Our luncheon will feature: Senate President Peter Courtney. Senator Courtney will provide us with a look forward at the upcoming 2013 legislative session.
Peter Courtney has a long history of service to Marion County and our state. He was first elected to public office in 1974 when, at the age of 31, he was elected to the Salem City Council. He continued to serve on the City Council until 1980 when he was elected State Representative in District 33 which then included North Salem, Keizer, and parts of West Salem.
Courtney served in the Oregon House in the 1981 and 1983 sessions. In 1984, he gave up his House seat in an unsuccessful effort to obtain the Democratic nomination for Congress in the fifth district. In 1986, Courtney unsuccessfully challenged Republican incumbent State Senator Cub Houck. In 1989, Courtney returned to the House where he served five terms, the last four of which he served as minority leader.
In 1998, Courtney left the House and was elected to the Oregon Senate (District 11). The year 2013 will mark the end of his eighth 2-year legislative cycle in the Senate. In 2003, Courtney was elected Senate President. He was re-elected to hold this post in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2013. He is the only Senate President who has been elected to serve six terms and he is longest serving legislative leader in both houses.
Many accomplishments have marked Courtney’s years of public service. In his years on the Salem City Council, Courtney was best known for his advocacy of public transit. Under his leadership, Salem’s public transit system grew from a small fleet of buses operated by the City of Salem to a metropolitan transit system operated by the the Salem-Keizer Transit District. More recent examples of Courtney’s leadership include the 2007 legislative authorization of state funding to build a new state mental health facility in Salem and his management of difficult budget and economic recovery legislation during the 2009 and 2011 sessions. He takes great pride in the leadership role he played in the moving the state legislature from biennial sessions to annual legislative sessions, starting in 2011.
Courtney has resided in the Highland neighborhood in North Salem during his entire political career. Peter and his wife Margie have been married for 35 years. They have raised three sons, Peter, Sean, and Adam.
Courtney is well known for the “Peter the Rabbit” lawn signs he has used in all his legislative races. Many people associate this rabbit with the energizer bunny and Peter’s energetic and tireless devotion to the many causes he has championed during his career.
Please join us to hear Courtney provide his thoughts on the upcoming legislative session and the budget issues and economic conditions that will shape that session. We encourage you to bring your questions and comments for Senator Courtney on these matters.