Follow Along With The Transcript
Brennan Summers (00:00):
Welcome to Main Street Podcast, an opportunity to talk to Idaho’s elected leaders about the issues that matter to you. Hello. Welcome to Main Street, Idaho. We are very lucky today to have representative Chanel Dixon with US District 24 out of Twin Falls, right?
Representative Chenele Dixon (00:21):
Yes. So Twin Falls County, so it’s the rural part of Twin Falls County, and then Gooding and Camas Counties.
Brennan Summers (00:28):
And you had to add that because your kids, you are in the school board or over the school foundation for, is it the, which school? Kimberly?
Representative Chenele Dixon (00:37):
Yeah, so I’m the president of the Kimberly School Foundation.
Brennan Summers (00:40):
Yeah. Alright. Okay. So we’ve got a lot to cover today. Well, first we’ve got to figure out who you are, right? You’re a first term representative in the Idaho House. How are you feeling about it?
Representative Chenele Dixon (00:49):
Brennan Summers (00:50):
Representative Chenele Dixon (00:51):
Brennan Summers (00:51):
Representative Chenele Dixon (00:52):
Brennan Summers (00:52):
You may come back for a second
Representative Chenele Dixon (00:54):
Time. I am coming back, yes. Love it. That’s my plan.
Brennan Summers (00:57):
Tell us a little bit about your family. Tell us about how you, who are you?
Representative Chenele Dixon (01:01):
Okay. Well, Chanel Dixon, and we live in Kimberly. My husband grew up in Twin. He’s a fifth generation Idaho. And I actually grew up in Phoenix.
Brennan Summers (01:10):
Representative Chenele Dixon (01:11):
Yep. But we got back here as soon as we were done with all our training and schooling and raised our kids in Idaho. We have two girls and they’re both grown, both married. We have one granddaughter that just started second grade. Wow. They’re kind of far away right now. So our oldest daughter lives in San Antonio with her family and our youngest daughter and her husband are in Knoxville, Tennessee. But we’re hoping that we see everybody come back this way.
So my background is in education. I have an English teaching degree, and I did my master’s in education. And then about four or five years ago, I went and got a real estate license. So I’m a licensed realtor. My husband’s a physician. And yeah, I’ve always tried to be involved in my community in doing community service. I ran the Music fest for C S I, college of Southern Idaho for quite a while, which is a music camp for 12 to 18 year olds. And so I would coordinate that. I’m not musically inclined. My kids are,
Brennan Summers (02:23):
Oh, that’s neat.
Representative Chenele Dixon (02:23):
I’m not musically inclined, but I can organize. And so they asked me to be the director and I would bring in the music teachers and we’d have a hundred to 110 youth come for the week. And then we put on a big concert at the end, been involved in the Republican party for a long time. And I started off, I actually ran to be on the executive committee for the Twin Falls County Republicans, and then I ran for precinct committee person. So I did that for a long time. And I was the secretary for our county. And then I was our state committee woman. And then I helped on a lot of campaigns. And when it was good timing, it’s always about timing. And so our kids were grown. My husband had actually changed jobs and he can come with me to Boise work from Twin or from Boise, which is really nice. That
Brennan Summers (03:20):
Representative Chenele Dixon (03:21):
And then with redistricting, there was an open seat and so I put my head in the ring
Brennan Summers (03:28):
And was the campaign process as stressful as it sounds,
Representative Chenele Dixon (03:32):
It’s a little stressful. I mean, it’s a lot of work, but I kind of enjoy it and it’s fun to get out there and just meet a ton of people. And we knocked a lot of doors and held some town halls and we’ll do that again. But I’ve met obviously a ton more people
Brennan Summers (03:53):
Representative Chenele Dixon (03:53):
Being in the legislature. So
Brennan Summers (03:55):
A lot of people that you’ve got to know and a lot of people you probably still need to get to know. Oh
Representative Chenele Dixon (03:59):
Brennan Summers (03:59):
Right. Absolutely. As you’re out meeting with people, what issues are they telling you that they care about?
