Congressional Town Hall: Sen.Merkley listens to county residents

Oregon U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D) conducted a virtual town hall for Columbia County late Wednesday afternoon.

Sen. Merkley’s office provide the following summary of the town hall.

Merkley opened the town hall by explaining portions of the local support included in the American Rescue Plan, the $1.9 trillion federal pandemic stimulus package. He also talked about his Senate Bill 1, For the People Act, which he introduced today to take on voter suppression, gerrymandering, and dark money.

During the town hall…

  • Clatskanie City Manager Greg Hinkelman asked about federal support for the $10M needed to upgrade their wastewater treatment plant.
  • A resident of Vernonia asked about improving rural broadband.
  • Two folks asked about power generation-one re: spreading the public power model of the Bonneville Power Association nationwide, and one about the Simpson Plan to remove dams on the Snake River.
  • The IBW Local 125 thanked Sen. Merkley for his efforts to expand renewable energy by creating good-paying, union jobs.
  • A student asked about support for tourist towns hurt by the pandemic, and Sen. Merkley explained some of the aid in the American Rescue Plan.
  • Columbia County Commissioner Heimuller asked about the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Since joining the Senate in 2009, Merkley has held a town hall in each of Oregon’s 36 counties every year. The Columbia County town hall is his 438th as a U.S. Senator and his sixth town hall this year.