Opportunities to Be Heard

State Committee Hearings

This spring, the Joint Committee on Ways and Means announced Friday the dates for its public, biannual Community Hearings. Oregonians will be able to testify before the committee and present their thoughts on how the Legislature should allocate its budget for the 2019-21 biennium.
Topic-based signup sheets for testimony will be available on site at each venue before the two-hour hearings. The committee will attempt to hear from as many community members as possible but cannot guarantee time for all Oregonians who sign up to speak. If you are interested in sharing about the importance of expanded learning to amplify the voice of afterschool and summer learning partners, you can download a copy of our Expanded Learning Talking Points or contact Bethany.Thramer@oregonask.org

The four dates and locations are:

  • Coos Bay: Saturday, March 9th from 1-3pm – Marshfield High School, Auditorium, 972 Ingersoll Ave
  • Pendleton: Friday, March 15th from 5:30-7:30pm  – Blue Mountain Community College, Pioneer Hall, Bob Clapp Theatre, 2411 NW Carden Ave
  • Redmond: Saturday, March 16th from 2-4pm – Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center, Three Sisters Conference and Convention Center, 3800 SW Airport Way
  • Portland: Thursday, March 21th from 5:30-7:30pm – Portland Community College – Cascade, MAHB 104 Auditorium, 5514 N. Albina Ave

Why Get Involved?

Generally speaking, elected officials and their staff make policy. They appropriate money for afterschool programs through school, city, state and federal budgets. They also decide how funds can be used, what training or supports may be offered and what activities should take place in afterschool programs they fund. They are the policy makers.

It is also the job of these policy makers to represent you – the constituents who voted them into office.  Therefore your opinion on issues is extremely important to them.  If they don’t respond to your viewpoints, they are likely to lose their jobs.

That’s why it is so important to tell your elected officials about issues that matter to you.  There are THREE ways you can get involved – pick the one that works for you and ask your legislator to support afterschool and summer programs in Oregon.

1.) Make an appointment with your legislator during legislative session

This is by far the most valuable way to educate your legislator. Click here to find your legislator or contact Bethany Thramer if you would like help making a connection.

You can use this Advocacy Guidance packet, including key messages, to help you feel comfortable getting started – and we know once you get going, it’ll be easy to talk about the amazing things your program is doing to provide expanded learning opportunities for the kids in your community!

2.) Call Your Legislator

A phone call is another effective way to voice your concerns to your legislator and impart a personal touch to your request. When you call your legislator, it is important to be clear, concise and direct. Use the Oregon Legislature website to help you find your legislators contact information.

When you call:

  • Ask to speak with the legislative aide who deals with education, specifically afterschool (this person is your representative’s expert in the area and will be far more likely to respond positively to your message)
  • Introduce yourself. The aide will probably ask for a mailing address or zip code to verify that you are a constituent. It may be helpful to also give your phone number and email address so the representative or their staff can follow up with you.
  • Let them know why you are calling. See our sample script to draw ideas from, just be sure to add personalized accounts of your program and your community, that is why they care.

Take a look at these Talking Points that will help you communicate clearly about the need for expanded learning opportunities.

3.) Send your legislator a letter

Hearing from a constituent informs your legislators decision making. Help educate them by downloading and personalizing  this ELO Support Letter. It will only take a minute of your time and will draw their attention to Afterschool & Summer Learning, and the need for them to support afterschool and summer programs in Oregon.

In 2018, the Joint Committee on Student Success was created with the goal of designing a plan for improving student outcomes in Oregon. They held 11 community hearings around the state, including school visits, roundtable discussions with invited business and community leaders, and public hearings in the evening.

From these hearings, the committee created recommendations and are working to create a prioritized list of actions and investments that they believe will bring Oregon closer to helping more students succeed long term. CLICK HERE to read the recommendations of the Joint Committee on Student Success. If you are interested in learning more about how these recommendations could help support out of school partners, please contact Bethany.Thramer@oregonask.org with questions.


US Congressional Town Halls

Annually, Oregon’s Congresspeople tour their districts to hear from you, the constituents about important issues to the community. This is a critical time to share about the importance of supporting youth and families through afterschool and summer programs. Last fall, Congresswomen Bonamici held several town halls for people to participate in our democracy and make their voices heard.

Seaside Town Hall Meeting
Date: Saturday, September 15, 2018

Tualatin Town Hall Meeting 
Date: Monday, September 17, 2018

Newberg Town Hall Meeting 
Date: Thursday, September 20, 2018

Banks Town Hall Meeting
Date: Saturday, September 22, 2018

Scappoose Town Hall Meeting 

Date: Saturday, September 22, 2018

Portland Town Hall Meeting
Date: Monday, September 24, 2018