Representative Chenele Dixon (04:04):
Well, I think most people care about their roads.
Brennan Summers (04:08):
Representative Chenele Dixon (04:08):
Don’t like the potholes in the roads. They want want smooth roads. They want low taxes. They want good schools for their kids and the things that government actually does play a role in.
Brennan Summers (04:20):
So maybe not the super controversial stuff, but stuff that matters,
Representative Chenele Dixon (04:24):
Stuff that matters in day-to-day lives. I think most people are, they’re just trying to provide for their family and live and work and play in Idaho and just make a good life for their family. And so they’re concerned about things that help them do that.
Brennan Summers (04:41):
Yeah, I think that’s a really interesting point because a vast majority of people, politics is not their life and it’s not necessarily their passion and most actually hate it, but for everybody it matters.
Representative Chenele Dixon (04:53):
It does matter.
Brennan Summers (04:54):
And so how do you reach those voices of people who they don’t want to argue with their neighbor about Biden or Trump, they just want their roads to be clear?
Representative Chenele Dixon (05:04):
Well, I think having that message and just talking to them, I went, when I was running in the primary, I went and talked to a group of people and I said, okay, so let’s talk about your schools. They were all young parents and I said, what concerns do you have? And they’re like, well, we actually really like our schools and we like our teachers and we like our principals. And I said, so you don’t have concerns about that? And they’re like, no, but maybe we can retain teachers by paying them a little more. So I think just talking to people and helping them see that by electing good, solid people who are willing to be problem solvers, that it does positively affect their lives. I met people too who had never voted. And so I tried to have a conversation about why they should vote and why they should care because it does affect them even if they don’t like politics.
Brennan Summers (06:01):
I am shocked how many people who I would view as really good members of the community that contribute help who they just vote every four years in a presidential election when it probably has the least influence in their daily lives, but they don’t vote in these legislative primary races or even their municipal elections. That’s scary. Right?
Representative Chenele Dixon (06:21):
It is scary. And you want the voices of all the people that live in your district to turn out and vote and be a little bit engaged. They don’t necessarily have to run for office themselves, but just to be a little engaged is important.
Brennan Summers (06:37):
But when a very small selection of people are the ones who are voting, then that’s the very small selection of people whose voices are represented and that they choose someone. So that’s safe. Carrie, you mentioned education, going to schools, you have a unique perspective on education, and I’m really excited to actually kind of put some pins onto where you are with that because you homeschooled your kids, correct?
Representative Chenele Dixon (06:59):
Brennan Summers (07:00):
And not just your kids, but you operated in a co-op where there was a lot of different things going on. Maybe walk us through the decision to homeschool, why that was helpful. And then I’ve got a lot more education questions.
Representative Chenele Dixon (07:10):
So we started off, like I said, I majored in English teaching in college. That’s what my degree is in. When we had our oldest daughter, she was getting ready to start kindergarten, and the school district was teaching sex ed in kindergarten. And I had some concerns about that and a number of parents had some concerns. And so we went to a school board meeting and said, Hey, can we just talk about this? And I should back up. We were living in Portland, Oregon at the time. My husband was in medical school there. And they wouldn’t talk to us about the curriculum, which in Idaho parents have the right to see the curriculum as
Brennan Summers (07:52):
Representative Chenele Dixon (07:52):
As they should. And that’s important and that’s an important part of the process, that communication between parents and teachers. And I grew up with a mom who was always very involved in the classroom. She was always the homeroom mom and concerned about what was going on. We would talk about what I was learning. She would read books that we were reading. It was great. So I kind of came from that lens and we had already been talking about how it might be kind of fun to homeschool for kindergarten. And when the school district wouldn’t have a conversation, we decided to try our hat at homeschooling and we loved it, and it was so much fun. And then the next year, and we knew we were moving because then my husband was graduating from medical school and we were going onto residency at kindergarten level. We hadn’t decided we were going to homeschool through the whole process, but it turned out that we pretty much did. Our oldest daughter graduated as a homeschooler. Our youngest daughter went to Kimberly High School for the last two years
