I hope that this email finds you and your family healthy and well. We are just a few days away from the November 3rd election and I want to remind everyone to be sure to get their ballot in on time! It is too late to send in a ballot via mail, so use one of the ballot drop boxes, you can find the one closest to you here. Oregon is the most voter friendly state in the nation and I am hopeful that one day all states will have a safe and efficient vote-by-mail system like we do.
Election time also means that cold and flu season is fast approaching. With the current COVID-19 pandemic affecting our communities, it is extremely important that all Oregonians go and get a flu shot right away if you haven't already. Find more information about where to get a vaccine and how to protect yourself and your family here.
I have been back home working in Oregon most of the month and was able to (safely) tour Watershed Rainwater in Salem. When the pandemic hit our state WaterShed Rainwear didn’t hesitate to shift gears and convert their manufacturing facility in Salem to producing much needed PPE for front line workers and local hospitals, producing over 400,000 hospital gowns since April. Wonderful to see local businesses step up to help our district fight this virus!
I also had the opportunity to tour downtown Independence with Mayor McArdle and talked with him about the role of small businesses in communities like his. Small businesses, like Indy Commons and the Independence Hotel, are the life blood of our towns and will need our support as we move toward Oregon’s economic recovery.
I met with the federal incident command team for the Riverside fire within the fire area to witness the damage that has been caused first hand. The Mt. Hood Forest is beloved by Oregonians and there is much work to do to help open her back up. Crews have been busy clearing roads, fallen trees and other debris. I am proud of the work and collaboration across all agencies - local, state, and federal - to contain the fire and for their continued commitment in the months ahead.
Farmers are the backbone of the district and the entire state of Oregon, providing jobs and food to people across the state. That's why I always fight for our farms in Congress. I'm was honored to receive the Friend of the Farm Bureau Award from Oregon Farm Bureau in recognition of my work in Congress to help our farmers thrive.
Are you a wildfire survivor who has been feeling stressed, depressed or anxious? Those are very common feelings after a disaster and help is available to you. Free crisis counseling is now available through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Disaster Distress Helpline. Call 800-985-5990 (Spanish Press 2) or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746 (for Spanish text “Hablamos” to 66746) to connect with a trained crisis counselor. SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline provides free, 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.
Also, some good news! The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has approved Oregon’s request to operate D-SNAP in Clackamas, Lincoln, and Marion counties—in response to the impact of wildfires. To be eligible for D-SNAP, a household must live in one of the above counties and have been affected by the disaster, and meet certain D-SNAP eligibility criteria. Eligible households will be certified for 1 month and will be issued the maximum SNAP allotment based on household size.
If you have been unable to register for disaster assistance online or on the phone with FEMA, you may be able to get in-person assistance at one of their External Outreach Centers. There are now three locations in the 5th District listed below:
Estacada City Hall
475 S.E. Main St.
Estacada, Oregon 97023
1500 S.E. East Devils Lake Rd. Suite 200
Lincoln City, Oregon 97367
Stayton Community Center
400 W. Virginia St.
Stayton, Oregon 97385
Remember to check my Facebook page, Twitter and website regularly as I continue to share updates on wildfire recovery. If you are continuing to have difficulties with FEMA or any other federal agency, please reach out to my office at 202-225-5711.
Member of Congress