State Representative, House District 42, Southeast Portland
As a transgender woman, I am incredibly proud to call Northeast Portland home.
I was raised in an abusive, transphobic, evangelical baptist home in rural North Carolina. At a very young age I was forced to make a decision: to fight back, or to die. I chose then, and choose to this day, to fight back. At 17 I joined the US Army to escape my childhood home and became the first woman to serve as an Indirect Fire Infantryman, a combat job previously open only to men.
After three years of service, I was forced out of the military following the Trump administration’s trans military ban. I moved to Oregon, where I used my GI bill to attend Oregon State University in Corvallis, and soon after I settled down in Portland, where I chose to make my home. It was incredibly important for me to come to one of the few places in the country where it is relatively safe for trans women to live openly and authentically, and I will always be grateful to my community here for accepting and welcoming me in a way I had never before experienced. I spent my entire life looking for the home and community that I found here. I am a disabled veteran. I am a formerly houseless person. I am a survivor. I fought incredibly hard to make it here, and I am not done fighting yet. Now I am fighting for my community and the working class people of our state.
My background and experience is as an organizer, activist, and legislative advocate. I currently serve as the electoral and legislative co-chair of the Portland Democratic Socialists of America, where I advocate and fight for democratic socialist values, principles, and policies in the Oregon Legislature. I am a board member of Portland Tenants United, the largest tenants union in the city, where I primarily serve as a state policy adviser. Additionally, I am an activist. I organized multiple trans visibility rallies across the state in 2018, and I frequently participate in anti-imperialist activism as a DSA member, and a Veterans for Peace member.
I am incredibly proud to fight for working class Oregonians each and every day. We are facing so many challenges in our state – the housing crisis, vast income inequality, systemic injustice, and a state Legislature that seems more intent on enriching the rich and corporate class than actually improving the lives of everyday Oregonians, especially those from marginalized communities. I’m running because, together, I know we can rise to these challenges and overcome the obstacles we face to build a brighter and more just world.