SD23: Jackie Dingfelder

By Jackie Dingfelder of Portland, Oregon. Jackie is a candidate for Senate District 23. Learn more at Yesterday we heard from Sean Cruz.

JackiedingfelderAs we get closer to ballots going out in the mail, I can’t think of a better place to talk about my candidacy than Blue Oregon: I am about as unabashed a progressive as you can find in the legislature. However, before my service as an elected official (hopefully to be continued), I was like many Blue Oregon readers and contributors – a progressive citizen activist.

In the community, I worked to put my values into practice by volunteering for organizations including the Hollywood Senior Center, SMART, the Oregon Hunger Relief Task Force, Planned Parenthood, and the Oregon League of Conservation Voters.

Of all these worthy causes, my real passion is protecting our environment. I started specializing in watershed protection and went on to serve as the first coordinator for the Tualatin River Watershed Council and later as the watershed program manager at For the Sake of the Salmon.

To tell you the truth, being in the legislature was not part of my plan. But when Jo Ann Bowman left her seat mid term, my mentor, Bill Bradbury, encouraged me to pursue this opportunity. His point was that if you really want to walk your progressive talk, you shouldn’t pass up an opportunity to make the biggest difference you can.

Have I made a difference? I think so, but you should judge for yourself. I have worked hard both in the Minority and now (thankfully!) in the Majority. Here are links to some of my accomplishments as the Chair of the House Energy and Environment Committee. Check out these links to read about my advocacy for schools, health care, and other critical issues.

So why move to the State Senate? Well, it is back to the idea that you should take the opportunity to do the most good you can. In the Senate you are one of 30 rather than 60 – you have a greater ability to make your voice heard to make real change. I also believe that the Senate could use an experienced, committed environmental champion at a time when we have the chance to make Oregon an international leader in clean energy and sustainable economies.

If you live in Senate District 23, I hope to have your support. Wherever you live, I hope you will stop by my website and see more specifics than I can offer here. And while you are there, send me your questions, ideas and rants.

Thanks to Blue Oregon for allowing me the chance to post!

  • Dawn Rasmussen (unverified)

    As a neighborhood activist near Madison High School (and in Rep. Dingfelder's district), I found her to be incredibly responsive to a specific land use issue in our area. She supported our 2,300-neighbor-strong coalition and even spoke at a rally a year ago in support of our efforts to preserve the neighborhood environment. Since then, I have gotten to know Rep. Dingfelder personally and find her to be an intuitive, smart and progressive representative that would serve Oregon well in a senatorial capacity. Having elected officials like her who truly listen to their constituents, but also keep an eye out for large issues that impact the community as a whole is one thing I consider extremely important. I will definitely vote for Rep. Dingfelder in her bid for the Oregon Senate. We need more people like her in office!

  • (Show?)

    As a resident of the other half of SD 23, I am terribly excited at the prospect of having a strong Democratic State Senator--Jackie Dingfelder--representing me in Salem. I've known and worked with Jackie for years. There is no one I know in elective office that works harder than Jackie. When she was in the minority in the House, she worked tirelessly against the odds to get things done. More recently in the majority, at the helm of the House Environment Committee, she was a big part of the expansion of the bottle bill and restoring funding do DEQ.

    There are a lot of great people in the State Senate, but the simple fact is there is no one that lives and breathes environmental issues the way Jackie does. She'll be a great addition to the Senate and I am very happy that she'll be representing me at last.

  • (Show?)

    Jackie, since the environment is your passion, could you talk a little about how this translates into policy? What do you see the legislature taking up next year? Will you be introducing legislation? Various leaders have suggested that Oregon could be in a position to pioneer green tech and lead the way for other states. What's your vision?

  • Tim Raphael (unverified)

    As a Mount Tabor resident in Jackie's prospective Senate District and a long-time environmental adocate in the legislature, I can't wait to get the chance to vote for Jackie. She truly is the environmental leader in the legislature. She is passionate, knowledgable and most important--effective. Here is what the Oregon League of Conservation Voters says in its Legislative Scorecard:

    "Nowhere was this more apparent than in Representative Jackie Dingfelder’s (D-Portland) Energy and Environment Committee. Representative Dingfelder was pivotal in all of the landmark legislation that passed the House. She showed vision on key issues, creating Oregon’s first statewide recycling program for TVs and computers, promoting Oregon grown biofuels, and updating Oregon’s bottle bill. She also worked hard on the renewable energy standard, helping to ensure that it would pass the House."

    Jackie is a shining star and we are lucky she is choosing to continue her service to Oregon in the State Senate. She deserves our support.

  • Christy Splitt (unverified)

    I wish I could cast a vote for Jackie Dingfelder. Alas, I live on the other side of the river. She is so energetic, so passionate, so dedicated to her role as a legislator. I admire her tenacity and her vast knowledge on the environment, affordable housing, and more. As a legislative aide in the other half of her district, I have seen her work both behind the scenes and in the limelight. She is as good as it gets.

  • (Show?)

