Sara Gelser Blouin was sworn into the Oregon House in 2005 where she served until she was elected to the Oregon State Senate in 2014. She is Chair of the Senate Human Services Committee. She also serves on the Judiciary Committee, the Education Committee and is a member of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, and the Human Services Subcommittee of Ways and Means.
Sara entered public services through the disability rights community. She is a consistent champion for those often not heard or seen in the halls of the legislature, including children in care, people with disabilities, those with mental illness, people living in poverty and the aging. She is a national leader in the effort to reform abusive residential programs for youth that comprise what is known as the Troubled/Exploited Teen Industry. Sara's legislative accomplishments include spearheading legislation to end Oregon's backlog of untested rape kits, dismantling discrimination in health care delivery, improving staffing and services in memory care facilities, establishing a Domestic Worker's Bill of Rights, eliminating discriminatory use of abbreviated school days in Oregon schools, establishing statewide standards for modified and extended diplomas and implementing clear, enforceable policies to limit the use of physical restraint and seclusion in public schools and residential programs.
Sara served on the Corvallis School Board from 2001 until 2006. In 2010, President Barack Obama appointed Sara to the National Council on Disability. The nomination was confirmed by a unanimous vote of the US Senate.
She was a National Council on State Legislators Child Welfare Fellow and the national Education Policy Chair for the Council on State Governments. She was named a Henry Toll Fellow, a Marshall Memorial Fellow, a Milbank Memorial Fellow and participated in the US Department of State's American Council of Young Political Leaders foreign exchange program.
In 2017, Sara was featured as one of Time Magazine's "Person of the Year" Silence Breakers. Her work on disability and youth issues is regularly highlighted in national print, film and radio. In 2021, she was honored with the Carl Levin Award for Effective Oversight from the Levin Institute at the Wayne State School of Law for her work to address abuse of youth in residential programs.
Before serving in the Legislature, Sara was the Children with Disabilities and Family Support Coordinator for the Oregon Department of Human Services. She also worked as a parent education instructor at Linn-Benton Community College and as a regional coordinator for the Oregon Parent Training and Information Center (now FACT Oregon), where she provided training to parents, educators and administrators about special education law and practice. For several years, she was also employed as a youth minister at Grace Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Corvallis.
Sara earned her BA in History and Education from Earlham College and a MAIS degree in History and Women and gender studies from Oregon State University. Sara lives in Corvallis with her husband, Dr. Michael Blouin. She has four adult children and one teenaged stepson.