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East Portland educator, youth advocate running to represent Happy Valley, Damascus and Sandy in state legislature.

COURTESY PHOTO: HOA NGUYEN  - David Douglas School Board member Hoa Nguyen will run in the May 17 Democratic primary to serve as state representative for House District 48. Educator, youth advocate and David Douglas School Board member Hoa Nguyen will run in the May 17 Democratic primary to serve as state representative for House District 48.

The newly drawn district includes portions of East Portland, Happy Valley, Damascus and Sandy. As of Feb. 18, Nguyen was the only candidate to file for the HD48 seat.

"As a longtime resident who has worked with youth and families in the region, I understand the importance of strong public education and the need for affordable housing, equitable community development and accessible transportation," Nguyen said. "My top priority in this new, diverse, rural and urban district is listening to the concerns and ideas of constituents and fighting for them every day at the Capitol."

Nguyen is an elected member of the David Douglas School Board. She also was a board member of API Forward Foundation, which supports training for young professionals.

Nguyen has a background in program management with Neighborhood House and Portland Public Schools.

House District 48 has been represented by Democrat Rep. Jeff Reardon for four two-year terms. Reardon is retiring after his term expires.

"Hoa has worked side-by-side with families for years and has the understanding and leadership needed to serve our communities in the state Legislature," Reardon said. "I am confident in her experience and ability to be the next state representative for House District 48."  

Nguyen won her David Douglas School Board seat in 2021. Her term as a Position 3 board member lasts until 2025. Nguyen is looking to bring her experience as an educator to bring awareness to some of the issues hindering public education in Oregon.

"No one is looking out for our public education and we are looking at a real crisis in that area," Nguyen said. "(fighting for education) is a constant battle and I see it becoming harder as budget cuts due to low enrollment make funding even more difficult."

Nguyen said she is prepared for the challenge of representing the newly drawn district, which covers both Clackamas and Multnomah counties.

"I am obviously not going to be an expert on these communities, so that is why I am going to rely on my constituents to inform me of what they need," Nguyen said. "In my experience in public education, I have learned to work in different situations and with people who have a variety of perspectives and life experiences."

A second-generation Vietnamese American, Nguyen was born in New Orleans before her family moved to Portland. She received her bachelor's degree in sociology from Portland State University.

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