Eastern Oregon Roots
Shemia’s life changed thanks to a teacher. Growing up in rural Oregon – Dufur and The Dalles – she didn’t have much. Her mother battled addiction and spent a lot of her life homeless, and her father struggled to support three kids on his own. Despite these challenges, Shemia’s 4th-grade teacher at Dufur Elementary School believed in her and showed her that a better life was within reach.
Watch her launch video and hear her tell part of her story.
Fighting for Fairness
Shemia worked her way through college and law school to become a civil rights attorney. She was driven by the need to stand up for those who don’t have an advocate. It’s the same reason she first decided to run for public office a decade ago. She ran for a seat on the David Douglas School District and unseated a 25-year incumbent.
Shemia went on to run for the Oregon State House, defeating an incumbent Republican to win back a Democratic majority in the Oregon House — just two months after having her first baby and was re-elected to the House seat. Most recently, just months after giving birth to her second child, Shemia unseated an entrenched, three-term incumbent in the State Senate. She never runs from a fight, but steps up to ensure that everyone has a voice.
Fighting for Oregonians
Shemia has spent her career fighting for working Oregonians, holding big corporations accountable, and speaking truth to power. She’s been on the forefront of fights for rent control, expanding health care access, transgender rights, and much more. She’s dedicated her career to ensuring that children growing up without much – like she did – still have the opportunity to get ahead and to dream of more. It’s why she’s running for Secretary of State – to bring progress within reach for all.