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    Young People Speak Up

    Contributed by Amy Wang, a member of the House District 38 Student Leadership Cabinet.

    As a young person living in a politically polarized society, I’ve come to understand that everyone’s voice matters in creating a strong community. On June 22, female signers in Lakeridge High School’s Company show choir embodied this message as they raised their voices in a performance of “Quiet” by singer MILCK at the opening ceremony of the Oregon House of Representatives. The popular song, performed at the Women’s March, serves as a means of catharsis for past trauma and as an anthem for overcoming adversity.

    The Company ladies’ rendition highlighted their common goal: to share the importance of standing up for what you believe in and speaking for yourself. Our opinions, voices, and votes matter, especially when policies involve issues that directly impact our lives. In a political system where officials are divided and entrenched, it is essential that people speak out and urge their representatives to focus on creating tangible, positive change. Youth civic engagement can sway political decisions and elections now more than ever. While following the recent election, I realized the importance of speaking up for one’s own viewpoints and engaging in meaningful and respectful discourse. Whether we engage politically in the form of campaign work, artistic outlooks, protests, or direct discourse with elected officials, the motivation will be the same: encouraging early youth participation with the systems and policies that govern their future.

    Rep. Ann Lininger standing with the ladies of the Lakeridge High School Company, the school’s show choir.

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    Protecting Immigrants and Privacy

    Today the Oregon House passed HB 3464, which protects the privacy of Oregonians’ personal information. This will particularly help immigrant Oregonians who lack documentation. HB 3464 directs public bodies not to disclose a person’s contact information, address, workplace, work hours, and appointments at public agencies unless disclosure of that information required by law. The bill prevents public officials from inquiring into a resident’s citizenship or immigration status unless that information is necessary to determine eligibility for a benefit that the person has sought. It also requires our Attorney General to create a model policy implementing the new law and encourages local jurisdictions and government contractors to adopt and follow that policy.

    President Trump’s executive order expanding those individuals prioritized for deportation has created fear for Oregon’s immigrant community. It has also created a group of people at acute risk of abuse and exploitation.  Undocumented people who experience domestic violence, sexual assault, wage theft, or even medical needs may be unwilling to seek help because they fear it could trigger deportation. This is not how we want our friends and neighbors to live.

    I was honored to speak on the House floor in support of HB 3464 today. This is an important bill that will help us create an Oregon where all our residents are safe and can access help when they need it.

     

    3464 chiefs on floor

    Standing with Rep. Jennifer Williamson, Rep. Teresa Alonso Leon, and Rep. Diego Hernandez, my fellow chief sponsors of HB 3464, after today’s successful floor vote.

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    Mid-Session Town Hall

    We are halfway through the legislative session, and already we’ve made some great progress to protect vulnerable people and support fairness:

    • The House passed a pay equity bill, which is now being considered in the Senate. (HB 2005)
    • We have taken steps to prevent sexual assault and domestic violence. (HB 2972, HB 2955)
    • Today, the House passed a bill to curb workplace discrimination. (HB 3060)

    I would love to hear your feedback on these accomplishments, and get your input on what we should prioritize in the second half of the legislative session. Next Saturday, I’ll be joining forces with my colleagues to host a town hall. I hope you’ll come share your thoughts, ideas, and concerns. Here are the details:

    2017 mid session town hall

    I look forward to hearing from you next weekend. Even if you can’t make it, you can reach out to me at rep.annlininger@oregonlegislature.gov, or (503) 986-1438 to share your thoughts.

     

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    Seeking Applicants: Student Leadership Cabinet

    When I was in high school, I served on a Student Advisory Council to then-Superintendent of Public Instruction Vern Duncan. The experience taught me a great deal about public service and leadership, and it helped me understand the role I could play in making Oregon the best state it can be.

    That’s why I’m excited to announce the House District 38 Student Leadership Cabinet, an opportunity for up to twelve high schoolers in our community to join my legislative team and participate in the policymaking process.

    After an orientation to the legislative process, members of the Cabinet will identify their policy interests and be assigned a bill to evaluate and track within their chosen area of interest. During in-district meetings and visits to Salem, members will keep me updated on these bills, attend committee hearings, meet stakeholders and elected officials, and assist my staff with the work of operating a legislative office.

    Students in grades 9-11 are invited to apply for a position on the Cabinet by emailing a resume and a brief statement of interest to rep.annlininger@oregonlegislature.gov. Applications should be submitted by 5:00 PM on Wednesday, March 1. Questions can be directed to my Legislative Assistant, Mark Bond, at (503) 986-1438.

    The young people in our community are diverse, passionate, and engaged. I look forward to working with them!

    Ann and students

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    Hope and Unity

    As we reach the year end, I feel hopeful about what we can accomplish together. I’m hopeful that Oregonians can unite to improve opportunity and fairness for people around our state. I’m hopeful we can stand together against discrimination and harassment. I am hopeful Oregon can provide a model for how people from diverse perspectives and geographies can work together to improve life for all of us.

    This coming year I will chair the House Committee on Economic Development and Trade, co-chair the Joint Committee on Marijuana Regulation, and serve on the House Judiciary Committee. These assignments will allow me to focus on some important goals. I will help Oregon employers create good jobs for local families. I will push for laws to ensure that Oregonians receive equal pay for equal work. I will fight to prevent discrimination, harassment, and assault, and help people who have suffered these harms seek justice.

    This is a time of uncertainty nationally, but it can be a time of unity and strength here in Oregon. We need to stand together and support our shared values. Together we can make 2017 a good year for all of us.

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    Lake Oswego march for tolerance and peace. Photo credit: Lake Oswego Review.

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    Uniting Our Community

    Thank you for supporting my re-election effort. With your help we won almost 70% of the votes cast. Now we need to get to work creating opportunity for Oregonians all across the state and protecting vulnerable people.

    The election showed some sharp differences of opinion here in our state and across our country. We need to create opportunity for all families to earn a good living and care for their loved ones. We also need to make sure Oregon is a place where all people are treated with respect and dignity regardless of their race, religion, gender, heritage, or sexual orientation.

    There have been reports of bigoted events around our state and country, and even in our own community. Lake Oswego is a politically diverse community united by tolerance. We need to reinforce that message with our children and throughout this community. Let’s be a model of how people with different views can live together and support one another as one community.

    This Friday there is a great march in support of love and diversity for Lake Oswego families. You can read more about it here. I hope you can join us for the event.

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    Empty Bowls Supper

    Neighborhood House, a nonprofit based in Multnomah Village, helps low-income families get the food support, housing, and early childhood education they need. They are a great resource in our community. This weekend they hosted an empty bowls supper to raise money for this important work.  

    To support the event, superstar volunteer Brooke Alexander organized a bowl-making event at Lewis and Clark. Students, faculty, and other staff made beautiful bowls we could purchase at the event. This was a great example of the community leadership of two great organizations in our district — Neighborhood House and Lewis and Clark College!

     

    With Brooke Alexander and Rick Nitti. We are lucky to have them in our community!