26,000 miles

Senator Jeff Merkley
2013-09-27 21:33:07
Oregon's Senator Jeff Merkley THE OREGON REPORT <iqs3.solutions.lmit.com/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx merkley-iq&crop=15876.16104662.7336817.7791867&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fmer kley.senate.gov%2f> Visit merkley.senate.gov <iqs3.solutions.lmit.com/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx merkley-iq&crop=15876.16104662.7336817.7791867&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fmer kley.senate.gov%2f> September 27, 2013 <merkley.senate.gov/email/images/spacer.gif> Every County, Every Year Senator Jeff Merkley recently completed his 180th town hall since becoming a U.S. Senator. When he was first elected, Jeff made a commitment to hold a public town hall in all 36 Oregon counties, every year. With his visit to Fossil, OR in Wheeler County earlier this month, Jeff fulfilled this commitment for the fifth year in a row. Jeff feels strongly about the importance of holding public town halls in every county. Traveling to every corner in Oregon allows him to hear first-hand about the challenges and needs of each county and help solve Oregonians' problems. Great Ideas from Town Halls The input and feedback Jeff receives in town halls often leads directly to legislative action in the Senate. In 2010, for example, Jeff first heard about the abuses of the H-2B guest worker visa program at the Jefferson County town hall when residents were complaining that forest thinning jobs were not going to local Oregonians, but instead to imported foreign workers. Jeff immediately pushed the Department of Labor for explanations and tighter enforcement, and soon followed with legislation to tighten the rules. Earlier this year, Jeff was able to get an amendment passed to the Senate immigration bill to close loopholes and ensure that contractors receiving thinning contracts in federal forests actually exhaust every effort to hire available local workers before qualifying for H-2B visas. Similarly, during the summer of 2011 when Senator Merkley was on his way to Eastern Oregon to hold town halls, he heard repeatedly about how much damage small Oregon towns would face if the U.S. Postal Service went through with its plan to close 41 rural post offices. Since he was already on the road, Senator Merkley stopped at multiple post offices on the closure list, and talked with residents at post offices and town halls about the impact that closing rural post offices would have on these small communities. He found that rural communities depend on post offices for small business needs, medication for seniors, and creating a sense of community. He spent months rallying his colleagues and pushing the Postmaster General to reconsider, and finally in May 2012 all the post offices slated for closure in Oregon were taken off the list. In almost every town hall that Senator Merkley has held, he heard from local leaders about the need to repair, upgrade, or replace water supply and wastewater treatment systems. From these town hall conversations, Senator Merkley developed the Water Infrastructure Financing Innovation Act (WIFIA) that would create jobs by providing low-cost loans to communities for water system projects. This bill passed the Senate earlier this year and, if the House passes it, will help get Oregonians back to work, provide cleaner and safer water to Oregon families, and potentially reduce local water and sewer rates in communities across the state. These are just three ideas of many that have come from the 180 town halls that Senator Merkley has held across Oregon. He looks forward to many more great ideas that come from Oregonians in future town halls. Many Faces, Many Miles After holding 180 town halls, Senator Merkley has witnessed Oregon's beauty and logged some serious time traveling across the state. Here's a breakdown of some statistics related to town halls: * Number of Town Halls: 180 * Miles traveled: 26,572 * Equivalent number of trips around the earth at the equator: approx. 1 * Miles traveled per town hall: 147.62 * Number of times keys locked in the car: 1 * Number of different Oregon cities visited: 116 Senator Merkley meets with students <iqs3.solutions.lmit.com/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx merkley-iq&crop=15876.16104662.7336817.7791867&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fwww merkley.senate.gov%2fphoto_gallery%2fgallery%2f%3fid%3da7b06663-10ca-44 e1-9763-54394fa651af> Senator Merkley<merkley.senate.gov/email/images/sidebar-placeholder.png> <iqs3.solutions.lmit.com/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx merkley-iq&crop=15876.16104662.7336817.7791867&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fmer kley.senate.gov%2foregon%2ftownhalls%2f> Oregon Townhalls <iqs3.solutions.lmit.com/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx merkley-iq&crop=15876.16104662.7336817.7791867&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fmer kley.senate.gov%2foregon%2ftownhalls%2f> <merkley.senate.gov/email/images/sidebar/bottom-border.png> <iqs3.solutions.lmit.com/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx merkley-iq&crop=15876.16104662.7336817.7791867&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fwww facebook.com%2fjeffmerkley%23!%2fjeffmerkley> Like Jeff on Facebook <iqs3.solutions.lmit.com/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx merkley-iq&crop=15876.16104662.7336817.7791867&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fwww facebook.com%2fjeffmerkley%23!%2fjeffmerkley> <merkley.senate.gov/email/images/sidebar/bottom-border.png> <iqs3.solutions.lmit.com/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx merkley-iq&crop=15876.16104662.7336817.7791867&redirect=http%3a%2f%2ftwi tter.com%2fsenjeffmerkley> Follow Jeff on Twitter <iqs3.solutions.lmit.com/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx merkley-iq&crop=15876.16104662.7336817.7791867&redirect=http%3a%2f%2ftwi tter.com%2fsenjeffmerkley> <merkley.senate.gov/email/images/sidebar/bottom-border.png> Jeff is a native of Myrtle Creek, Oregon and the son of a millwright. The first in his family to go to college, Jeff still lives in the same working class neighborhood that his parents eventually settled in and his kids go to the same public high school he attended. Making the 'American Dream' a reality for others as it has been for him is what got Jeff Merkley involved in public life and is what continues to keep him fighting for Oregon families. In the four years he has been in the U.S. Senate, Jeff Merkley has been focused on creating jobs and getting our nation back on track. He led the fight against high-risk gambling on Wall Street, has been a leading voice for aggressive action to take on the foreclosure crisis, and wrote the law that helps small businesses raise money on the internet so they can grow and create jobs. Jeff and his wife Mary have been married for twenty years and have two children, Brynne and Jonathan, and an Airedale terrier, Sadie. This email was sent to xxx Visit merkley.senate.gov <iqs3.solutions.lmit.com/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx merkley-iq&crop=15876.16104662.7336817.7791867&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fmer kley.senate.gov%2f> | Contact Jeff <iqs3.solutions.lmit.com/iqextranet/iqClickTrk.aspx merkley-iq&crop=15876.16104662.7336817.7791867&redirect=http%3a%2f%2fwww merkley.senate.gov%2fnewsletter%2fcontact%3fmailingid%3d7336817> | Unsubscribe <iqs3.solutions.lmit.com/iqextranet/EsurveyForm.aspx m_merkley-iq&__sid=100011&__crop=15876.16104662.7336817.7791867> Please note that any reply to this email address will be sent to an unmonitored email address. <iqs3.solutions.lmit.com/iqextranet/Customers/quorum_merkley-iq/ iqtrk.gif?crop=15876.16104662.7336817.7791867>
Oregon's Senator Jeff Merkley THE OREGON REPORT

