Connor Gabor

When Connor Gabor was four, his parents were divorced in Reno, and he moved to Eugene with his mother. “My dad was physically abusive,” he explains, “and Mom has struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder. My job was taking care of her.” They have lived in north Eugene, but Gabor has attended schools farther south; Camas Ridge Elementary, Roosevelt Middle School and South Eugene High School, where he is now a senior. “I’ve always been involved with school activities: student government and affinity groups like the Gender and Sexuality Alliance,” he says. “I’m gay and I have a boyfriend. I got involved because, at South, people think that nothing bad happens because it’s a liberal school. But there are silences and marginalized groups.” As a junior, Gabor was one of 19 high schoolers in the local Planned Parenthood’s REV Youth Leadership Program. “We went to middle schools to talk with kids about sex education,” he says. “It’s easier for them to digest from a peer.” He got started in politics in January of 2018 as a campaign volunteer in support of Measure 101, raising taxes to support healthcare coverage. Afterward he served an internship with the Democratic Party of Lane County. “I learned the importance of grassroots organizing,” says Gabor, who launched a club at school, the Young Democrats Union. “We had 40 people showing up to take action.” He enlisted Eugene’s other high schools to found Young Democrats of Lane County. “We plan to reach out to rural areas,” he adds. “We have four different caucuses working on ideas for legislation to introduce to the Oregon Legislature.” A monthly column by Connor Gabor is coming soon to The Register-Guard. “The first thing I’ll write about,” he says, “is young people being tried as adults under Measure 11.”