Education, Political Experience, and the Air Force: A Life of Service
Paul Evans was born in Salem, Oregon. Raised in the small town of Monmouth, he graduated from Central High School (Independence, Oregon) in 1988. At age 18, he was elected to serve his community as a city councilor, one of the youngest elected leaders in the nation. Like his cousin, father and uncle before him, Paul joined the volunteer fire department and served with Polk County Fire District #1 throughout college. Following graduation from Western Oregon University (WOU) in 1992, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, earning a commission in 1993 and qualification as an Air Weapons Controller.
Paul spent more than four years on active duty with the 728th Air Control Squadron completing missions throughout the world. Upon fulfilling his initial military commitment in 1997, he returned home to continue his education and begin a civilian career. He led the city as Mayor, served in the Oregon Air National Guard, educated students at WOU and Oregon State University, taught Sunday school at Monmouth Christian Church, worked with the Monmouth-Independence YMCA to support youth programs, and volunteered as a senior firefighter.
Shortly after the September 2001 attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, the 116th Air Control Squadron, Paul’s Oregon Air National Guard unit, was recalled to active duty. For most of 2002 he collaborated with city leaders and community members from locations around the country. Knowing that his skills were needed in the evolving Global War on Terror, he chose not to run for a third term of office. Subsequently, Paul served on active duty overseas including Iraq in 2003 (and 2005) and Afghanistan in 2006, as well as on priority homeland security missions throughout the U.S.
After returning from Iraq in 2005, Paul resumed teaching at WOU. He ran for Oregon State Senate District 10 in 2006. Despite a spirited campaign Paul lost the election. Ironically, he was in Afghanistan during the last phase of the campaign due to an unanticipated deployment schedule change.
Paul’s Government Experience
Upon return from overseas, Governor Kulongoski asked Paul to join his staff as a senior advisor for Emergency Management, Military, and Veterans Affairs. Paul served in that capacity for just over three years.
During his tenure, Paul led recovery planning for the largest homeland security exercise in U.S. history, directed initial state-level storm recovery efforts in response to major disasters throughout Northwest Oregon, coauthored the Governor's Recovery Framework in 2008, collaborated with appointed and elected state leaders on regional preparedness and resiliency initiatives, and served as the Chair of the Governor's Task Force on Veterans' Services.
Paul Enters the Private Sector and Establishes Small Businesses
Paul departed the Governor's Office in April 2010 to accept the position of Chief, Protection and National Security Division for High Impact Technology (HIT). His portfolio included oversight of emergency services equipment and infrastructure product development, marketing, and sales. This work provided him with added insight to international issues with an emphasis on trade within the Pacific Rim. Paul left HIT in February 2012 to establish Mayberry Enterprises (a policy consulting firm) and Northwest Passage Trading Company (an import/export business).
Paul Evans is a full-time Speech Communication professor at Chemeketa Community College and a frequent guest speaker around the Northwest. He serves as the Advisory Board Chair for the Portland State University Emergency Management & Homeland Security Professional Training Program. Paul published VeteranSpeak: An Introduction to the Language of Veterans in September 2012.
Service to House District 20
In 2014 Paul was elected to serve the people of Oregon House District 20. As a freshman Representative he served on the House Committees on Veterans and Emergency Preparedness, Business and Labor, and Human Services and Housing.
Notable achievements for the 2015 legislative session include the passage of HB 3303, which certifies the Office for Business Inclusion and Diversity to give preference to disabled veterans in contracting; HB 3391, the Department of Human Services Anti-Stalking bill; as well as increased education funding for the College Inside Funding Program ($300,000), rehabilitation funding for WOU's Natural Science Building ($5,940,000) and North Salem High School ($1 Million). Representative Evans also spearheaded the effort to double the number of free fishing days from 2 to 4, hoping to share this great Pacific Northwest tradition with a wider audience.
Between the 2015 and 2016 Legislative Sessions Paul served on the task force created by HB 2838 and studied the myriad issues facing incarcerated veterans and their families. He also prepared three bills for consideration during the 2016 Legislative Session.
Though the 2016 Session accomplished a lot: establishment of a new Minimum Wage structure, approval of a path from coal produced energy by 2040, and a statewide strategy for improving housing affordability and availability, Paul kept his focus on three priorities: 1) keeping faith with our veterans (HJR 202), 2) stabilizing regional housing capacities (HB 4081), and fighting for local, rural small businesses (SB 1565).
He led the way on working for a new approach to enhancing statewide resiliency through his efforts on HB 4098 – an innovative concept to leverage bonding authority for pre-placement of emergency equipment at the local level for more efficient and effective response – and will continue this work into and throughout the 2017 Legislative Session if reelected this November.
Paul continued teaching at Chemeketa Community College during the 2016 Legislative Session and is in the classroom today.