Why I Serve...
I was honored to serve my neighbors in West Eugene and Junction City in the State House for seven years and make a difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of Oregonians as House Majority Leader.
Growing up in a family with union roots that go back three generations, I developed values that have guided me throughout my life.
My grandfather helped start the Laborers union in New York because he saw too many of his fellow workers dying in construction accidents. My father was a union firefighter and the president of IAFF Local 789.
I was taught you work hard for everything you get — but you also have to hold the ladder so the next person has the opportunity to climb.
I was a waitress when I started out. I know what it’s like to live on the minimum wage. I was lucky to be a member of UNITE HERE Local 26.
I’ve seen up close what happens when workers don’t have an advocate to protect them from injuries and rip-offs.
In the Oregon Legislature, I helped lead the statewide charge for paid sick days. I fought for a major increase in the minimum wage. I pushed for a billion additional dollars for public schools and more than a billion dollars in infrastructure investments. I worked to Ban the Box to give people with a criminal history a fair shot at getting a job.
I’ve been a union member, a small business owner, and a public servant. I’ve spent 25 years working in the private sector in the outdoor industry, focusing on retail sales and international trade. I can understand and work with both business and labor leaders in our state.
After 30 years of advocating for working people, better jobs and civil rights, I’m ready to lead those fights as Oregon’s Labor Commissioner.