Oral history interview with Vera Katz [Sound Recording 04]

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Oral history interview with Vera Katz [Sound Recording 04]


  • 1982-05-19 (Creation)


Audiocassette; 00:28:36

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Biographical history

Vera Katz, nee Vera Pistrak, was born in Düsseldorf, Germany, in 1933. Her family moved to France during the lead-up to World War II. In 1940, they immigrated to the United States, where she grew up in New York. She attended Brooklyn College, where she earned a bachelor's degree in sociology in 1955, and a master's degree in 1957. In 1954, she and Mel Katz were married; they later had one child. In 1964, the family moved to Portland, Oregon, where Katz soon embarked upon a political career. She served in the Oregon House of Representatives, representing Portland and Multnomah County, from 1973 to 1990, and she became the first woman speaker of the house in 1985. She then served as Portland mayor from 1993 to 2005. She died in 2017.

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Tape 2, Side 2. This oral history interview with Vera Katz was conducted by Linda S. Dodds at Katz’ home in Portland, Oregon, from April 28 to May 19, 1982. At the time of the interview, Dodds’ name was Linda S. Brody. The interview was conducted in two sessions. In the second interview session, conducted on May 19, 1982, Katz continues discussing representing Multnomah County in the Oregon Legislature from 1973 to the time of the interview in 1982. She continues talking about legislation she worked on, and discusses working with lobbyists and her fellow legislators. She talks about representing and connecting with her constituency, her role in Democratic party leadership in the Legislature, and her committee assignments. She discusses her experience as a woman legislator; describes her political philosophy; and speaks about serving on the Ways and Means committee. She closes the interview by discussing her plans for the future.

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Copyright for this interview is held by the Oregon Historical Society. Use is allowed according to the following statement: Creative Commons - BY-NC-SA, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/

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  • English

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26.2 MiB


September 7, 2021 11:43 AM

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