Often people ask, “Why do you do public service?” Part of the answer is that I grew up in a religious family where we were taught to be concerned about our “neighbor” and expected to make the world a better place. That has always been my personal perspective and what led me first into clinical psychology and later into public office. However, there was a life changing or what psychologists call a “marker event”.


When I was 5, we lived in a Corvallis farm house (I didn’t realize actually it was a “shack” that Dad had built out of salvaged lumber). Except in the winter, I thought it was pretty neat that you could see the outside through the cracks. The outhouse was a tough walk in the winter snow. One day when Dad and I were off to Portland to market our chickens, our house burned to the ground. We lost all we had except for the clothes on our backs, my pregnant Mom and sis barely escaping. We were destitute.

The community came through with a miracle.

A local family took us in while over the next few weeks the local community through volunteers literally built us a small home, complete with a bathroom! It was amazing. I remember playing in the sand pile (they were mixing cement by hand) with my new toy truck (With such a fancy new truck, I thought I had died and gone to Heaven). I didn’t know a soul. They worked hard. I never saw them again. But they made a huge difference in my life and heart. Today I still count my Red Cross red wool blanket as one of my most cherished possessions.

Public service is my “Pay it Forward”!

Bill Kennemer is married to Cherie McGinnis, and together they share four children. Bill and Cherie enjoy their 11 grandkids who all live in beautiful Clackamas County. Life is wonderful!

As a Clackamas County resident for over 35 years, Bill is active in his Church and in many local civic organizations. For recreation, Bill enjoys fishing, camping, archery, gardening, woodworking, and searching for old Oregon memorabilia at garage sales. Bill and Cherie live in rural Oregon City between Canby and Oregon City.

Oregon State Representative, 2009-present
Health Care, Business and Labor and Ways and Means Sub on Human Services Committees
Oregon State Senator, 1987-1996
Assistant Oregon Senate Minority Leader
Oregon Senate Committee Service:
Chair, Oregon Senate Business, Housing and Finance Committee
Health Insurance and Bio-ethics
Human Resources
Telecommunications and Consumer Affairs
Trade & Economic Development
Energy Policy Review
Ways & Means Subcommittees on Lottery and Transportation

Elected Clackamas County Commissioner in 1996; re-elected 2000 and 2004; Chair of the Board, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004 and 2006
Association of Oregon Counties
Board of Directors
Legislative Committee
Public Lands & Natural Resources Committee
Transportation Committee
Local Public Safety Coordinating Council
Hospital Facility Authority
JPACT (local transportation advisory committee to METRO)

County Budget
North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District
Clackamas County Housing Authority
Service Districts #1 & #5
Clackamas County Development Agency
Clackamas County Enhanced Law Enforcement District
Tri-City Sewer District
Water and Environmental Services, Surface Water Management District
Clackamas County Coordinating Committee
National Association of Counties
Transportation Steering Committee
Green Government Task Force
Clackamas County Economic Development Commission
North Clackamas Park District, Aquatic Park Task Force, Chair
Hunger Summit, Co-Chair
Originator of Complete Communities, Clackamas County’s nationally acclaimed public involvement program

Oregon Trail Foundation, Founding Member
Environmental Learning Center
Citizens for a Drug Free Oregon
Providence Milwaukie Hospital Foundation Board
North Clackamas Chamber Board of Directors
Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Northwest Steelheaders
Friends of Clackamas County Library
Warner Pacific College Board of Trustees
Guest Speaker and Lecturer
Host of Community TV Program, Oregon Viewpoint
Milwaukie Historical Society
Nature Conservancy
Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association – Honorary Member
Clackamas Community Land Trust
Friends of the Clackamas County Fair
Clackamas County Historical Society
Gladstone Community Club Board
Oregon City Chamber of Commerce
Oregon Impact (DUll Victims program)
Gladstone/Oak Grove Rotary, Charter Member
Friends of the Milwaukie Center
Willamette Falls Heritage Foundation
Friends of Clackamas County Extension
Three Rivers Land Conservancy
North Clackamas Sunrise Rotary
New Hope Community Church
American Veterans Caucus
Friends of Trees
Canby Chamber of Commerce
Clackamas Heritage Partners
Oregon State Capitol Friend
Wilsonville Chamber of Commerce
Estacada Chamber of Commerce