Sara Gelser

Sara Gelser

Sara Gelser is an American politician from Oregon. She has represented Corvallis and Philomath since 2005. Prior to her service in the legislature, Representative Gelser served on the Corvallis School Board and worked for the Oregon Department of Human Services. In 2010, Gelser was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve on the National Council on Disability, and was confirmed to the position by the US Senate. In 2011, Gelser was named a German Marshall Memorial Fellow. Gelser is a Democrat.

For the 2009 Oregon legislative session, Gelser was Chair of the House Committee on Education and continued as the Co-Chair of that committee during the 2011 tied chamber. During her legislative tenure she has also served on the following committees: House Select Committee on Education, House Committee on Child Welfare, Human Services, Health Care, Rules, Revenue and the Joint Committee on Tax Credits. She served as Assistant Caucus Leader from 2006–2011, and for the 2011 session served as Deputy Democratic Whip.

Gelser has worked on a variety of education, health, human service and finance issues. Her legislative accomplishments include the creation of statewide standards for modified and extended diplomas, the elevation of strangulation to a felony, strengthening the rape statute, improving child abuse investigations through Karly's Law, the creation of a medically involved children's waiver to allow children to grow up in their family homes rather than nursing homes, an overhaul of the state's response to abuse of the elderly and disabled and legislation prohibiting insurance discrimination against children with disabilities and chronic health care conditions. She played a lead role in the creation of the Oregon Healthy Kids Program, eliminating restrictions for school employees wearing religious dress in school, and granting greater autonomy to Oregon's higher education system.

Gelser was the only female member of the 2007 "5 Under 35" Caucus. With an influx of new Democrats, the 2009 Legislature included ten Democratic caucus members under the age of 36.[1]

Gelser, lives in Corvallis with her husband, Peter, and their four children.[2]


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