Of her high school. And anyway, during that time, I did some private tutoring as an English teacher. I would help kids with their reading and their writing and learning to think critically as they were reading novels for their English class. Then I got involved in some homeschool, and so I started teaching the high school English classes and loved it. And about the same time that my daughter, we would always ask them, we always left it up to our daughters, do you want to keep homeschooling? Do you want to go to public school? Do you want to go to private school? We would always have that conversation. So our youngest daughter decided to go to Kimberly High School and they were having a bond levy election, and I got involved to help support that. I’ve always been a huge supporter of public education, even though we were homeschooled,
Brennan Summers (10:05):
Which is interesting. There seems to be an appearance at time that the homeschool community doesn’t support public education because they pulled themselves from it. And the public education doesn’t support the homeschool community, not part of the process. But I know that isn’t necessarily the case. I
Representative Chenele Dixon (10:18):
Don’t think so. I don’t think so because there’s a lot of dual enrolling going on. My experience was that as our girls went to the local public school to take different classes, they were always very welcomed. I had great relationships with their teachers,
So I don’t think there needs to be this disconnect. Anyway, so I got involved in helping with their campaign for their bond levy, and I was putting signs out and I was calling people and knocking doors with this group of parents. And anyway, that passed. And after that passed, I was approached by some people at the school district to be on the foundation, the Kimberly School Foundation, and it’s been great. I’ve done that since 2016, and I’ve been the president for the last four years I think. So basically what the foundation does, and it varies from district to district, but the Kimberly School Foundation raises money for scholarships
Brennan Summers (11:20):
Representative Chenele Dixon (11:20):
Brennan Summers (11:21):
Representative Chenele Dixon (11:22):
And so we’ve given out to date about a hundred thousand dollars in scholarships. We go to the football games and we do our fundraisers. It’s a great,
Brennan Summers (11:33):
Which is really important because in the legislature, education eats up a lot of time as it probably should because it’s so important. We had this last session, the topics of the day were choice, voucher, whatever you want to call it. So how did you feel when these education topics come up? How do you wrestle with them as a mother who homeschooled as strong advocate of public schools wanting to get teachers paid more? Where are you at with education policy?
Representative Chenele Dixon (11:58):
So this is not the first time I’ve thought about this, right? Yeah. So I came into the legislature and all of a sudden I had to think about this. I’ve thought about this since my oldest daughter who’s now 30, started kindergarten. How does this all connect and how does this work together? And in Idaho, we actually have some of the best school choice laws or
Brennan Summers (12:22):
Representative Chenele Dixon (12:23):
Options. We’re ranked number three in the country for school choice. And people sometimes confuse school choice with funding. But school choice really means do parents have the opportunity to easily take the method of education that they want and explore that? So in Idaho, we don’t have any regulations on homeschoolers. They have nothing that they have to do to fulfill requirements by our state government. And private schools don’t either. And a lot of people don’t realize that. And so in my mind, that’s great school choice. If you want to homeschool, you can do that and you can do that how you want to. And many states are not that way. And then we have charter schools, we have public schools, charter schools are public schools, but
Brennan Summers (13:14):
Representative Chenele Dixon (13:14):
Little bit different setup than your traditional public
Brennan Summers (13:16):
Schools. Another option,
Representative Chenele Dixon (13:17):
Another option. We have all of those things here. And the school choice discussion that’s really about funding is where I probably, I think my perspective is a little different because as a homeschooler, I appreciated the fact when we got back to Idaho that we could do that, how we saw fit. And if we’re going to put state tax dollars into homeschool or into private schools, either one, then there has to be accountability. We can’t spend taxpayer dollars and not have accountability.
