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Governor Barbara Roberts Papers

Overview

Abstract

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Audiovisual

Campaigns

Organizations

Personal

Photographs

Political

Post-gubernatorial

Press

Speeches

Writings



Contact us about this collection

By Katrina Windon

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Collection Overview

Title: Governor Barbara Roberts Papers, 1870-2011Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1978-2010

ID: SC/2005.3

Primary Creator: Roberts, Barbara (1936-)

Extent: 49.0 Linear Feet

Arrangement: The original order of the collection has, for the most part, been preserved where present; this order is reflected most clearly in the Speeches series and in the Press by Subject subseries. Beyond these instances, original order was only clearly identifiable at a folder level, and this order has been preserved where present. All original folder titles have been preserved in quotations, though additional descriptive information has been added to further clarify in many cases. Other materials have been grouped into series by subject or format, with an attempt to highlight the distinct stages of Roberts’ career and her involvement with various groups and individuals at both the state and national levels. Within series, except in the cases of following original order (such as for manuscript drafts), subseries and folders have, for the most part, been arranged alphabetically. A notable exception is within the Political Activities series, which has been arranged to roughly reflect the trajectory of Roberts’ career. The audiovisual materials have also been arranged chronologically. When following a chronological order, more general dates follow more specific dates, with undated materials appearing last; when following orders of importance or other internal groupings, more general items follow last.

Date Acquired: 09/13/2005

Subjects: Autism--Government policy, Cambridge (Mass.), Clinton, William J. (William Jefferson), 1946-, Compassion & Choices (Organization), Democratic Party (Or.), Elections--Oregon, Ferraro, Geraldine, Harvard University. John F. Kennedy School of Government, Oregon, Oregon. Governor (1991-1995 : Roberts), Oregon. Land Board, State, Oregon. Legislative Assembly. House of Representatives., Oregon. Secretary of State (1985-1991 : Roberts), Oregon Progress Board, Portland State University, Portland State University. Hatfield School of Government, Roberts, Barbara, 1936-, Roberts, Frank L., 1915-1993, Spotted owl--Oregon., Women Politicians--Oregon

Languages: English, Japanese

Abstract

Barbara Roberts (1936- ) was Oregon’s first female governor (1991-1995). This office was one in a long series of public service that included serving as a lobbyist for education for autistic children, Multnomah County Commissioner, State Representative, and Secretary of State. In addition to papers relating to her time in these offices, the collection also includes materials relating to her involvement with the Democratic Party; materials regarding issues such as gay rights, abortion rights, public transit, and environmental conservation; materials from her post-gubernatorial academic positions at Harvard University and Portland State University; and records from her personal life.  Materials date from her grade school years in Sheridan in 1947 to 2011, though the bulk of the materials fall between 1978 and 2010.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Barbara Roberts Papers relate primarily to her political activities, including her lobbying for education for autistic children, her service as a Multnomah County Commissioner, as a State Representative, as Secretary of State, and as governor. Though her official papers from statewide office are held at the Oregon State Archives, her personal papers offer a complementary insight into the many activities—civic, political, and personal—that Roberts was involved in throughout her life. In addition to materials related to her political offices, the collection includes personal papers relating to family and friends, her advocacy of issues such as gay rights, abortion rights, public transit, and environmental conservation, and materials regarding her post-gubernatorial academic positions at Harvard University and Portland State University. Materials date from her elementary school years in Sheridan in 1947 to 2011, though the bulk of the materials fall between 1978 and 2010. Some collected historical documents predate the primary collection records.

 

The Barbara Roberts Papers are divided into 10 series: Audiovisual; Campaigns; Organizations; Personal; Photographs; Political; Post-gubernatorial; Press; Speeches; and Writings.

 

Collection materials are comprised of audiovisual materials, calendars, campaign memorabilia, certificates, clippings, correspondence, photographs, press releases, reports, manuscripts, newsletters, notes, pins, printed materials, scrapbooks, signs, speeches, textiles, travel materials, and other materials created, collected, or received by Barbara Roberts. Two 3.5” floppy disks present in the collection have been migrated, and are now accessible digitally for on-site users, as are images of plaques and memorabilia that have been returned to Roberts.

Collection Historical Note

The first woman to be elected Governor in Oregon, Barbara Roberts (1936-) served in that position from 1991-1995.  Prior to her term and in the subsequent years, Roberts has been actively involved in Portland and Oregon politics and community organizations. A fourth-generation Oregonian, Roberts was born Barbara Kay Hughey December 21, 1936 in Corvallis, OR, to Bob and Carmen Hughey. She had one younger sister, Patricia (Pat) Welter.Barbara Roberts graduated from Sheridan High School, where she served on the cheerleading squad and as student body secretary, in 1955.  During her senior year, she married her high school sweetheart, Neal Sanders. Following high school, she moved with her husband to Texas, where he was stationedby the Navy. There she gave birth to her two sons, Mike and Mark, before the family moved back to Oregon. She and Sanders divorced in 1972.

