Exciting news: today is the first day to file as a federal candidate in Oregon, and I'm thrilled to announce that I'm running again to represent the people of Oregon's 4th Congressional District. It continues to be an honor to fight for our shared values in Washington D.C. Americans want a federal government that works for everybody not just the wealthy, Trump's family, and his friends. 2020 is the year that We the People rise up and take back our country. ✔️ I've worked tirelessly to preserve protections for those with pre-existing conditions and expand affordable health care. I will continue to fight for lower prescription drug prices and universal health care! ✔️ I'm proud of my work with Bernie Sanders and others to safeguard Social Security and Medicare for today's beneficiaries and future generations. We have a lot more work to do. I guarantee we will make progress in 2021 with a Democrat in the White House! ✔️ It's a badge of honor to be a top target of Wall Street billionaires because I've fought to tax their outrageous profit margins. I won't stop working to level the scales of inequality until the wealthiest among us pay their fair share of taxes. ✔️ I consider it my duty to address the impacts of climate change and work to save our environment. As Chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I have been leading Congress on reducing fossil fuels by building an electrified transportation system with 21st-century technology. For my entire career, I've tirelessly advocated for smart, green investments in our nation's infrastructure — the kind of investment that boosts growth, creates thousands of living-wage jobs, and keeps us competitive in the world economy. I have never backed down from a fight and I never will, despite the attacks from out-of-state special interests trying to slow me down. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) started spending money on attack ads back in February and polled in support of my new Republican opponent. They're teaming up with the Trump campaign, who recently said that they plan to spend money in Oregon to sway voters. They even sent out a press release highlighting my primary opponent. They'll stop at nothing to drain our resources, weaken my candidacy, and stop our collective movement. But we won't let them! I never take an election for granted. My success has been because of YOU. It is your support, your encouragement, and your vote that allows me to do the important work of this country. In 2020, we will work harder than ever. We are going to fight harder than ever. We will defend our seat in Congress and win bigger than we've ever won in November 2020. I am grateful to the people of Oregon's Fourth Congressional District for their strong support. I pledge to continue to fight for Oregonians and the issues that matter most to Oregon families: access to higher education, a family-wage job, a healthy planet, and affordable healthcare. Let's do this, Peter
Dems to elect delegate, hear proposed bylaw changes Sept. 10
ALBANY – The Linn County Democrats will elect a new delegate to the Congressional District 4 Committee (CD4) and hear the first reading of two proposed bylaw changes during its monthly general meeting Tuesday, Sept. 10, in the Albany Public Library Meeting Room, 2450 14th Ave. S.E. A social time with light refreshments begins at 6 p.m. The meeting starts at 6:30. (The Dems meeting was rescheduled from Sept. 5 to Sept. 10, so people could attend the Don Rea Appreciation Day Ice Cream Social at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 5 at Albany First Christian Church.) The CD4 committee meets quarterly in various communities in the Fourth District. The Linn Dems will host the third-quarter CD4 meeting Sunday afternoon Sept. 29 at 255 N. Main St., Brownsville. At the Sept. 10 Linn Dems meeting, there will be first readings of proposed bylaw changes updating language regarding vacancies and adding the ability to make temporary State Central Committee delegate appointments when elected delegates and alternate delegates cannot attend an SCC meeting. For more information, contact Linn Dems Chair Jerred Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org
ALBANY – Don Rea, a longtime Albany resident, will be honored Thursday, Sept. 5, for his 47 years of volunteer service in the community. The Don Rea Appreciation Day Ice Cream Social will start at 6:30 that evening at First Christian Church, 432 Ferry Street S.W., where Rea has been a member since 1973. Doors open at 6 p.m. Rea, 94, will be recognized for his volunteer and leadership roles with Fish of Albany, Waverly Elementary School, Habitat for Humanity, Boys & Girls Club of Albany, Friendship Force, Albany Peace Seekers, Albany Kiwanis Club, Jackson Street Youth Services and the church. Rea grew up in Aberdeen, Wash., and served in the Navy during World War II. He graduated in 1949 from Linfield College with a bachelor’s degree in social studies. He married Elizabeth "Betty" Neumann on Sept. 6, 1952, in Negaunee, Mich. They raised four sons, Brent, Matt, Kirby and Joel. Betty died in 2014. Rea has five grandchildren and one great-grandchild. The family moved in 1972 from Kirkland, Wash., to Albany, where Rea served as associate director and later executive director of the Mid-Willamette Family YMCA. He worked for Ransom and Smith Real Estate from 1975 until his retirement in 1986. In addition to his continuing volunteer work, Rea is known for his unwavering dedication to peace and justice. The Sept. 5 ice cream social will also include a number Rea’s favorite songs. The sing-alongs will be led by Paul Pritchard, First Christian member, and Jim Asleson, recently retired YMCA executive director. For more information, contact First Christian Church, 541-926-8606.
