Representative Ken Helm
Democrat - District 34 - Washington County
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1434
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, H-490, Salem, Oregon 97301
I graduated from high school in Bend, Oregon and went on to attend Willamette University where I earned a BA in History and Political Science. I also earned my JD at Willamette University College of Law. During law school I started my land use career by clerking for the Land Use Board of Appeals.
My early land use career included serving development clients as well as local governments. In 1997, I took a position as land use staff for Metro, the regional government in the Portland area that manages the urban growth boundary. I was responsible for defending Metro's first urban reserve decision in the late 1990's. In the early 2000's Metro expanded the urban growth boundary and I was again tapped to write findings supporting that decision.
About eight years ago I opened a solo law practice specializing in two areas. One element of my practice is serving clients who oppose Walmart stores in their communities. The other is providing land use and code enforcement hearings officer services for cities and counties around the state.
In my private life I enjoy spending time with my family – mostly doing outdoor pursuits such as skiing, white water rafting, hiking and camping. I have been married to my lovely wife Mariah for 20 years, and we have been living in Beaverton for the last 10. Together we have two children; our daughter is 17 and our son is 13.
Through growing up in Oregon and pursuing a career in land use law I have developed a deep appreciation for protecting our natural spaces. As an attorney, I worked with local residents to stand up to development projects that would hurt our community. Through land-use work at Metro, I've been heavily involved in how we can best grow our economy and create jobs, while also preserving farmland and green spaces. I believe in standing up for our shared priorities: creating opportunity and passing on our natural legacy to future generations. Becoming a state representative is my latest step in pursuit of these goals.