Every County, Every Year

Senator Jeff Merkley recently completed his 180th town hall since becoming a U.S. Senator. When he was first elected, Jeff made a commitment to hold a public town hall in all 36 Oregon counties, every year. With his visit to Fossil, OR in Wheeler County earlier this month, Jeff fulfilled this commitment for the fifth year in a row.

Jeff feels strongly about the importance of holding public town halls in every county. Traveling to every corner in Oregon allows him to hear first-hand about the challenges and needs of each county and help solve Oregonians' problems.

Great Ideas from Town Halls

The input and feedback Jeff receives in town halls often leads directly to legislative action in the Senate. In 2010, for example, Jeff first heard about the abuses of the H-2B guest worker visa program at the Jefferson County town hall when residents were complaining that forest thinning jobs were not going to local Oregonians, but instead to imported foreign workers. Jeff immediately pushed the Department of Labor for explanations and tighter enforcement, and soon followed with legislation to tighten the rules. Earlier this year, Jeff was able to get an amendment passed to the Senate immigration bill to close loopholes and ensure that contractors receiving thinning contracts in federal forests actually exhaust every effort to hire available local workers before qualifying for H-2B visas.

Similarly, during the summer of 2011 when Senator Merkley was on his way to Eastern Oregon to hold town halls, he heard repeatedly about how much damage small Oregon towns would face if the U.S. Postal Service went through with its plan to close 41 rural post offices. Since he was already on the road, Senator Merkley stopped at multiple post offices on the closure list, and talked with residents at post offices and town halls about the impact that closing rural post offices would have on these small communities. He found that rural communities depend on post offices for small business needs, medication for seniors, and creating a sense of community. He spent months rallying his colleagues and pushing the Postmaster General to reconsider, and finally in May 2012 all the post offices slated for closure in Oregon were taken off the list.

In almost every town hall that Senator Merkley has held, he heard from local leaders about the need to repair, upgrade, or replace water supply and wastewater treatment systems. From these town hall conversations, Senator Merkley developed the Water Infrastructure Financing Innovation Act (WIFIA) that would create jobs by providing low-cost loans to communities for water system projects. This bill passed the Senate earlier this year and, if the House passes it, will help get Oregonians back to work, provide cleaner and safer water to Oregon families, and potentially reduce local water and sewer rates in communities across the state.

These are just three ideas of many that have come from the 180 town halls that Senator Merkley has held across Oregon. He looks forward to many more great ideas that come from Oregonians in future town halls.

Many Faces, Many Miles

After holding 180 town halls, Senator Merkley has witnessed Oregon's beauty and logged some serious time traveling across the state. Here's a breakdown of some statistics related to town halls:

  • Number of Town Halls: 180
  • Miles traveled: 26,572
  • Equivalent number of trips around the earth at the equator: approx. 1
  • Miles traveled per town hall: 147.62
  • Number of times keys locked in the car: 1
  • Number of different Oregon cities visited: 116
Senator Merkley meets with students
Senator Merkley
Jeff is a native of Myrtle Creek, Oregon and the son of a millwright. The first in his family to go to college, Jeff still lives in the same working class neighborhood that his parents eventually settled in and his kids go to the same public high school he attended. Making the ‘American Dream’ a reality for others as it has been for him is what got Jeff Merkley involved in public life and is what continues to keep him fighting for Oregon families.

In the four years he has been in the U.S. Senate, Jeff Merkley has been focused on creating jobs and getting our nation back on track. He led the fight against high-risk gambling on Wall Street, has been a leading voice for aggressive action to take on the foreclosure crisis, and wrote the law that helps small businesses raise money on the internet so they can grow and create jobs.

Jeff and his wife Mary have been married for twenty years and have two children, Brynne and Jonathan, and an Airedale terrier, Sadie.
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