Media Room


Governor Kate Brown
Boys and Girls Club
October 6, 2020

Good afternoon everyone. I’m very glad to be seeing you all – this has been an incredibly challenging time for our entire state. 

As we face this virus, it feels like a cruel twist of fate that many Oregon communities already disproportionately suffering from the impacts of COVID-19, now face even more hardship from this year’s historic wildfires.

As you all know better than most, along with COVID-19, the wildfires burning our state are compounding existing hardships for our historically underserved communities.

But here’s what we know: The Boys & Girls Club is a safe place for kids to land.

When I visited the Samaritan Health, which is co-located with the Boys & Girls Club, I saw firsthand how the principles of a system of care can play out in real life. 

Students socialize, work for money, get the care they need for physical and behavioral health, and are surrounded by adults they can trust to care for and mentor them. 

The Corvallis Boys and Girls Club – and other great organizations just like it – showcase the kinds of resources we want to provide for all Oregon children: a developmentally appropriate place to play, learn, and receive help from caring adults.

And in the face of our current challenges, I know you’re making do with less, and you have had to make funds stretch. And we know this means passing on some costs to the vulnerable families you are committed to serving holistically. Thank you for doing tremendous work to fill important gaps and provide incredible services to Oregon kids. 

I’m going to continue to advocate for federal dollars so that you all can continue to do this critical work. 

We will be releasing youth program guidance later this week which should help you continue to serve Oregon kids while also keeping them safe. 

And as ​distance-learning becomes a part of our new normal, I am committed to ensuring that students in all corners of the state stay connected with the support systems that ensure their well-being, address food insecurity and physical safety. 

That includes broadband in every county, no matter how rural, so that students can complete their schoolwork and continue in their learning.  

In all these ways, we are committed to fostering strong partnerships with schools to best serve students as they navigate this difficult time.

With all that said, I want to hear about your experiences during these unprecedented sets of circumstances so we can move forward together.

Thank you.