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Carmen Rubio knows the power of community. She has seen firsthand when community comes together and organizes. She knows that we can accomplish more together than any of us can alone. That value—centering community—is what has defined her career and it was what powered her successful campaign for Portland City Hall in 2020.
Carmen began her career of serving others in the offices of Multnomah County Commissioner Serena Cruz, Portland Mayor Tom Potter, and Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish. She served as a policy advisor and worked to engage Portlanders on critical issues. In each of those roles, Carmen was known for her dedication to making local government more accessible and more responsive to all of our communities—making Portland work for everyone.
In 2009, Carmen was tapped as the executive director of Latino Network, a small organization that advocated for Portland's growing Latine community. Over the decade that followed, she grew Latino Network’s team to 140 talented people who spent their time lifting up youth and families to achieve their potential and define their futures. Various community-centered programs engage parents, support early literacy and high school completion, focus on youth and families impacted by the justice system, and provide energy and rent assistance to those in need of support. The organization also helps families navigate our country’s system of immigration.
In all these issue areas, Latino Network advocates for new and better public policy—at all levels of government. This experience Carmen brings with her—the work to create positive change to benefit families and children—is invaluable as she returns to government.
Now, as a Portland Commissioner, Carmen will do more than just open the doors of City Hall to the community: She’ll ensure that the leaders and staff inside City Hall reach outside City Hall to listen and engage authentically with everyone in our city.
Carmen Rubio was born and raised in Hillsboro, the granddaughter of immigrants who came to this country as migrant workers. She is the first in her family to graduate from college and is the first Latina on the Portland City Council. She currently lives in Northeast Portland with her partner.