All Your Questions About Housing Opportunity Day Answered

spruce-image (21)Housing Opportunity Day, May 13, is tomorrow! If you were at Housing Opportunity Day in March a lot of the details have changed. So, make sure you read closely.

Here are some FAQs we’ve compiled based on questions we’ve been getting from people like you. Let us know if you have any questions that aren’t answered below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I go?

We’ll be starting the day at The Spinning Room at the Willamette Heritage Center (1313 Mill St SE, Salem). This is where you’ll get information about what group you’ll be with, when your legislative appointments are, participate in trainings and briefings and it is also where the food will be. Those who have morning legislative meetings will be gathering in the Chinook Room (across from the cafe) in the capitol building. Everyone with a morning meeting has been notified. 


How do I get to The Spinning Room?

  • Once at the Willamette Heritage Center, enter through the first building which has a sign that reads: “Mission Mill Museum & Marion County Historical Society.”
  • Follow signs to pass through this building to the outside courtyard.
  • Cross the courtyard to the “Thomas Kay Woolen Mill”, take the elevator to the 3rd floor
  • Enter the Spinning Room!

There will be very clear signage to direct you to the Spinning Room.


Where do I park?

There is a large parking lot at the Willamette Heritage Center. If we run out of spaces their lot, we will have parking passes available.

Buses cannot park at the Willamette Heritage Center. They will be able to drop participants off. Please ask your bus driver to pick participants up in front of the capitol. Access to the Willamette Heritage Center ends at 3pm.


Will there be food and beverages?

There will be coffee, tea, soda and water available throughout the day.  We will have breakfast items like pastries and fruit in the morning. There will be a boxed lunch with sandwiches chips and fruit. We will have some gluten-free and vegetarian options available. Lunch will arrive at 11:30 am in The Spinning Room at the Heritage Center.


What is the day’s agenda?

The schedule isn’t set in stone because of the busy nature of the legislature. Please allow for last minute changes. You’ll get a complete and detailed agenda the day of the event. But here is what you likely can expect!

9 AM – Registration opens!

  • Registration Opens in the Spinning Room
  • Coffee & Pastries served
  • Get to know your team and plan for legislative visits

10:15 AM

Housing Alliance Agenda briefing

10:30 AM

  • How do I Talk to my Legislator? – We’ll walk through what a visit to your Legislator looks like and give you the opportunity to practice.

10:30 AM – 10:45 AM

  • Communicating with your legislator training station opens in the Card Room (adjacent to Spinning Room). Trainings will be offered throughout the day.
  • Other activities in the Spinning Room

11:30 AM

  • Why Does Advocating For Housing Matter?
  • Housing Alliance Agenda briefing

12:00 PM – Lunch and discussion

Lunch is available, grab a sandwich and join a discussion group to learn more detail about the topic that most interests you:

  • $100 Million: Local Innovation and Fast Track Development
  • Preservation
  • Foreclosure Prevention
  • Inclusionary Zoning

12:40 PM – 12:55 PM

  • Walk to the capitol for a group photo

12:55 PM – Group photo – Capitol Rotunda staircase

1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

  • Legislative visits with teams, and delivering notes and messages to legislator.

3:00 PM

Spinning Room is closed – be prepared to spend the rest of your time at the capitol building. You may join us in Room 257, second floor near the House Chamber.

4:00 PM

Visits end. Drop off reports and thank you notes in Room 257.


What if I have a morning appointment with my legislator?

You would have received a call from our staff if you had a morning legislative meeting. People with morning meetings will meet in the Chinook Room (across from the cafe) in the capitol building. There will be a chance to catch up on training activities later in the day.


What do I bring?

Bring your energy and enthusiasm! If you have any special dietary needs, please make sure to pack appropriate food. We will have some gluten-free and vegetarian options available.


What do I wear?

Dress in layers and be prepared for rain. Wear comfortable shoes, we will be walking a couple of blocks to the capitol building. There is no dress code, so wear what will make you proud to represent your community.


What do I say to my legislator?

You will have a chance to prepare for your meeting with a team lead who will be assigned to you at the event. Unless you are a team lead (which you’ll know ahead of time) you won’t be asked to answer technical details about legislation. Legislators just want to hear about your experiences. Here are tips for speaking with your legislator.


Will I definitely get to speak to my legislator?

Many people will get a chance to speak. Everyone will have a chance to make a difference. We can’t guarantee you’ll be able to speak, but just showing up and meeting your legislator face-to-face or even leaving a hand-written note. The vast majority of people in the state don’t take the time to travel to Salem to advocate. Showing up tells your elected official that you’re motivated, care about this issue and their decision to support it will make a difference in your district.


Are there materials I can see ahead of time?

Of course. We will have copies of these on May 13, but you can check out the one-pagers:

More questions? Please email us