misty freeman photo illustration

Staff Snapshots | Misty Mason Freeman

March 18, 2022 | State Legislatures News | Print

Misty Mason Freeman

Hometown: Adair Village, Ore. (outside of Corvallis)

Role: Director, Legislative Policy and Research Office

Years of legislative service: About six years in different roles over the last decade. Freeman is also a graduate of the Legislative Staff Management Institute.

Who inspires her: “I especially admire members of the public who make time to share their stories, testifying with a child on their lap or in between jobs, talking about difficult moments or issues that directly impact their lives, in an effort to make the best Oregon.”

 

Why did you choose to work at the legislature?

For many years I have been passionate about governance and always wanted to help bridge the conversation between decision-makers and the folks for whom they are making decisions. My happy place is digging into a policy area in all its complexity and helping others understand it without the pressure of advocating for a particular outcome. Serving in Oregon’s nonpartisan Legislative Policy and Research Office lets me do just that.

What skill or talent are you most proud of?

In graduate school, a professor made me read through hundreds of pages of books, academic articles and dry reports each week and boil the information down to a two-page overview of key points. At the time it seemed like busywork, but as it turns out, being able to synthesize a large amount of information accurately, quickly and succinctly has come in very handy working for the legislature.

What’s the best advice you were ever given?

My mom said to me, “People are just people. No matter their position, beliefs, background, wealth or any other factor, it’s important to see them, treat them well, do your best for them.” And that is the way I want to live.

What’s one thing you love about your state?

In Oregon, natural beauty surrounds us every day. We have a palette of colors where I live in the Willamette Valley that I have never seen anywhere else. The dramatic clouds, Mount Jefferson in the distance, greens and blues in the farmland and the forests around us. It is very special.

What are you currently reading/listening to/watching?

I am currently on a kick with Disney’s “Moana.” For those who have not seen it, the story is about Moana, the daughter of the village chief on an island, who goes on a hero’s voyage to save her people. She is brave and compassionate, there are lots of other fun characters, and the music is fantastic!  

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

For its “Staff Snapshots” series, State Legislatures News is asking legislative staff about their role in the legislature. If you’d like to suggest a staffer for this series, please email Holly South at NCSL.

Additional Resources