Rep Nathanson enews

CASA award
Picture presented to Rep. Nathanson from CASA

December 2012
Dear Friends,
I look forward to continuing to serve the residents of District 13 in the 77th Legislative Assembly, and am grateful to the voters for their support.  I feel deeply the honor of working on your behalf, as well as the weight of the responsibility. 
Working with legislative committees and local groups, and participating in community events continued uninterrupted during the campaign season.  A sample of my October and November calendar includes long term care plan for seniors, state wide education reform, health care system transformation and school health clinics, Capitol seismic upgrade, and the 2014 IAAF Junior Track and Field Championship (more below). 
I received over 200 responses to my survey asking "What Matters To You?" and some clear patterns show up: strong support for investing in infrastructure projects like roads and school that create jobs; specific improvements for K-12 education such as reducing class sizes and increasing instruction time; and clamping down on unfair banking practices affecting struggling homeowners.   I will prepare a more thorough report and make it available.
The Governor's recommended budget is hot off the press.  Just released on November 30, it presents recommendations for a balanced budget that include strategic investments and government reorganization to emphasize job creation and innovation, reducing the cost of government, and preparing students to compete in a 21st century economy. You can see it online.  Now it's up to the Legislature to review and work on when it meets in 2013.
As 2012 comes to a close I've been reflecting on Oregon's legislature being able to accomplish its work and avoid the rancor and stalemates in other places ... and looking forward to public service in a state for others to admire.  Wishing you all the best for 2013.
In This Issue
Emergency communications
Career and Technical Education
Farm to School Program
From the Capitol: Annoying telemarketing calls; Info for homeowners; Money management for youth
Closer to home: International event coming to Eugene
Join Our Mailing List!
Quick Links

Rep Nathanson homepage


Oregon Legislature


Like me on Facebook
First responders and emergency communication
This week's tragic shooting at Clackamas Town Centre illustrated that first responders need to be able to communicate easily and quickly with each other. About 100 law enforcement officers were on the scene from federal, state and local agencies. The incident validates the investment the state has made to ensure emergency radios will work immediately and seamlesssly so people responding to fire, medical, highway, law enforcement, and other emergencies can talk with each other without interference from congested networks.
Calling attention to this problem in 2008, I wrote a short paper describing what was then a proposed state project. The principles remain the same, and although the project is now underway the scope has been scaled back due to budget pressures.  Chief components including microwave and tower upgrades and radio replacements are underway, but the current project budget includes very limited dollars for interoperability. I meet regularly with several other legislators and agency staff to monitor progress, and will keep advocating for this critical public safety project.  Our legislative group is also in the process of working with the state and federal government in planning for what will be public safety's first dedicated broadband system.  A public safety broadband system can play a key role in ensuring law enforcement officers cell phones and high-level data functions are working in an event like yesterday's tragic shooting.
Career and Technical Education ("CTE")

Expanding opportunities for high school students to pursue career opportunities outside the context of attending college continues to be a high priority for me.  At Churchill High School I talked with teachers and students about their classes in science, engineering, and sustainability.  This was a tour with State Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian and colleagues, Reps. Holvey and Hoyle, following the announcement that a Eugene high school had won one of the grants for STEM education: bringing together classroom learning and real world applications for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.


Career Day at Eweb

With high school students interested in utility and heavy equipment careers

At the Construction and Utilities Career Day I met with teachers and kids eager to learn about skill jobs in carpentry, electronics, plumbing, drafting, and metallurgy using tools and heavy equipment. Pat O'Connor, Lane Community College's Dean of Advanced Technology, told me "LCC trains people for the jobs of today and tomorrow.  For example, in the Aviation Maintenance Program at the end of Spring Term in June, all of the students who graduated in that program on Saturday had a job on Monday.  Although the College provides a wide variety of academic and workforce programs, the common denominator is that student success starts here." 


