Introducing Oregon’s newest State Senator, Michael Dembrow

A couple of weeks ago, Michael Dembrow was appointed to the Oregon State Senate after three terms in the House.

Earlier this year, when Senator Jackie Dingfelder stepped down from the Legislature to work for Mayor Charlie Hales, Michael sought and won the appointment to serve the remainder of her term in the Senate.

senatordembrow2014In the process, he inherited about 60,000 new constituents, including almost all the residents of South Tabor, Foster-Powell and Mt. Scott-Arleta, plus a sizable chunk of Lents.

He was kind enough to talk with Foster United about what motivates his political involvement, where he sees this part of Southeast Portland going, and how he intends to engage with 60,000 new constituents who may not know him yet. (more…)

Local Legislative Shuffle Underway

Update (Nov. 8 2013):

Tonight the Senate District 23 PCPs met and voted to forward three names to the Multnomah County Commission.

The 34 Precinct Committeepersons cast their ballots as follows:
Michael Dembrow 23
C.M. Hall 8
Enrique Arias 3

Those three names will go to the County for the final selection, which will likely happen next week.

•  •  •  •

This Friday evening, various local Democratic Party semi-luminaries will gather to nominate a replacement for our local State Senator, Jackie Dingfelder. Dingfelder stepped down to take a job in Mayor Charlie Hales’ office after 12 years in the Legislature.

This sets in motion one of those only-in-Oregon processes for selecting her replacement.


Representative Michael Dembrow (HD45), former Senator Jackie Dingfelder (SD23) and Representative Alissa Keny-Guyer (HD44) at this summer’s Bicycle Town Hall.


PPS Candidate Forum Interesting but Disappointing

Last week’s school board candidate forum at Franklin High School provided some interesting insight into the personalities of four of the candidates, but was ultimately disappointing for the lack of substantive information it provided to attendees at the 90-minute event.


Roger Kirchner, Co-President of the Franklin High School Parent-Teacher-Student Association, helped organize last week’s PPS Candidate Forum.

About 80 people, including an impressive number of students, gathered in the gym last Wednesday evening to hear candidates debate the future of Portland Public Schools. Three of the school board’s seven seats will be decided in next month’s elections.

The forum, which is the only scheduled PPS debate in Southeast Portland this year, was cosponsored by the Cleveland High School PTA and the Franklin High School PTSA. All five candidates for the three PPS Board seats were invited. Pam Knowles, the Zone 5 incumbent who did not draw an opponent in her re-election bid, was a no-show.

The candidates vying to represent Zone 6 were David Morrison and Tom Kohler. Kohler is a small business owner and former Corvallis City Council member who calls our schools  Portland’s “best asset” and emphasized critical thinking skills as an educational goal. (more…)

Foster United Previews the May Elections

The dust has settled from the November 2012 elections and we’re all settling in for a long, politics-free respite.

Well, no.

ballotsThere’s already another election coming up on May 21, and although we won’t have anything nearly as sexy as Obama-Romney, locals will want to pay attention. (more…)

Election Recap: How Did Foster Vote?

Yesterday the Multnomah County Elections office released their official results for the Nov 6 elections. At the risk of upsetting a still-election-weary populace, Foster United shares our snapshot analysis of how Fosterites voted on a handful of key races. (more…)