Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



A geologist by training, she is a Democratic candidate for the position Mitch Greenlick is vacating.

COURTESY SERIN BUSSELL - Serin Bussell of Portland seeks the Democratic nomination for the open House District 33 seat in the May 19 primary.Serin Bussell of Portland sees racial and social justice as the goals she wants to work toward if she is elected to the open District 33 seat in the Oregon House and gets a chance to advance priorities of campaign finance reform, housing and climate change.

A geologist by training and some previous jobs, Bussell also was the manager for the 2018 Oregon Senate campaign of Charles Gallia of Oregon City and chief of staff to Sen. Jeff Golden of Ashland in 2019.

"I'm angry at the leadership for upholding the status quo, white supremacy culture, and systems of oppression that continue to marginalize and criminalize the poor, working class, people of color, and others," she said in a statement. "House District 33 deserves to have a strong progressive in the seat who will fight for revenue reform, worker protections, and making Oregon safe and welcoming state."

Bussell is one of four candidates for the Democratic nomination in the May 19 primary in District 33, which extends west from Northwest Portland into the unincorporated communities of Bethany and Cedar Mill. Mitch Greenlick of Portland, the 18-year Democratic incumbent, is retiring.

Bussell, 35, lives with her husband Tom in Portland. She is spending full time on her candidacy.

She earned a bachelor's degree in earth sciences in 2006 from Boston University, a master's in geology in 2011 from Portland State University, and a master's in business administration in 2017 from Willamette University. Among her previous employers are the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, Pacific Geotechnical Consulting, Oregon Department of Transportation, Xerces Society and Metro.

She is the chairwoman of Portland's Open & Accountable Elections Commission, which oversees the city's public campaign financing program — the only one in Oregon.

Lack of access to wealth, she said, "is a major structural barrier that keeps people out of politics and running for office. It is also a racial justice issue because we know that communities of color historically have not had the same access to intergenerational wealth or community wealth as white communities… We need a world where these financial barriers don't exist."

She said adequate housing has a positive effect on access to food, physical and mental health, education and public safety "and it's one we can solve."

"Instead of criminalizing poverty and over-policing… we should be helping people get into permanent housing, paying their rent with vouchers, and supporting folks with a social safety net" that includes a range of services, she said.

She said actions to reduce greenhouse gases and combat climate change must take into account how those policies can also achieve environmental justice.

"We are already seeing the harmful effects of climate change… and low-income communities, communities of color, rural communities, and immigrant communities are bearing the burden of these negative impacts," she said.

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