Friday, March 12, 2010

In recognition of Women in History Month, I want to tip my hat to Barbara Roberts, Oregon's first woman governor, a legislator and educator. Barbara grew up in Sheridan, Oregon, attended Portland State University, the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and Merylhurst University. She was elected to the position of Governor in 1990 but had been active in public service in several elected positions previously.
During her term, she advocated for gay rights and the appointment of women and minorities to public positions. After the passage of Measure 5, limiting funds to education and other public services, she organized community conversations and worked to streamline government service, reducing the number of positions in state government and eliminating or consolidating boards and commissions, shaping much of the government Oregon has today.
After the death of her husband in 1993, she chose not to run for reelection in 1994 but has since maintained an active role in public affairs with academic and leadership positions at Harvard and Portland State Universities. She is still working to achieve good things for Oregon, a woman worthy of our respect.

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