A Political Figure


About Dawn

Dawn Lesley is an environmental engineer and mother who lives with her 18-year-old son in the Santa Clara neighborhood of north Eugene.  For 30 years she has worked to promote energy efficiency and clean up dirty water. Her work protects public health, the health of our planet and the health of local economies that depend on safe water for recreation and agriculture. 


Dawn evaluates the cost-effectiveness of wastewater operations.  She is particularly proud of the millions of kilowatt-hours saved by the wastewater plant operators who have participated in her recent Strategic Energy Management trainings.  Using energy efficiently reduces greenhouse gas emissions and saves money.  


In service to all Lane County residents, Dawn is currently Vice-Chair of the Lane County Budget Committee.  In that role, she has initiated a process to better engage committee members and improve the efficiency of the budget review and approval process. Dawn also is an elected executive board member of the Santa Clara Community Organization: neighbors that work together to build strong relationships and improve the community’s quality of life.  In past years she has volunteered thousands of hours in the public schools, in Egan Warming Centers that provide safe shelter for those who need it in freezing weather, for the YMCA Big Sister Program, and many other community organizations. 


Dawn is a passionate backpacker, cook, singer, and reader. She speaks Spanish and some French.  While it was Oregon State University’s renowned engineering program that brought her to Oregon in 1990, it was this state's wild areas that kept her here as her chosen home to start a family.  Dawn has hauled her backpack through many of Oregon's wild areas, from the Steens to the Kalmiopsis and up and down the Cascades, Strawberries, and Wallowas, wearing out four pairs of hiking boots in the process.


In 2014, Dawn Lesley ran for West Lane County Commissioner and came within 74 votes of beating the incumbent, winning 49.6% of the votes cast.  She is running again because our kids and grandkids need us working together to take care of each other and the natural systems on which we all depend.