Lori Chavez-DeRemer was Mayor of Happy Valley from 2010-2018 where she led Oregon’s fastest-growing community, as its first female and Latina mayor. As Mayor, Lori presided over important changes in the city, making it more business-friendly, offering more affordable housing options for families, and a safe place to build a career and raise a family.
She is the granddaughter of a woman whose family legally immigrated here from Mexico to achieve the American dream. Her most important job, she’ll tell you is a mom and a small businesswoman. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, Dr. Shawn DeRemer, and supported the couple as he finished medical school. Later she helped Shawn found Anesthesia Associates Northwest and they now run several medical clinics throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Lori is now the Republican candidate for U.S. House Oregon Congressional District 5, which includes Central Oregon. I thought it would be valuable to hear her thoughts on the future of Oregon and the issues facing our country that need strong leadership.
Unknown Speaker 0:08
The other issue that we talked about a lot on the trail is education. I'm sure you hear about it as well. People want to know, over the last two years with a pandemic, our kids suffer a lot. I think our teachers suffered a lot people weren't sure what was going to happen. And on the federal level, I think what happened we were exposed to what can the federal government do for education? Well, I can tell you, I think we should leave it in the states hands. I think we should almost leave it sometimes in the school districts hands. We know best parents know best education that they want to see for their children. And that was lost. I would love to get the politics out of the classroom. Welcome to
cascade views a discussion with Central Oregon leaders. Your host is Michael SIPE, local business and community leader Best Selling Author of the Avada principle and candidate for Oregon State Representative for House District 53, which encompasses southern Redman sisters tremolo in northern bend. The purpose of these discussions is to share the views and insights of local leaders from a variety of community sectors on a range of timely and important regional and state issues. With that, now, here's your host, Michael SIPE.
Michael Sipe 1:23
Thanks for joining us on cascade views. My name is Michael SIPE, and I'll be your host. My guest today is my friend Laurie Chavez dreamer. Laurie was mayor of Happy Valley from 2010 to 2018, where she led Oregon's fastest growing community as its first female and Latina mayor. As Mayor Lori presided over important changes in the city, making them more business friendly, offering more affordable housing options for families, and a safe place to build a career and raise a family. She's the granddaughter of a woman whose family legally immigrated here from Mexico to achieve the American dream. Her most important job she'll tell you is as a mom, and a small business woman, she's married to her high school sweetheart, Dr. Shawn dreamer and supported the couple as he finished medical school. Later, she helped Shawn found anesthesia associates Northwest. And they now run several medical clinics throughout the Pacific Northwest. Or he's now the Republican candidate for US House Oregon congressional district five, which includes Central Oregon, so I thought it would be valuable to hear her thoughts on the future of Oregon, and the issues facing our country that needs strong leadership. So Laurie, welcome to the show.
Unknown Speaker 2:36
Thanks for having me, Mike.
Michael Sipe 2:38
And before we dig into some issues, would you just share a bit more about your background, you're both successful businesswoman and an accomplished public servant. And I'd like to just hear a little bit more about both.
