Bike ally Jackie Dingfelder moves from Salem to City Hall

Bike ally Jackie Dingfelder moves from Salem to City Hall

Cycle Oregon 2009 - Day 1-1

Outgoing state Sen. Jackie Dingfelder
and her husband, Tom Gainer, at
Cycle Oregon in 2009.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

State Sen. Jackie Dingfelder figured out the only way she could possibly get any greener: she’s cutting her commute from Salem to downtown Portland.

The Alice Award winner, Columbia River Crossing opponent, environmental consultant and presumptive “Environmental Champion of the Decade” in the state legislature (that’s from the Oregon League of Conservation Voters) starts a new job Monday as a senior policy advisor to Mayor Charlie Hales.

A Hales spokeswoman said Tuesday that because Dingfelder’s background is similar to a few other Hales staffers’, she hasn’t received any bureau assignments yet. She’s likely to receive a portfolio after her first week.

Dingfelder currently represents Legislative District 23, a swath of central Northeast and Southeast Portland. She’s likely to be succeeded by state Rep. Michael Dembrow.

Bicycle Transportation Alliance Advocacy Director Gerik Kransky called the hire “great news for the city of Portland and not as great news for the Oregon legislature,” where Dingfelder has chaired the Senate’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee.

In a biannual legislator rankings project, lobbyists and staffers polled by Willamette Week rated Dingfelder as one of the Portland area’s three best-regarded senators.

“What you see is what you get,” one business lobbyist said of Dingfelder’s legislative M.O. “Which ain’t much unless you are capable of photosynthesis.”

Wherever she lands at the mayor’s office, we’re glad this fan of bikes will still be doing the public’s business here in town.

Update 8:36 am: Sen. Dingfelder writes to add that she “will not miss commuting via car to Salem and I am very excited about getting back to a regular bike commute to downtown. FYI, I regularly biked to my meetings in the district and I’m all set up with rain gear, waterproof panniers, and lights!”

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