Jane Cease
  • Oregon State Representative, 1979-1985.
  • Oregon State Senator, 1985-1991.
  • Manager, DMV Branch, Oregon Department of Transportation, 1991-1996.
  • Manager, ODOT Growth Management Program, 1996-1998.

About Sen. Cease

Jane Cease figured out early in life that what governments did mattered. Cease was elected to represent her Northeast Portland district in the Oregon House of Representatives in 1979. Male and female voters in the 1970s were unsure of whether a woman was up to the task of being in politics: “There was this dis-rest, unease, uncomfortableness with women being more than what our role was.”

Walking up the steps to the Capitol Building for her first session, Sen. Cease knew that this was where she needed to be. Some of her male colleagues were less certain, but her persistence and work ethic soon won over her skeptics. Women representatives and senators were small in number during her tenure, but they banded together as a group known as the Queen Bees. The “Bees” shared a house in Salem where they supported one another across party lines.

Sen. Cease worked on legislation that some might consider unglamorous but affected all Oregonians: updating the motor vehicle code, revising funding sources to keep roads paved and drivable, and implementing strict environmental codes on stream and water quality. “The kinds of things that never had a water right before…A water right is usually an individual, a city, or an entity, but not a fish.”

After leaving elective office, Sen. Cease continued her work in state government working in transportation, a long-time interest of hers. She currently serves on the Oregon State Capitol Foundation Board.

– Interview recorded May 30, 2017