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Active community volunteer would serve Washington County well

Dear friends, it is with great regret that I have decided not to seek re-election to the Oregon state House of Representatives. I had so hoped to continue and used this “short” session to critically assess my home situation.

REP. JOE GALLEGOSSome of you know that my wife is disabled. Her health has continued to deteriorate and changes in her treatment plan have created a situation that makes my continuing in this role untenable at this time. This is a sad situation for my wife and for me.

I truly enjoyed the honor and the privilege of serving House district 30 and the citizens of the state. In serving only two terms, I am so impressed with what our office was able to accomplish. From the beginning, my legislative mantra has been “We must have a healthy and educated workforce in order for our communities and economies to thrive.”

This mantra was the guiding principle that influenced each and every one of my legislative votes. I am most proud of the support I was able to garner for education.

From the beginning I sought to shift Gainshare money to schools and in the 2015 session we succeeded in doing just that.

Additionally I am pleased to have championed the funding of Aspirations to College, a program that provides scholarships and wrap-around services to low-income and first-generation community college students. Other bills I chief-sponsored made the state better in our mental health systems, foster care, and aging services systems.

During the interim, from now until December, I plan to continue dedicating the resources of my office to preparation of bill concepts related to schools, domestic and sexual violence, toxic emissions, the intellectual and/or developmentally disabled, immigration, and memory care communities.

While I will be leaving the House, a great and competent candidate will be seeking your support to take my place there. Many of you know Janeen Sollman.

She has served on the Hillsboro School Board and she has been an active community volunteer for many years.

She will serve you well in Salem. And, should my home situation improve, I would be most honored to have your support should I seek elected office once again.

Rep. Joe Gallegos represents House District 30 in the Oregon Legislature.