January’s Community Spotlight focuses on Oregon Congressional District 4 Representative Peter DeFazio. Congressman DeFazio was first elected to the U.S. Congress in 1986 and is now the longest serving House member in Oregon’s history. As the dean of the Oregon House delegation, he has developed a reputation as an independent, passionate, and effective lawmaker.
In 2019, DeFazio was elected to the powerful position of Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Coast Guard, highways and transit, water resources, railroads, aviation, and economic development.
DeFazio and his wife, Myrnie Daut, live in Springfield, Oregon. He has logged roughly five million miles traveling between Oregon and Washington, DC. DeFazio has voted against and refused to accept congressional pay raises while the government is deficit spending. Instead, he has used his pay raises to fund scholarships at five southwestern Oregon community colleges. As of the end of 2018, DeFazio has contributed more than $437,000 of after-tax salary toward 270 scholarships. He counts these scholarships among his proudest accomplishments.
Community Spotlight is a City Club gathering in which local leaders participate in informal interviews about their lives and work. Tsunami Bookstore hosts the event on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 6 pm. Light refreshments are provided by the culinary students at Network Charter School. The public is encouraged to attend. There is no admission charge for Community Spotlight, but guests are invited to contribute to help cover the costs.