Welcome to Basic Rights Oregon’s Vote Equality Guide to pro-equality candidates. These are our endorsements for the 2014 General Election.
Electing pro-equality candidates to public office across the state is now more important than ever. Following our historic marriage victory, we have the momentum to build political power, defend the progress we have made, and create new policies to ensure the voices of LGBT Oregonians are heard and represented in our state’s critical policy decisions.
Marriage is an important milestone on a much longer journey toward full freedom and equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Oregonians. As important a milestone as it is, wedding bells do not signal that our work is finished. Marriage equality will not keep LGBT young people safe in our schools. It will not ensure transgender people access to accurate identity documents or critical health care services. It will not make our military, our prisons, or our immigration system inclusive and just. It will not ensure that LGBT Oregonians can live their lives free from the sting of discrimination.
Our post-marriage work is about achieving not only legal equality, but lived equality. Lived equality means we elect people to office who support freedom, pass laws promoting freedom, and ensure that those laws are carried out so that LGBT Oregonians experience freedom in our everyday lives.
Governor Kitzhaber graduated from South Eugene High School in 1965 and after earning his Bachelor's degree at Dartmouth College, he returned to Oregon to study medicine at the University of Oregon Medical School (now OHSU). The Governor practiced emergency room medicine in Roseburg, Oregon, from 1974 to 1988. He first won election to the Oregon Legislature in 1978, serving one term in the Oregon House of Representatives. In 1980, he was elected to the Oregon State Senate and served three terms where he had the opportunity to support adding sexual orientation to Oregon’s hate crimes law. He served as Senate President from 1985 to 1993, where he led creation of the Oregon Health Plan. In 1994, and again in 1998, Oregonians elected John Kitzhaber as their Governor, and in 2010 he won election to an unprecedented third term. Governor Kitzhaber has been a longtime ally of Basic Rights Oregon and champion of equality, and he’s been especially helpful in advancing health care policies inclusive of transgender Oregonians.
Brad Avakian served two terms in the Oregon House and was in the middle of his first term as State Senator when he was appointed by Governor Kulongoski in 2008 as Labor Commissioner. He then was elected in the general election in 2008, and re-elected in 2012. While in the legislature, Avakian was a key leader for equality legislation, including Oregon's domestic partnership and anti-discrimination laws. As Labor Commissioner, Avakian is responsible for implementing and enforcing the laws that protect Oregonians from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace, housing and public accommodations.
Senate District 11 - Salem & Woodburn
Senate President Peter Courtney has represented District 11 since 1998 and served as the Senate President since 2003. Senate President Courtney has had a long political career focused on the improvement of Oregon's health care & mental health systems, improvement of natural resources and re-investment in K-12 education, and sponsored the tuition equality bill that passed in 2013. A college professor and speech teacher, Sen. Courtney is the longest tenured legislator in Oregon. He voted for adding sexual orientation to Oregon’s hate crimes law at a time when that was a political risk for any elected official and he was a leader on landmark non-discrimination that is now Oregon Law.
Senate District 11
Salem & Woodburn
House Majority Leader
House District 14 - West Eugene & Junction City
House Majority Leader Val Hoyle has over 30 years’ experience as a community leader and small business professional. She joined her local Parent Teacher Organization, and then volunteered with Stand for Children, the education advocacy group. She then worked as a legislative aide for State Senator Floyd Prozanski. And more recently, Rep. Hoyle was director of the 100% Access Initiative for United Way of Lane County. Her 25 years of experience in sales, distribution and retail management have given her the ability to serve on the board of the Federal District Export Council of Oregon. She is also a founding member of Eugene Chamber of Commerce’s International Trade Round Table.
House Majority Leader
House District 14
West Eugene & Junction City
House District 44 - Kenton, St. Johns, North & Northeast Portland
House Speaker Tina Kotek has represented District 44 since 2007 and is seeking reelection as a State Representative. In her first session in the Oregon House, Speaker Kotek oversaw the passage of historic LGBT equality legislation, making Oregon an early adopter of equality legislation. Speaker Kotek is currently the only out lesbian to hold a House speaker position in the country.