Please note: The Linn Dems monthly general meeting has been rescheduled to Tuesday, Sept. 10, so people can attend the Don Rea Appreciation Day Ice Cream Social on Sept. 5. The Sept. 10 Dems meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at Albany Public Library, 2450 14th Ave. S.E. A social time with light refreshments begins at 6.
By Sen. Jeff Merkeley This weekend, we saw two mass shootings within 24 hours of each other. Like you, I've just had it. America doesn't have markedly more mental illness or poverty or more violent video games than other countries. What we do have? Way more guns. And violent white nationalism being encouraged from the White House. It's a toxic combination. Assault rifles are weapons of war. A semi-automatic rifle and high-capacity magazines are designed for carnage. The Dayton shooter killed and wounded three dozen people in only 30 seconds. We need to get these weapons off the street. We need to close the loopholes that let dangerous people arm themselves. These steps might not end all killings, but it's an NRA argument that if we can't stop all shootings, we shouldn't try to stop any. And that's really what it comes down to: Will Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump, and others in Washington ever decide that the lives of Americans take priority over the NRA? And will other Republicans ever denounce white nationalism and commit the same kind of focused effort at fighting white nationalist terrorism that they're so eager to do when the terrorists come from the Middle East? I'm tired of the empty rhetoric and hollow promises. We need leaders who will put address this national crisis, and it they're not willing to, they need to go. Join me on Facebook. Say no more to this awfulness and commit to voting each and every person responsible out of office in 2020. Jeff
The Linn County Democrats will hold a follow-up discussion about the recent Democratic presidential candidate debates during their monthly general meeting Thursday, July 11, in Albany Public Library meeting room, 2450 14th Ave. S.W. A social time, with light refreshments, begins at 6 p.m. The meeting will start at 6:30. The Linn Dems held two watch parties in Albany during the debates. The 25 people who attended took part in post-debates polls, resulting in the following top-10 ranking: 1, Elizabeth Warren; 2, Pete Buttigieg; 3, Kamala Harris; 4, Kristen Gillibrand; 5, Bernie Sanders; 6, Cory Booker; 7, Bill de Blasio; 8; Joe Biden; 9, Jay Inslee 10, tie, Tulsi Gabbard and Andrew Yang. Also on the July 11 agenda will be a push to fill a number of committee and subcommittee openings in the county party. A variety of buttons will be available for sale before and after the meeting. For more information, contact Linn Dems Chair Jerred Taylor at email@example.com.
Immigration rights, campaign finance reform advocates to speak at April 4 Linn Dems meeting
ALBANY – Juan Navarro, an immigration rights activist, and Patrick Starnes, a campaign finance reform advocate, will be the guest speakers at the Linn County Democrats’ monthly general meeting Thursday, April 4, at Albany Public Library, 2450 14th Ave. S.E. A social time with light refreshments begins at 6 p.m. The meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. Navarro, a local, statewide, national organizer for immigration rights. is a graduate student in the College Student Services Administration Masters Program at Oregon State University. He is from Guadalajara, Mexico, and grew up in the Salem area. Navarro received a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) deferment. Navarro was 3 when he was brought to the U.S. from Mexico by his parents, who were desperate to find help after a doctor told them he would never walk. A Shriner’s hospital was willing to take him as a research case. After 12 years of physical therapy and six surgeries, he was able to walk. At OSU, he has joined forces with a student organization called Here To Stay at Oregon State University that’s pushing for a Dreamers Resource Center at the university. Starnes was the Independent Party nominee for governor in 2018. Knowing he would not win, Starnes withdrew from the race the week before Election Day and endorsed Kate Brown after getting a commitment from her to pass a constitutional amendment for campaign finance reform. Since the election, Starnes has worked with the governor to have the Legislature refer the issue to voters in 2020. Starnes served more than 10 years on different school boards in Oregon. He is a graduate of Umpqua Community College and the University of Oregon, where he earned a degree in history. He and his wife are restoring a vintage house in Brownsville.
