Governor Barbara Roberts Shares Her Oregon Story

Before a rapt audience at Portland's Laura Russo Gallery on Tuesday, April 10, Governor Barbara Roberts told of her Oregon roots, her perspective and experiences in Oregon politics, and her idea's for Oregon's future.

Roberts, Oregon's 34th Governor and to date the only woman to have held that office, shared a selection of passages from her recent memoir, Up the Capitol Steps. She told of attending a one-room schoolhouse in Yamhill County in the late 1940s, and of graduating from Sheridan High School. Recounting her active participation in extracurricular activities and stellar academic performance, Roberts marveled how many young women in those days were not encouraged to go to college.

Roberts spoke also of the courage it takes to speak truthfully, on the campaign trail and in office, and the price one sometimes pays for it. But she said she had never lost faith in Oregonians to recognize and respect political courage even when they disagree with the opinion expressed.

She also told of several land use battles fought during her term as Governor from 1991-1995, including proposed legislation that would have completely undermined the statewide land use program and of a proposed Westside Bypass freeway in the Portland area that would have contributed to massive sprawl and destruction of farmland with little alleviation of traffic congestion. In both instances, working with 1000 Friends and land use advocates and activists, Governor Roberts was able to block serious harm to Oregon's quality of life and land. But Governor Roberts also made it clear that fighting threats to these indispensable aspects of Oregon's beauty and livability is work that never ends.

1000 Friends is very grateful to Laura Russo Gallery for hosting this event in their beautiful, open space, and to Governor Roberts for sharing her stories with us. For more information on her latest book, click here.

Below, enjoy some photos from the evening's event. Thanks to Communications Intern Dave Garlock for taking these photos, which can be seen in higher quality on our Flickr page.

1000 Friends Board Member Nolan Lienhart introduces Governor Roberts.

Governor Roberts reads a passage from her new memoirs.

Following her talk, Governor Roberts greets a young guest.

Guests and staff mingled under the expressive paintings of Michael Brophy.

Many thanks also to The Eyrie Vineyards and Bethel Heights Vineyards for donating wine our guests enjoyed at the reception.

For more information on the 2012 McCall Society Speaker Series, including upcoming events in Salem and Bend, please click here.