Congressional Update Dear Neighbor,We cannot give up the fight against COVID-19. I know it is disheartening to see cases and hospitalizations climb in Oregon with the spread of the Delta variant, but this new rise is completely unnecessary because we have the power to stop it. As a medical professional I know vaccines work, but enough people must get them to properly protect our communities. Otherwise, viruses get stronger with each new host and eventually infect people that would have been able to withstand the attack of the original virus.Right now, the COVID-19 vaccine is available to everyone aged 12 and older. If you have not done so already, I urge you to get vaccinated as soon as possible to help protect yourself, your family and fellow Oregonians.
We cannot give up the fight against COVID-19.
I know it is disheartening to see cases and hospitalizations climb in Oregon with the spread of the Delta variant, but this new rise is completely unnecessary because we have the power to stop it.
As a medical professional I know vaccines work, but enough people must get them to properly protect our communities. Otherwise, viruses get stronger with each new host and eventually infect people that would have been able to withstand the attack of the original virus.
Right now, the COVID-19 vaccine is available to everyone aged 12 and older. If you have not done so already, I urge you to get vaccinated as soon as possible to help protect yourself, your family and fellow Oregonians.
I also want to thank our frontline and essential workers and volunteers for continuing to keep our communities safe as these new challenges emerge. Your work is saving lives every day.
Fighting for the 5th
The House recently passed an Appropriations package that contains big wins for Oregon’s 5th Congressional District.
The Community Project Funding submissions I championed were approved in the chamber for fiscal year 2022, which means the top district priorities are closer than ever to getting online to meet the diverse needs of the region.
I am excited to share more about these projects with you, as well as the support they are receiving from leaders in our communities:
Repairing Willamette Falls Locks
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will receive $6.2 million to make long-needed repairs to the Willamette Falls Locks in West Linn, which have been unusable since 2011. The critical improvements include seismically securing the gates and walls, preserving the water table of the upper-Willamette River and protecting vital fish habitat for native salmon and steelhead.
When complete, the project will bring the historic locks one step closer to getting back online and returning the Willamette River to a single navigable waterway. If recreational and commercial boats are able to travel up and down the river on either side of the falls again, this would be a big boon for our surrounding businesses and communities.
“The United States Army Corps of Engineers, as authorized in WRDA 2020, looks forward to completing the necessary repairs to Willamette Falls Locks to address primary seismic and safety risks in accordance with the recommendations in the Willamette Falls Locks report prior to conveyance and deauthorization.”
— Portland District Corps of Engineers
Providence Milwaukie House
Providence Milwaukie Hospital will be granted $800,000 to help address the growing number of seniors experiencing housing insecurity in Clackamas County, through building Milwaukie House. The 72-unit supportive housing project will serve low-income seniors in need of housing and health support. The funding will specifically go toward building out the interior spaces of the clinic that will be located on the first floor.
“Providence is grateful to Rep. Schrader for his partnership and shared commitment to serving at-risk seniors in Clackamas County. As seniors age, their risk of having chronic diseases or functional limitations increases. This, coupled with the growing number of seniors experiencing housing insecurity in Clackamas County, is a growing concern for Providence. The 72-unit supportive housing project serving low-income seniors in need of housing and health supports will make a meaningful impact.”
— Lisa Vance, President, Strategy and Operations, Providence North
Tillamook Bay Community College Nursing Program
I also secured funding for Tillamook Bay Community College in the amount of $425,000 to launch a nursing program, as it is currently the only community college in Oregon that does not have one. The funds will go toward helping the school establish a nursing program by 2023, so it can support educational equity and address the healthcare workforce shortages in rural Tillamook County.
“This new nursing program will be transformative for Tillamook County. Our healthcare providers are helping to drive this project because they have been impacted by the shortage of registered nurses in our rural community. As the only community college in Oregon that does not have a nursing program, students in our rural community face real economic, geographic, and access barriers to gaining the education they need to become a registered nurse. Now local healthcare providers can fill these high-skill, high-wage positions with local trained professionals.”
— Ross Tomlin, President of Tillamook Bay Community College
North Fork Road Improvements
Marion County will receive $1.44 million to improve fire-damaged North Fork Road. The collector roadway provides year-round access to a very popular recreational and scenic area along the Little North Fork Santiam River corridor. The federal funding I pushed for will support a number of projects to help families and businesses reconnect to their community, as well as improve access and safety for visitors.
