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Oh What a Night! Conversations about Women, the 1970s, and Politics

  • SR 2534
  • Collection
  • 2004-03-18

This collection consists of an audio recording and transcript of a panel discussion titled "Oh What a Night! Conversations about Women, the 1970s, and Politics." The discussion was moderated by Melody Rose at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon, on March 18, 2004. The four participants were Gretchen Kafoury, Vera Katz, Norma Paulus, and Betty Roberts. Introductory remarks were made by John Pierce.

In the panel discussion, Rose begins by describing the topics that the panel will cover, giving instructions for audience to ask their questions, and introducing the four speakers. Kafoury, Katz, Paulus and Roberts discuss why they entered politics, talk about meeting each other as fellow legislators during the 1973 legislative session, and describe the political climate for women's rights in Oregon and the United States at that time. They talk about their support for the Equal Rights Amendment. They describe legislation they worked on regarding women's rights, reproductive rights, and rights for LGBTQ people. They discuss their strategies for getting their legislation passed and the formation of the Women's Caucus. They discuss work still undone that they feel future women legislators should focus on, and warn that their own accomplishments will need to be safeguarded by future generations. They close the panel with advice for women aspiring to enter politics.

Rose then asks Kafoury, Katz, Paulus, and Roberts selected questions from the audience. They answer questions about the definition of feminism, about the role Black women politicians played in passing women's rights legislation, about Oregon's leadership on numerous progressive issues, and about the personal costs they paid for their legislative work. They also answer questions about the role Oregon Governor Tom McCall played, as well as women in the U.S. Congress; about the failure of the national Equal Rights Amendment; and about U.S. health care policy. The final question answered is about the books that Kafoury, Katz, Paulus, and Roberts are currently reading.

Kafoury, Gretchen Miller

Oral history interview with Norma Paulus

  • SR 3972
  • Collection
  • 1999-02-10 - 2000-11-02

This oral history interview with Norma Paulus was conducted by Clark Hansen at Paulus's home in Salem, Oregon, in Lincoln City, Oregon, and in Portland, Oregon; and at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon, from February 10, 1999, to November 2, 2000, and from February 10 to 27, 2010. In the interview, Paulus discusses her family background and early life in Burns, Oregon, including life during World War II and contracting polio at the age of 19. She also discusses working as a secretary for the Harney County district attorney, Leland Beckham; moving to Salem to work for a law firm; working for Judge Earl Latourette; and going to law school. Paulus describes meeting Bill Paulus while attending law school; his family background; and their marriage. Paulus discusses her involvement with the Republican Party; working as an appellate lawyer for the Oregon Supreme Court; working on Wally Carson's campaign for the Oregon Legislature in 1965; and getting her first political appointment, to the Marion County Boundary Commission, where she focused on land-use and city planning issues. She focuses on managing a career in law and politics while raising two young children and building a house.

She then discusses her time in the Oregon House of Representatives, from 1970 to 1976, including environmental issues such as the Bottle Bill of 1971 and recycling; education; the criminal code; taxes; attempts to make Cape Kiwanda a state park; and the Rajneeshees. Paulus goes into detail about the women's caucus and the bills they focused on for women's rights, as well as efforts to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. She describes working with Bob Smith, Paul Hanneman, Betty Roberts, Stafford Hansell, Jack Anunsen, Wally Priestly, Dick Eymann, Lynn Newbry, Glenn Jackson, Jason Boe, and Gretchen Kafoury. She also talks about being co-chair for Clay Myers' 1974 race for Oregon governor.

Paulus goes on to speak about her time as Oregon's first woman secretary of state from 1977 to 1985, including her first campaign in 1976 against Blaine Whipple; her efforts to increase voter turnout; and conducting audits, particularly of the Forestry Department. She also discusses the secretary of state's role as state archivist and the conflict between the Oregon State Archives and the Oregon Historical Society over which records belong with which institution. She also discusses working with Governor Vic Atiyeh. Paulus discusses running for governor against Neil Goldschmidt in 1986 and the challenges her campaign faced. She discusses her position on the Northwest Power Planning Council from 1987 to 1990, including working with Ted Hallock and Bob Duncan. She also discusses her position as Oregon superintendent of public instruction from 1990 to 1999, including her efforts to fund K-12 education. Paulus also relates a story about sharing an airplane with Moshe Dayan.