House District 44
Kenton, St. Johns, North & Northeast Portland
Senate District 3 - Medford & Ashland
Before entering politics, Senator Alan Bates was Chief of Medicine at both Rogue Valley Medical Center and Providence Medical Center, and a founding board member of a primary care physicians' care group. He served three terms on the Eagle Point School Board and an appointed term on the Governor's task force on Quality in Education. In 1989, he was appointed to the Health Services Commission, which was instrumental in designing and implementing the Oregon Health Plan, where he chaired the Commission for three years. Dr. Bates was first elected to the Oregon House of Representatives in 2000. In 2004, he was elected to the Oregon State Senate. Sen. Bates strongly supported landmark non-discrimination and anti-bullying legislation that is now Oregon Law.
Senate District 3
Medford & Ashland
Senate District 4 - South Lane & North Douglas Counties
Senator Floyd Prozanski was first elected to the Oregon Legislature in 1994. He served in the House of Representatives between 1995 and 2003, and he moved to the State Senate in 2004. He graduated from Texas A&M University and later earned a law degree from the South Texas College of Law. When the legislature is not in session, Sen. Prozanski works as a municipal prosecutor and serves on various boards and commissions. He strongly supported landmark non-discrimination and anti-bullying legislation that is now Oregon Law.
Senate District 4
South Lane & North Douglas Counties
Senate District 6 - Springfield
After military service, Senator Lee Beyer attended Lane Community College and the University of Oregon where he graduated with a degree in management. In the mid-1970's, he accepted a position as a management analyst with the Oregon Executive Department, and in 2001, Governor Kitzhaber asked Senator Beyer to join the Oregon Public Utility Commission. During his almost nine years on the Commission, Lee developed a reputation as a tough but fair regulator. He served in the House in the 1990s and was elected to the Senate in 2010.
Senate District 6
Senate District 7 - North Eugene, West Eugene, Santa Clara & Junction City
Senator Chris Edwards earned his Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and served as the fees chair for the Oregon State University Student Government. In 2006, he was elected to serve in the Oregon House of Representatives where he served for three years before being unanimously appointed by the Lane County Commission to serve in the Oregon Senate. Sen. Edwards strongly supported landmark non-discrimination and anti-bullying legislation that is now Oregon Law.
Senate District 7
North Eugene, West Eugene, Santa Clara & Junction City
Senate District 8 - Albany & Corvallis
As a parent, educator, minister and community organizer, Representative Sara Gelser is very much aware of the challenges gay and transgender Oregonians face. Rep. Gelser has served House District 16 since 2005 and was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve on the National Council on Disability in 2010. Fighting for individuals with disabilities is one of her top priorities. A long-time ally of Basic Rights Oregon and advocate for women, Rep. Gelser has proven her support of LGBT Oregonians and will put that experience to work in the State Senate. She strongly supported landmark non-discrimination legislation was a champion on anti-bullying legislation both of which are now Oregon Law.
Senate District 8
Albany & Corvallis
Senate District 15 - Hillsboro & Forest Grove
Seeking election to the Senate and formerly representing House District 29 until 2011, Chuck Riley is running for State Senate. During his three terms as a State Representative, Riley fought for protections for the environment and supported Oregon’s non-discrimination and domestic partnership laws. A former code breaker for the US Air Force, Riley will bring a long career of problem solving to Salem as State Senator. He strongly supported landmark non-discrimination and anti-bullying legislation that is now Oregon Law.
Senate District 15
Hillsboro & Forest Grove
Senate District 17 - Northwest Portland & Beaverton
Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward has served Senate District 17 since being appointed to the position in 2011, and then won the election in 2012. As a family physician at OHSU, improving Oregon’s health care system has been a major goal of the Senator’s time in Legislature. Prior to her service as a State Senator, she worked as an advocate for women’s health through the Oregon Academy of Family Physicians. Sen. Steiner Hayward has been a proponent of driver card legislation as well during her terms in legislature.
Senate District 17
Northwest Portland & Beaverton
Senate District 19 - Lake Oswego, Tualatin, West Linn & Southwest Portland
Senator Richard Devlin is running for reelection to represent Oregon's 19th District, a position he has filled since 2003. Prior to his election to the senate post, Devlin served in the Oregon State House of Representatives for the 24th District for six years. Sen. Devlin has served as the Majority Leader and has chaired the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education and the Subcommittee on Natural Resources. The Senator has been an advocate on child safety issues and green space conservation. He strongly supported landmark non-discrimination and anti-bullying legislation that is now Oregon Law.
