Janelle Bynum represents the communities of East Portland, Gresham, Damascus, Boring, North Clackamas, and Happy Valley in the Oregon Legislature. She serves as Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Vice-Chair of the Business and Labor Committee, and the Joint Ways and Means Public Safety Subcommittee. In addition to her duties as a citizen legislator, she and her husband own four restaurants in the Portland area.
Prior to becoming a business owner, Janelle worked in several capacities, including Summer Associate at Boeing Defense and Space Systems in Seattle, Washington, as well as a Steering Systems Engineer at General Motors in Saginaw, Michigan. Her experience includes product development in hybrid vehicle technology and working with global electronics suppliers in Mexico, Taiwan, and France.
The daughter of teachers, Janelle believes that education is the key to opportunity. As a young woman, she earned scholarships and put herself through school, obtaining her Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and her Master's degree in Business Administration.
In the Legislature, Janelle has championed legislation to improve high school graduation rates, ensure equal pay for women, promote small business growth, address maternal mortality, and address Oregon’s housing crisis. She uses her platform to advocate for data-based policy that improves the quality of life for communities and supports multi-generational wealth building through education and asset-building. Janelle has been selected to participate in programs for elected leaders including the Henry Toll Fellowship and the Emerging Legislative Leaders program.
Janelle and her husband, Mark, live in Happy Valley with their four children. She enjoys coaching soccer, cooking, dancing, and advocacy for African-American families. Janelle proudly serves as a Member of Jack & Jill Inc, the Board of Trustees for the Ronald McDonald House Charity of Oregon and SW Washington, the Oregon Commission on Black Affairs, the Portland Community College President’s Council, Business Oregon, and the Center for Women’s Leadership.