Dacia Grayber is many things: a firefighter, paramedic, mom and activist. She’s been a PCP and Neighborhood Leader. She served as State Representative for Oregon House of Representatives District 35 during 2021-2023. Last November, Grayber won the election to represent the newly reorganized Oregon House District 28. She took office in January 2023. Last fall, before the election, we asked her a few questions about why she is a Democrat. We’re finally getting around to posting her answers!
Why did you become involved in the Democratic Party of Multnomah County?
The power of grassroots community building is the most beautiful and authentic expression of democracy in action.
Why do you think it’s important for Democrats to become involved at the local level?
To borrow the cliche: we are the change we’ve been waiting for. Nature — and politics– abhors a vacuum, and if we don’t show up loud and proud to represent what we love and what we need, other interests — corporate, authoritarian, etc.– will. The hyper-local level is where community power is built: the power of stories, of sharing, of building relationships.
What are some of the priorities for our state and for Multnomah County this year?
- Connecting people to health care and affordable housing, including transitional housing for our unhoused neighbors.
- The absolute climate emergency we are in (I’m writing this in between going out on fires).
- Building the working class by valuing labor, nurturing small business and community-centered growth (esp. our BIPOC, LGBTQ and disabled community), holding large corporations accountable.
- Robust and sustainable public education.
- Ensuring people feel safe, valued, and respected in their communities. Tackling the proliferation of extremism.
What is making you hopeful right now?
My kids and their friends! The “kids” (mine are older teenagers) are all right. They are coming of age in these wild and often unprecedented times, and they have a maturity and resolve that I don’t think I had at that age. Racism, misogyny, xenophobia, abortion access threats, climate crisis denial, BS working conditions — they aren’t having it. They see things very clearly, and they aren’t afraid to call it out. I’m also super hopeful that talking about the climate crisis no longer feels as partisan as it used to — it’s hard to deny when it hurts to breathe the air outside.That’s a weird thing to be hopeful about but I’m watching it spur folks who would never have been at the table before to action and policy.
What advice can you provide to your fellow Democrats in Multnomah County?
Never lose sight, especially now, of the common goal for a healthier, safer, more equitable and just planet. We’re a divergent group of folks from all different lived experiences and origins. Sometimes in that diversity conflict can arise, but we’re our strongest when we can meet authentically in that discomfort, respect each other’s boundaries and groundtruth, and find commonality and a path forward rather than tearing each other down.
Constituents and MultDems may reach Rep. Grayber in her Salem office at: Rep.DaciaGrayber@OregonLegislature.gov, Phone: (503) 986-1428
Photo credit: Kristyna Wentz-Graff, OPB