    Question for Jackie: I have written you many times about the importance of expanding Mandarin and study abroad programs for Oregon's public school students. I see such programs as our best long term strategy for engaging China on many issues, especially their environment.

    Recently the National Public Radio had an interview (4/14/08) “Oil and ‘the New International Energy Order’” with Michael Klare, author of the book “Rising Power, Shrinking Planet” about what he calls the "new international energy order." Regarding China, Michael Klare said in the interview:

    “This is the great challenge for the entire planet. China does have one source of energy in abundance, and that is coal. China is the world’s leading user of coal. And it intends to use much more coal in the future. By the year 2030, it is expected that China will use half of the world’s coal. And unfortunately China intends to use a kind of primitive, by modern standards, coal burning facilities to generate electricity. And, if this continues to be the case, we are all hostage on the planet to China’s coal use, because this will be the leading source of green house gas, carbon dioxide producing emissions. And there will be no hope of averting the worse global climate change disasters. So, we have all got to work with China. This is really a catastrophic phenomenon. We have got to work with China to either abandon its reliance on coal or to adopt more modern, less carbon dioxide emitting coal facilities….

    “We use to think of national security as meaning building up nuclear weapons for a possible war with China. We have to think of our national security as working with China not to burn coal at the rate they are doing because our survival on the planet is at risk from this. If we grasp reality, we will understand the necessity of cooperating with China in developing energy alternatives. It is a matter of survival.”

    This quote begins at about the 21st minute of the podcast accessed through “listen now” here.

    So, Jackie, the question is: if we want to combat climate changes and other global environmental problems, what strategy do we use with China?

  • Rep. Jackie Dingfelder (unverified)


    Thanks for your comments and your passion. I do support expanding Mandarin in our schools and I think you raise a good point.

    Regarding your question about what strategy we should use with China for addressing climate change, we need to lead by example with a meaningful strategy in our own country for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which I will be working on next session.

    Rep. Jackie Dingfelder

  • Pietro Ferrari (unverified)

    As an affordable housing advocate and leader in the Latino community I strongly support Jackie Dingfelder's candidacy for Senate District 23. Jackie has been a champion of affordable housing for this district. I have had the opportunity to work with her and her staff in the '07 session to secure more resources for housing and supportive services so that lower income Oregoninans are not faced with having to choose between a decent place to live over food, healthcare or education. With Jackie's attentive ear to the pressing issues of our community, her extensive experience in the legislature and her honest caring for the common good, I believe we will have a strong and assertive Senator in Salem.

  • (Show?)

    Having known Jackie over the years from my work in Senator Wyden's office, and seeing her in action on the enormously important environmental issue of e-waste (how to properly dispose of computers and other technology), I cannot wait to elect a great environmentalist and true Democrat in District 23 to the Oregon Senate.

    Jackie, let me know what I can do to help.

  • Charles McGee (unverified)

    A few days ago I called Jackie Dingfelder with a problem. One of the parents I work with had lost her housing and was in need for an affordable place to live with her nine year old daughter. Within hours Jackie had e-mailed me places to call and people to talk to. Words can’t describe how that made me feel, Jackie is a passionate advocate for families and the communities they live in. While I may not always agree with a person or their views, Jackie is someone I respect and admire. She’s a friend and an ally. I am sad I don’t live in her district because if I did, without a doubt she’d get my vote. I’m proud to know this public servant and glad to know she’ll stay in Salem. Jackie thanks for your years of public service to this state! Keep up the good work!

  • (Show?)

    Jackie wins my vote for most valuable legislator of the 2007 session. Nobody in the building worked harder to obtain hard-won policy victories on environmental issues.

    We'll miss her in the House, yet I've no doubt that she'll continue her stellar work in the Senate.

    Oregon is fortunate to have such a smart and dedicated public official.

  • (Show?)

    One of the things I admire about Rep. Dingfelder is that in 2006 she was out knocking on doors in her district, even though she lives in a completely safe district. She was out there letting her constituents know what she was doing as their legislator at a time when she could have just sat back and relaxed.

  • Rep. Jackie DIngfelder (unverified)

    Thanks for the questions Jeff.

    “Could you talk a little about how this translates into policy?”

    The environment is not just my passion; it is my area of expertise. I am also passionate about ensuring we have a first-class education system, affordable and accessible health care and strengthening Oregon’s economy.

    My passion on the environment translates into policy in three important ways.

    1) Leadership. Last session, I championed legislation to require 25% renewable energy by 2025; expand Oregon’s bottle bill to include plastic water bottles, create a computer and TV recycling program paid for by the manufacturers; and set goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon.

    2) Effectiveness. Serving on the Natural Resources Ways and Means subcommittee, I worked to strengthen natural resource agencies ability to do their job by restoring their budgets and positions which had been cut by the Republicans in an attempt to weaken our environmental programs and laws.

    3) Vision. Educating my colleagues about the opportunities to grow our economy through investing in green technologies and sustainable businesses.

    “What do you see the legislature taking up next year? Will you be introducing legislation?”

