Rep. Anna Williams Announces $2 Million in ARPA Investments, Plus Additional Funds for Local Investments

As working families and small businesses continue to struggle during the COVID-19 pandemic, Williams advocates for state and federal funding to bolster HD52 communities.

SALEM, OR—Today, Rep. Anna Williams (D-Hood River) announced $2 million in funding proposals for House District 52, which includes Hood River County, as well as portions of Clackamas and Multnomah Counties. These investments in community colleges will be a major boost to their efforts to support local workers, training students for the jobs of the future, and serving the increasingly diverse communities in her district. The funding comes from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus from the federal government.

Additionally, Rep. Williams has announced plans for over $75 million in additional state funds for local infrastructure improvements, children’s advocacy centers, farm to school meals, and a treatment court for families struggling with mental health and addiction.

“This session, we will address three of the most crucial issues my constituents reach out to me about: improving our infrastructure, investing in mental and behavioral health support, and protecting our children,” said Rep. Williams. “These investments will result in healthier kids in more stable homes, getting the services they need. And the infrastructure funds I am advocating for will make our community safer. I am excited to take these priorities home to the communities I represent.” 

The ARPA proposals submitted by Rep. Williams will divide the $2 million between two community colleges in her district: Mount Hood Community College (MHCC) and Columbia Gorge Community College (CGCC). With the ARPA investments, CGCC would receive funds to bolster their agriculture, technology, and education programs, as well as funds for a Spanish GED program to allow more Oregonians to meet the demands of today’s economy. Additionally, the Hood River CGCC campus would receive funds for an on-campus family childcare center — making higher education more accessible for students who are navigating parenthood within a childcare desert. MHCC would receive funds to invest in the college’s Multicultural Diversity and Equity Center, a culturally inclusive, single-stop space in a central location on campus dedicated to serving equity needs of our multicultural students and communities.

“We know education is the key to success. For many families like mine, education served as a pathway to a brighter future.” said Rep. Williams. “Today, obtaining a quality education feels more and more unreachable. The cost of college and student loans prevent many otherwise qualified students from pursuing education after high school. Post-secondary education is critical for families to earn living wages and build generational wealth. Community colleges give everyday Americans a chance to afford an education and build their technical skills. By investing in agricultural, technical, education-related, and other supporting programs like childcare facilities at our local community colleges, we can grow our regional economy by training local students for the work our communities need done.”

“I want to make sure that the people in my district can receive the training and skills they need to be competitive in a modern economy,” said Rep. Williams. “Education is the foundation to a brighter future, which is why I’m investing in our community colleges to give Oregonians now and in the future a chance at the American Dream.”

In the state budget currently being discussed in the legislature, Rep. Williams is also advocating for the following investments for her district:

  • $5 million toward the replacement of the Hood River Bridge;
  • $14.7 million for maintenance and repairs to the Sandy Wastewater Station;
  • $12 million for Farm to School programs that provide fresh food to schoolchildren;
  • $6 million for children’s advocacy centers;
  • $28.65 million for Family Treatment Courts; and
  • $20 million for housing affordability.