Editor's Note: We continue our series introducing you to the ten new Democrats in the Oregon Legislature.
Nancy Nathanson is a new state representative from Eugene, succeeding Bob Ackerman in House District 13. Previously, she spent a dozen years on the Eugene City Council.
We asked Representative-elect Nathanson a few questions:
What was the best job you've had that didn't involve politics?
Teaching tap dance in the Eugene community recreation program and at a private dance school. A high point was dancing in the Midnight Show at the Oregon Country Fair.
What's the most important issue facing Oregon? What's the long-term solution, and what can be done in the short term?
Restoring public confidence in government! We need to earn it back by implementing smart, targeted, incremental changes that actually improve people's lives.
If you found yourself alone with an entire day all to yourself, how would you spend it?
Good grief, I can't imagine ... hmm, dividing the perennials and planting the lilies. Baking treats for neighbors and friends. Weather permitting, reading a book on the deck.
What books have you read lately?
Tips and Tricks for Remodeling Your Bathroom; The First Eagle (Tony Hillerman); the Oregon House Rules
Name one Oregonian, past or present, who inspires you - and tell us why.
Peter Defazio, for his honesty, courage, independence, and vigorous pursuit of the values of his district.
Ducks or Beavers?
Ducks! I'm a UO alum, but my staff is evenly balanced, one each.
Tell us one thing that no one knows about you.
The blue spot on my coat is paint from a Blue Man Group concert.
As a first-term legislator, what do you hope to accomplish?
My list begins with the House Democrats' "Roadmap for Oregon's Future." Aside from those critical goals, I would like to help create some progress in workforce development, cleaning up the Willamette River, improving rail and public transit service, and expanding treatment and health care to reduce the burden on the criminal justice system.
Why do you live in Oregon?
After 30+ years, still, every day I wake up here I think what a wonderful place. I was born & raised in Texas, and lived for a few years in Illinois. I just can't imagine wanting to move away from here.
Name three favorite movies.
Chicago. Stomp. Schindler's List.
What did you learn on the campaign trail that you didn't know before - about yourself, about your district, and about Oregon?
Myself: At 55 I have as much energy as I did at 35. District 13: How intensely angry people are about the federal administration, and disappointed at the state legislature for failing to come together to find solutions. About Oregon: the need to prepare young people for the adult world of work and participation in society (including understanding local and state government).