            The challenges Roberts faced in finding adequate education for her autistic son, Mike, encouraged her to found the Portland chapter of the National Association for Autistic Children, and then to enter to enter politics as a lobbyist in 1969. While lobbying for Senate Bill 699, which passed in 1971, she met Frank Roberts, a state senator. They later married, in 1974. She first sought elected office at the local level, and served on the Parkrose School Board (1973-1983) as well as on the board of Mt. Hood Community College (1978-1981). Roberts served as a State Representative for District 17 from 1981-1985, and as majority leader  (the first woman to hold that position in Oregon) during her second term. 

            While Secretary of State (1985-1990) she was a strong advocate for a new State Archives building, increased handicapped accessibility to voting precincts, and expanded auditing duties for the Secretary of State office, among other issues. During that period, she was also appointed by Governor Neil Goldschmidt to chair the Governor’s Task Force on Workers’ Compensation Reform.

            In 1990, she won the gubernatorial election with a plurality of the vote, defeating Republican candidate David Frohnmayer. As governor (1991-1995) she faced a variety of challenges, including the passage of Measure 5, a tax cut measure that resulted in severely reduced state budgets and the clash between environmental and economic concerns embodied in the spotted owl issue. Her husband’s terminal illness provided an added complication, and his 1993 death was one of the reasons she cited when declaring her withdrawal from the 1994 gubernatorial race.

            While governor, Roberts worked closely with the Clinton administration, particularly in establishing the Oregon Health Plan and a joint state-federal effort, the Oregon Option. To educate voters about her tax plan, created in the hopes of making up for some of the shortfall created by Measure 5, Roberts pioneered the Conversation with Oregon, an enterprise utilizing the state’s Ed-Net system, to communicate via an interactive video link with voters across the state. Despite this effort and her strong lobbying efforts on behalf of the plan, voters did not pass the plan. She also used the Ed-Net system in her teen pregnancy prevention efforts. Among the many other issues that she has advocated for during and after her time in office are environmental issues, early childhood education, gay rights, pro-choice measures, public transit, and the right to death with dignity.

            After leaving office, Governor Roberts was named director of the Harvard University Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government (a program that she herself attended while Secretary of State) and a senior fellow to the Women and Public Policy Program.  In 1998, she returned to Portland and accepted a position at Portland State University's Hatfield School of Government's Executive Leadership Institute as Associate Director of Leadership Development; while there, she was involved in the establishment of the Legacy Program.  In 2011, Roberts was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Portland Metro Council. During her post-gubernatorial period, Roberts also embarked on two major writing projects: 2002’s Death Without Denial, Grief Without Apology: A Guide for Facing Death and Loss, which offered both guidance to others and an account of her own experiences with grieving for loved ones, and her 2011 autobiography, Up the Capitol Steps.

Biographical Note

The first woman to be elected Governor in Oregon, Barbara Roberts (1936-) served in that position from 1991-1995.  Prior to her term and in the subsequent years, Roberts has been actively involved in Portland and Oregon politics and community organizations. A fourth-generation Oregonian, Roberts was born Barbara Kay Hughey December 21, 1936 in Corvallis, OR, to Bob and Carmen Hughey. She had one younger sister, Patricia (Pat) Welter. Barbara Roberts graduated from Sheridan High School, where she served on the cheerleading squad and as student body secretary, in 1955.  During her senior year, she married her high school sweetheart, Neal Sanders. Following high school, she moved with her husband to Texas, where he was stationed by the Navy. There she gave birth to her two sons, Mike and Mark, before the family moved back to Oregon. She and Sanders divorced in 1972.

The challenges Roberts faced in finding adequate education for her autistic son, Mike, encouraged her to found the Portland chapter of the National Society for Autistic Children, and then to enter to enter politics as a lobbyist in 1969. While lobbying for Senate Bill 699, which passed in 1971, she met Frank Roberts, a state senator. They later married, in 1974. She first sought elected office at the local level, and served on the Parkrose School Board (1973-1983) as well as on the board of Mt. Hood Community College (1978-1981). Roberts served as a State Representative for District 17 from 1981-1985, and as majority leader  (the first woman to hold that position in Oregon) during her second term.