Unknown Speaker 2:51
For sure. It's probably the most thing that I'm proud to talk about is, you know, the shoulders that we stand on, we get asked this question on the campaign trail, but we don't often get enough time to expand. I'll take a few minutes to say, Yes, I married my high school sweetheart. We grew up in a small farm community in San Joaquin Valley of central California. Very proud to grow up in a small town of about 12,000 When I was kind of a young girl, and as it grew, the farm community was was just, you know, the heart of Feeding America. And we and we knew that we recognize that while my parents weren't directly in farming, certainly our friends and family were and now we I still have my brothers and sister in law and our farmers there in the Central Valley and a lot of our extended family still lives there. After leaving a you know, college, I went to present state my husband went off to college and on the coast, he decided he didn't want to continue in the farming business as his family was in the walnut industry. He wanted to be a physician. So as we moved along that trail and got married and put him through medical school, we thought it was a wonderful idea in the middle of med school to have children. We knew we wanted to be young parents and we had two beautiful twin girls who are now 27. And after it was all said and done working hard. Putting him through school, it was time to settle down. And that's kind of where we focused and decided that Oregon might be a place where we could raise our family. You know, we'd never been to Oregon before we moved here 22 years ago, we'd heard how beautiful it was. And when we came here that was exactly what drew us to right outside the metro area. My husband took a job at Kaiser hospital where we worked for five years and paid off our significant debt which we had from working hard and going through school raising our girls. They were six, put them in the local Happy Valley Elementary School. There was about 5000 people at the time, as he was working through and I thought it was important to get involved in the community. I spent my time PTA He made sure that I was on the parks committees, all the things we kind of think about, we're raising a family of what's important to our everyday lives. And it was at that time that he started his own practice in 2005. And I thought it was important to run for city council. So where I served for six years before deciding that I wanted to continue that work and run for mayor and then served eight years there. So that's kind of been our, our adult life. And it was certainly on the shoulders of our family lives and how hard our families worked. And now we're continuing that public service, through business, through the education system. Now that our kids are grown, we know how important it is to stay focused. And then of course, serving as a mayor, where we hear from so many people, and who want to either come to a suburb maybe out of their urban area to raise their families, what's important to them. And I know we'll talk those issues, but that's what got us started. And that's what propels me to do this work every single day. Well, that's
Michael Sipe 5:57
fantastic. You know, I actually hadn't realized how long you've been in public service all that time on the council. And as mayor, I mean, I obviously I knew you were on the council and a mayor. But I didn't realize the years and years you've devoted to that. And now you're running for congressional district five. So tell us about that district, how it came about and the geography that it encompasses?
Unknown Speaker 6:20
Well, it's exciting times for Oregon. It's really the first time in 40 years that Oregon gained a new congressional seat, we had been with five. And now we have six students, the population increase where California lost to see Oregon gain to see. And we knew that would happen, we just didn't know where those lines would be drawn. And we saw over the last year, you know, the party in control drew those lines, and we weren't sure well, it ended up being right outside of the Happy Valley Clackamas area. And with the new lines, it took us over to Central Oregon. So for the listeners, I think it's important to recognize the district change quite dramatically where it lost about 50% of the old district and now took in this newer portion, which I'm so excited about because, you know, while we're very different in Central Oregon, from the issues, maybe that are facing the metro area, a lot of issues in between are the same. So serving as mayor led me to believe that I can, I can bring along people from all walks of life, and I want to make sure we address those issues. But as it came down, I knew I could run for this seat. Also it is a D plus one district. So essentially, it's an even heat that's 1% more Democrats than Republicans. There's a lot of non affiliated voters. The district is also broken up in about three quarters of it is over here in the Clackamas Marion and Linn County and then 25% of the last quarter is over in Central Oregon. But the voters came out. And when I decided to run everybody open arms and embrace to both sides. And we knew that with the investment of 18 years in public service, as you mentioned, as well as running a business for 18 years when we have business over in the Bend area. I knew I can relate with all those experiences and my former history to represent all of Oregon's fifth district. So this is a good time for Republicans to run in the national backdrop. But I think it's also a good time to start to recognize it Oregonians and in Oregon in Oregon Speth people are struggling and people are hurting, and they want to see some change.
Michael Sipe 8:27
Well, you mentioned the primary you want a highly contested primary. Why do you think voters chose you over some other strong candidates? Who, who now I saw that Depaolo just endorsed you? Great guy, super candidate. Why do you think voters chose you?
