You are currently viewing Pamplin Media Group – Representative Anna Williams prepares to leave the Oregon Legislature on August 14

Pamplin Media Group – Representative Anna Williams prepares to leave the Oregon Legislature on August 14

A four-year-old representative from House District 52 will take over as executive director of Oregon’s System of Care Advisory Council on August 15

In March, House District 52 Rep. Anna Williams, D-Hood River, was one of three prominent House Democrats to announce she would not run for office due to insufficient pay for the work required. Williams has served in the House since 2019, winning her election in 2018 against then-Rep. Jeff Helfrich.

Hours after it became clear that Senate Bill 1566 – which would have raised lawmakers’ salaries – would not make it out of committee, Representatives Rachel Prusak of West Linn, Karin Power of Milwaukie and Williams announced that they resigned. Now, three months before the November election, Williams has announced she plans to step down from her post even sooner, leaving Salem on August 14.

Williams, who currently chairs the House Committee on Human Services, has accepted the position of executive director of Oregon’s System of Care Advisory Council.

Williams has a master’s degree in social work and a lifelong passion for serving others. During her career, she has worked in a homeless adult shelter, a therapeutic group home, as an advocate for survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and as a program coordinator for patients. elderly requiring supportive care in a health care facility. She has also focused primarily on social services policy as a legislator and will continue to do so in her new role.

During her time in the House, Williams said she was most proud of her efforts that helped increase support for child abuse victims in Oregon.

“Research tells us that childhood trauma may be the single most important factor contributing to an adult’s ability to live a healthy and happy life,” Williams explained. “By increasing the quality and availability of services for abused children and their families, both in my district and statewide, I will leave office confident that the legislature has significantly improved the future prospects for hundreds, if not thousands of children.”

According to a statement from his office, Williams also successfully sponsored and enacted measures to “support homeless youth, review fee structures and workloads for some beleaguered social service providers, support school districts to educate students about child abuse and study the true prevalence of child abuse in Oregon, which she says will help the legislature develop more effective policies to address and prevent widespread abuse in the state.FILE PHOTO PMG - Williams helped advocate for funding for Sandy for efforts such as the sewage treatment plant projects being explored for green alternatives during his tenure.

In the Columbia Gorge and Mt. Hood areas, Williams helped enact policies to support search and rescue operations and helped direct more than $30 million in state and federal funding to House District 52 to support its economy, its infrastructure and its most vulnerable populations.

In her final weeks as State Representative, Williams hopes to help ensure that work for the social services programs and other policies she has worked on for the past two years as president of the the House Committee on Social Services will continue after he leaves, and that these conversations are ongoing.

“So many programs within the state social safety net are really complex,” she said. “My goal is to help ensure that the next committee chair can navigate the steep learning curve and be immediately up to speed when it comes to ongoing program improvements.”

As Executive Director of Oregon’s Health Care System Advisory Council, Williams’ background in social work will be a tremendous asset and will keep her on the career path she loves and serving the most vulnerable Oregonians.

“Relationships are where healing happens, whether it’s between agencies, within families, or between individuals working together to improve systems,” she said. “I look forward to meeting everyone involved in this work, getting to know them, and improving outcomes for children and youth in their communities and across our state.”

While in the Legislative Assembly, Williams had to work several part-time jobs to supplement the less than $33,000 paid to lawmakers a year. She said that now that she is resigning from her position in the House, she is looking forward to being able to focus her attention on a position.

“I’ll be a much better public servant when I can spend all my time working on meaningful policy change without having to worry so much about making ends meet,” she said.

She will start in her new role on August 15.

This early resignation opens the House 52 seat for a temporary appointment, which is expected to be accepted by the county commissions of Hood River, Clackamas, Multnomah and Wasco. Jeff Helfrich was a Rep by appointment in 2017 after former Rep. Mark Johnson resigned midterm.

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