Michael Dembrow is the state senator for District 23, covering portions of NE and SE Portland and the city of Maywood Park. First elected by voters in 2008 to the state house, he is serving his first term in the senate after being appointed to the seat in November 2013. Voters re-elected Michael to the senate in November 2014.
Michael currently serves as Chair of the Senate Workforce Committee. He also sits on the Environment and Natural Resources Committee, the Human Services and Early Childhood Committee, and the Ways & Means Subcommittee on Natural Resources.
In addition to his legislative committee assignments, Michael also serves on the Oregon Workforce Investment Board, the Oregon Youth Conservation Corps Advisory Committee and the Oregon Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs.
No stranger to public service, Michael is an English instructor at Portland Community College’s Cascade campus in North Portland. He has been teaching writing and film studies at the college since 1981, and served as the President of the PCC faculty union for 16 years. He continues to teach one or two classes per term when the legislature is not in session.
In 2007, Michael was appointed by Gov. Ted Kulongoski to the State Board of Education. Michael’s passion for film drives his involvement in the Cascade Festival of African Films, which he helped create in 1991. The Festival, which Michael is co-director of, has grown in size each year since its founding.
Michael earned his undergraduate degree in English from the University of Connecticut and his Master’s degree in Comparative Literature from Indiana University. Michael and his wife Kiki have lived in District 23 for over 30 years. They have a son, Nikolai and a daughter, Tatyana and two grandchildren. Michael is an avid runner and has completed the Portland Marathon multiple times. He and Kiki are proud parents of two whippets.
Past Committee Assignments
2014 Session: Chair of the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee; member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Ways & Means Subcommittee on Natural Resources.
2013 Session: Chair of the House Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee; member of the House Rules Committee and the House Energy and Environment Committee.
2011-12 Session: Co-Chair of the House Higher Education Subcommittee; member of the House Education Committee and the Joint Ways and Means Education Subcommittee (as Co-Vice Chair).
2009-10 Session: Vice-Chair of the House Education Committee; member of the House Human Services Committee, House Health Care Committee and the House Workforce Development Committee (a subcommittee of the Business & Labor Committee).