While Secretary of State (1985-1990) she was a strong advocate for a new State Archives building, increased handicapped accessibility to voting precincts, and expanded auditing duties for the Secretary of State office, among other issues. During that period, she was also appointed by Governor Neil Goldschmidt to chair the Governor’s Task Force on Workers’ Compensation Reform.

In 1990, she won the gubernatorial election with a plurality of the vote, defeating Republican candidate David Frohnmayer. As governor (1991-1995) she faced a variety of challenges, including the passage of Measure 5, a tax cut measure that resulted in severely reduced state budgets, and the clash between environmental and economic concerns embodied in the spotted owl issue. Her husband’s terminal illness provided an added complication, and his 1993 death was one of the reasons she cited when declaring her withdrawal from the 1994 gubernatorial race.

While governor, Roberts worked closely with the Clinton administration, particularly in establishing the Oregon Health Plan and a joint state-federal effort, the Oregon Option. To educate voters about her tax plan, created in the hopes of making up for some of the shortfall created by Measure 5, Roberts pioneered the Conversation with Oregon, an enterprise utilizing the state’s Ed-Net system, to communicate via an interactive video link with voters across the state. Despite this effort and her strong lobbying efforts on behalf of the plan, voters did not pass the plan. She also used the Ed-Net system in her teen pregnancy prevention efforts. Among the many other issues that she has advocated for during and after her time in office are environmental issues, early childhood education, gay rights, pro-choice measures, public transit, and the right to death with dignity.

After leaving office, Governor Roberts was named director of the Harvard University Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government (a program that she herself attended while Secretary of State) and a senior fellow to the Women and Public Policy Program.  In 1998, she returned to Portland and accepted a position at Portland State University's Hatfield School of Government's Executive Leadership Institute as Associate Director of Leadership Development; while there, she was involved in the establishment of the Legacy Program.  In 2011, Roberts was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Portland Metro Council. During her post-gubernatorial period, Roberts also embarked on two major writing projects: 2002’s Death Without Denial, Grief Without Apology: A Guide for Facing Death and Loss, which offered both guidance to others and an account of her own experiences with grieving for loved ones, and her 2011 autobiography, Up the Capitol Steps.

Subject/Index Terms

Autism--Government policy
Cambridge (Mass.)
Clinton, William J. (William Jefferson), 1946-
Compassion & Choices (Organization)
Democratic Party (Or.)
Elections--Oregon
Ferraro, Geraldine
Harvard University. John F. Kennedy School of Government
Oregon
Oregon. Governor (1991-1995 : Roberts)
Oregon. Land Board, State
Oregon. Legislative Assembly. House of Representatives.
Oregon. Secretary of State (1985-1991 : Roberts)
Oregon Progress Board
Portland State University
Portland State University. Hatfield School of Government
Roberts, Barbara, 1936-
Roberts, Frank L., 1915-1993
Spotted owl--Oregon.
Women Politicians--Oregon

Administrative Information

Repository: Finding Aids: Special Collections & University Archives

Access Restrictions: Collection is open to research.

Technical Access Note: Obsolete audiovisual materials that have not yet been digitized may not currently be viewable.

Acquisition Source: Barbara Roberts

Related Materials: Official government records from the Governor Barbara Roberts Administration are held at the Oregon State Archives. Materials from her terms as Secretary of State are included in its holdings for the Office of the Secretary of State. For more information please see http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/pages/records/governors/guides/state/roberts/robertsseries.html.

Related Publications: Susan Madsen's 2005-2008 correspondence and interviews with Barbara Roberts (Regarding Interviews, Box 8) later resulted in a chapter in her book, Developing Leadership: Learning from the Experiences of Women Governors (2009).


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Audiovisual, 1984-2010],
[Series 2: Campaigns, 1977-1995],
[Series 3: Organizations, 1955-2010],
[Series 4: Personal, 1870-2010],
[Series 5: Photographs, ca. 1970-2010],
[Series 6: Political, 1969-2011],
[Series 7: Post-gubernatorial, 1995-2010],
[Series 8: Press, 1978-2010],
[Series 9: Speeches, 1978-2008],
[Series 10: Writings, 1972-2010],
[All]