Paulus, Norma

Oral history interview with Maggie St. James

  • SR 4500
  • Collection
  • 1985-06-26

This oral history interview with Maggie St. James was conducted by Jann Mitchell on June 26, 1985. In this interview, St. James discusses her mother, Dr. Ruth Barnett, and her mother's work as an abortion provider in Portland in the early 20th century. She describes Barnett's skill as a doctor, her personality, and how she and her mother were treated by society and the press. She talks about Barnett's multiple arrests, and about Barnett's relationship with Portland government and police. St. James also discusses the rise of anti-choice rhetoric at the time of the interview in 1985. She talks about her relationship with her mother, her marriages and divorces, and her experience as an abortion patient. She also discusses her life after her mother's death. She closes the interview by speaking more about Barnett's work as an abortion provider; talking about her children; and revisiting the topic of the rise of anti-choice rhetoric at the time of the interview in 1985.

St. James, Margaret L., 1915-2009

Oral history interview with Jeanne M. Radow

  • SR 9029
  • Collection
  • 1978-03-15

This oral history interview with Jeanne M. Radow was conducted by Roberta Watts at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon, on March 15, 1978. In this interview, Radow discusses her involvement with Planned Parenthood and describes the services the clinic provides and its organizational structure. She talks about the opposition Planned Parenthood faces due to its abortion and birth control services, and discusses laws regarding reproductive rights that had recently passed in Oregon at the time of the interview in 1978. She speaks at length about the early years of Planned Parenthood in Portland. She describes the methods of birth control available at the time of the interview in 1978, as well as opposition towards sex education in schools. She then talks about her early life in New York, New York; discusses her service in the Army Nurse Corps in the Philippines at the end of World War II; and talks about working as a nurse for Planned Parenthood around the United States. She closes the interview by returning to the topic of her involvement in the Planned Parenthood clinic in Portland and the services the clinic provides.

Radow, Jeanne M. (Jeanne Michaels), 1921-2013

Oral history interview with Edith Green

  • SR 9036
  • Collection
  • 1978-12-18

This oral history interview with Edith Green was conducted by Cynthia Harrison in Portland, Oregon, on December 18, 1978. In this interview, Green discusses her legislative record on women's rights, including the equal pay act of 1963, Title IX, and the Equal Rights Amendment. She speaks about the opposition such legislation faced and how public opinion regarding women's rights has changed over time. She also discusses serving on the Commission on the Status of Women and the report that commission produced. She talks about her impression of the respect for women held by presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. She discusses her efforts toward greater access to loans for higher education and the way that has helped foster the progress of women's rights. She closes the interview by discussing her effort to open the Job Corps program to women.

Green, Edith, 1910-1987

Oral history interview with Maurine Neuberger

  • SR 9037
  • Collection
  • 1978-12-15

This oral history interview with Maurine Neuberger was conducted by Cynthia Harrison in Portland, Oregon, on December 15, 1978. A portion of the audio recording was accidentally erased circa 1980 during transcription. The missing portion of the audio was transcribed before it was erased, and the contents are reflected in an incomplete transcript of the interview.

In the interview, Neuberger discusses her legislative record on women's rights, including the Equal Pay Act of 1963, tax deductions for child care expenses, and the Equal Rights Amendment. She also discusses serving on the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women and the report it produced, particularly regarding the issue of reproductive rights. She talks about working with presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson; voting to include the word "sex" in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act; and serving on the Citizens' Advisory Council on the Status of Women. She closes the interview by discussing the Senate Commerce Committee, which she did not serve on.

Neuberger, Maurine B. (Maurine Brown), 1907-2000