We’re approaching the halfway point in the 2019 legislative session. If a bill isn’t currently set for a work session in the policy committees before April 9, it’s dead for the session. The rules allow for some exceptions, particularly for spending bills, revenue bills, and those assigned to the Rules Committee. Here’s a list of some of the bills I’ve been a chief sponsor on and where they are now.
Bills moving forward –
Accountability for animal abuse - HB 2500 – This bill ensures that veterinarians can collect their costs from people who abuse animals. It passed the House and is moving to the Senate.
University of Oregon Sustainable City Year – HB 2594 – This program allows students and faculty at UO to assist smaller cities in Oregon to build sustainable practices and reduce costs. It passed the Education Committee and is now in Ways & Means.
Keeping schools safe from preventable disease – HB 3063 – The bill requires children who can safely be vaccinated to receive them before enrolling in school. The bill passed the Health Care Committee and is now in Ways & Means.
Allowing military members to wear their uniforms at high school graduation – HB 2892– The bill passed the House floor and is now in the Senate.
Bills set for a hearing before the deadline –
Allowing Oak Hill School to build a theater building – HB 3384 – This is a technical fix on a land use regulation and would help Oak Hill meet their students’ needs.
Extending the ‘French Fry’ tax credit for biodiesel – HB 3062 – This bill benefits biodiesel suppliers who recycle used fryer oil into fuel.
Ensuring veterans receive housing benefits – HB 2530 – Veterans often have access to benefits that would help them avoid eviction or foreclosure. This bill requires notice of these benefits in notices in these proceedings.
Preventing veterans from being cheated out of educational benefits – HB 2976 – The bill prevents diploma mills from preying on veterans and providing useless credentials.
Building electric vehicle infrastructure – HB 3141 – As we move toward reducing carbon pollution by using more electric vehicles, this bill provides a statewide standard for building the infrastructure to support them.
Plant-based meals - HB 3342 – You shouldn’t have to give up your vegan diet just because you move into assisted living.
Bills not going forward this session –
Human trafficking – HB 2828 - With the administration deporting crime victims at record rates, this bill would have allowed a hearsay exception to allow their testimony to still be used against human traffickers.
Space in schools for mental health providers - HB 3043 – Schools need to provide space for counselors and social workers in schools to ensure that kids receive mental health services that are paid for by insurance, not through tax dollars.
School equity plans - HB 3126 – Too often, we see larger school districts cramming poor and minority students into certain schools.
Same day voter registration - SJR 20 – The voters should have a chance to vote on same-day voter registration.
Not subject to the deadline –
Pending at the Legislative Counsel – I’m having legislation drafted to that would restore the high-income earner tax rates under Measure 67 to fund higher education. It would generate about $350 million per biennium, half of which would go to universities and community colleges that agree to cap their tuition increase and half of which would go to Oregon Opportunity Grants, our large scholarship fund, to reduce student debt. Over the past 19 years, college attendance has risen by over 30%, but state funding for college has dropped over 50%, the second-highest drop of any state.
Pending budget request – I have a request in for $700,000 to help Central Linn School District with a middle school building.
With 90 legislators, we have a huge number of bills. Of the over 2,000 bills out there, more than half are effectively dead. We have a busy week ahead to beat the deadline on those that are pending work sessions. After April 9, our work will turn to considering bills the Senate has passed and the budget. – State Rep. Marty Wilde
Valdez Bravo to speak at March 7 Linn Dems meeting
Valdez Bravo, first vice chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon, will be the featured speaker Thursday, March 7, during the Linn County Democrats’ monthly general meeting at Albany Public Library, 2450 14th Ave. S.E. A social time with light refreshments begins at 6 p.m. The meeting starts at 6:30. Bravo, 41, was born and raised in Oregon. He is a Latino, Native American and veteran who has spent his life in public service. He served eight years in the Army, including a deployment to Afghanistan. He has worked for the past 15 years at the Portland Veterans Administration Hospital, where he currently serves as administrative director of the primary care division. A lifelong Democrat, Bravo was elected as the state party’s first vice chair in March 2017. He also serves on the Portland Community College Board of Directors and is vice president for Health Care for All Oregon. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Portland State University and a master’s degree in health administration and an MBA from Baylor University. Bravo lives in Lake Oswego with his wife and daughter. Click here to view the draft agenda for the March 7 meeting. For more information, contact Linn Dems Chair Jerred Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have some good news this week. The federal government back at work and our Coast Guard members are getting paid again. Hopefully, by the time you receive this, they will have received their backpay as well. I understand that Congress will be attempting to address the impact on workers from shutdowns, but I don’t think that we will wait. We’re working on a bill to help federal workers pay their bills during any future shutdowns. This should be bipartisan in the end. We have two bill drafts that take different approaches, but share the same goal.
