September 17, 2015                                                                                                                                    

Media Contact: Diego Hernandez, 503-927-7545


Diego Hernandez launches campaign for State Representative


Reynolds School Board member and East Portland advocate Diego Hernandez announced his candidacy today for State Representative, House District 47. Hernandez will be running for the seat currently held by Rep. Jessica Vega Pederson who is running for Multnomah County Commissioner.


Diego Hernandez is a product of East Portland's public schools and was the first Latino ever elected to the Reynolds School Board. As a school board member, Diego advocated for equity and helped pass the district's first Equity Action Plan. Diego is a champion for students and public education. Through his service on the Reynolds bond steering committee, he was instrumental in the passage of the $125 million bond that is rebuilding 3 elementary schools in the district.


In 2014, Diego was appointed to the Oregon Commission on Hispanic Affairs, where he recently served on the SB 218 Senate Education Committee’s task force. He also serves on the boards of the Mckenzie River Gathering Foundation and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon. In 2012, he was recognized by the National Association of Social Workers with the Community Based Practice Award.


“I have personally seen and have been impressed with Diego’s leadership in our district,” said Erick Flores, a Parkrose School Board member and a David Douglas School District teacher. “He doesn’t just advocate for policy, he is also actively working with the community and youth to improve lives. When Parkrose bus drivers were under the threat of being outsourced, Diego voiced his support for workers to prevent the outsourcing, and this is just one of the reasons I am excited to support his campaign.”


“Diego Hernandez is the kind of community leader we need in Salem. He has been a phenomenal voice for our students on the Reynolds School Board and a strong advocate for public education. Diego stands up for what he believes in, just as he stood up for Reynolds teachers when they went on strike,” said State Representative Chris Gorsek.


“Diego Hernandez will bring to the legislature an understanding and experience that focuses on our community in East Portland.” Said Co-Chair of the East Portland Action Plan Arlene Kimura.


“East Portland isn’t just where I live, I was raised here, my family lives here,and it’s where I serve and want to continue to serve. I won’t stop advocating for our community until all of our families have a fair shot for a brighter future,” Diego Hernandez said. “Many of our neighbors work full time and still struggle to make ends meet, and this is why I will fight for a living wage, because no one should work full time and live in poverty. As a former educator and current school board member I am well aware of the challenges our public schools face, which is why I will work to increase resources for education to lower class sizes, close the achievement gap, and invest in early childhood education programs. As a state representative, I will fight for the improvement of our roads, sidewalks, and intersections. People shouldn’t risk their lives to walk to school, to get groceries, to take public transportation, or to get from place to place.”


Diego has his BA in Political Science and Ethnic Studies from the University of Oregon and his Masters in Social Work from Portland State University. After college, Diego became a teacher at Parkrose Middle and High School. Diego is currently the Co-Executive Director of Momentum Alliance, a nonprofit he co-founded four years ago, which develops young civic leaders.