Unknown Speaker 8:46
When we step out on that trail, you know, we're asking the voters to look at all this right? We're all one party, everybody might have, you know, some reasons that they, you know, you're probably not gonna like everybody for 100%. But we know that we will carry the values that Republican voters want. But in saying that, we also have to be relatable, we have to be under stood by the voters. Am I do I look like you do? Have I experienced the same things that maybe they have. So they've got to take that information. We have to get that out to them. I spent, you know where I came over to Central Oregon, really one to two times a week for the last year. So I can do just that. close my mouth, open my ears and ask what is it that I don't know about Central Oregon that I could use my experiences, my filters and come to solutions that they're asking for? So when the voters stood up and heard us talk all around the district, I saw you a lot on the trail. I think they recognize that I would be the one who could carry those messages to Washington DC. And I would ask at the end of every time I visited with him. I think what you're expecting is that I'm going to do what I say they will I mean, and when I go to Washington DC, I'm gonna come back and I'm going to talk to you just like I have done for the proven track record of the last 18 years. And I want you to trust me with that information. And I want to do the people's work. I think that that's what came out of the primary five way primary, we handily won by 14 points. Yes, I got to know the other Republicans on there. Dr. DE Pollard met with me yesterday, I've actually met with him more than once he has endorsed, he wants to help us get elected. And he has a contingent of people who enjoyed what he was saying. And I want to make sure to incorporate that because I want to bring all Republicans and Democrats along. So we have a lot of work to do. But I think the people spoke and we will now go on and win in November.
Michael Sipe 10:42
I think so actually, I more than think so I fully expected but Let's Talk Issues. Okay, you're running for US Congress. And so you're going to be working on national issues, primarily, but you'll be representing Oregon. I'm all of Oregon. So what are some of the issues you want to address in Congress to make things better for Oregonians specifically?
Unknown Speaker 11:02
Absolutely. There certainly isn't a part of the fifth district or Oregon who's not feeling some of the pressures, policy pressures that come out of Washington, DC, we talked about it, it's what we see. It's what people naturally talk about. And I have kind of some experience on almost on the opposite direction, a lot of state level what you're running for, sometimes people get lost in what does that mean? What do they do for us that one's place that they always want to talk about is the local level, which again, I spent 18 years representing people at the local level, right in the grocery store, they want to talk to you, they want to talk to you at that school playground because they want to talk about the education and what's happening with their kids. And then people stay focused on the national level. Well, when you put those two things together, it only makes sense that somebody comes from a local level can represent them. So some of the issues that we're hearing and feeling every single day, and we certainly were, it was amplified during the primary was obviously the economy, right? And inflation. We've been feeling that well over a year. And since the new administration came in, it feels like things are somewhat unrecognizable. That's what we heard. We're not things aren't making sense to a lot of people. They're not understanding why gas is now over $6. They're not understanding why we can't find employees to fill our labor force. We can't understand why groceries have gone up. What are what what decisions are we going to make in our monthly budgets? What are we cutting? What are we adding? What can we live without? That's what I'm hearing. I'm hearing it every day, since last year. And so that's an issue we have to stay focused on. How does people how do people in their everyday lives become more complete, more whole, and more prosperous? That's what government I think should assist in not hinder. The other issue that we talked about a lot on the trail is education. I'm sure you hear about it as well. People want to know, over the last two years with a pandemic, our kids suffered a lot. I think our teachers suffered a lot people weren't sure what was going to happen. And on the federal level, I think what happened we were exposed to what can the federal government do for education? Well, I can tell you, I think we should leave it in the state's hands, I think we should almost leave it sometimes in the school district's hands. We know best parents know best the education that they want to see for their children. And that was lost, I would love to get the politics out of the classroom. So we talked about a parent's Bill of Rights, we've heard that term throughout. And it's a talking point for a reason. It's because that's what people are talking about. And you saw that on the ground. I saw that on the ground. We started our school board meetings, and we saw it across the nation. I think that's something people will continue to look at in November.
Michael Sipe 13:54
I agree. You know, in addition to those things, let's Let's move now to kind of the big picture national, because that's where, you know, you're gonna get to play in the big game. So give us your take the short, short version on what you see going on in our country today.
