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News from LFP fellow Mariana Buruiană hosted in Salem, Oregon

April, 8 2013

Mariana Buruiana
Adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister
Government of the Republic of Moldova

 

LFP Placement : State Senate of Oregon , Salem, Oregon


5th of April

1. Visit to South Salem High School- looking around at infrastructure: class rooms, library, sport halls, sport fields, spaces for non-formal education etc.

2. Visit Chemeketa Community College - looking around at infrastructure: class rooms, library, labs, vocational training areas, speaking with students about their educational experience

Chemeketa is two years college, where a student can take the career and technical training to qualify for a job, or finish the high school education. A person can explore at the College career ideas, retrain or add job skills, or get professional help on how to run a business.

3. Visit HOST Social Service for Youth- discussion with Case manager about the services and programs provided to vulnerable children and youth.

HOST provides homeless, runaway, and abandoned teens ages 11-17 a supportive, safe environment, while working to reunify the family through crisis intervention, counseling, family mediation, case management, and parenting education services.
For youth and young adults up to 24 years of age who are unable to return home, HOST offers emergency overnight shelter, a drop-in center where youth can access meals, showers, laundry, telephone, and a computer, and assistance in making positive life changes.
HOST provides nutritious meals; a safe, clean place to sleep; and a positive environment. We are located at:

4. Charles A. Sprague High School- having discussions with the deputy director about the educational system in Oregon State: subjects, graduation requirements, skills test etc.


6th of April 8, 2013


1. Visit Tokyo University - looking around at university learning and teaching
Infrastructure
2. Visit Humane Society Pets Shelter. It includes shelter for homeless pets, Spay and Neuter Clinic, Pet Supplies and dog training.

 

7th of April 8, 2013

1. Visit Northwest Human Services. Northwest Human Services meets the needs of community members, regardless of social or economic status, by providing comprehensive medical, dental, mental health, and social services with respect, compassion, and acceptance of cultural and linguistic diversity.

2. Visit UGM of Salem. The Mission of this service is to help men and women break the cycle of homelessness and become participating members of our community, by providing:
• Meals and shelter to homeless and hurting men, women and children.
• Recovery programs to overcome addictions and dysfunctional lifestyles.
• Education and job readiness programs to equip men and women for employment.
• Outreach programs to offer support, counseling, spiritual guidance and referral services.

3. Visit of Salem City Hospital. I took around inside the building and my host mother provided me with all information about the hospital infrastructure and services.


8th - 14th April 2013


First Day in the Office of Mr. Floyd Prozanski Senator for
D-South Lane and North Douglas Counties District 4.

 

During the 2013 session, Senator Prozanski serves on four committees: the Senate
Judiciary Committee (chair), the General Government, Consumer and Small Business
Protection Committee, and the Rural Communities and Economic Development
Committee. He also serves on and co-chairs the Joint Committee on Public Safety,
Oregon Law Commission, the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission (CJC), the Asset
Forfeiture Oversight Advisory Committee of the CJC, and the Oregon State Council for
Interstate Adult Offender Supervision.

 

In the first day, Senator Prozanski and his assistants welcomed me and made a
presentation of the senatorial activity and working plan. I was introduced to other
staff members of the Senate and enjoyed a guided tour in the State Capitol. The State
of Oregon has a Citizen Legislature consisting of the Senate, whose 30 members
are elected to serve four-year terms, and the House of Representatives, which has
60 members elected for two-year terms. The building is very impressive and each
day downstairs there are organized special events by educational institutions, lobby
organizations etc. In the same day, I attended a Meeting in Senator's office on agro-tourism issues and a meeting with a lobbyist in wine field.

 

On 9th of April 2013 I attended the Floor Session of Oregon Senate. By the courtesy of
Mr. Floyd Prozanski Senator I was presented to the Senators as a Legislative intern.

The Floor Session started with a local ceremony of local flags honor and placement,
followed by a praying, followed by reading of the Journal, and further messages from
the Governor and Senate Communications.

 

On th 10th of April I participated in the Conference Leading for Culturally Responsive
Pedagogy organised by Oregon Leadership Network in Portplan, Oregon.

Oregon Leadership Network boasts 19 member districts that educate nearly half of
Oregon's student population and serve approximately half of the state's teachers
and administrators. The ONL works to strengthen educational leadership to increase
equitable outcomes and improve student achievement abd success, so that all students
will meet or exceed state standards in reading and math.

The Conference aim was to increase individual professional responsibility in regard
to cultural awareness and enrich the colective learning opportunities to support
educational equity across the state. During the week, I was very honored to meet and speak with H. E John Albert Kitzhaber, Governor of Oregon.

 

John Albert Kitzhaber (born March 5, 1947) is the 37th and current
Governor of Oregon. He served as the 35th Governor of Oregon from 1995 to 2003 and
became the first person to be elected to the office three times when he was re-elected to
a non-consecutive third term in 2010. Prior to becoming a politician in Oregon, he was
a practicing physician.


First elected to the Oregon House of Representatives, Kitzhaber served in the Oregon
State Senate for twelve years, eight of them as Senate President. In 1994, Kitzhaber
ran for Governor, winning comfortably. He was re-elected in 1998 by a wide margin.
After completing his second term, Kitzhaber returned to medicine and campaigned for
better public access to health care. Kitzhaber ran for a third term in 2010, defeating the
Republican nominee, former NBA player Chris Dudley.

