Beginning with her work to win domestic partnership benefits for faculty and students at the University of Washington in the mid-1990s, Tina Kotek has worked hard to change the world and to empower people to be part of that change.
Tina began her public service career as a policy advocate for the Oregon Food Bank, working to eliminate hunger for every Oregonian. She went on to serve as the policy director for Children First for Oregon before being elected to the Oregon House of Representatives in 2006.
In her first term in the House, Tina championed a redesign of the state's welfare program, led the fight to establish statewide nutrition standards for food sold in schools, and helped pass landmark legislation that ended discrimination based on sexual orientation and created domestic partnerships for same-sex couples.
In 2013, Tina became the first openly lesbian Speaker of any state House in the nation. As Speaker, Tina has led the charge for positive change in Oregon.
In the 2015 legislative session, Tina was a leader in the movement to give everyone a fair shot at success by championing the successful efforts to expand earned sick leave, strengthen retirement security and ban racial profiling. She worked to strengthen and expand child care options for working parents and fought to implement Oregon's Clean Fuels Program. The 2016 session built upon those wins for working families, including the passage of trailblazing legislation to raise Oregon's minimum wage.