    Oregon is one of only two western states that does not have a water plan. I am working with the Governor’s office to develop a Comprehensive Water Management Plan for the State of Oregon.

    I will lead the effort along with Representative Ben Cannon to implement a program to reduce greenhouse gases in Oregon. I will also be working with the AFL-CIO to develop legislation for promoting green collar jobs. “Various leaders have suggested that Oregon could be in a position to pioneer green tech and lead the way for other states. What's your vision?”

    My vision is for Oregon to be a leader on green technologies and sustainable business development. We have already laid the foundation by expansion of the Business Energy Tax credit and the first pioneers on the “Green Oregon Trail” have started to arrive. Solar World, Pacific Ethanol, and Vestas are just a few of the companies that are locating here because the State of Oregon has created incentives to attract green jobs, and because we as a state will be utilizing green, renewable energy more and more each year. It’s also about creating more family wage jobs (green collar jobs) in a time when we’re losing jobs in other sectors.

    -Rep. Jackie Dingfelder

  • Doug Marker (unverified)

    Jackie's passion for the environment is grounded in real-life experience of citizen-based collaboration. I worked with Jackie when she was a watershed restoration leader and she built the capacity of watershed groups to solve problems instead of focusing on confrontation.

    I was so impressed that when she had the opportunity to be in an environmental leadership role in the Legislature, she continued that same collaborative approach. As a result she had an amazing record of achievement in last year's session and Oregon has a broadly supported path to dealing with climate change.

  • (Show?)

    Jackie--thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. I'll confess that the environment is also my policy passion, and Oregon seems to be in such a good position to capitalize on some of the opportunities the greening economy offers. Sounds good!

  • (Show?)

    Jackie, thanks for your reply and your leadership on environmental issues. Your leadership is much appreciated.

    Question for anyone: Given that green and sustainable businesses are good and what we want in our state (I'm all for them), and that they are a growth industry, I would like to question the notions that Oregon has and can sustain a competitive advantage over other states and nations in this area and that we should being focusing on "sustainability" for our economic development. Are there studies to back this up? We are not a large market compared to others. Nor do we produce a lot of engineers. Nor are we well connected to the major growth markets.

    It seems to me that the big markets for green technology are overseas in places like China and India. What would attract a business focusing on China or India to locate in Oregon?

    I've just rewatched the a Tom Friedman youtube on my website here that I titled "China to go green and out innovate Us?" In it he says; "China is going to be a real challenge for us because they are going to come up with low-cost, scalable green technologies. They have to be low-cost to be scalable in China. And if they don't scale, they don't have an impact. And then they are going to use those low-cost, scalable technologies to come our way and clean our clock in the industry of the 21st century." How are we going to compete with them?

  • Katie Larsell (unverified)

    Rep. Jackie Dingfelder has been outstanding legislator for the Parkrose School District. The legislature makes important decisions that affect local schools, not the least is the amount of money that goes into the Common School Fund, which funds Oregon schools. Legislators need to stay in touch with their local schools. Jackie meets regularly with our superintendent and board members to hear our concerns. Its hard work to stay in touch with key constituents and Jackie is willing to do the work.

  • Otto Schell (unverified)

    I can echo what Katie Larsell said about Rep.Dingfelder.

    I have worked with Jackie for years on school funding issues. Jackie has visited our schools and connected with parents, teachers and school leaders. She helped phone bank, walk neighborhoods and turn out voters on local school campaigns.

    She and her staff have been gracious and receptive to our parent/citizen lobbyists when we visit the capitol. Jackie has had an open door and a collaborative approach.

    I recently saw her and Senator Wyden at a town hall at the Hollywood Senior Center. Her ability lead and communicate on issues such as limits on payday lenders, supporting expanded access to health care and caring for seniors is clear when you see her with our neighbors at a town hall. Jackie is a strong environmental leader and so much more.

    Go Jackie!

  • Susheela Jayapal (unverified)

    As a constituent of Jackie's during her time in the House, and as a colleague on the Planned Parenthood Board of Directors, I strongly echo all of the comments above. Jackie is smart, hard working, and absolutely committed to serving this community. She is, as someone else noted, a "shoe leather" politician -- someone who's genuinely interested in hearing from and engaging with her constituents. I know she'll be as effective in the Senate as she was in the House, and I'm looking forward to having her there.

  • Scott Pratt (unverified)

    Jackie is smart, she is hard-working, she is ethical and she is absolutely committed to environmental protection and the future of Oregon. Those are only a few of the reasons I support her. It's hard to find anyone who can better serve us in public office. I am proud to say that I have served on Jackie's campaign committee, have held a house party for Jackie and have walked my neighborhood with Jackie.

  • David Moskowitz (unverified)

    What better day to post a comment about Jackie than on Earth Day! As environmental and conservation issues are my professional and personal focus, I can say that words are not enough to convey the importance of having Jackie as a State Senator. What I also like about Jackie is her commitment to progressive ideas across the board whether it is cracking down on pay-day lenders or raising the beer and wine tax. She has courage to take on the issues that matter to everyday people and make changes where it counts.

guest column

connect with blueoregon