Series 10: Writings, 1972-2010Add to your cart.
The Writings series contains materials related to publications by Roberts. The earliest inclusions are letters to the editor and articles; the more recent materials relate to her autobiography, the manuscript drafts of which make up the bulk of the series. These records not only offer insight into her research and writing process and a look at some unpublished writings, but also include some primary source materials. Within this series are research materials for her (unpublished) End of Term Report and autobiography; the bulk of these are copies of news articles from online databases, and many materials are often copies of materials in the Governor subseries, but other records, such as calendars and correspondence, are originals.  Particularly of interest may be the emails she exchanged with former staff members to help fact-check and gather information.
Sub-Series 1: Articles, 1981-2009Add to your cart.
Box 39Add to your cart.
Folder 1: "Chapter for Dukakis Text Book", 1999Add to your cart.
Folder 2: "Citizen Anger: Closing the Chasm," Oregon Humanities [never published], 1997Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Editorials and Letters to the Editor, 1996-2009, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: League of Women Voters Book Article, 1997Add to your cart.
Folder 5: "Out of the Dark Ages," Exceptional Parent, 1992Add to your cart.
Folder 6: "Participating in Democracy," Democratic Party Newsletter, 1987Add to your cart.
Folder 7: "The Political Trustee--A Must" and "The Power and Politics of State Education Policy," ACCT Trustee Quarterly, 1981-1982Add to your cart.
Folder 8: "The Superwoman Myth," Northwest Women in Business, 1985Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Various, 1986-2004, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 10: "We're All in This Together," The Journal for Public Managers: The Bureaucrat, 1988Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 2: Death without Denial, 2002-2008Add to your cart.
Box 39Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Correspondence from Readers, 2002-2008Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Press and Press-related Correspondence, 2002Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Promotional Events- Correspondence, 2003-2008Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Promotional Events- Press, Photos, Programs, 2002-2008Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Promotional Events- First Unitarian Church, Portland, 2004Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Promotional Events- Photographs, Salem Reading, 2002Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Promotional Events- Writers on the Edge Presentation, 2004Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Promotional Materials, 2002Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 3: End of Term Report, 1994-2010Add to your cart.
Box 39Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Notes on Box Contents, 2010Add to your cart.
Folder 2: "End of Term"- Drafts and Correspondence, 1994-1996Add to your cart.
Correspondence is primarily with Steve Corson (from her gubernatorial communication staff) and Jack Barry, who worked on the project
Folder 3: "End of Term Report- Full Notes on All Sections", 1994-1998Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Drafts and Correspondence, 1995-1996Add to your cart.
Folder 5: "BR Report- H.R./Corrections & Workforce", 1990-1995Add to your cart.
Folder 6: "BR Report- Natural Res." [Clippings], 1995, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: "BR Report- Eco. Devo." [Economic Development], 1994-1995Add to your cart.
Includes Oregon <span class="st">Minority, Women, and Emerging Small Business (</span>MWESB) 1994 Year End Report
Folder 8: "BR Report- Reinventing Govt.", 1991-1995Add to your cart.
Includes drafts and correspondence, including personal update letters (from Roberts to Steve Corson), 1995-1996
Box 40Add to your cart.
Folder 9: "BR Report- Conversation & Budget", 1991-1995Add to your cart.
Folder 10: "BR Report- Distribution" [Regarding Potential Distribution of the Completed Report], 1995Add to your cart.
Folder 11: "BR Report- Robts' Admin Exec Appts." [Executive Appointments], 1991-1994Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 4: Up the Capitol Steps, 1972-2010Add to your cart.
Box 40Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Drafts, ca. 2000sAdd to your cart.
26 folders
Box 41Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Drafts, ca. 2000sAdd to your cart.
16 folders
Box 42Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Drafts, ca. 2000sAdd to your cart.
5 folders
Folder 4: Research Materials- Correspondence, 2007-2010Add to your cart.
Primarily with Jessica Tollestrup, a GRA working with Roberts on the project