In the Energy and Environment Committee, we’re taking a lifecycle approach to environmental regulation. That means considering the full impact of materials in our environment, from soda straws to hazardous waste. Too often, the business model of some companies is to profit off of someone else’s responsibility for disposing of waste. Household hazardous waste is the classic example – you pay for the disposal, both in time in going to a disposal site and in money from the costs of such disposal, or from the damage to the environment caused by people who do not dispose of them properly. Paint is a great example of how we can do it right. Currently, we require paint companies to belong to stewardship organizations that arrange for the proper disposal and recycling of paint. We would like to extend that model to other hazardous waste.
I served on a number of local board and commissions before running for state office. That experience helped me see the importance of allowing cities and counties the leeway to find their own solutions to the problems they face. Unfortunately, folks in the Capitol are often too fond of centralizing decision making for the whole state. We call this local preemption, and it has negative impacts across a range of topics, from allowing guns in schools, to prohibiting higher minimum wages, to severe limits on the ways cities and counties can raise revenue to fund the services that their people want. Compounding matters, the Legislature does not operate full time, meaning that, even though city and county councils do work year-round, they can’t solve some problems until we address them in Salem. Of course, some issues have to have a floor or ceiling set at the state level, but we should not arbitrarily restrict cities and counties. The relationship between the state and localities should be collaborative. The same is true of federal and state authorities. We rely on the federal government not to preempt reasonable state regulation.
Environmental protection and federal preemption intersect when it comes to regulating the safety of oil trains. Under federal law, we have a very limited ability in Salem to protect the environment from contamination from oil spills, as happened in Mosier last year. We were quite fortunate in Mosier, as they had just completed an exercise on such a response. We’re working on legislation that will continue and improve planning and include response exercises, but we are hampered by federal laws preventing us from directly taxing the oil companies involved to support our activities. Nevertheless, I think we’ll have some legislation making substantial progress this session. Thursday, we saw the first draft of the Clean Energy Jobs or Cap and Invest Bill. This is one of the four major issues we’re working on this session. The premise is simple – we cannot continue to emit unlimited amounts of carbon dioxide and drive the world closer to catastrophe, so we should cap the amount of carbon we emit and slowly reduce it over time. Energy and transportation are two of the major contributors of carbon dioxide. We have actually made terrific progress in the energy sector toward decarbonization. Most public power companies have very little carbon, and only one private company still has over 50% of their power from coal. Power companies will receive an exemption until 2030, when they will be carbon-free or close to it. I will continue to push them to decarbonize as fast as possible. In the transportation sector, we are reaching the point where electric vehicles are getting to be comparable in price to gasoline powered vehicles. However, it will take a decade to reach the point where most vehicles sold are electric vehicles. We will also offset the modest increase in costs through investments in green energy and transportation projects that will reduce fuel consumption.
How do you build a road that reduces carbon pollution? Well, we’ve got a great example in Creswell. With the closer of the Foster Farms Plant and Bald Knob Mill, 83% of working age residents now commute to jobs. With Cap and Invest funds, we can build the roads necessary to reopen the Bald Knob site, allowing a business to expand and employ more people closer to where they live. I’m working with Creswell to get Bald Knob working for them again.
I had a great town hall in Harrisburg last night. Thank you to Mayor Bobby Duncan and City Manager Brian Latta for making it possible! I heard about the need to keep the burdens of state regulation on small cities reasonable, thenimportance of mental health supports, and how much our schools need greater support from Salem.
We’re working on listening sessions in Brownsville and Coburg in March and Marcola in April. If you’d like me to come to your community for an event, please give me a call!