The bill had a public hearing in the Senate Committee on and Ballot Measure 110 Implementation on Wednesday, February 2nd. You can review of a summary of the bill here. You can also review a recording of the meeting here and review submitted testimony here
     

 

  Lunar New Year - Year of the Tiger  


The Year of the Water Tiger began yesterday. Our office wishes all who celebrate prosperity, strength, wellness, and luck this year.

The Lunar New Year is one of the most important holidays to celebrate for over 1 billion people around the world and across many AAPI communities with a rich diversity of customs.

The Chinese zodiac order (Sheng Xiao), which has existed for over 2,000 years within Chinese culture, recognizes the Tiger as the king of all beasts where they are seated third in the zodiac order of animals. Last year, 2021, was the Year of the Ox.

Different characteristics are assigned to each animal, and this is traditionally used to determine fortune. The animals are also thought to represent the personalities of people born that year.
🐭🐂🐯🐰🐉🐍🐴🐐🐒🐓🐶🐖

Over the past two years many of our cultural traditions and holidays have been interrupted by the pandemic. Unfortunately, due to the omicron variant surge which is very contagious, many community members may not be able to celebrate how they have in the past. Please continue to follow public health and community safety guidelines .

To schedule your first, second, or booster shot of the vaccine visit: getvaccinated.oregon.gov

  Black History/Futures Month  

 

February 1st marked the first day of Black History/Futures Month 🌻

Of course, we know that Black history/futures are happening now - across cultures and around the globe. It's so much more than just resilience to harm or trauma caused by anti-Blackness and white supremacy culture.

This month I'll be uplifting Black history past and present, Black joy, and highlighting issues around reproductive justice and voting rights.

As we continue the work of fighting and advocating for liberated futures for our communities, I recognize the immense and vast contributions of Black communities and people throughout time in dismantling white supremacist systems and building and sustaining freedom and justice movements rooted in accountability and joy.

There are so many leaders within Black communities that continue to inspire me, like revolutionary icon Angela Davis, as well as amazing local leaders like Candace Avalos and Esperanza Tervalon-Garrett. I'm excited to celebrate and reflect with you on Black history - past and present, this month and beyond. Are you interested in learning about Black history and futures? Sign up for Anti-Racism Daily's 28 Days of Black History.

Until our next newsletter, be sure to follow the work of or receive community care and support from Equitable Giving Circle, Don't Shoot PDX, Unite Oregon, and Imagine Black

Happy Black History/Futures Month 🦋

  Connect with Our Office!  

 

Do you have a question, need support, or want to share with us something that's important to you? You can reach our HD 47 staff by sending an email  to Rep.AndreaValderrama@oregonlegislature.gov  or calling (503) 986-1447.

 Emergency Rental Assistance  


The Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance portal reopened on Wednesday, January 26th. 

 If you are in need of emergency rental assistance, once the application opens apply as soon as you are able as funds are limited, and the portal will stay open for a minimum of three weeks. 
 
Apply for Rental Assistance

  Resources Reminders 
 

 
 Non-Emergency Bias Response Hotline 

The Oregon Department of Justice now has a trauma informed hotline for community members who have experienced or witnessed a hate incident or crime. The operators on this line are trained to help survivors and there is multilingual support with interpreters in 240 languages.

The response hotline is open from 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday PST. For community members with a hearing disability, please dial 711.
You can also visit: standagainsthate.oregon.gov

 Wellness 

As we continue to experience public health and safety issues due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many people are struggling with their mental health. Many feelings of fatigue and repetition are normal when navigating a phenomenon like this, but if you are consistently experiencing depression or hopelessness please talk to someone who can offer you support

If you are in need of food access or other services, please check out Street Root's Rose City Resource for a comprehensive list of supportive services. 

  • Lines for Life Racial Equity Line: 503-575-3764
    • Support by people who have lived experience of racism, weekdays 10am to 7pm
  • Call to Safety: 503-235-5333
    • Trauma informed support for domestic and sexual abuse survivors, 24/7
  • The Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386
    • Support for queer youth, 24/7 via phone, text, or chat
  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
    • Support for people considering suicide in English and Español, 24/7 - you matter, please call if you are contemplating suicide. Also available for those who have a hearing disability. Chat option available.
       
 Covid-19 Vaccine Resources 

For the most up-to-date information, including eligibility for Booster shots, visit Oregon Health Authority (OHA)’s booster and third doses web page. Vaccines are safe and effective. To learn more, visit the OHA FAQ pageUse the OHA Vaccine Locator Map to find a vaccination site close to you.
 

  Supporting Afghan Refugees 
 

If you’re interested in supporting and welcoming Oregon’s new refugee arrivals from Afghanistan, contact one of Oregon’s  refugee resettlement agencies listed below. If you would like to start your own sponsor circle for an Afghan family, check out this new program through the U.S. State Department here to find out more. 

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Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, H-373, Salem, OR 97301 - Phone: (503) 986-1447

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