Salem 2013: Getting to know your C.O. legislators
After redistricting last year, several of our Central Oregon lawmakers represent some new areas of counties and cities. The redistricting moves coverage areas around, so legislators serve an almost equal number of people. So who represents you in Salem?
In the 17 years Ted Ferrioli has served in the Oregon Legislature, the senior member of the Senate now controls the largest district..
""District 30 starts in Marion County, right here at the top of the pass and Clackamas County," said Ferrioli. "The most diverse landscape in the state of Oregon. It also touches on Washington, Idaho, Nevada and California."
Ferrioli's district includes the Central Oregon towns of Culver, Madras and Sisters.
Klamath Falls Sen. Doug Whitsett 's district covers all of Crook County and three-fourths of Deschutes County, including La Pine.
Senator Tim Knopp represents all of Bend, Redmond and Sunriver.
The Dalles Rep. John Huffman lost entire counties due to redistricting.
"The redistricting has pushed me a lot further down into Deschutes County," said Huffman during my visit to the Capitol this week.
Huffman represents Sisters in a district that goes all the way down to Redmond, where Rep. Gene Whisnant now serves.
Whisnant also gained areas on the north and south ends of Bend -- areas Rep. Jason Conger lost in redistricting.
"District 54 two years ago would have included Deschutes River Woods," Conger said. "It would have been all the city of Bend."
New House Minority Leader Mike McLane of Powell Butte lost both Lakeview and Eagle Point but gained 14,000 constituents in southern Deschutes County, including La Pine.
"I represent everything basically south of Century Drive in Sunriver and all the way to Klamath Falls on the (Highway) 97 corridor," said McLane.
So just how important is it to know your legislator? Huffman gave an example of a man who approached him, passionate about making his point on the Second Amendment -- but he didn't know who represented him.
"I thought there was an irony that if you are going to be passionate about the Constitution, then you should really be proactive about who your representatives are," Huffman said.
What are the top issues in the view of Central Oregon lawmakers? That's the topic in my next piece from Salem.
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