#WCW: State Senator Shemia Fagan

This week’s Woman Crush Wednesday is Oregon State Senator Shemia Fagan

 ​I grew up in eastern Oregon and East Portland. My dad raised my brothers and me as a single dad in Dufur and The Dalles, and my mom lived in East Portland. My family didn’t have a lot growing up, and what we did have sometimes came from her neighbors. Like so many families in our neighborhood today, keeping a roof over our heads wasn’t always easy. Years later, I realized that memories of spontaneous camping trips were really my dad trying to put a positive face on our family’s homelessness.

For so many politicians and lobbyists, Oregon’s housing crisis is just another problem to be solved and a series of empty statistics. For some in office, the value of public education is a talking point, an easy applause line.

Not me.

I know firsthand the instability facing many of our neighbors. During most of my life, my mom struggled with drug addiction and did not have a permanent home. So I know that every person struggling to keep a home, or make a home, is somebody’s somebody. Somebody’s son; somebody’s aunt; somebody’s grandpa; or somebody’s mom.

Too many of our neighbors are, like my parents did, fighting so hard for the security of an ordinary life. Oregonians deserve a job that pays enough to provide for a family. We all deserve a home that we won’t be kicked out of for no good reason. Our kids deserve the kind of education that changes lives for the better.

Thanks to Oregon schools, my family had that opportunity. I went on to put myself through college and law school, and my brothers took good jobs in the trades.

On the David Douglas School Board, I was a proud champion for local public schools. As a State Representative, I stood up for the right priorities for our community. I delivered millions of dollars for sidewalks in East Portland and made sure that vulnerable communities had a voice in our state government. In 2016, I did not run for reelection to the Oregon House when my husband and I welcomed our second child. But I am again stepping up to fight for what’s right.

I am committed to removing the barriers that keep our neighbors from having the security that every single Oregonian deserves. As your State Senator, you can count on me to stand up and be a voice for the Oregonians who go unheard.


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