Unknown Speaker 14:10
Oh, gosh, Michael, there's so many things. But you know, the culture war has been bubbling for a long time. Sometimes I feel we've lost our way a little bit. We've kind of turned over our families to public government. And, and I would like to bring that back home, you know, the family value is so important to all of us, the nucleus of it right? And when things go awry, when things go sideways, the first thing we do is turn internally to say how can we protect our families and our communities. And as public servants, you know, the community is our family as well. And we have to look out for our neighbors. So those issues are important to take to Washington DC. So when we want to address the economy when I want to look at what my neighbors are going through or what my family is going through or what my community's going through, and gas prices are high. What we have to do is make sure that we're America come first, right? There's nothing wrong with being Oregon first as well and saying, What can we do here to lower these prices? What can we do here to get more people employed? Well, there's lots of ideas, right? We can start drilling, we can be energy independent, we know what it feels like to only have gas at two or $3 a gallon. That just was not even a year ago. What happened? So those questions, we have to say, Okay, we have to be energy independent, and it'll be decisions like that, that I will get to make and make sure that we're America first. And that trickles down to Oregon.
Michael Sipe 15:33
Well, out of all the things that are broken right now, and there are a lot of things. Let's say that you could only go after three of them in the first pass at this, okay. I mean, you'll have plenty of time, because you'll be there. As long as you want to be there, I'm sure. But in your first first shot at this, if you had to pick three issues that you wanted to tackle would be the first one.
Unknown Speaker 15:58
Education. I think the link of our children and the future of this country is directly based on education, we have to make sure that we have a well educated workforce for lots of different reasons. We want to be we want to have safe, safe borders. For instance, our families came over here, immigrant families, we want immigrants to come to our country legally. We need fabric this great country, right the freedoms that are protected there. We want them to come legally, what we're seeing on the on the southern border today, we just saw in Texas 53 or 51, I think, dead in that tractor trailer, that's not loving America, and that certainly not loving future Americans. People who are really trying to come over here securing our border, I think is number one, that's what most Americans see. And we can do that as well. So if we're talking about making America supply issues, we can address education as one securing our border is another.
Michael Sipe 17:01
How about like maybe one more Viet, like a third shot to take?
Unknown Speaker 17:07
Well, I certainly want to see Law and Order Law and Order is is is what people expect in this country. We have seen Portland be the center our sister city, right? And there's a lot of people who say to us, you know, I don't like what we're seeing in Portland. I certainly here was to people, I know that I would spend time in Portland, we had a wonderful economy down there. We had restaurants we can go to we felt safe. And people from Central Oregon came over right i we would go over there once a month. So we would hear now people haven't been downtown in two years, because they're scared. They're scared for their families. Women don't want to go alone. We're not sure what's going to happen. Certainly not going to be protected. Businesses are leaving fifth generation Oregonians are packing their bags at the front door and moving out of state. Oregon is unique. Oregon has pride Oregon has always been proud to be unique. Yes. But we've had such great value here. And we're losing that. So Law and Order people expect people to follow the law. And we need to make sure we do not defund the police, we need to support our blue, and we need to support are green on those borders. So there's a lot we can do those top three things. If we can handle if I can be a part of that in a functional way. I can be a functional legislator. That's what I'm looking forward to do.
Michael Sipe 18:31
That's great. I was just, you know, just before we got on with this, I was in an interview with the police chief of Ben Mike Krantz who, who served for a couple of decades in leadership in Portland. And so we had some great discussions on law and order. And some of the changes that have happened in Portland. I was just over there last week in the first time in downtown Portland in three years. And it's horrific. It's, it's like I don't want to go back not not now. Maybe maybe a few year maybe after you go to work on some of this. But man Oh, man, it's it is definitely ugly. And it's one of those things that I want to go to work on in Salem as well. But let's get to your race. It's going to be highlighted nationally, it's already been highlighted nationally as one of the most contested and pivotal races in the country as a major factor in what we can expect in Congress in the next couple of years. So you already know I'm a big fan of yours, but make the case for why Oregon needs you in Congress.
