Andrea Salinas of Lake Oswego and Neil H. Simon of Hillsdale have both worked on policy issues at the state and national levels
Two longtime political consultants with extensive experience working on economic, health care and environmental issues on both the state and national levels announced Friday that they will seek appointment to the House District 38 seat being vacated by Rep. Ann Lininger.
Andrea Salinas, the Oregon vice president for Strategies 360, and Neil H. Simon, a partner with Bighorn Communications, join a growing list of candidates for Lininger’s job in Salem. Just last week, Lake Oswego City Councilors Joe Buck and Theresa Kohlhoff both publicly announced that they, too, will seek the job, and Clackamas County Democratic officials told The Review that they have been approached by at least five potential candidates.
Lininger was appointed by Gov. Kate Brown earlier this month to a judgeship on the Clackamas County Circuit Court. She is expected to officially resign from her role as a state representative sometime in August, kicking off a monthlong process in which Democratic Party officials will submit a list of finalists to commissioners in Clackamas and Multnomah counties for a final vote. (For more on the process, go to pamplinmedia.com/lor/48-news/366805-248354-who-will-replace-lake-oswegos-lininger-in-house-district-38.)
Salinas, who lives with her husband and daughter in Lake Oswego, is one of the founding organizers of LO for LOve, a grassroots organization that advocates for diversity, awareness and kindness in the community. He father immigrated to the United States from Mexico.
“I have always believed that we have a responsibility to do our part,” she said. “I am honored to have the opportunity to be considered to serve the people of our community in Salem and proud to have the endorsement of so many respected neighbors and organizations.”
Those endorsements include former state Rep. Greg MacPherson; Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson; Lake Oswego School Board member Rob Wagner; Doug Moore, executive director of the Oregon League of Conservation Voters; Grayson Dempsey, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon; and Mary Nolan, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon.
Salinas currently is the Oregon vice president of Strategies 360, a consulting firm with offices in a dozen states and in Washington, D.C. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, she has owned her own legislative campaign consulting business, managed the legislative agenda for the Oregon Environmental Council and worked in a variety of roles for U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, U.S. Rep. Pete Stark and U.S. Rep. Darlene Hooley.
“For more than 20 years, I have been working to protect and pass policies that help women and children, working people, seniors and the environment,” Salinas told The Review. “I am the only candidate with a proven record of bringing state elected leaders together. I have successfully worked to pass laws that increase the statewide minimum wage, reduce vehicle pollution and provide all women equal access to affordable reproductive health care.”
If appointed to the state Legislature, she says her priorities will include stabilizing school funding, lowering prescription drug prices and working on environmental issues.
“I am ready to fight to fully fund public education, hold the pharmaceutical industry accountable to lower drug prices and make polluters pay for the harm they are imposing on our health, our children’s health and our environment,” Salinas said.
Neil H. Simon
Simon is a third-generation Oregonian who graduated from Northwestern University and initially pursued a career in journalism “with the romantic notion that if I told people’s stories well, we could inspire civic participation.”
An award-winning documentary filmmaker, he says he transitioned to political advocacy so that he could take even more of a stand. As a communications director for U.S. senators, for example, he helped write “Russian sanctions to defend human rights, environmental legislation to hold energy companies accountable and laws to add transparency to our democratic election process that is eroding beneath us if we don’t stand up to protect it.”
Currently a partner at Bighorn Communications, Simon’s policy work on the state and national level has emphasized increased transparency in the fields of energy, port and homeland security and electoral governance. His recent work includes advising Ted Wheeler during his recent campaign for mayor of Portland.
Simon now lives in Hillsdale with his wife and three children, but he’s quick to point out that he worked at a Kienow’s grocery store in Lake Oswego as a teen.
“As an advocate for social justice, I’m proud of the work Clackamas and Multnomah County Democrats are doing to lead the resistance to this sham presidency, and I stand with those leading the effort to block the GOP agenda that would roll back the clock on progressive gains,” he told The Review. “But I am seeking this appointment to do more than resist. I want us to reimagine politics.
“That means championing health care for all, strengthening education, addressing income inequality and assuring affordable housing,” Simon said.
If he’s appointed to the HD38 seat, Simon said he will also focus on transportation issues beyond the $5.2 billion package that passed the Legislature earlier this month.
“If we can create more commuter options with mass-transit, bike lanes and express lanes, we can shorten commutes, give people more time with their families, reduce carbon emissions and combat global warming,” he said. “We love our pocket of Oregon for the quality of life it brings. Now it’s up to us to work to conserve it for the next generation.”