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|Full Biography for Jeffrey C. Dahlander|
Born and raised in Susquehanna County, Jeff learned the value of hard work and honesty from his parents and extended family. Jeff has been continuously working since he was 15 years old in various industries. The combination of education and the desire to live in large cities propelled him to a 10 year career in student services at large urban universities. Upon returning to Susquehanna County for work in Scranton, Jeff became interested in his local community and was surprised to find a lack of representation in the area that helped him become the person he is today. Jeff's interests include recognizing the rich history of Wayne County and Susquehanna County and preserving the natural beauty and resources in our area for generations to come.
Born in 1973, Jeff was the first child for Nancy (Fletcher) and Walton Dahlander. At the age of two, the family moved from Great Bend, PA to New Milford, PA, where he was joined by a sister, Karin, in 1975. Walton taught at Blue Ridge Elementary School for the entirety of his career until his retirement in 2006. Grandmother Grace Dahlander worked for Children and Youth in Susquehanna County until retirement. Grandfather Noel Dahlander, Jr, served in the armed forces for the majority of his life, retiring as a Lt. Colonel and moving on to teach sciences at Seton Catholic High School in Binghamton, NY prior to retirement.
Jeff went on to major in Psychology at Penn State, first at Hazleton and then at University Park. He graduated with his BA in Psychology in 1995. Afterward, Jeff worked in group homes for Catholic Charities and the ARC for a year before going back to graduate school at Penn State. In 1998, Jeff graduated with his Masters in Counselor Education and moved to Chicago to start, what would be, a ten year career in Higher Education. This career took him from Chicago to New York to DC to Boston. Finally, in late 2009, Jeff returned to his home in Susquehanna County to start a new career assisting those who had been victimized by financial fraud.
During those ten years away, a lot happened with his family that is very special to him. His sister had three beautiful children, now 7, 4 and 1, with her partner of ten years. His father sold the home he grew up in and moved to a house he built (on the original property Jeff grew up on for the first two years of his life) in Great Bend. Jeff spent much of his free time helping his father with projects and making unforgettable memories with his niece and nephews. However, Jeff also could not ignore the issues he saw facing his neighbors and the greater community in Susquehanna County.
Because of these concerns, Jeff made an appointment with his State Representative, Sandra Major. Jeff had known Sandra most of his life and saw her as a tremendous resource to address his concerns. The primary concern in that meeting was the oil and gas industry and its impact on the quality of life in our area. Jeff left that meeting not feeling heard. He did take one thing away from that meeting - during the meeting Sandra said if someone were to run against her and she would lose (as she often ran unopposed), she would simply move on. For about six months, Jeff thought about this statement and finally, in September of 2011, reached out to the County Democratic Chair and expressed interest in running for that very same seat as a Democrat.
Just prior and during this time, much was happening in our district. Extensive Flooding, pipeline mishaps, and fracking disasters. Jeff thought to himself, where is my representation? Jeff contributed to the cleanup effort from the flood in his local community, but where was the representation? When Jeff's father's well was found to be contaminated with lead or the creek beds in the area were a disaster from the floods or the roads were a mess because of the water trucks and the other vehicles from the gas industry, where was the representation? One call to a representative's office led to calls to the DEP which led to calls to Penn-Dot which led to calls to the Susquehanna River Basin Commission...and each referred back to the other. Representation should eliminate the bureaucracy for the citizen.
So Jeff looked up the definition of 'representative.' There is the noun form and the adjective form. Neither of which Jeff felt coming from the 111th district office or from Harrisburg. So, with only a definition, Jeff began the journey he is on now.
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