Brennan Summers (13:54):
So you liked the freedom in Idaho being able to teach your kids in a way that you saw fit without the government kind of
Representative Chenele Dixon (14:00):
Brennan Summers (14:01):
But you were also very supportive of those who chose to send their kids
Representative Chenele Dixon (14:04):
Public. Super supportive. And I think the end goal should be that we want a well-educated society. Absolutely. And there’s various ways and things that work for different families. And I don’t think tossing our taxpayer dollars to a private school, just like the homeschool, there would have to be accountability for that money. And I think down the road, what you would see is that those private schools didn’t have the same opportunity to maybe teach in the way or bring certain, maybe they use the Bible, maybe it’s a private Catholic school, and they use the Bible as part of their curriculum. Would that be in question if they started having state money? Probably.
Brennan Summers (14:51):
Yeah. Do you expect this issue to come up? School choice, come up again, the session. Oh
Representative Chenele Dixon (14:55):
Brennan Summers (14:56):
You’re ready for it.
Representative Chenele Dixon (14:56):
Brennan Summers (14:57):
We could spend all day talking about education, and I kind of like to, but we’ve got to cover a few more
Representative Chenele Dixon (15:02):
Brennan Summers (15:02):
We talked to your dear friend, Senator Harren about drugs came up and issues in, she mentioned in the community that there’s a concern about the role that drugs are playing, especially with the historic growth that’s coming with a lot of other challenges. You recently wrote an op-ed about fentanyl and in opposition of it, but you brought up what a concern is and how we probably should put more of a focus on, I said, what are you seeing? What is your perspective with fentanyl?
Representative Chenele Dixon (15:30):
Well, so in the Twin Falls area, we have highway 93 that comes up, and it’s a common route for drug traffickers to come through. Most of them though, don’t want to come to Idaho drug traffickers. There’s recordings of voicemails and emails from drug traffickers saying to people who are trying to get them to come to Idaho, no, because you guys have mandatory minimums,
Brennan Summers (16:01):
Representative Chenele Dixon (16:01):
Traffickers, but we don’t for fentanyl. And fentanyl is one of the deadliest drugs. And there’s probably not a person around that hasn’t heard something about fentanyl. But it’s more powerful. It’s 50 times more powerful than heroin and a hundred times more powerful than morphine. So it’s a deadly drug, and it’s getting mixed in with a lot of other drugs. And in the course of a month, it was like the middle of May to the middle of June or something, there were two drug buss on Highway 93 just in my district, and 14 pounds of fentanyl was confiscated.
Brennan Summers (16:41):
Any idea how many people that could kill?
Representative Chenele Dixon (16:43):
Well, it could kill all of Idaho, Montana, and most of Wyoming. It takes basically two milligrams, which is about the size of a grain of salt to kill someone for fentanyl, 14, 14 pounds. And that was just in those two drug busts. And so
Brennan Summers (17:01):
You’re saying we’ve managed to deter a lot of drugs to the community because of the way we’ve punished drug offenders. But fentanyl doesn’t qualify. Why is that?
Representative Chenele Dixon (17:11):
Well, it’s a, it’s a newer street drug. It gets used in the hospital all the time. It was developed in the sixties. But last session we did have a bill that would’ve added fentanyl to our mandatory minimums. And I should be clear. So it’s not for drug users, it’s for drug traffickers. So they have to be proven guilty as a drug trafficker in the court of law. And then if they’re proven guilty, these mandatory minimums say, well, you’re going to prison for this minimum amount of time no
Brennan Summers (17:48):
Matter what. No
Representative Chenele Dixon (17:49):
Brennan Summers (17:49):
Representative Chenele Dixon (17:50):
If you’ve gone through the whole court process and been found guilty of drug trafficking. So sometimes there’s confusion. Anyway, so we had a bill and we couldn’t get it out of committee. We’ll bring it back this session. I’ve been talking to a lot of legislators and just trying to help educate them on what this really means, what the mandatory minimums actually do. The dangers of fentanyl, I mean, it’s contributing to a lot of deaths. And I think the C D C said that about 44% of drug overdose deaths in the United States and Idaho’s about the same were fentanyl related. Wow, that’s a lot.
