Progressive city commissioner Rob Farris-Olsen filed to run for open Montana House District 81 vowing to bring new energy to the fight for Helena jobs, to defend Montana’s environment and to serve his neighbors, the teachers, state employees and working families he’s known his entire life.
“In my personal and professional life I’ve fought to protect consumers from multinational corporations, preserve our environment and public lands, and to support a community I love, where I was born-and-raised,” said Rob Farris Olsen. “As a husband and the father of a young son I want to do everything I can to create the brightest possible future for both Helena and Montana.”
As a lawyer, Rob has dedicated his practice to helping Montanans. In addition to challenging wrongful foreclosures by corporate interests, Rob represents Montana’s most vulnerable. He established the right to an attorney for parents threatened with losing their parental rights, and he is currently challenging Montana’s driver license suspension system that exacerbates the cycle of poverty. At the same time, he generously donates his time, winning the First Judicial District Bar Association’s Pro Bono Award in 2014.
On Helena’s city commission, Rob dedicates his time to improving City infrastructure, creating economic opportunity, and ensuring that all of Helena’s citizens are protected. He was instrumental in adjusting the rate structure to make sure large corporate interests pay their fair share into our infrastructure, while simultaneously funding over $100 million of infrastructure needs. While the State is losing jobs, Rob created a paid parental leave policy and improved public safety by increasing firefighter staffing for the first time in nearly two decades.
Rob lives on the same street he grew up on with his wife Erin, Executive Director of the Montana Watershed Coordination Council, and young son Tupper.
Rob is proud to be endorsed by Wilmot Collins, Mayor of Helena; Mike Murray, former Lewis and Clark County Commissioner; Katherine Hausrath, former Helena City Commissioner; DeeAnn Cooney, former District Court Judge; and, Mark O’keefe, former State Auditor.
Rob grew up in House District 81 attending Helena middle and high schools, then Whitman College in Walla Walla and the University of Montana law school. He has clerked for the Montana Supreme Court, worked for Montana Legal Services Association and now is at the law firm Morrison, Sherwood, Wilson & Deola.