Senate District 19
Lake Oswego, Tualatin, West Linn & Southwest Portland
Senate District 20 - Canby, Oregon City & Gladstone
Seeking election to the Senate, Jamie Damon has lived in Oregon over 30 years and in Eagle Creek, located in rural Clackamas County, for nearly 20 years. A mother of two school age daughters, she was unanimously appointed to the Clackamas County Commission in 2011 because she brought a rural voice with an emphasis on consensus building. Damon works as a mediator and facilitator with individuals, citizen groups and all levels of government to guide individuals and groups through controversial and highly contentious situations—she would be a real asset to the legislature, if elected.
Senate District 20
Canby, Oregon City & Gladstone
Senate District 23 - Mt. Tabor, Maywood Park, Parkrose, Southeast & Northeast Portland
Appointed to represent Northeast Portland's Senate District 23, Senator Michael Dembrow is running for his first full term as a State Senator. Previous to his appointment, the Senator served as Representative to the 45th District of the State House. A former English instructor for Portland Community College, Sen. Dembrow served as president of the faculty union and was appointed to the State Board of Education in 2007. During his term as a State Representative, Dembrow co-sponsored an early version of the tuition equality bill and has been a supporter of the Safe Roads Act. He strongly supported landmark non-discrimination and anti-bullying legislation that is now Oregon Law.
Senate District 23
Mt. Tabor, Maywood Park, Parkrose, Southeast & Northeast Portland
Senate District 24 - Hazelwood, Harmony, East Portland & North Clakamas County
Senator Rod Monroe first served in the Oregon Legislature as the Representative of the 12th District in the State House in 1977. Previously the Senator for the 7th District in 1981-89, Sen. Monroe is seeking reelection as the Senator representing the 24th District. Monroe has been known throughout his career as someone focused on public safety, working towards mandatory seat belt laws and public building smoking bans. The Senator’s long experience in Salem has made him a key ally for LGBT issues. He strongly supported landmark non-discrimination and anti-bullying legislation that is now Oregon Law.
Senate District 24
Hazelwood, Harmony, East Portland & North Clakamas County
Senate District 26 - Hood River & East Multnomah and Clackamas Counties
Seeking election to the Senate, Robert Bruce is running for District 26. A small business owner and project manager, Bruce has served as a community advocate and a member of the Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs. His focus as an advocate has been to help small businesses provide health care coverage to their employees and to eliminate exceptions in anti-fraud rules for insurance companies.
Senate District 26
Hood River & East Multnomah and Clackamas Counties
House District 5 - Ashland
As a committed advocate for children and the community, Representative Peter Buckley has spent more than 20 years managing and fundraising for non-profit organizations such as Head Start, Boys and Girls Club and Pacific Art Center. Passionate about education, Buckley has made improving Oregon schools a priority of his time in the House. A long-time ally of LGBT Oregonians, Rep. Buckley was elected to the Oregon House in 2005 and pledges to continue standing up for fairness and equality. He strongly supported landmark non-discrimination and anti-bullying legislation that is now Oregon Law.
House District 5
House District 8 - South Eugene, Veneta & Loraine
A Eugene native, Representative Paul Holvey has long been an advocate for progressive causes. He is actively pro-labor as a representative for Pacific Northwest Carpenters and has worked with many organizations advocating for workers’ rights. Holvey has sponsored legislation to improve air quality, and food safety as well. Elected to the Oregon House in 2005, Rep. Holvey has also been recognized for his advocacy by the Eugene Human Rights Commission. He strongly supported landmark non-discrimination and anti-bullying legislation that is now Oregon Law.
House District 8
South Eugene, Veneta & Loraine
House District 9 - Coos Bay
Born and raised in Coos Bay, Representative McKeown served on the Coos Bay School Board for eleven years after being a longtime volunteer parent in the school district. She also worked for the Oregon Student Assistance Commission for eight years and served for nine years on Board of Commissioners of the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay. Rep. McKeown was elected to represent District 9 in 2012.
