US Rep.-elect Val Hoyle (D-Oregon), a New Hampshire native who called Dorchester her home in the 1980s, returned to Boston and Cambridge last week to participate in a program for newly elected members of Congress at Harvard. She also visited Bunker Hill Community College to speak with leaders in student government.
Hoyle lived in Savin Hill in the 1980s, was a parishioner at St. William’s Church, and coached the CYO girls’ softball team. She worked at the Parker House and attended Bunker Hill Community College and Emmanuel College. Following her college graduation, she moved to Oregon for a job and stayed there.
Hoyle learned a lot about politics from her father, who was president of the Nashua (NH) firefighters’ union. She joined him in supporting political campaigns starting at age nine, which she describes as “the weirdest after school program ever.”
In Oregon, she continued her involvement in Democratic politics, gaining election to the state’s House of Representatives in 2010. In 2018, she was elected Commissioner of Labor and Industries by Oregon’s voters. On Nov. 8, she was elected to represent Oregon’s 4th district in Congress.
Bunker Hill CC is immensely proud of her accomplishments, as she is the first student from the college to be elected to Congress. She spoke about how important being at Bunker Hill and her involvement in its student government was to her development as a leader. She told the student leaders that most elected officials and their staffs have a background in student government and said that she was available to them, should they need her help or advice.
Hoyle is a progressive and labor Democrat, supporting abortion rights, free community college, apprenticeship programs, clean air, water and energy, investment in public housing, worker rights, and supporting the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.
“Wherever I’ve gone in life, I always remembered my roots and my time living in Savin Hill,” she said. “Those lived experiences helped me to be a voice for those who aren’t always represented at the table. So, my message is, never forget where you came from and never be afraid to follow your dreams.”