"The North Fork project would bring needed repairs and improvements to an area devastated by wildfires in the fall of 2020. We appreciate the support of Congressmen Schrader as we work to rebuild this corridor. This project is an integral part of recovery efforts in the Santiam Canyon directly benefiting Marion County residents and visitors."
— Marion County Commissioner Kevin Cameron, Chair
Oregon City Quiet Zone
With $2 million approved for funding, the city of Oregon City will be able to design and construct a Quiet Zone to reduce rail noise levels to attract business growth to the historic Downtown. The long-sought changes will improve the quality of life for those living, working and visiting the area.
“The Oregon City Quiet Zone will foster prosperous economic development, improve safety, expand commerce and residential investment and opportunities in our community. The quiet zone will be a game changer for those wanting to live and work in 2018’s Great American Main Street which will help lower emissions and drive economy to our independent business owners. Crossing improvements included in this project means pedestrians and drivers will more easily navigate Oregon’s first city more easily.”
— Mayor Rachel Lyles Smith, City of Oregon City
SafeSleep United Women’s Shelter
The United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley will receive $425,000 to make crucial improvements to its SafeSleep United Women’s Shelter in Salem. The funding will be used to update its bathrooms, laundry services, kitchen supplies and other projects to provide a safe place for unsheltered women to sleep at night.
“In the struggle to address the homeless crisis in our community, we all have a job to do. Low barrier shelters are urgently needed right now. Collectively, it’s time for us to start saying yes more to how we can better support our unsheltered citizens. Over a year ago, we chose to say yes to our partner Inside Out Ministries when they approached us with their desire to serve the unsheltered in our community. We all need to find ways to say yes. Yes to working together to resolve this crisis. Yes to expanding capacity. Yes to trying new approaches and developing new solutions. When my staff have a need, I want to try my best to say yes whenever I can. That’s because when women who are struggling come to our doors, it is critical that our staff can say, Yes, I can help you. We are so grateful to Congressman Schrader for being our champion in this effort. This funding allows us to expand our capacity to have deeper impact, and to do just that - say Yes to more women who need help.”
— Rhonda Wolf, CEO of the United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley
More top district projects are included in the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Bill that is awaiting final passage in the House. They are aimed at strengthening wildfire preparedness and coordinated disaster response, as well as increasing environmental protections. I will make sure to share more about those wins with you when the projects pass the chamber as well.
I am proud to fight for all these district priorities, and I look forward to supporting them through the process ahead to get them across the finish line.
Town Hall Announcement
I will be holding a virtual town hall on Tuesday, August 31 from 6-7 p.m. PDT. This is a great opportunity for constituents to ask me questions about my policies and positions on issues, from championing infrastructure to my mission to lower prescription drug costs.
The most rewarding part of being your Congressman is traveling around the district, speaking with constituents and making sure your voices are heard in our Nation's Capital. Check out a few of my recent district visits below.
Fifth generation family-owned Sar-Ben Farms, Inc. in St. Paul is an Organic Valley member that’s using the latest renewable energy and sustainable farming methods. I toured the organic dairy to see how this is building a more resilient agriculture system in Oregon to deliver quality food and fiber.
I visited the groundbreaking for the New Epping Homestead Boys and Girls Club in Salem. The new clubhouse will include office space for mental health and women's and children's services as well as ball fields and play areas.
The Oregon Humane Society is expanding its campus to help even more pets and people, so I went to check out the plans. As a veterinarian, I’m excited to see how the new innovative facilities will champion animal welfare in our community and beyond.
I visited G&C Farms in Marion County to see the devastating toll the heatwave took on the family farm's blackberries. Farms growing specialty crops like these need additional federal and state assistance to support operations and increase resiliency in the face of our changing climate.
I've been working with my colleagues in the Oregon delegationto urge the USDA to secure more relief for farmers, ranchers and other agriculture producers in the West affected by historic wildfires, droughts and extreme heat. I will keep fighting to make sure our Oregon agricultural communities have the resources they need to make it through this difficult time, so they can keep producing the best food and fiber in the world.
Cover Photo Contest
From the Oregon Coast to the Willamette Valley, we certainly live in a beautiful place. To highlight the district, I am holding a Cover Photo Contest!
People submitted incredible photos of spots around Oregon's 5th District to my office, and you can check out the finalists right now on my Facebook page. Vote for your favorites by “liking” the photo, and I’ll take the top picks into consideration when I select the winner. The photo I choose will be my new Facebook cover photo.