House District 9
House District 10 - Central Coast
Representative Gomberg received his education in Oregon, holding both Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Political Science from Oregon State University and a MBA from Willamette University. He is a small business owner, with three stores on the Oregon Coast, as well as being the owner of the biggest kite in the world (10,400 sq. ft.). He was elected to serve District 10 in 2012, and has seats on both the Governor’s Commission on Senior Services and the Small Business Task Force. Creating jobs, supporting community colleges and small business development, and providing help for working families remains Rep. Gomberg’s top priorities.
House District 10
House District 11 - Central Lane & Linn Counties
Representative Phil Barnhart was elected to the Oregon House in 2001. A lawyer and psychologist, Barnhart entered politics out of concern for the education system, health care and the environment in the state he was raised in. As a representative of central Lane and Linn counties, Rep. Barnhart has worked to protect his constituents against discrimination and he will continue to do so if re-elected. He strongly supported landmark non-discrimination and anti-bullying legislation that is now Oregon Law.
House District 11
Central Lane & Linn Counties
House District 12 - Springfield
Although 2013 was his freshman year in the Oregon House, Oregon native, Oregon educated, veteran of the Vietnam War, husband, father and grandpa, Representative John Lively has given most of his adult life to service. As Springfield City Councilor and later Mayor, Rep. Lively served on many non-profit boards, including Springfield Renaissance Development Corporation, McKenzie Willamette Hospital, and Friends of Lane Community College. Working in the private sector gave Lively first- hand knowledge of the challenges of maintaining good wages and benefits for employees, and uses that knowledge to effect change in Salem.
House District 12
House District 13 - Eugene
First elected to the Oregon House in 2007, Representative Nancy Nathanson is seeking reelection in House District 13. A lifetime of public service, Rep. Nathanson has also served 12 years on the Eugene City Council, and multiple civic boards, commissions and committees. She has received several civic awards and honors, demonstrating her commitment to public service. An advocate for marginalized communities, small business and the environment, Rep. Nathanson is committed to voicing the concerns of the LGBT Oregonians in the House. She strongly supported landmark non-discrimination and anti-bullying legislation that is now Oregon Law.
House District 13
House District 16 - Corvallis
Seeking election to the House, Dan graduated from Western Oregon University in 2003 and received his law degree from Willamette University in 2006. He clerked for Benton County District Attorney, and then went into private practice. He has seen both sides of legal practice, and wants to use that experience to serve Oregon. A top priority for Dan will be holding insurance companies accountable for their actions. He also wants to give a firmer footing to K-12 and higher education funding to build a skilled workforce and create jobs, particularly in innovative methods of energy production.
House District 16
House District 20 - West Salem
Seeking election to the House, Paul Evans was first elected to public office as a city councilor at age 18 and has continued to serve his community and his country ever since. From volunteer firefighter in Polk County to a Major in the US Air Force, later the Air National Guard, including tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq, Paul continues to bring his expertise bear; he was Governor Kulongoski’s chief adviser on veterans’ affairs and emergency preparedness. He believes in protecting the most vulnerable in society while at the same time making Oregon a better place to work and live.
House District 20
House District 24 - McMinnville, Dundee & Yamhill County
Seeking election to the House, Ken Moore’s platform is simple: schools and jobs. He wants to empower students and families to obtain high quality and affordable education at all levels, and support adults returning to school to learn new work skills. He wants to strengthen workforce retention and development programs and to streamline rules and regulations to help Oregon businesses get access to the resources they need to expand and create jobs. He wants to rebuild aging infrastructure, thus creating well paid jobs and strengthening local economies.
House District 24
McMinnville, Dundee & Yamhill County
House District 27 - Beaverton, Raleigh Hills & Progress
In his first term in the Oregon House in 2007, Representative Read fought to bring a long term focus to Oregon’s government by creating a state savings account, advancing a comprehensive environmental agenda and updating the Bottle Bill. Rep. Read has consistently focused on improving Oregon’s education system and currently serves as the Majority Whip. He is running for re-election and has the wholehearted support of Basic Rights Oregon. He strongly supported landmark non-discrimination and anti-bullying legislation that is now Oregon Law.
