Students in Kimberly Jensen's Winter 2012 Gender Issues in History course at Western Oregon University conducted interviews with women office holders and former candidates for elected office in February 2012. Excerpts from these interviews with Vicki Berger, Kate Brown, Jeanne Deane, Connie Garcia, and Jackie Winters are posted here. Graduate students in the Research Methods course in Fall 2012 interviewed Salem Mayor Anna Peterson in October 2012 and an edited version of that oral history interview is posted here.

Vicki Berger

Representative Vicki Berger was elected to represent House District 20 in the Oregon House of Representatives and has been reelected to that position in subsequent elections.

On Wednesday February 15, 2012 Representative Vicki Berger responded to questions regarding woman suffrage by interviewers Meagan Beisley, Christopher Freeman, and Allison Barker. Representative Berger focused on her personal experiences as an office holder, as well as the inspiration she drew from various women in her family. Coming from a long line of Salem-based Oregonians, Representative Berger offers Oregon a unique vision both as a woman and as a dedicated public servant.

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Kate Brown

Secretary of State Kate Brown was appointed to serve in the Oregon House of Representatives in 1991, was elected to two more terms in the House and in 1996 won election to the Oregon Senate. In 2004 she became the first woman to serve as the Senate Majority Leader. She was elected to the office of Oregon Secretary of State in 2008.

Zachary Jones, Amanda Cross, Chandler Miranda and Josephine Colburn interviewed Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown on February, 14th, 2012 at the Oregon State Capitol Building. This was done for the purpose of the Century of Action centennial celebration of woman suffrage in Oregon. Secretary of State Brown expressed the themes of increasing the diversity of representation in the legislature and connecting Oregonians with how their government works as well as the importance of woman’s vote.

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Jeanne Deane

Jeanne Deane was the Democratic candidate for Oregon House District 20 in the 2004 election.

On February 10th, 2012 Steve Baker, Jelena Boskovic, Jaden Kaufman, Colin McHill, and Josiah Liedkie had the opportunity to interview former candidate Jeanne Deane. Ms. Deane is a very influential leader. From the time she was a young woman working at the State Department in Washington D.C., she was interested in becoming actively involved in politics and making a difference in people’s lives. She later became involved with Western Oregon University students and really pushed them to do the best they could do in school.

While working at the university, Ms. Deane was not ready to give up on her political work. In 2003 she decided to run for the 2004 election for Oregon State Representative as a Democrat against Republican incumbent Vicki Berger. She also was one of the founders of Abby’s House Center for Women and Families on the Western Oregon University campus.  Ms. Deane was actively involved in The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and the annual Academic Excellence Showcase on campus.  Ms. Deane was also president, vice-president, secretary-treasurer and steward of SEIU Local 503, OPEU Local 082. She did so much for our school and, county, and helped so many people in need. We were honored to be interviewing her.

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Connie Garcia

Connie Garcia was the Democratic candidate for Oregon House District 20 in the 2006 election.

Sean Wasson, Alyssa Penn, and Alexandria Westlund interviewed Connie Garcia at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Oregon on Wednesday February 2nd, 2012.

Connie Garcia is a strong believer in the rights of citizens, especially those of minorities. As a woman of Mexican American heritage, she knows first hand how difficult things can be. She campaigned for a better education system, one that did not leave children behind.

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Jackie Winters

Senator Jackie Winters was elected to represent Oregon House District 31 in the Oregon House of Representatives in 1998 and reelected in 2000. She won election to the Oregon Senate in 2002 and has been reelected to that position in subsequent elections.

On February 17, 2012, Will Crook, Gabriela Cervantes, Nancy Doll and Susan Mancke, students at Western Oregon University studying Gender Issues in History, experienced the pleasure of interviewing Senator Winters in her office at the Oregon State Capitol building in Salem. The following expresses the heart of this interview in recognition of the celebration of the centennial of woman suffrage in Oregon.

Oregon State Senator Jackie Winters (R), District 10, began her governmental service in 1959 at the University of Oregon Medical School in the medical records unit and later joined the staff of the Portland Model Cities Program.  In 1969, she was recruited to be supervisor of the State Office of Economic Opportunity’s New Resources Program at the request of Governor Tom McCall.  In 1979 she was appointed Ombudsman by Governor Victor Atiyeh. During this service, she helped create the Oregon Food Share Program, which has grown in 2012 to include a statewide system of food banks serving most of Oregon’s neediest families. She was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives in 1998 as the Representative of District 31.  She was re-elected to this office in 2000.  In 2002, 2006 and again in 2010, she was elected as State Senator for District 10. She and her family have lived in Salem for the past 41 years.

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Anna Peterson

Mayor Anna Peterson was elected as mayor of Salem in 2010 and began her first term in January 2011. She was elected to a second term in November 2012.

Western Oregon University students interviewed Mayor Peterson as part of their work for History 698: Research Methods in Fall 2012 and they were joined by Professor Kimberly Jensen. They are shown here on October 18, 2012 at Mayor Peterson’s office in Salem, where the interview took place. Left to right, Travis Cook, Kati Greer, Brittney Teal-Cribbs, Jennifer Ross, Mayor Peterson with Votes for Women Sash, Adam Barrett, Justin Devereux, and Gregory J. Garcia. The interview was part of the commemoration of the centennial of the achievement of votes for women in Oregon and Mayor Peterson discussed her role as a female office holder in the state. Portions of this oral history interview have been edited and the complete interview is available at the Hamersly Library Archives at Western Oregon University.

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