Moving Mountains for MHCC

I’d be honored to earn your vote in the May 2019 election.

  • Affordability

    I envision an MHCC that is affordable. The majority of prospective students no longer believe the value of a college degree outweighs the cost. I’ll fight for increased funding to lower the cost of tuition and invest in MHCC’s dedicated faculty and staff.

  • Supporting Students

    I envision an MHCC that meets students where they are at. I’ll advocate for students that don’t fit the traditional college student mold by fighting for expanded on-campus child care and health services.

  • Campus Safety

    I envision an MHCC that is safe. I’ll work to ensure the college has effective and trauma-informed policies and procedures to prevent and address sexual harassment and assault on campus.

  • College to Careers

    I envision an MHCC that connects college to careers, and I will build new partnerships with businesses and industries growing in East County that provide family wage jobs and opportunities for growth.

2019 Special Election is May 21!

0 days left


Courtney grew up in a small town in Southern Oregon. The daughter of small business owners, she learned the value of hard work and determination at a young age. Courtney experienced firsthand what it meant to have limited opportunities, and learned early on about the importance of education.

Courtney balanced a full course load and worked 30+ hours a week throughout college at Portland State University and the University of Oregon. Even working nearly full-time and attending public universities, she graduated in 2011 with over $40,000 of student debt.

During the Great Recession and her final years before graduation, the financial hardship Courtney and her family experienced taught her that people don’t struggle by choice. It also inspired her to get involved in civic engagement efforts and public service. As an organizer with the Oregon Student Association, Courtney ran a successful, non-partisan student voter registration drive at MHCC in 2012 that engaged hundreds of young people and students in the electoral process for the first time.

Throughout her work with MHCC students–many of whom were facing the same struggles she had faced–Courtney became a passionate advocate for public higher education. Whether serving as a community organizer who helped pass Oregon’s Tuition Equity policy in 2013 or working to secure funding for Oregon’s only need-based aid program for college students, Courtney found her passion for community organizing in Gresham and East Portland, public service, and advocacy for public education. She carried those lessons into her role as Campaign Manager and Chief of Staff for State Representative Carla Piluso. In that role, she was proud to help secure $1 million in state funding for the Open School East in Rockwood and passed policies like Oregon Promise to allow students to attend community college for as little as $50 a term.

As a result of her experience serving residents of Gresham and East Portland, Courtney decided to continue her career as an advocate in Salem where she has worked to pass state policies that positively impact East County, like tenant protections, healthcare access, and paid family and medical leave. She understands the value of education as a tool to lift people up and is dedicated to serving the students, faculty, and staff of MHCC. With years of community organizing, public policy, campaign experience, and a passion for working with students Courtney will move mountains for MHCC.


  • "Courtney is a public servant through and through. She has committed her professional and personal life to advocating for legislation to help Oregon's students and working families."

    - Representative Carla C. Piluso
  • "Courtney's experience as a working student who is still paying hundreds in student loans every month is exactly the voice we need. Couple that perspective with her experience in advocacy and government, it's clear Courtney is the best choice."

    - Gresham City Councilor Eddy Morales

Shemia Fagan, State Senator

Diego Hernandez, State Representative

Chris Gorsek, State Representative

Carla C. Piluso, State Representative

Barbara Smith Warner, State Representative

Christine Lewis, Metro Councilor

Jennifer McGuirk, Multnomah County Auditor

Scott Harden, Wood Village Mayor

Eddy Morales, Gresham City Councilor

Mario Palmero, Gresham City Councilor

Kenney Polson, Mt. Hood Community College Board of Education

Dave Hunt, Clackamas Community College Board of Education

Mayra Gomez, Gresham-Barlow School Board Member

Andrea Valderrama, David Douglas School Board Member

Rachel Fetters, Mt. Hood Community College Student

East County Rising

Planned Parenthood PAC of Oregon

Oregon Working Families Party


We're proud to endorse Courtney Helstein.

The East County Rising mission is to engage, energize, and elevate East Multnomah County by transforming governments to better reflect and represent East County's diverse and progressive community. We mobilize voters, train progressive candidates and win elections!