 

I had the opportunity to see a Signing Ceremony Bill. It a was a Bill to let wineries,
restaurants, grocery stores and wine shops dispense wine in consumer-supplied
growlers of up to two gallons. The Bill was signed by the Governer and at the final
stage senators, wine producers as well lobbyists applauded.

Next days I was present at different Senator's meetings focused on student governance
councils and organization, employment issues, energy, family relief nursery, cancer
prevention etc. As well, I attended twice the Senate Floor and the Committee on Rural Communities

and Economic Development. I observed the frame and content of Public Hearings in
Oregon, the methods of organizing and presenting pro and against comments on some
bills. During the whole week I analyzed proposed amendments to senate bills, background of

bills, what the measure of bill does, the effects of Committees amendments.

 

15th - 21st April 2013


On the 15th April I attended the following meetings in the Senator's Office:


• Parentalhood Organisation: social packages, juvenile peace, abuse etc.
• Wine Lobbyist: division of wine fields


On the 16th of April I visited Cesar Chaves Elementary school.

Chávez Elementary School is a bilingual (English-Spanish) kindergarten through fifth grade school with enrollment of 580 students. The school was opened in September 2012 an is considered to be the most technologically advanced teaching and learning laboratory in the state of Oregon.

I was very impressed by the whole infrastructure of the shool, but especially the class-rooms for children with special needs, the School Based Health Center that provides convenient access to health care during the school year so students can return to the classroom faster, Library Media Department, Data Room. Several of the rooms have one-way windows, allowing teachers and university students to observe classes without disrupting them. Willamette University, Western Oregon University, and Corban University participate in learning programs at Chávez Elementary. In the same day I did my volunteering activity. I joined the group of Legislators from State Senate and House of Representatives of Oregon at Community Repack Center, Salem, Oregon.

I dedicated 3 hours for packing cereals and sticking information stickers on the food packages. The activity is part of the Programme that collects close to sell-by date food from retail parties: Wal-Mart, Fred Meyer, Albertsons, Roth's. The food is designated to reach the poorest population and to save hundreds of thousands of pounds of food annualy which had previously gone to solid waste disposal.

 

The aim of the Programme is to lead the fight to end hunger in Marion and Polk counties.

On the 17th April I attended a very interesting meeting on Food Bank subject in Oregon State. I found out that a food bank is an organization that receives food donations to be distributed to those in need. A majority of food donations are made by food manufacturers, processors, grocery chains and other food suppliers. Companies and organizations, as well as members of the community, also play a key role by making generous monetary and food donations. Companies will often host food drives as a way to collect donations.

On the 18th April I had a very interesting and constructive discussion with Mr. Ben Cannon, Education Policy Advisor, Office of the Governor. Our discussion was foccused on comparing challenges faced by Moldovian and USA educational systems and educational strategies we have.
We discussed about inclusion of children with special needs in public school with regular children, school violence and tools for solving it, continous quality improvement, vocational orientation of the students and the values of the educational systems. Another interesting meeting I joined in the Senator's Office was with a lobbyist in public health sector, that was concerned about teenagers smoking. He was speaking about statistics and that a good way to solve the problem is the increase of tobacco taxes. In the process of analyzing various bill drafts I identified a very good idea about the creation of Oregon Elder Abuse Work Group and about provisions on increased time to prosecute crimes against seniors, elimination of expungement for convictions of elder abuse, development of abuse definition algorithm, improvement of investigation and reporting and other good issues that can serve to my working area.

 

22nd - 28thApril 2013

 

During the week I had important meetings and discussions with state representatives.

1. Meeting with Rob S.Saxton, Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction,Regon Department of Education.
We considered in our discussion the following subjects:
• Quality asuurance in education: national tests, school training accredication
• Career-oriented curriculum,the differences between scholastic preparation and professional requirements and how to close this gap
• Inclusion of children with special needs in regular school environment: legislation, funding,training

I wrote down very useful things about the identification process of students with disabilities, how they are assessed at different time periods, about exra work with students and teacher training in that area.

2. Meeting Mark HASS, State Senator District 14, President of Education and Worforce development
We discussed very interesting issues about state educational strategies, comparing systems and intervention tools for training challenges.
I was surprised to find out about the process the teachers are evaluated in Oregon State. And, as well a good subject we approched was about extending school year for summer time and reducing school years, that is a perspective the experts are dealing about.

3. Meeting Peter Courtney, Senate President and State Senator for District 11.

I was very honoured to meet and discuss with Peter Courtney about legislative process comparing Oregon and Moldova.

Courtney is in his fourth term as a state senator. He previously served seven terms in the Oregon House of Representatives, including four terms as House Democratic Leader.
As a champion for children, people with mental illnesses, people with developmental disabilities, and people who serve in the armed forces, Courtney has a long list of Legislative accomplishments, including, among other Oregon firsts - a comprehensive package of benefits for Oregon National Guard and other military veterans, a law allowing legal surrender of unwanted newborns to police and hospitals and a law requiring background checks for school staff and volunteers.

In the Senator's Office I attended the meetings on work force,tobacco taxes, public safety, primary care services, juvenile system and funds for art development.

 

 

 

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