Mary Lou Dickerson

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Mary Lou Dickerson
Member of the Washington House of Representatives
from the 36th district
Assumed office
Personal details
Born (1946-09-03) September 3, 1946 (age 72)
Salem, Oregon
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) John Birnel
Residence Seattle, Washington
Alma mater University of Oregon, University of Hawaii
Profession program manager

Mary Lou Dickerson is a Democratic member of the Washington House of Representatives, representing the 36th district from 1995 until 2012.

Legislative Background[edit]

Representative Dickerson was elected to the Washington House of Representatives in 1994, representing the 36th legislative district as a Democrat. She served 9 terms in the House and served as the chair of the Health and Human Services Appropriations committee. She also sat on the Ways and Means committee and the Early Learning and Human Services committee. Her legislative priorities included:

  • security for children and families
  • quality education; clean and safe environment
  • generating revenue for the state by taxing the sale of manufactured and processed marijuana
  • safe and practical transportation solutions[1]


Representative Dickerson resides in Seattle with her husband, John Birnel. They have two children, Chloe & Noah.


Representative Dickerson holds a M.S.W from the University of Hawaii and a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Oregon. She also completed post-graduate work in Business and Public Administration.


In addition to being an Author, Representative Dickerson worked as Executive Director for the Bellevue Schools Foundation and North Seattle Youth Services. She also worked as Program Development Director for the National CASA Association and as Program Manager for Echo Glen Treatment Center.[1]

Community activism[edit]

  • Ballard Family Support Center Leadership Team
  • Founder, Treehouse
  • Past Chair, Washington Coalition of Public Schools Foundation
  • Past Board Member, Children's Alliance
  • Infant, toddler early intervention program - State Interagency Coordinating Council


Dickerson received the 2008 Fuse "Intercontinental Smackdown Champion" award "for relentlessly arm-twisting fellow legislators into supporting a strong toy safety bill while successfully body-slamming the toy industry’s efforts to sell toxic toys to our kids."[2] The award honors her role in the passage of the Children’s Safe Products Act.

Other awards and honors include:

  • American Foundation for the Blind - Catherine Gallagher Award
  • Home Care Association of Washington - 1998 Legislator of the Year
  • Washington Association of Juvenile Court Administrators - Justice Award


External links[edit]