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The man is everywhere

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Rep. Michael Dembrow, D-Portland, is captured on the Capitol’s closed-circuit monitors while testifying Wednesday on a bill regarding community colleges and for-profit educational institutions. In the background, lobbyists huddle. (Photos by Dana Haynes)

Dembrow looks on as Gov. Ted Kulongoski speaks about Oregon’s first-ever Career Readiness Certificates, which he signed for PCC student Aaron Hoyt on Thursday.

OK, technically, Rep. Dembrow is a rookie lawmaker. Only, I think nobody told him.

The guy’s everywhere in Salem. When he’s not sitting on the Ways and Means Subcommittee for Work Force Development, the Health Care Committee or the Human Services Committee, he’s vice-chairing (and often holding the gavel) for the House Education Committee.

And when he’s not doing that, he’s testifying about his "take-home" bills, as seen above. A "take-home" bill is the one about which every lawmaker says: that’s the one I want to take home after the final gavel has dropped in June.

And on Thursday, he attended the signing of the state’s first Career Readiness Certificates with Gov. Ted Kulongoski

Rep. Dembrow literally runs from hearings room to hearings room, a backpack thrown over one shoulder, carrying the 3 metric tons of paperwork he needs for his various committees.

Your freshman year is supposed to be the year you get up to speed with the Legislature. The year in which you pace yourself, figure out how things work in the Puzzle Palace.

I think nobody told Rep. Dembrow any of that. You can try to catch him in the halls of the Capitol, if you’d like. I recommend wearing running shoes.


About Dana Haynes

Dana Haynes, joined PCC in 2007 as the manager of the Office of Public Affairs, directing the college's media and government relations. Haynes spent the previous 20 years as a reporter, columnist and editor for Oregon newspapers, including ... more »


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