Representative Sara Gelser
Sara Gelser has served in the Oregon Legislature since 2005, representing Philomath and Corvallis. She is Chair of the House Education Committee and Co-Chair of the Oregon Women's Health and Wellness Alliance. She also serves on the House Revenue Committee, the House Human Services and Housing Committee and the Joint Committee on Tax Credits. In prior sessions she served on the Health Care Committee, the Child Welfare Committee, the Seniors and People with Disabilities Committee and the Oregon Tort Reform Task Force.
Representative Gelser is the legislative appointee to the State Interagency Coordinating Council for Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education. She was also appointed by Governor Kitzhaber to the Oregon Rail Leadership Council. She was a founding member of the Oregon Senior and Disability Caucus, and in 2010 was appointed to the National Council on Disability by President Barack Obama, with unanimous consent from the US Senate.
Representative Gelser’s legislative accomplishments include strengthening Oregon’s rape statute, the creation of a charitable pharmacy program, the establishment of statewide standards for modified and extended diplomas, expanding Oregon's mandatory child abuse reporting law, limiting the use of seclusion and restraining in public schools, strengthening protections for seniors and people with disabilities who are victims of abuse and neglect, limiting youth access to smokeless tobacco products, and reducing barriers for access to medical and support services for children with disabilities. In 2007, Sara spearheaded Karly’s Law which improves child abuse investigations across the state.
She served on the Corvallis School Board from 2001 until August of 2006. Prior to her legislative service, Representative Gelser worked as the Children with Disabilities and Family Support Coordinator for the Oregon Department of Human Services and as a parent educator for Linn-Benton Community College and the Oregon Parent Training and and Information Center. Gelser is the founder of the FG Syndrome Family Alliance, a non-profit organization serving families and medical professionals around the world touched by this unusual syndrome.
Gelser earned her BA in history and education from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, and an MAIS degree from Oregon State University. She lives in Corvallis with her husband, Peter, and their four children—Sam, Ellie, Nicole and Maia.