Rep. Keny-Guyer of Portland to step down from Legislature at end of year
State Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer, D-Portland, announced Thursday, Jan. 16, that she would not seek re-election in 2020. She has served House District 46, which includes portions of Northeast and Southeast Portland, since 2011.
She is the 18th member of the Legislature to announce a departure for later this year. The next session of the Legislature begins Monday, Feb. 3.
She chairs the House Committee On Human Services and Housing. She also has served on the House Committees on Health Care, Early Childhood and Family Supports, Consumer Protection, Environment and Revenue, as well as on the Joint Ways and Means (budget-writing) Subcommittee on Human Services.
She was known as a champion for human rights in the Legislature. She also took part in the 2019 legislative session while battling cancer.
The news of her departure comes only about three months after her husband, longtime Mercy Corps CEO Neal Keny-Guyer, resigned his position after employees fought for a more forceful response to allegations of sexual abuse against one of its founders.
The Oregonian first broke that story.
Neal Keny-Guyer, 65, had led the Portland-based humanitarian organization since 1994.
Alissa Keny-Guyer released the following statement Thursday evening: "I have been deeply honored to serve my district and state, and especially to serve as chair of the House Committee on Human Services and Housing," she wrote. "I have loved working with my dedicated staff, colleagues and advocates to address some of our state's most pressing needs."
House Majority Leader Barbara Smith Warner said Rep. Keny-Guyer has been a champion for building a more diverse House Democratic caucus. "Since her appointment to the Legislature nearly a decade ago, Alissa has kept us focused on equity and diversity in the legislature," Smith Warner said. "Alissa is my friend, legislative district neighbor and frequent carpool companion. I will miss her passion and commitment to building a more just Oregon for all."
"Knowing how great the need is among vulnerable populations has made the decision to not seek re-election so difficult," Rep. Keny-Guyer added. "After challenges of the past year including beating cancer, this is a transition time to explore new ways of expressing my values in the world and spend more time with my family.
"Over the next year, I will work to ensure that the many issues I care about have a committed champion going forward. Though my legislative term will end early next year, my lifelong commitment to serving others will not. I am excited for the next chapter."
Rep. Keny-Guyer's term expires in January 2021.
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