Phil speaking with Pleasant Hill Government Class


 I am holding a number of town halls meetings over the next two months to discuss Oregon's future: jobs and the economy, our kids' education, and rural development. See the schedule below, come and bring your ideas.  We need to put Oregonians back to work now, and provide for a positive future for the next generation as well.

This year we face huge budget cuts to basic services because the economy contracted so much in 2009. Take the survey to tell me how you think we should respond. Click here to take the survey.

With school out and summer weather coming, I hope you and your family are all healthy and well.




Join me at 11:00 am on June 19th for a cup of coffee at Randy's Coffee, 1250 N. Main Street after the Brownsville Pioneer Grand Parade,  
Brownsville - Find out more about the Brownsville Pioneer Picnic Events Here

Town Hall Meetings:

Small Cities and Rural Development Meeting
6:30 pm on June 23rd at the Coburg Fire Station
91232 North Coburg Rd Coburg

Join me and USDA Rural Development's State Director Vicki Walker and Business Programs Director Jeff Deiss to learn how we can best support our small communities.  Come find out more about the over 40 programs available to support community needs concerning housing, hospitals, economic development, and more.

The Economy of Tomorrow is the Education of Today

10:30 am on June 26th at the Hilyard Community Center
2580 Hilyard Street, Eugene

Help keep education a priority! A quality education - from the early stages through college - is the best way to build a healthy economy over the long term.  Join me, Brian Rooney - Employment Department, David Mandell - the Children's Institute, Joy Marshall - Stand for Children, and President Mary Spilde - Lane Community College to discuss how to reach the economy of tomorrow through training today.
-What will Oregon's future workforce look like?
-How do we train the next generation so they have the necessary skills?
-What do the latest budget cuts mean for our schools and our state?

Business Resources Summit

9:00 am on July 14th at
Lane Community College
4000 East 30th Avenue
Meeting and Learning Center Building 19, Room 102

In order to jumpstart our economy we have to give local businesses a boost.  In February the legislature did just that, passing bills like BOOST (Building Opportunities in Oregon for Small Business Today).  Come find out more about that bill and other resources available for businesses and emerging entrepreneurs.  Let's Get Oregon Back to Work! I have an All-Star panel including John Saris and Bob Warren - Business Oregon, Jack Roberts - Lane Metro Partnership, Dan Betschart - Lane Council of Governments, Jim Lindly - LCC Small Business Development Center, Caroline Cummings - Oregon Entrepreneurs Network and Smart-ups, and Shawn Winkler-Rios - eDev.

Holding Wall Street Accountable
10:00 am on July 31st at the Creswell Community Center
99 South 1st, Creswell

Wall Street fat cats have corrupted our economic and political systems and taken advantage of hard working people.  Join me to discuss how we can support our local communities and reinstate regulations to protect "we the people".  

To RSVP for Any Town Hall Meeting Contact me at:
or 541-607-9207

  Springfield Town Hall Meeting

Legislative Report

Saving a little green has never seemed easier.  Recently, my Legislative Assistant, Sonya Carlson, and her husband bought a house. Her experience may save you money and make your house more comfortable, too.  Here is her story...

When I found out the highest electric bill for the previous owner was $180 a month for a 900 square foot house my jaw dropped.  Since it was built in the 1940's I assumed our new home was really wasting electricity.  I contacted my electric company to get an energy audit.  They asked me a few questions about my heating systems over the phone.  Soon their auditor visited our home.

Our house is a fixer-upper. With little ceiling and no floor insulation, we knew we had our work cut out for us.  Additionally, the seal on almost every window was broken allowing more heat loss.  Our electric company was able to offer a zero interest loan to replace the windows and insulation and a rebate of up to 50% of the cost for the insulation.  The auditor also told us that we qualified for a ductless heat pump. 

I had no idea what a ductless heat pump (DHP) was.  Doing research we discovered that DHPs are extremely efficient, clean, and quiet.  They work by capturing warmth from one area and releasing it somewhere else, which means it can also cool in the summer.  The system is perfect for the Willamette Valley with its mild winters. 

Over 500 customers utilized our electric company's DHP program in 2009, saving the average customer about $300 per year.  For the DHP, our electric company offered a $1500 rebate or a zero interest loan, additionally certain models also qualified for state and/or federal tax credits (still good through 2010).  Our windows, insulation, and DHP all qualified for the federal tax credit which is a third of the cost up to $1,500. 

Finding contractors to do the projects was easy.  When we were approved for their weatherization programs they sent us a list of participating contractors and required that we get a few bids.  Generally my husband and I are pretty handy, but we knew we weren't qualified to install windows or a ductless heat pump.  The insulation we thought we could do on our own, but found out that we wouldn't qualify for the rebate unless we hired contractors.  I priced out the cost of purchasing eco-batting at our local hardware store and it ended up being more expensive to do it ourselves than to hire professionals even without the rebate.  Apparently installers can take advantage of economy of scale purchasing that brings the cost down significantly.  I was pretty excited because we could save a little more money with the added bonus of avoiding crawling through 70 years of cobweb build-up.

The whole process was pretty easy and once the projects were complete we just had to have an inspector come back to ensure that the contractors did the work correctly.  Then a few weeks later we received the loan papers.  We now pay back the 60 month zero interest loan through our monthly electricity bills.  We save money and electricity, and our house is more comfortable, too! 

Visit your own electrical and natural gas companies' websites to find out about their energy efficiency.  In addition many electrical companies offer assistance for businesses and low income residents.

Phil presents at Women's Action for New Directions' (WAND) Climate Change Forum

I would like your feedback!

If you haven't already, please take a couple of minutes to fill out this quick survey on rebalancing the budget. Click here to take the survey.

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