This is the next in a line of posts to introduce candidates that I support and why, to bring them to readers' attention and to get their name out there.
Michael Dembrow is a Democrat running for the Oregon House of Representatives, District 45, in Portland. I met Michael while I was a student at Portland Community College. Michael has been not only an amazing instructor at PCC for 25+ years, but also very successfully serves as president of the Faculty Federation union there. Not only that. He co-founded (and continues to help coordinate) Portland's highly regarded African Film Festival, almost 20 years ago.
In doing my job to represent Oregon's college students down in Salem, I saw Michael putting in just as much effort, if not more, to fight for students and for higher education, as a whole. There are many reasons that I support Michael for Representative.Michael is the epitome of what a true "progressive" is all about. He is a staunch supporter of working families, education at all levels, full healthcare, and having a true voice for the people in decision-making positions. Michael is an incredibly ethical person who doesn't use subterfuge or political game-playing to get things done. He is exactly who he appears to be.
Now, all of the things I've mentioned are more than enough reason for nme to support him, and I really hadn't gone searching for more reasons to support him. I already had enough. Then Michael asked me to say a few words at his official campaign kick-off tonight. Now, I am not a natural public speaker so I always put way too much effort into trying to figure out what it is that I want to say. I know my tendency to go off on tangents quite well!. Anyhow, as I was trying to figure out how to explain my support for someone that was so automatic, it came to me. One of the greatest things about Michael Dembrow and why he has so much of my respect is this: Michael is one of those rare individuals that are, unfortunately really few and far between. Michael isn't simply "tolerant" or "accepting" of cultures and ways of life that are different from his own. He doesn't just pay lip service to diversity and compassion. He LIVES those things. He celebrates the uniqueness of people without an ounce of judgement on his part. Now, this part of Michael's personality, by itself doesn't neccessarily scream Legislator!...until you take a look at Oregon's changing demographics. Take Portland, for example. One in seven couples there are same sex, and while Portland is not the end all of what's what in Oregon, it IS still our largest city and economic center. Add to that the fact that 60+ percent of people moving to our state is a person of color, and all of a sudden, Michael's knowledge and experience become important. When I look at how Oregon is growing and changing almost daily, it is Michael's leadership in this area that I think will be absolutely crucial to our state's ability to successfully adapt to and continue to grow with those changes. Coming to that conclusion was just icing on the cake for me, but it really allows me to know something that is rare to know in this politically cynical age. I support Michael Dembrow and I'm really excited by the fact that I can support him with absolutely no reservations. That is a first for me.