Take Action: Emergency Heat Relief

In Climate Change, Legislative Session by OLCVstaff

During the heatwave of 2021, the air felt like an oven. I was lucky to have an air-conditioned office to go to during the day, but, at home, the temperatures were unbearable. I live in a small studio apartment with no air conditioning, and, let me tell you, it gets hot in the summer. During the heatwave, as temperatures hit almost 120 degrees, several of my unlit candles melted, and two of my indoor plants died. I was forced to escape to my parent’s house in the suburbs, or else the heat in my apartment could very well have been deadly.

Others weren’t so lucky. Almost 100 people died in the heat dome because they didn’t have anywhere else to go. That is unacceptable. And, with the climate crisis growing more extreme, heatwaves like this are only going to become more common.

That’s why OLCV supports a package of two bills known as the Emergency Heat Relief Package–the ‘Emergency Heat Relief for Communities’ bill (HB 4058) and the ‘Emergency Heat Relief for Renters’ bill (SB 1536), led by our friends at Verde and the Community Alliance of Tenants (CAT). Using our online form, please ask your lawmakers to support HB 4058 and SB 1536!

The ‘Emergency Heat Relief for Communities’ bill (HB 4058) includes a pilot program that would provide funding for low-income environmental justice communities–including rural communities–to install energy efficient heat and cooling pumps. Everyone deserves access to affordable, efficient, and safe heating and cooling during extreme weather events. Please ask your lawmakers to support HB 4058 and SB 1536!

The ‘Emergency Heat Relief for Renters’ bill (SB 1536) would remove barriers for renters to install portable cooling technologies, like air conditioners, and would provide funding for landlords to transition their rental housing to include heat and cooling pumps. It would also help local and tribal governments establish extreme weather shelters.

Both these bills are critical for the health and safety of Oregon’s most impacted communities. The bills are moving fast as session progresses–we only have 20 days left in session to make a difference. Please take action today!

Thank you,

Francesca Varela
Communications Coordinator, OLCV