Brennan Summers (18:40):
Where’s the law enforcement community with the legislation?
Representative Chenele Dixon (18:43):
I think they’re in favor of it.
Brennan Summers (18:44):
They support it.
Representative Chenele Dixon (18:45):
And in conversations with policemen and our prosecutors, they’re very much in favor of it. And they know that the mandatory minimums, we do have help to.
Brennan Summers (19:01):
So if somebody out there is listening and they have a reaction like me when they hear about how impactful this is, what can they do to help this legislation get across the finish line?
Representative Chenele Dixon (19:11):
Well, I think they can contact their legislator
Brennan Summers (19:15):
Representative Chenele Dixon (19:15):
Say, Hey, this is important. And we had a big campaign in Idaho. Fentanyl Takes All, and there’s a website and there’s some personal stories on there from people who lost their children to fentanyl. I think a lot of it has to be education because we just hear, oh, fentanyl. But we think, oh, it’s not going to affect somebody that we know.
Brennan Summers (19:42):
Representative Chenele Dixon (19:42):
So I think if people can educate themselves and then just reach out to your legislators,
Brennan Summers (19:46):
Which is crazy how easy it is because your email and phone phone number is online. They just have to Google your name.
Representative Chenele Dixon (19:53):
Brennan Summers (19:53):
The first one that comes up is the State’s directory.
Representative Chenele Dixon (19:56):
Brennan Summers (19:57):
I love I know, I love that. What you
Representative Chenele Dixon (19:58):
Brennan Summers (19:59):
Representative Chenele Dixon (19:59):
Oh yeah. We’re accessible in Idaho. That’s not true everywhere.
Brennan Summers (20:03):
No. So that’s great. This is a sad topic. It’s an unfortunate topic, but it’s an important topic. It
Representative Chenele Dixon (20:08):
Brennan Summers (20:08):
So let’s try to liven things up a little bit. What do you think,
Representative Chenele Dixon (20:11):
Brennan Summers (20:11):
What are some good things happening in the stage? What are you happy about your first term, your first session, I should say? You got it under your belt. How do you feel about it? What were some really good things that you can walk away and say These
Representative Chenele Dixon (20:20):
Wins? It was good. So I think our property tax relief bill,
Brennan Summers (20:26):
Representative Chenele Dixon (20:26):
Was a big deal, and people will see that on their,
Brennan Summers (20:30):
Representative Chenele Dixon (20:31):
In November when they get sent out, people are going to notice it’ll be noticeable. And it doesn’t mean that their property value hasn’t gone up, depending on how their neck of the woods is, but they will see a decrease in their property taxes. And that’s a really big deal,
Brennan Summers (20:47):
Especially when so many people have been dreading looking at that. And it’s been such a just kick to the teeth when people looked at what that’s coming. And now we’ve kind of switched the narrative, which I think is great. Property taxes, good thing for us to look forward to. What else?
Representative Chenele Dixon (21:00):
Let’s see. I think we did some good things with education. I think we started as a state taking responsibility for the buildings, and we got some great raises for teachers and certified staff. I think that funding, it’s not a one and done. We have to keep looking at that and making sure that we’re making our schools and our teachers whole. There’s a lot of turnover in teachers right now, and just all the staff in the schools and pay has a lot to do with it. And so if we can just help, that’ll help our education as a state.
Brennan Summers (21:39):
We had Senator lent on early on, if anybody hasn’t listened to that one, it’s so good to have Send lt talk through what their plan is and how he’s learning about maybe what the legislature can do to better address some of these educations. Just specific to buildings, the facilities.
Representative Chenele Dixon (21:54):
Oh yeah. I mean, in my district, we have some very old schools. There’s one that’s a hundred years old and maybe two actually. But anyway, we just need to keep up on those buildings. They need to be safe and they need to be adequate and up to standards.
Brennan Summers (22:10):
So now that you’ve had a little experience with your first session, other than the Fentanyl bill, what are some projects you’re really hoping to bring forward in the coming years?