Folder 5: Research Materials- Correspondence with Felicia Trader, 2009-2010Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Research Materials- Parkrose School District- Clippings, 1972-1973Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Research Materials- Mt. Hood Community College- Notes, ca. 2009-2010Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Research Materials- Multnomah County Board of Commissioners, 1978Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Research Materials- "Sec. of State", 1984-2009Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Research Materials- Secretary of State, 1983-1989, 2010Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Research Materials- Secretary of State- Archives, 1986-2009Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Research Materials- Secretary of State- Briefing Memos and Schedules, 1987-1989, 2009Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Research Materials- Secretary of State- Marilynne Keyser's Account of Becoming Deputy Secretary of State; Performance Auditing, 1985-1989, 2009Add to your cart.
Folder 14: Research Materials- Secretary of State- Oregon Education Association (OEA) Convention Endorsement, 1984, 2006Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Research Materials- Secretary of State- Performance Auditing, 1985-1987Add to your cart.
Folder 16: Research Materials- Secretary of State- Worker's Compensation, 1979, 1987-1988, ca. 2009-2010Add to your cart.
Folder 17: Research Materials- Hanford Nuclear Waste Board, 1987-1988Add to your cart.
Folder 18: Research Materials- Packwood, Bob, 1992-1993, 2010Add to your cart.
Folder 19: Research Materials- Campaigns- Governor, 1990, 2009Add to your cart.
Staff lists, clippings, correspondence, notes
Folder 20: Research Materials-  "Trojan" Nuclear Plant- Clippings, 1990Add to your cart.
Folder 21: Research Materials- Trojan Nuclear Plant, 1992, 2010Add to your cart.
Folder 22: Research Materials- Governor, 1990-2010Add to your cart.
Folder 23: Research Materials- Governor, 1991-1992Add to your cart.
Folder 24: Research Materials- Governor- 1992 General Election, 1992Add to your cart.
Folder 25: Research Materials- Governor- Budget- Measure 5, 1990-1991Add to your cart.
Folder 26: Research Materials- Governor- Budget- Tax Plan, 1992Add to your cart.
Folder 27: Research Materials- Governor- Citizens' Representative Office Report, 1994Add to your cart.
Folder 28: Research Materials- Governor- Conversation with Oregon, 1990, 1996Add to your cart.
Folder 29: Research Materials- Governor- "Conversation w/ Oregon Coverage", 1991; ca. 2000sAdd to your cart.
Box 43Add to your cart.
Folder 30: Research Materials- Governor- Economic Development Trips, 1990-1994, ca. 2009-2010Add to your cart.
Folder 31: Research Materials- Governor- End of Term, 1995Add to your cart.
Folder 32: Research Materials- Governor- Healthcare, 1991-1993Add to your cart.
Folder 33: Research Materials- Governor- Judith Tuttle's Appointment Book, 1994Add to your cart.
Tuttle was Roberts' scheduler as governor.
Folder 34: Research Materials- Governor- Legislative, 1991-1993Add to your cart.
Folder 35: Research Materials- Governor- Legislative- HB 3133 Workforce Quality Act, 1991Add to your cart.
Folder 36: Research Materials- Governor- Legislative- Housing, 1991Add to your cart.
Folder 37: Research Materials- Governor- "Legislative Session 1991-92-93: Vetoes 1993", 1991-1993Add to your cart.
Folder 38: Research Materials- Governor- Notes, ca. 2009-2010Add to your cart.
Folder 39: Research Materials- Governor- Oregon Benchmarks Reports, 1991-1992, 1994Add to your cart.
Folder 40: Research Materials- Governor- Oregon Department of Corrections, 1994, 2007, 2010Add to your cart.
Folder 41: Research Materials- Governor- Post-election, 1990Add to your cart.
Folder 42: Research Materials- Governor- Roberts Reports, 1991-1994Add to your cart.
Folder 43: Research Materials- Governor- Salmon Restoration, 1992, 2010Add to your cart.
Folder 44: Research Materials- Governor- Schedules, 1990-1994Add to your cart.
Folder 45: Research Materials- Governor- Spotted Owl/ Timber, 1990-2010Add to your cart.
Folder 46: Research Materials- Governor- "Staff", 1990-1995, 2009-2010Add to your cart.
Folder 47: Research Materials- Governor- "Task Force on Streamlining State Gov.", 1991-1992, 2010Add to your cart.
Folder 48: Research Materials- Governor- Transition Team, 1990Add to your cart.
Folder 49: Research Materials- "Drop out of Race" [for governor], 1994Add to your cart.
Folder 50: Research Materials- Calendars, Correspondence, and Travel Documents, 1995Add to your cart.
Folder 51: Research Materials- "Mar.- Dec. 1995 Calendars- First year after Governorship", 1995Add to your cart.
Folder 52: Research Materials- Harvard- Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government- Schedules, 1996-1998Add to your cart.
Folder 53: Research Materials- Barbara Roberts High School, 2006, 2010Add to your cart.
Folder 54: Research Materials- 2008 Democratic National Convention, 2008Add to your cart.
Folder 55: Research Materials- Women in Government, 1980-2007Add to your cart.
Folder 56: Research Materials- Women in the Oregon Legislature, 2007-2009Add to your cart.
Folder 57: Research Materials- Miscellaneous, 1978-2010Add to your cart.
3 folders

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Audiovisual, 1984-2010],
[Series 2: Campaigns, 1977-1995],
[Series 3: Organizations, 1955-2010],
[Series 4: Personal, 1870-2010],
[Series 5: Photographs, ca. 1970-2010],
[Series 6: Political, 1969-2011],
[Series 7: Post-gubernatorial, 1995-2010],
[Series 8: Press, 1978-2010],
[Series 9: Speeches, 1978-2008],
[Series 10: Writings, 1972-2010],
[All]


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