Sal was raised in Medford, and after graduating from Medford High School in 1966, Sal joined the Navy where he served our country in Vietnam from 1969 through 1970. Upon his return to Medford, Sal went to work in the wood products industry at KOGAP. Highly-motivated to succeed and driven by the work ethic ingrained in him, Sal rose to a supervisory position—one of the youngest persons to ever reach that post. During this time, Sal attended Southern Oregon College (now Southern Oregon University) to further advance his knowledge and skills. In 1982, Sal set out on a business path of his own and created a successful heavy equipment and parts business. After moving on from that, he’s been involved in real estate related industries. From these business ventures, Sal has grown to understand and appreciate what it takes to run a small business.
To understand Sal is to understand the pride he feels in his accomplishments as member of the Medford City Council. Taking a leadership role, Sal brought together local Rotary Clubs, the City of Medford and students and parents to create playgrounds at Jackson, Howard, Roosevelt and Wilson elementary schools. Also, seeing a need for a more efficient government, Sal was instrumental in the hiring of the city manager. The influence of Sal Esquivel on the Council helped change a “have to spend” philosophy to a “retain and save” attitude in Medford government.
In March of 2003, Sal was chosen to replace Senator Lenn Hannon to represent District 3, which includes the cities of Medford, Ashland, Phoenix, Talent, Jacksonville and part of the Applegate region. Shortly after his appointment, Representative Rob Patridge announced that he would not be running again for his State Representative position. Sal chose to run for the House seat of District 6 because he knows Medford so well after almost eight years on the City Council. He served out the nine months remaining in the Senate, garnering knowledge and experience to take to the House of Representatives. Sal is presently serving his sixth term in the Oregon House of Representatives.
He has served on the Veteran Affairs Committee for eight years, the Business and Labor Committee for ten years and Agriculture and Natural Resources for the past six years. He has also served on Revenue, Education, Land Use, Rules, General Government and Revenue Restructuring. He will often say that his most enjoyable session in the legislature was the time there was a 30-30 tie in the House of Representatives. "everyone had to play nice in the sandbox - we didn't have the power to say "yes" but we had the power to say "no".