Representative Chenele Dixon (22:20):
Oh, well, I’m working on some stuff with counselors and the counselors brought it to me,
Brennan Summers (22:28):
Representative Chenele Dixon (22:28):
I think that’s important. I try to, even in this last session and moving forward, as I hear about things, I try to talk to the people it’s going to affect because the people that sit in the capitol don’t know everything about every industry. So when we reach out and we listen to the needs of these different industries and the people that work in them, I think that’s really helpful.
Brennan Summers (22:54):
Representative Chenele Dixon (22:54):
So I’m working with them on something. I had some people reach out to me about some things that would affect counties. And so I’m just talking to people about that and seeing what we might be able to do and see if we can solve this maybe small problem, but important. Yeah, I think there’ll be some good things that happen this session.
Brennan Summers (23:20):
Yeah, no, it sounds like
Representative Chenele Dixon (23:21):
It have some good budgets.
Brennan Summers (23:23):
You mentioned you’ve had some experience working in real estate as you’ve seen firsthand then the historic growth that’s happening in this state, and it doesn’t seem to be plateauing in terms of lots of people coming in home prices skyrocketing. What are you seeing in that space?
Representative Chenele Dixon (23:42):
It has slowed down in the Magic Valley a little bit. The prices haven’t slowed down, but the buying has slowed down. And I think it’s because we’ve seen interest rates go up when people are paying 2.5%. That’s a lot different than 8%. So people have kind of pulled back a little. I think smart growth is important. I think the state, the counties, the cities, we can all work together to kind of plan ahead. We know, or we expect that Idaho’s going to continue to be one of the fastest growing states so we can make some plans. And the third crossing
Brennan Summers (24:21):
Representative Chenele Dixon (24:22):
The Magic Valley, if you’ve heard of that, it’s important because we see all this traffic in Twin Falls City. The population doubles every day from people coming in to Twin Falls from outside
Brennan Summers (24:35):
Because they’re coming in on those two ramps.
Representative Chenele Dixon (24:38):
And so things like that, as we plan ahead, knowing that the growth is going to continue, that’s really, really important. And funding these infrastructure programs that we have and really helping move things along. And I think our counties and cities are looking and doing a good job of planning for what does this look like and how do we have that smart growth.
Brennan Summers (25:04):
Yeah, I love that. We have so many things I love to talk about time’s always running short. But before we end, I always have to ask a couple of questions I ask everybody. Kay. So I think you might be ready with some of these, listened to the podcast before and some of these questions. But first one I love to ask is, what’s a book you’ve read that you think everybody out there needs to read?
Representative Chenele Dixon (25:21):
Well, probably my favorite. I have a lot of favorite books I like to read, but probably my favorite book of all times is The Count of Monte Crito.
Brennan Summers (25:28):
Representative Chenele Dixon (25:29):
So great. But you have to, I mean, it takes a while, right? 12, this is an English teacher
Brennan Summers (25:32):
We write, this is an English teacher. We’re talking to
Representative Chenele Dixon (25:35):
My dad, who was never a reader when I was growing up about 10 years ago, really got into reading for some reason. And he’s an avid reader now. And so I gave that book to him for Christmas a few years ago, and he was like, whoa, I don’t know, because of the size of it. Yeah, it’s 1200 pages. And anyway, he read it and he was like, you’re right. That was one of the best books ever. But
Brennan Summers (25:57):
There’s a movie, you can just watch the movie, right?
Representative Chenele Dixon (25:59):
But it’s not the same. And even the ending isn’t the same.
Brennan Summers (26:02):
Oh, really? Okay.
Representative Chenele Dixon (26:02):
Yeah. Anyway, it’s just beautifully written. And then it makes you think it’s one of those books that has kind of some of those every man topics, right?
