State Rep. Brad Witt

State Rep. Brad Witt speaking at the Columbia City 2019 Memorial Day Ceremony.

It has been a busy couple of weeks as the 2019 Legislative Session ended and we moved into the interim period. It is so great to be back in the district, and I was pleased to attend the grand opening of a 16-unit low-income housing project in St. Helens. The 18th Street Apartments feature 400 square foot units which will be rented to those who are low income or homeless. The total project cost was $1.633 million and was made possible by a partnership with Community Action Team and Self Help, a nonprofit real estate holding company. Funding came from the Oregon Legislature, loans and grants. A recent study identified the need for 1900 additional low-income housing units in Columbia County, but this is a step in the right direction.

Last week I traveled to Calgary Alberta, Canada to attend the 2019 State Agriculture Rural Leaders (SARL) Summit. This International association is dedicated to promoting and fostering cooperation, leadership and educational opportunities among and for state and provincial legislators who are passionate about agriculture and rural communities. I serve on SARL’s 6-member Legislative Board and spoke to conference attendees about transportation needs. We need a well-funded, stable transportation network to effectively and efficiently move our agricultural products, which are key to the economic well being of our rural communities.

The future of agriculture in our area looks to be in good hands, as evidenced by the youth participating at the Columbia County Fair this past week. One of the highlights of the summer is always the Columbia County Fair and Rodeo, and I had a great time connecting with friends and many constituents. I think my favorite part of the fair is visiting with the youth who participate in the Future Farmers of America and 4-H programs and hearing about their projects. Many of these students will be taking their award-winning entries to the State Fair later this summer. The Columbia County Fair and Rodeo is a tremendous undertaking, overseen by the Fair Board and operated by a huge network of amazing volunteers. Great job, everyone.

This Saturday I’m holding Town Hall meetings in In St Helens and Clatskanie, where I will have a chance to talk about the 2019 Legislative Session and take questions from constituents. In September, there will also be several Town Halls. I hope to see you there. Here is the schedule:

St. Helens: Saturday July 27, Noon – 1:30 p.m. / Columbia Center Auditorium 375 S. 18th

Clatskanie: Saturday July 27, 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. / Clatskanie River Inn 600 E. Columbia River Hwy

Scappoose: Saturday Sept. 7, 10:30 a.m. - Noon / Library - 52469 SE 2nd Street

Rainier: Saturday Sept. 7, 3:30 – 5 p.m. / Senior Center - 48 West 7th Street

Bethany: Sunday Sept. 8, 2 - 3:30 p.m. / TVF&R Station 68 - 13545 NW Evergreen Street

Vernonia: Saturday Sept. 21, 10:30 a.m. - Noon / Scout Cabin - 901 Park Drive

Even when the Legislature is not in session, it is my honor to represent you and work on your behalf. If you have an issue or concern with a State agency, please contact my office. We check the emails and phone messages regularly and will see what we can do to help.

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