By Representative David Gomberg, House District 10
On Friday afternoon, March 26, I’ll be taking part in a “zoom” town hall meeting. This is a free videoconference starting at 4:30. Oregon Coast Community College is hosting a series of these legislative gatherings.
The public is encouraged to attend and there will be an opportunity to pose questions directly to elected representatives. A limited number of seats will be available at the OCCC North County Center for anyone who wishes to attend in person. Masks are required and strict social-distancing protocols are in place.
To receive a link to join this event, click here to access the online pre-registration form, or visit http://bit.ly/LincolnTownHall.
Despite being committed to Salem and frequent committee meetings, I’ve been working these past months to remain available and accessible. Last Friday I met with the Newport Chamber of Commerce. I’ve spoken twice with the Lincoln City Chamber and join the Pacific City – Nestucca Valley Chamber monthly. I’m doing weekly radio reports on KTIL and KBCH. And I’ve done community “zoom halls” with environmental groups, realtors, neighborhood associations, the League of Women Voters, and one coming up with Echo Mountain wildfire survivors.
If your organization has questions or would benefit from a legislative update, please let me know. I would be happy to schedule a meeting.
Monday morning, I reported that your legislature would be meeting for extended hours and evening sessions this week to slowly read and vote on proposed measures. By noon Monday, everything had changed.
Midday we learned that an unnamed House member who was on the floor last week has tested positive for COVID. All in-person sessions were immediately and abruptly adjourned. We have been informed that “there was a possibility” House members may have come in contact with a colleague who had tested positive for the virus. You can read more here.
Oregon House and Senate lawmakers and staff are required to wear face coverings at the Capitol. Staff is kept to a minimum and distancing is maintained. Until now, Oregon has avoided outbreaks that interfered with legislative business or even shut down its Capitol as has happened in other states. We were one of only four states that has not reported a COVID-19 case involving a state lawmaker or executive officer, according to the political tracking website Ballotpedia.org.
In response to this latest news, floor sessions were canceled for the rest of the week. They are tentatively scheduled to resume next Monday. Remote committee meetings (and our Town Hall) will continue. On a personal note, I was tested early Tuesday and will remain home pending results.
Whoever tested positive, I wish them a speedy recovery. Hopefully it was not passed on to anyone else.