Brennan Summers (26:12):
Representative Chenele Dixon (26:12):
Can think through. But I also, I recently read one called Think Again. That’s really good. And it’s just that idea that we have our core values, but then you can come to the table and talk to people about things and really listen. And sometimes you might find that there’s another way to look at things and that’s okay, and that’s healthy, and that’s what we want. That’s what we want, and that’s what our society needs. That was a great one. It is
Brennan Summers (26:41):
What our sightings, but it’s so dangerous in politics is that you’re changing your view or your perspective. But if we get more comfortable saying, I’ve learned more and I’m ready to look at this different, it might be helpful.
Representative Chenele Dixon (26:50):
Yeah. I think like Spencer Cox, the governor, Dan Utah, came out with his initiative, disagree Better. And that’s kind of the whole idea of that, of let’s just listen to each other, come to the table and listen, and then we can actually solve problems.
Brennan Summers (27:05):
Oh, that’s perfect. Now, best place to eat in your district.
Representative Chenele Dixon (27:10):
Oh, well, yeah. That’s a little touchy. I
Brennan Summers (27:16):
Know. We got favorites. We don’t, everyone says it’s same thing, but I haven’t received any hate mail from a restaurant. Oh,
Representative Chenele Dixon (27:22):
Brennan Summers (27:23):
Have the liberty to add a few. And then of course any additionals.
Representative Chenele Dixon (27:27):
Okay. So there’s a really great place in Hagerman called the Snake River Grill. It’s a great restaurant and Hagerman’s just such the Hagerman Valley’s so beautiful. So it’s fun to go over there. It’s a little ways from my house, but it’s in my district.
Brennan Summers (27:42):
Representative Chenele Dixon (27:44):
There’s a great Indian restaurant called Saffron
Brennan Summers (27:47):
Representative Chenele Dixon (27:47):
Downtown Twin, which technically I don’t cover downtown Twin Falls, but Foot Falls County in my district. Great restaurant. They, it’s pretty spicy, so you have to like some spice. But yeah, those two are great. And I dunno, all over my district, there’s a lot of good restaurants.
Brennan Summers (28:08):
Good save. Yeah. So if you got left off the list, she meant to add you. You’ve been in politics for a little while. You’ve volunteered, you’ve been actually in the party. So is there a favorite political leader that you have and kind of look up to your friend? Senator Harran talked about Sandra Day O’Connor being somebody that she looked up to and how her biography being something that shaped her life. What about you?
Representative Chenele Dixon (28:30):
Oh, I’ve always liked Ronald Reagan and I was a little kid. I was pretty little when he first ran, and I just loved him. I was just drawn to what he had to say. And I go back occasionally and read some of his speeches and just classy.
Brennan Summers (28:48):
So something on your bucket list if you haven’t been yet. Last week I went to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in the semi valley. Incredible.
Representative Chenele Dixon (28:54):
Oh yeah. I would love to go. I haven’t been.
Brennan Summers (28:56):
I left. Very moved. So you must do that. Well, representative, we started learning about your background, learned about your experience with the Portland School Board and how that shaped your views on education. You knocking doors and learning about the people in the community really care about the things that matter to them, which are the roads being clear. And we’ve covered everything from drug crisis all the way to favorite books and restaurants. Last thing you want to say to anyone out there who might not be very civic minded, doesn’t vote or just kind of stumbled upon this podcast.
Representative Chenele Dixon (29:32):
Well, I would say, like we talked about earlier, it’s important to vote and try to educate yourself. And certainly everybody has friends that vote. So if we can just bring our dialogue, make it a little broader, that’s such a right. We have in this country that other people want around the world and we shouldn’t take it for granted
Brennan Summers (29:54):
And a right that some very special people paid for.
Representative Chenele Dixon (29:56):
Brennan Summers (29:58):
So we thank them and we definitely thank you for being on here.
Representative Chenele Dixon (30:00):
Oh, happy to be here. This
Brennan Summers (30:01):
Has been so fun. We’re definitely going to have to have you back after you’ve solved some of these problems for us.
Representative Chenele Dixon (30:06):
Sounds great. Okay. Thank
Brennan Summers (30:07):
You so much. Appreciate it.