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About Suzanne

Suzanne Bonamici grew up in a small town in Michigan. Her father worked for a local bank and her mother was a small business owner and piano teacher. Many of her strongest childhood memories are of family camping trips with her two brothers.

After graduating from high school, Suzanne moved to Oregon with friends and fell in love with the state. She put herself through college, first at Lane Community College and then at the University of Oregon, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. Following college, she went on to law school at the University of Oregon and earned her J.D. degree.

Suzanne has dedicated her entire career to working for accountability, fairness, and the creation of opportunities to give everyone a path to a better future. During college, Suzanne was a legal assistant at Lane County Legal Aid in Eugene. It was there that she discovered her interest in and passion for consumer rights.

After graduating, she worked as a consumer protection attorney for the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. She was assigned to the Credit Practices Division, where she worked to protect consumers from predatory or discriminatory lending practices. Suzanne met her husband Michael in Washington, D.C., and in 1986 they moved to Oregon and soon after settled in Washington County. Suzanne entered private law practice, where she specialized in representing individuals and small businesses.

Suzanne then took a career break to raise her children. She became active in the community, volunteering for education, arts, and civic organizations like the Classroom Law Project, Beaverton Education Foundation, and several theaters. Her public school advocacy work is what first took her to the Oregon State Capitol, attending rallies in support of education and leading her to a decision to serve in public office.

Suzanne worked as a legislative assistant in the Oregon House of Representatives in 2001. In 2006, the voters of Washington County’s House District 34 elected her to represent them in Salem. After only one term in the Oregon House, her leadership and hard work were recognized and led to her appointment, and then election, to the Oregon Senate in 2008. She was reelected to the Senate in 2010.

Suzanne was first elected to the U.S. Congress in a special election in 2012. She currently serves on the Education and Workforce Committee and on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. She is a member of the Progressive Caucus and the Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the STEAM Caucus, which aims to educate innovators by integrating art and design into Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). She is also Co-Chair of the bipartisan Oceans Caucus, and a leader on issues involving the health of our ocean.

Suzanne and Michael have been married for more than thirty-five years. Their children, now grown, attended public schools in the Beaverton School District.

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Meet Suzanne

Suzanne knows what it’s like to struggle to make ends meet. She worked her way through community college, university, and law school. She started her career at Legal Aid and worked as a consumer rights attorney. Throughout her career she’s been a leading advocate for public education, protecting the environment, and civil rights. She’s fighting for a better future for all Oregonians.

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