Michael Dembrow is the state senator for District 23, which includes portions of Southeast and Northeast Portland and the city of Maywood Park. He serves as Chair of the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee. He also serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Ways & Means Subcommittee on Natural Resources.
In addition to his legislative committee assignments, Michael also serves on the Oregon Youth Conservation Corps Advisory Committee and the Oregon Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs.
First elected by voters to serve House District 45 in 2008, he has been in the legislature since the 2009 session. In November 2013, Michael was appointed state senator for District 23, replacing Jackie Dingfelder.
During the 2013 session, Michael served as Chair of the House Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee and as a member of the House Rules Committee and the House Energy and Environment Committee.
In the 2011-2012 session he served as Co-Chair of the House Higher Education Committee, and served on the House Education Committee and the Joint Ways and Means Education Subcommittee (as Co-Vice Chair). During the 2009-2010 interim, Michael served on the House Committees on Education (as Vice-Chair); Human Services; and Workforce Development (a subcommittee of the Business & Labor Committee). During the 2009 Session, he also served as a member of the Health Care Committee.
Michael is currently serving his third term in the legislature, but he has been active in his community for well over two decades. 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. In 2007, he was appointed 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 45 for over 20 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.