House District 27
Beaverton, Raleigh Hills & Progress
House District 28 - Aloha
Representative Barker is a former Lieutenant Detective for the Portland Police, which has afforded him a valuable understanding of how the justice system works. First elected to the Oregon House in 2003, Rep. Barker is seeking reelection representing District 28 and has shown a strong commitment to and leadership on women’s issues and equality. He strongly supported landmark non-discrimination and anti-bullying legislation that is now Oregon Law.
House District 28
House District 29 - Hillsboro & Forest Grove
Seeking election to the House, from a 4th generation Oregon farming family, Susan was brought up to value hard work and responsible spending. In her teens she developed her communication skills through speech and debate, and brought that strength to her classroom after her graduation from Western Oregon University. Susan’s late husband owned a machine shop in Cornelius so she saw first-hand the difficulties associated with being a small business owner. Susan served four terms as a Metro Councilor, and has significant experience in balancing the needs of families and the economy with protecting Oregon’s natural resources and beauty.
House District 29
Hillsboro & Forest Grove
House District 30 - Hillsboro, Glencoe & Orenco
Growing up in a farm worker’s family and receiving his early education part time gave Representative Joe Gallegos a deep understanding of the value of education, and of the need for a decent wage for working families. He also learned the value of public service while serving in the US Air Force during the Vietnam era. He puts this experience to good use on the Human Services and Housing Committee and as Vice-Chair of the Higher Education & Workforce Development Committee. Rep. Gallegos was supportive of 2013 legislation to add sexual orientation and gender identity to data collection practices at Oregon’s public colleges and universities.
House District 30
Hillsboro, Glencoe & Orenco
House District 31 - Clatskanie & St. Helens
Representative Brad Witt is seeking his fifth full term in the Oregon House and has been a long-time supporter of LGBT issues and other progressive causes. As former Secretary-Treasurer of the Oregon AFL-CIO with more than two decades of experience lobbying for economic and workforce development, natural resources, and workers’ compensation, Rep.Witt has been a strong progressive voice in Salem. He strongly supported landmark non-discrimination and anti-bullying legislation that is now Oregon Law.
House District 31
Clatskanie & St. Helens
House District 33 - Northwest Portland
Representative Mitch Greenlick has spent his working life in public health, with a BS and ME from Wayne State University (Detroit, MI) and a Ph.D. in medical care organization of University of Michigan; he was elected to the National Academies of Science Institute of Medicine in 1971. Health and safety could be said to be his primary concerns, with sponsorship of bills to permit bulk prescription purchasing, assure patient safety, amendments to HIV testing procedures. He cares deeply about the welfare of families and uses all his expertise to develop a healthy Oregon. Rep. Greenlick strongly supported landmark non-discrimination and anti-bullying legislation that is now Oregon Law.
House District 33
House District 34 - Beaverton & Washington County
Seeking election to the House, Ken Helm grew up in Bend, OR and graduated from Willamette University with a BA in history and political science, and later obtained his law degree. Later he was a land use staffer for Portland Metro, finally leaving about 8 years ago to start his own practice of law, even playing David to Walmart’s Goliath and winning. Ken knows the value of a sound education and the difficulties associated with running a small business. He will make his priorities the development of a strong economy, good schools and improved healthcare for Oregon, while at the same time protecting its natural resources.
House District 34
Beaverton & Washington County
House District 35 - Tigard & Southwest Portland
Representative Margaret Doherty followed her Coastguard father around much of coastal USA before they settled in Southwest Portland, where she graduated from Wilson High School. A degree in Speech Communications and Theatre from PSU followed and she taught at Milwaukie High School for ten years while also obtaining a Master’s Degree at Lewis and Clark College. As a teacher, education workers’ representative via the Oregon Education Association and as a small business owner, Rep. Doherty knows all about the challenges to be faced in education and employment.
House District 35
Tigard & Southwest Portland
House District 36 - West Portland
The threat of losing her place at University of Oregon because of a proposed cut in financial aid was the impetus needed to send Representative Jennifer Williamson down the path of activism and public service that she has followed ever since. She is a practicing attorney as well as serving on the Boards of Planned Parenthood (chair) and the Susan G Komen Foundation, under which banner she helped to pass the Oregon Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Act, thus ensuring that all eligible women in Oregon have access to life-saving treatment. She volunteers as a Big Sister, and with Mercy Corps Northwest’s L.I.F.E. program at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility. Rep. Williamson is also a big booster to Basic Rights Oregon and outspoken supporter of Marriage Equality.
