House District 47 Candidate Jessica Vega Pederson will address the East Portland Chamber of Commerce (EPCC) at 7:30 am, Wednesday, April 18, in the lower level Education Center B of the Adventist Medical Center, 10123 SE Market St.
She is running to succeed Jefferson Smith, a Portland mayoral candidate. If elected, she reportedly would become the first Latino to win a seat in the Oregon House.
Jessica was born in a small town in Indiana, the oldest of three girls. Her father worked in the steel industry and her mother a homemaker. Her interest in public service started at an early age. Her grandfather was a Democratic Block Captain and her mother helped found the Concerned Latinos of East Chicago. She turned her upbringing into action while still in high school and college with leadership roles in student government and Latino organizations.
Jessica moved to Oregon in her 20s after visiting relatives in the Pacific Northwest. She and her husband moved to East Portland where she became involved in a number of volunteer roles as a leader in the Sierra Club, a natural area crew leader with the Friends of Trees and a volunteer with the Bus Project. Currently, she is a board member of the Hazelwood Neighborhood Association and a member of the Eastside Egg Co-op at Zenger Farms.
She is running on a platform to build a sustainable economy with high wage jobs, strengthen the public education system and fight for equity in Oregon.
Professionally she has had a career in the computer industry having worked for both start-ups and Fortune 500 companies.