2013 Environmental Scorecard for the Oregon Legislature

2013’s Notable Leaders

Leadership is more than just voting the right way. It is the willingness to stand up to political pressure. It is the ability to convince other legislators to follow your lead. Leadership is the hard work that goes into passing each and every good bill and defeating all the bad ones.

Environmental Leader of the Year

Rep. Jules Bailey (D-Portland)

In his first two terms in the Oregon House, Representative Bailey was twice named our Innovator of the Year because of his tireless work on energy policy. But, it is in his tenure as Chair of the House Energy and Environment Committee that he has demonstrated his strongest leadership. Sometimes, we honor a legislator for a perfect score. But sometimes, a score fails to capture the whole story. Bailey, known for his quick mind and ability to build consensus, is an irreplaceable advisor for the environmental community and a steadfast champion behind the scenes, in committee, and on the floor.

Dynamic Duo

Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer (D-Portland) and
Rep. Jason Conger (R-Bend)

Representatives Keny-Guyer and Conger formed quite a team as the chief sponsors of a bill to require disclosure of harmful chemicals in children’s products and require the phase-out of those chemicals in many items. With her passion and his pragmatism, the two were able to overcome intense pressure from the corporate lobby to pass the bill out of the House with 39 aye votes. The bill was sent back to committee in the Senate on the last day of the 2013 session, but we know these two won’t give up on Oregon’s kids.

Rising Star

Rep. Ben Unger (D-Hillsboro)

Raised on a farm in Washington County, Representative Unger gets it: our land use system is critical to protecting farm and forest land. One of the few freshman legislators to earn a gavel, Rep. Unger was a crucial champion in his role as Co-Chair of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Natural Resources. We don’t usually name a Rising Star, but Rep. Unger earned this special distinction.

The 100 Club

Four legislators distinguished themselves this year by receiving a score of 100% on our scorecard. They are:

  • Senate:
Jackie Dingfelder (D-Portland)
  • House:
Michael Dembrow (D-Portland)
Carolyn Tomei (D-Milwaukie)
Ben Unger(D-Hillsboro)

Watchdog of the Year

Senator Jackie Dingfelder (D-Portland)

Senator Dingfelder would easily be named Environmental Champion of the Decade. An expert on water policy, a veteran of numerous energy bills, and a steadfast defender of land use and wildlife protections, she used her position as Chair of the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee to kill bad bills and shepherd good ones through the legislative process. Further, Dingfelder used her expertise and experience to transform bad bills into better ones - and she kept a careful eye on the budget process as a member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Natural Resources.

Perseverance Award

Senator Alan Bates (D-Medford) and
Rep. Shemia Fagan (D-Clackamas)

Senator Bates, an avid fisherman, has talked for years about suction dredge mining in his beloved Southern Oregon. He watched as a handful of miners turned into thousands in just a few years. After his colleague, former Senator Jason Atkinson (R-Central Point), attempted to address the issue only to be silenced by pressure from miners, Senator Bates was even more motivated. The result? Passage this session of a bill that limits suction dredge mining in Oregon.

Representative Fagan turned a local tragedy into a win for pedestrians. A lack of sidewalks in East Portland has long meant that many walking routes are not just unsafe, but downright dangerous. After a 5 year old girl was fatally struck by a car on SE 136th Avenue, Fagan – a new mother - brought together her colleagues and pushed to fund sidewalk construction for East Portland’s busy streets. On the last day of the 2013 session, she got it: $3.6 million to make streets safer for our kids and families.

Governor John Kitzhaber

The Governor and his staff were key partners during the 2013 Legislative Session. Their help was especially critical to our successful efforts to limit suction dredge mining and adequately fund our natural resource state agencies. While we were disappointed that he agreed to a bill preempting local restrictions on GMOs during a fall Special Session, we applaud his efforts to move forward on a statewide GMO policy this interim.


About OLCV

The Oregon League of Conservation Voters is a non-partisan organization with a simple mission: to pass laws that protect Oregon's environmental legacy, elect pro-environment candidates to office, and hold all of our elected officials accountable.

For more information about OLCV, visit our website at olcv.org.

About the Scorecard

For more than 40 years, OLCV has protected Oregon's natural legacy. An essential part of our work is holding our elected officials accountable. The OLCV Environmental Scorecard is not only one of our most important accountability tools, but also a tradition. The first scorecard was published in 1973.

By sharing how each member of the Legislature voted on the most critical conservation bills, we help Oregonians understand whether legislators listened to their constituents, or if they listened to special interest groups instead. It also serves as a summary of environmental bills and includes special recognition of the legislative champions.