House District 36
House District 38 - Lake Oswego
Representative Ann Lininger grew up in Southern Oregon where her mother taught junior high and her dad worked a family-run manufacturing and construction business. After attending college and law school in the Northeast, she and her husband and I moved to Lake Oswego to raise their two kids who attend public schools. Lininger serves as general counsel and a vice president at Oregon Iron Works, a manufacturing company that provides good, middle class jobs for around 450 workers. She has also served as a Clackamas County Commissioner, an executive at the Meyer Memorial Trust, and as an attorney for Legal Aid Services of Oregon and in private practice. Appointed to fill out-going Rep. Garrett’s seat, she is seeking election to office for the first time.
House District 38
House District 40 - Clackamas, Gladstone & Oregon City
A lawyer and community activist, Representative Brent Barton is a third-generation Oregonian. He attended Oregon public schools and went on to earn degrees from Stanford, Cambridge, and Harvard Law School. As an attorney, Rep. Barton helps injured people receive compensation from insurance companies. He was first elected to the House in 2008 and has championed protections for children, seniors, and veterans, including legislation allowing consumers to hold banks accountable for unfair practices.
House District 40
Clackamas, Gladstone & Oregon City
House District 41 - Milwaukie & Sellwood
Seeking election to the House, Kathleen Taylor’s professional experience as an auditor spans the State of Oregon, Multnomah County and the City of Portland. She has a Masters of Public Policy from Rutgers University. Taylor is a past PTA president and graduate of Emerge Oregon. She is running for State Representative in Oregon's House District 41 because she believes the Oregon Legislature needs to focus on strengthening public schools, building a stronger economy, accountability in government, a healthy environment and fairness for all Oregonians.
House District 41
Milwaukie & Sellwood
House District 42 - Inner Southeast Portland
Representative Rob Nosse is a lifetime advocate for LGBT rights as an activist and organizer in Oregon for over 20 years. Nosse has served as a board member of Basic Rights Oregon and is deeply committed to equality. He previously served as the labor representative for the Oregon Nurses Association and has been a longtime supporter of affordable college, universal health care and workers’ rights. Rep. Nosse has been appointed to fill the vacancy for House District 42 until the election results this November. He and husband Jim live with their two children in Southeast Portland.
House District 42
Inner Southeast Portland
House District 43 - Albina, Piedmont, Alameda, North & Northeast Portland
Representative Lew Frederick learned the importance of public service as a young man in Atlanta during the height of the civil rights movement, where he was mentored by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A resident and deeply involved community member of Northeast Portland since 1974, Frederick spent his career in public service, with two years teaching classes at the Metropolitan Learning Center, 17 years as a radio and television reporter, 13 years as Director of Public Information at Portland Public Schools, and Assistant to the President at Portland Community College. Most recently, Rep. Frederick has served on the State Board of Education and works as a strategic communications consultant. He strongly supported anti-bullying legislation that is now Oregon Law.
House District 43
Albina, Piedmont, Alameda, North & Northeast Portland
Barbara Smith Warner
House District 45 - Hollywood, Parkrose & North East Portland
Representative Barbara Smith Warner’s extensive volunteer work in her two children’s local public schools is what inspired her to seek office. She is passionate about access to quality education, healthcare for all, good living-wage jobs, a diverse and efficient transportation system, and safe communities. Smith Warner graduated from Gannon University. In addition to volunteering at Beverly Cleary School, she also volunteers with her neighborhood association, St. Andrew's Food Pantry, and the Children's Book Bank. Rep. Smith Warner is seeking election to office for the first time after having been appointed to fill a vacant seat.
Barbara Smith Warner
House District 45
Hollywood, Parkrose & North East Portland
House District 46 - Laurelhurst, Mt. Tabor & Southeast Portland
Representative Alissa Keny-Guyer has spent over 30 years working to eliminate poverty, promote cross-cultural understanding, invest in youth, protect the environment, and advocate for civil rights. After graduating from Stanford, she spent several years doing community development in Indonesian villages. She then earned a Master’s in Public Health in Hawaii, worked in Hawaiian nonprofits and the Hawaii legislature, and ran an international exchange organization in California. Rep. Keny-Guyer was a key leader on Oregon’s Cultural Competency for Health Care Providers bill in 2013—a legislative priority for Basic Rights Oregon.
