Senator Jackie Winters (R-OR)

Women In Government Involvement:

Senator Winters is a State Director for Women In Government. She recently attended the 19th Annual State Directors' & Tenth Biennial First Term Legislators' Conference.

Legislative Activity and Profile:

As an Oregon State Senator, Jackie Winters has actively participated in legislative processes, which target economic opportunity and security as a basic tenet of her work. She began her governmental service as director of the New Resources Program of the state’s Office of Economic Opportunity at the request of Governor Tom McCall. First elected to the Legislature in 1999, she has since been recognized as a champion for children, families, and seniors, emphasizing the importance of education for all, access to affordable and effective health care, and availability of family-wage employment.

Recently, Oregon’s Governor John Kitzhaber appointed Senator Winters as Convener of the Mid-Willamette Valley Regional Solutions Center (RSC) Advisory Committee. Her position provides an opportunity to assist in rebuilding a strong economy for Oregon and requires a level of collaboration and integration that goes far beyond current practices. The goal of RSC is to approach community and economic development by recognizing the unique needs of each region in the state and working at the local level to identify priorities, solve problems, and seize opportunities to get specific projects completed. Sustainable objectives help guide the RSC program. In 2001, these objectives were placed into statute and provide a focus for many legislative enactments. These laws emphasize that sustainability is critical when considering enhancement of Oregon’s economy, its communities and the environment.

The Regional Solutions Center program is a partnership between state government and institutions of higher education to identify effective ways to achieve these objectives. Through the partnership, a network of seven Centers will be created to address the needs of all Oregon counties and cities by providing a neutral forum and a place for state agencies to work collaboratively with local governments and civic and private interests to help solve problems that local communities have identified as regional priorities.

The Mid-Willamette Valley Local Advisory Committee that Senator Winters convenes will include a mayor, county commissioner, university administrator, a representative of a private foundation, and several business leaders. Representatives from five state agencies will also participate as a Regional Solutions Team with assistance provided by a Regional Coordinator whose primary job is to be a catalyst for actions in the region as well as staff assistance for the Advisory Committee and the state agency team. Additional state agencies may be added as indicated by specific needs of a particular project.

Senator Winters said, “I’m honored to be a part of the work of the Regional Solutions Center and to help demonstrate the importance of Oregon’s outreach to communities and their partners to improve our economic opportunities.”