CTE at LCC: Manufacturing


Recently I visited Lane Community College to see first-hand the facilities and courses available in electronics, manufacturing, and other fields.  I also met with high school, community college, and work force training representatives at the Career Readiness Council to talk about enhancing opportunities for Lane County youth.  If you work at or represent a business that would like to be involved in apprenticeship, mentoring, and other opportunities to get young people in the field and learn trades firsthand, let us know and we'll connect you with any of these programs. 

CASA Award

The Lane County Board of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) gave me a charming picture drawn by a 4th grader as they presented the "Legislative Leadership Award" to acknowledge my work.  The special advocates speak on behalf of neglected and abused children as they move through foster care, social services and the legal system.  I will continue to support the efforts of these volunteers who are making such a profound impact in our community, and around the state. 

Farm to School Program
Farm to School
Serving students a healthy lunch

Schools are serving fresh and locally produced foods through the Farm to School Program.  A few weeks ago I served fresh harvested carrots, cucumbers, cauliflower, and green, yellow, and orange peppers to the students at River Road/El Camino del Rio elementary at a special event to highlight the program. I enjoyed observing their choices, and how one young person's choice might influence the next in line, or their willingness to try something different when I offered it.  From the program's website: "The main goals of the program are to educate children about where their food comes from, how to grow their own food, and the value of fresh fruits and vegetables in their diet."  

From the Capitol: for homeowners, and money management for youth

Homeowner and foreclosure info available

In previous newsletters I've mentioned efforts to help struggling homeowners.  Three state departments -- Consumer and Business Services, Housing and Community Services, and Justice -- have teamed up and launched a single website that consolidates information and help available from multiple agencies.  Examples of services covered: a video about housing counseling; an up-to-date list of housing counselors; an overview of the foreclosure process; and a page for partners to help spread the word.  If you know someone facing the possibility of foreclosure, or you would like to help get the word out, please visit the website to learn more. 

Financial literacy for children: understanding money and your personal budget
The Oregon State Treasury has kicked off its annual "Reading is an Investment" program, to help children learn about "how to make the right decisions when it comes to money, saving and the wise use of debt".  Students that spend at least six and a half hours reading financial-themed books developed for young readers are entered into a drawing.  Fifty winners are announced and each receives a $500 deposit on their behalf in the Oregon College Savings Plan. Do you know someone who might be interested? Learn more about this great program here.  


Annoying phone calls from "Rachel" for Card Services

Are you getting those robocalls from different numbers claiming to be Card Services or Account Services? A recording indicates it's an urgent message about making a change to your credit card account and lowering your interest rate, for a fee.  I've been discussing this phone harrassment with the Department of Justice.  The State DOJ is working with other states and the federal government to put a stop to this.  To file a complaint online, go to .

Closer to home: Around the District and Eugene
International event coming to Eugene in 2014! 

Oregon IAAF Junior Track and Field championship
Athletes and spectators from nearly 200 nations will come to Eugene (Track Town USA!) in July 2014 to attend the IAAF World Junior Championships at Hayward Field.  This biennial event highlights some of the world's best athletes in track and field under the age of 20.  This is the first time that the United States has been chosen as host.  Last year: Barcelona.  Next year: Eugene! I recently convened a group of stakeholders to discuss ways to spread the word throughout Oregon, including Oregon Sports Authority CEO Drew Mahalic, Travel Lane County's Janis Ross, Travel Oregon Director Todd Davidson, Oregon Film and Video Office Director Vince Porter, UO International and Film Studies program faculty, and more.  Your enthusiasm and help in spreading the word will be appreciated! This is a unique opportunity to show off how Eugene, Lane County, and the State of Oregon are perfect for sports, a healthy lifestyle, and the great outdoors.  You can find more information about the event at the official IAAF website, and other track events in the Eugene area here

Images from the Capitol
Decorating the Capitol RotundaCapitol, West Wing, 2nd floor
Decorating the Capitol Rotunda
in late November. 
Legislators select offices based on seniority. I'll be staying in my current office on the 2nd floor. I like it, and it's a good location.