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Michael Jonas for Congress graphic

Michael Jonas, JD, MBA (he/him) is a dedicated and accomplished individual, deeply committed to community engagement and social justice.  He grew up in northern Los Angeles County in a culturally but not necessarily religious Jewish family of four. In high school, he was actively involved in activities such as Speech and Debate, Mock Trial, and community service organizations.

As a child of two parents without a 4 year degree, Michael enjoyed learning not just academic subjects and extracurriculars, but about people and life; and how hard work, education, and common sense street smarts could potentially combine to form a promise of future financial stability.

My campaign slogan is ‘Love, Science, Plans, and Action.’ Thoughts and prayers are meaningful, but they’re not enough. Wishful thinking is great, but it’s not forward moving by itself. Our country needs plans based on research, evidence, and data that lead to intentionally implemented actions. -MJ

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His empathy and passion is absolutely what I want to see in Congress, and he will be a motivated, thoughtful, and intentional representative of our communities.

Sahalee mccfarland (she/her)

​Clean Energy Program Coordinator, Northwest Native Chamber

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This was amplified when at 12 years old, Michael’s family lost their home to foreclosure. While his parents always found a way to make sure he and his brother Brandon had shelter and food, there were many financial challenges. As a result, Michael passed out flyers and babysat until he turned 15 and could secure a work permit to work at a restaurant. As a restaurant host, dishwasher, busser, and server off and on over the course of 10 years, Michael further developed his customer service and patience skills.

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"Michael’s exceptional leadership and support as our board president was unrivaled and an inspirational chapter in our journey. As an advocate for social justice and equity, and as an educator and visionary whose passion spills over into every new venture he encounters, I am confident in Michael’s ability to create an empowered and long-lasting legacy as a representative for our district."

tori rogers

Co-Director, Hatch Lab PDX

"It’s a rare find to see someone who is able to show that you can be successful in business while supporting and lifting your community. Michael is smart, motivated and caring. As a politician, he will build relationships with his peers by listening and finding common goals. He will stand his ground for the well being of his constituents. He will stay dedicated to solutions. He is a good person with an amazing heart and set of values and a dedicated and skilled advocate who will work effectively to create amazing change."

Suzana Levy (she/her)

owner Asha Wellness

"Michael is extremely tied into the Portland and Oregon community. He has imbued his values of equity, inclusion and fairness across the whole company and his clients, of which I'm happy to be one, absolutely adore him. He has a huge heart and a sound rational mind and he truly, passionately and deeply cares about regular people in Portland who want to grow, build and contribute back to the community. He is the perfect person to represent us in Congress!"

Lisa Kostova (SHE/her)

Founder, CareerClimb Co

ENDORSEMENTS

This job requires someone who is both competent at project management and bringing people together for an all hands-on-deck approach. I have the education, the skillset, and the experience to bring community organizations, small business, and big business (needed for scalable change) to the table. -MJ

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I'm endorsing Michael because he consistently shows up for the small business community. I trust that he will be able to bring creative solutions to bare that will support the needs of the small business community.

Hannah Kullberg (she/they) 

PNW Package Food & Beverage Group

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Michael earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. While there, he completed a University Leadership Certification Program. After undergrad, Michael worked at two nonprofit organizations: As a fundraising Campaign Executive for United Way of Santa Barbara County, he served as a liaison between business and community members, meeting with and speaking to all kinds of people about people’s ability to drive social progress by working together. That same year, Michael was a job coach for disabled adults, working with and motivating his clients to live active, successful lives.

Even though Michael said he didn’t want to be a lawyer (like his brother who potentially came out of the womb with a career preference), he discovered that different types of people with varying personalities can become lawyers. He also learned that the law can serve as a way to help people, to use education and knowledge for social change.

As a result, Michael attended and graduated law school at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, CA, where he served as President of Public Interest Law for two years. He partnered with The Women and Black Law Student Associations to plan career fairs and community issue town halls. He also competed with the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Team.

To gain experience with policy and legal research and writing, he held clerkships relating to health, veteran affairs, fair wage, disability, and environmental issues. He also served as a contract political reporter for the 2008 election which afforded him the opportunity of attending the Democratic National Convention in Denver, CO.

Michael graduated law school in the recession. After taking and failing a few bar exams and not finding stable employment, he lost his apartment and his car. Although he graduated law school in 2009, he didn’t become a lawyer until 2017. 2009-2017 was a mix of anxiety and depression, unemployment, varied/underemployment, and hope through pain and fear.

After failing 5 bar exams in California, Michael moved to Portland, Oregon. What was a goal to pass his 6th bar exam (and first in Oregon) became 4 more bar exams. After  varied work in real estate, property management, mediation services, restaurant work, experiential marketing, and law firm client management, Michael passed his 9th bar exam.

He found out he finally passed the darn test while working a temp job at Bonneville Power’s real estate record department. Because he didn’t see the type of law firm he wanted to work at, he built one from scratch. Rational Unicorn Legal Services was born. Michael worked full time for the next 9 months or so while also getting his community business law firm up and running.

Rational Unicorn Legal Services is just as much about community building as it is about business building. It’s a certified benefit company that offers “Community business law for everyone in the community.”

As of today, Rational Unicorn Legal Services is more than 6 years old, has clients in CA, OR, and WA, and has a team of 15, The firm offers Michael was a small business attorney before, during, and after the pandemic.

During the pandemic he became a “pandemic lawyer.” He learned about health and social distancing mandates, commercial lease moratorium, and the PPP and EIDL programs. He helped clients cancel most or all of their contracts, assess their options on defaulted commercial leases, pivot, and shut down. He’s helped and zealously advocated for clients as they walk through all the stages of business from inception to scalability and everything in between.

In 2021, Michael earned an Executive Masters in Business Administration from Quantic School of Business and Technology. On January 5, 2024, Michael declared his candidacy for Congress in Oregon's 3rd District with the campaign slogan "Love, Science, Plans, and Action." Beyond law and politics, he serves on nonprofit boards. He also hosts the podcast "All of Your Business" and cherishes moments with his husband, Andy, and their adorable dogs, Edison and Ginsburg.

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ACCREDITATIONS

Member, License #173844, Oregon State Bar

Member, License #59101, Washington State Bar

Member, Multnomah County Bar Association

Member, OGALLA, LGBT Bar Association of Oregon

Juris Doctor
Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, CA

Master of Business Administration
Quantic School of Business and Technology

Bachelor of Arts, Psychology
University of California, Santa Barbara

Environmental Law Boot Camp
Environmental Law Institute, San Francisco, CA

University Leadership Certification
University of California, Santa Barbara, CA

DEGREES & CERTIFICATIONS

Lifetime Member
National Speech & Debate Association Honor Society

Lifetime Member
National Forensics League

ASSOCIATIONS

Small Business Champion of the Year, 2023
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Portland District, Portland, OR

40 under 40 Award, 2023
Portland Business Journal, Portland, OR

Portland Leadership Class of 2023
Portland Metro Chamber, Portland, OR

Pro Bono Honors Award: Community Service Legal Work
Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, CA

Student Organization President of the Year
Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, CA

First Amendment Journalism Scholarship
Signal Newspaper

COMMENDATIONS

ACHIEVEMENTS & ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

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