Unknown Speaker 19:38
I kind of touched on it at the beginning. What I know from being invested again at a local level is people expect accountability, responsibility, balance, common sense approaches for outcomes that they're living in their everyday lives that shouldn't change on a state level. Oh, it certainly shouldn't change on a federal level. But sometimes it can feel a little distant. I want to make sure that people know, I have a proven track record of funding the police, I have a proven track record of always supporting education. I have a proven track record of being a business owner and making sure that when I did those local ribbon cuttings, I recognize that those people were putting their heart and soul in everything they have, even their retirements to build a business in their community, we cannot continue as a government to be barrier centric, right? There were people are expecting their government to be their allies, not their adversaries, and we have over regulation and over taxation, people can't get ahead in life, we have to remember to make homeownership a priority. We want to make sure that we can have a vibrant economy wherever we go. I have that proven track record of doing so bringing people to the table of representing Democrats, Republicans, independents, and now look at the population of non affiliated because most people in America are somewhere in the middle, and we have to bring them along with us. I will be able to do that because I have a record of doing so. So I know it has national tensions for various reasons. One, again, we mentioned the backdrop of the last two years people felt left behind. People didn't feel like they had a voice. When I launched the primary campaign. I reached out and I worked harder than anybody else in order to win. We received donations at a local level. You know, Michael, I would get cards in the mail from people who would send me $1 Bill, why? Why would they do that? And I thought because they're left behind. And they wanted a voice is equal to somebody else who could give a maximum donation. When I presented that to the state level and people endorsed my campaign and got behind me, Georgia, Endicott from Redman, you know, Kliff. Benzes supporting former Congressman Greg Walden is all in Chris Dudley, people of all walks of life said you know what, we want somebody who can make sense to us and actually put in the work to get it done. And then I told that same story at a national level. Now, sometimes it can be a numbers game, but they know I work hard. They know people want to get behind this race. They know it's a flippable seat. Now, we have to prove our voters correct. When we elect me, Laurie Chavista Remer in November, they expect me to get some things done. That's what I'm committed to do. That's what I'll work hard doing and uplifting all of these other races. Yes, the national team is watching this as a top 10 race in the country. It is the first time really Oregon has been on the map for this seat, we will get national attention, we'll highlight it all join Cliff bends to be two out of the six. And I think to be quite honest, four and six seats might flip as well, and will bring real balanced Oregon, and people will be excited about getting things done and having that outcome based approach where they feel good about their lives and their families. And I'm excited to tell that story.
Michael Sipe 23:06
You tell? Uh, well, you know, it's been great having you on the show, my main takeaway actually is, is the depth of your experience, you know, when I've heard you speak before, multiple times now all over the place, where we've hung out together, and you've spoken and I, I've just been impressed that you, you just know what you're talking about. And but I didn't actually realize the depth of experience that's behind that. So that's a big takeaway for me, because that's going to be super valuable in serving well. So I appreciate your time. I appreciate your message today, Laurie, I not only wish you well, I fully expect that you're going to win. And I'm behind you all the way.
Unknown Speaker 23:43
Well did oh my friend. I'll be there. I'll see you often. I think I'm going to see you here in the next week or so. Let's go out and tell the story together and get you elected as well.
Michael Sipe 23:52
Fantastic. My guest today has been Laurie Chavez dreamer candidate for US Congress and district five, which includes Central Oregon. You can learn more about Lori and her campaign at Laurie Chavez dreamer.com. Or just just hang around town because you're gonna see her everywhere and and get a chance to know her and visit with her and you'll, you'll come to agree with me that she's the real deal. Thanks for tuning in.
Thanks for listening to cascade views with Michael SIPE. To find out more about Mike the upcoming election. The key issues he's focused on in his campaign to represent Central Oregon and Salem as a state representative. Visit www dot a voice for Central oregon.com that's www dot a voice for Central oregon.com You can get your own copy of Michael SIPE best selling book the Avada firstname.lastname@example.org. And finally, please vote in the upcoming election. Your Voice Matters