Call to Action: Your Help is Needed
Urgent: New Email Campaign - Don’t Let Oregon’s Special Districts Get Overlooked!
We are at a critical point and need assistance from you. Many of you have already sent letters to the Governor’s office and your local legislators asking that special districts receive $130 million of funding from the State’s share of the American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA), but we need your assistance once again. If you haven’t previously responded to our pleas for help, now is your chance.
Unfortunately, we are approaching a deadline for decisions to be made on who will get funding, and our voices are not being heard loud enough. There is a very real possibility that special districts will get left behind.
PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO MODIFY THE BELOW MESSAGE AND EMAIL IT TO THE BELOW CONTACTS!
Dear Governor Brown, Senate President Peter Courtney and Speaker of the House Tina Kotek:
[Insert District Name] provides [Insert types of service(s)] to over [number of customers or residents] in the community of [Name or description of your community]. In total, there are 34 types of Oregon special districts including fire, water, sanitary, parks, ports, libraries, transit, health and 911 that provide some type of local government service to nearly every Oregonian, especially to those who live in disadvantaged unincorporated areas.
[Insert District Name] and nearly 1,000 special districts statewide have been hit especially hard by the pandemic and have not been able to access many of the federal funds that have been available to other types of government and private entities. The American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) allocated $2.6 billion to the State of Oregon and $1.5 billion to Oregon’s cities and counties. The Act specifically allows special districts to receive a transfer of funds from the State.
A survey of special districts conducted by the Special Districts Association of Oregon (SDAO) indicates that the ongoing financial impact on special districts is estimated to be $560 million. We are requesting that special districts receive an allocation of 5% of the State’s share which is $130 million. Special districts received $25 million (or 10% of the total amount allocated to local governments) in the first round of COVID relief funds last fall.
A recent article by the League of Oregon Cities accurately described that the funds cities will be receiving from the ARPA will have a generational impact on their citizens. They will be able to improve their infrastructure, implement new programs and services, and help their communities recover. Residents that live outside of cities, many in low-income areas, and who rely almost entirely on special districts for their municipal services, should have the same opportunity to better their communities by access to these funds.
Thank you for your attention and consideration for allocating $130 million of the State’s ARPA funds to Oregon’s special districts.
[Insert Name, Title and District Name]
Email your message to the following individuals:
- Elana Pirtle-Guiney, Legislative Director at Office of the Governor: Elana.email@example.com
- Christian Gaston, Budget Director at Office the Governor: Christian.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Leah Horner, Director of Regional Solutions: Leah.email@example.com
- Senate President, Peter Courtney: Sen.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Speaker of the House, Tina Kotek: Rep.email@example.com
And CC the following individuals:
- Joint Committee on Ways and Means Co-Chair, Senator Betsy Johnson:
- Joint Committee on Ways and Means Co-Chair, Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward: Sen.ElizabethSteinerHayward@oregonlegislature.gov
- Joint Committee on Ways and Means Co-Chair, Representative Dan Rayfield:
- Special Districts Association of Oregon: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for joining us in advocating for Oregon’s special districts!