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Portland civil rights lawyer is a Democratic candidate for the position Mitch Greenlick is vacating.

COURTESY CHRISTINA STEPHENSON - Christina Stephenson, a civil rights lawyer in Portland, seeks the Democratic nomination for the open House District 33 seat in the May 19 primary.Christina Stephenson says she will continue her work as a civil rights lawyer in a larger arena if she is elected to the open District 33 seat in the Oregon House.

Stephenson said in a statement that as a volunteer lawyer reviewing proposed legislation, she caught a word in a bill that would have deprived Oregonians of the right to seek access to justice.

"This shouldn't happen, but preventing bad laws and making good laws should not just be happenstance," she said.

"I believe we need people in Salem with both the technical expertise and the conviction to fight for workers. We need legislators who are not hostage to corporate lobbyists; legislators who will be able to intelligently refute misinformation; and legislators who will bring people out of their silos to address systems changes holistically."

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

Stephenson, 36, is a partner in the Portland firm Meyer Stephenson. She lives in Northwest Portland with her husband, Erik Wasik, also a lawyer, and their young son. She is a graduate of Hillsboro High School and earned a bachelor's degree in international politics in 2005 from American University in Washington, D.C., and a law degree in 2009 from the University of Oregon.

She is on the Multnomah County Commission for Economic Dignity.

"Having spent roughly 30,000 hours defending workers in cases against bad-actor employers and powerful corporate interests, I understand the impact laws have on everyday people," she said.

Among her previous volunteer efforts on legislation: A 2019 law curbing employer use of nondisclosure agreements, which she took the lead role in drafting; a 2017 law requiring employer notice to workers of estimated hours and schedules; a 2019 law requiring paid family and medical leave, and bills aimed at curbing wage theft.

"I'm proud of the work I've already done in Salem, partnering with legislators and community advocates to help level the playing field for Oregon working families and small businesses," she said.

"If elected, I will continue to be a daily champion for equity for Oregonians — in the classroom, in the workplace, in the doctor's office."

Among her priorities: Housing, education and jobs; child, health and elder care; and steps to deal with climate change through promotion of clean energy and green technology "while ensuring a just transition for workers."

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Campaign contacts: christinastephenson.com or www.facebook.com/ChristinaStephensonforHD33.


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