House District 46
Laurelhurst, Mt. Tabor & Southeast Portland
House District 47 - Powellhurst, Hazelwood & East Portland
Representative Jessica Vega Pederson's upbringing taught her to stand up for middle class families. She was born in a small town in Indiana, the oldest of three girls and grew up as part of a large, extended Mexican-American family. She is a third-generation Latina whose grandparents came to this country with hopes for a better life. From her family, Rep. Vega Pederson learned the value of hard work and to never be afraid to speak up for what's right. She is a board member of the Hazelwood Neighborhood Association, a member of the Eastside Egg Co-op at Zenger Farms and a member of the East Portland Action Plan. When she was elected in 2012, Jessica became the first Latina to serve in the Oregon House.
House District 47
Powellhurst, Hazelwood & East Portland
House District 48 - Happy Valley, Harmony, Lents & East Portland
Born and raised in the blue-collar town of Kelso, Washington, Representative Jeff Reardon learned the values of thrift and work from an early age. Jeff is a Vietnam Era Veteran who earned the highest rating possible during his term, E5, while serving on a nuclear submarine in the Western Pacific. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Education from Western Washington University. Rep. Reardon began his career as a teacher before taking a job at Tektronix and served on the Davis Douglas School Board for a decade. As a lifelong educator, he knows our schools are critical to the success of our state.
House District 48
Happy Valley, Harmony, Lents & East Portland
House District 49 - Troutdale
Representative Chris Gorsek’s accomplishments include being a teacher, a dad and a former police officer. He has taught geography and criminal justice at Mount Hood Community College since 1996. Now as a legislator, Rep. Gorsek is committed to using his life experience to improve and strengthen Oregon communities.
House District 49
House District 50 - Gresham
Seeking election to the House, former Gresham Police Chief, Carla Piluso helped fund school safety officers and also secured $1.5 million to fund the East Metro Gang Enforcement Team. For the past 30 years, Piluso has advocated for after school programs and her support for Head Start has helped Gresham’s children enter school ready to learn. Carla will continue to fight for a first class education for all students by advocating for a well-funded and safe school environment.
House District 50
House District 51 - Clackamas, Sunnyside, Gresham & East Portland
Representative Shemia Fagan grew up in small, rural towns such as Dufur and The Dalles, and was raised by her father and two older brothers. Her dad taught her that hard work and a good education could pave the road out of poverty. Fagan worked hard in school, put herself through college and law school, and built a career as a business attorney. Repr. Fagan is drawn to public service to ensure the same opportunities that existed for her, will be there for the next generation of Oregonians.
House District 51
Clackamas, Sunnyside, Gresham & East Portland
House District 52 - Hood River, Cascade Locks & East Multnomah County
Seeking election to the House, Stephanie Nystrom has been a dedicated community activist for 22 years, working to improve education, family services, literacy programs, land use and environmental protection. Nystrom raised her children in the tradition of community service—volunteering in classrooms and libraries, restoring public lands, collecting and sorting food for food banks. She is running to make a difference for crowded classrooms, shrinking school years, struggling small businesses and low income families.
House District 52
Hood River, Cascade Locks & East Multnomah County
House District 54 - Bend
Seeking election to the House, Craig Wilhelm graduated from West Point in 1993, and for the next 13 years flew helicopters for the US Army, serving with distinction. After completing an MBA and earning multiple Army accolades including two Bronze Stars, Wilhelm settled in Bend to be close to family and begin his career as Vice President of Business Development for a metals recycling and trading company. An active community volunteer, Wilhelm has also facilitated strategic planning sessions for the Central Oregon Food Policy Council and Crook County Foundation.
House District 54
Milwaukie City Council, position 4 - City of Milwaukie
A graduate of Lewis & Clark Law School and attorney with the Freshwater Trust, Karin is running to strengthen Milwaukie’s future by building positive coalitions and stronger civic engagement across socioeconomic, age, and ethnicity lines, especially with new residents arriving ahead of light rail. Karin and her partner Megan were the first couple to receive a same-sex marriage license in Clackamas County when it became legal in Oregon in May.
Milwaukie City Council, position 4
City of Milwaukie