Gretchen Kafoury was born in Walla Walla, WA. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Whitman College in 1963.
Post graduation she served in the Peace Corps from 1964 to 1966 in Iran. On returning to Portland in 1966 she began teaching English as a Second Language courses at Grant High School and then at Portland State University until 1971.
Throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s she volunteered for numerous political activities; including: Robert Kennedy's presidential campaign, Wayne Morse's 1968 Senate, and Betty Roberts’ 1974 gubernatorial campaign. She was a founding member of Oregon NOW in 1970 as well as the Oregon Women's Political Caucus in 1971.
Kafoury political career began with her election to the Oregon State House of Representatives from 1977 to 1982. From 1985 to 1990 she sat on the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners, and was then elected City Commissioner for Portland in 1991 and served there until 1998.
From 1999 until her retirement in 2008, Kafoury taught at Portland State University's Hatfield School of Government.
The Gretchen Kafoury Papers Collection is comprised of materials from her time at the National Organization for Women (NOW), the Equal Rights Association (ERA) and the Oregon Women’s Political Caucus (OWPC). There is also material pertaining to campaigns and elections, including political ephemera from the 1968 and 1972 presidential campaigns, Betty Roberts' 1974 U.S. Senate race, and materials relating to the Oregon State Legislature from 1970-1981.
The printed matter of this collection includes artwork, canvassing materials, correspondence, handwritten notes, invitations, legislative bills, lobbyist forms, maps, meeting notices, newsletters, newspaper articles, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, postcards, programs, reference materials, and reports.
Restrictions on Access :
This collection is open for researchRestrictions on Use :
There are no restrictions on the materials
The arrangement of the collection reflects Kafoury’s original order, which varies between chronological and topical; loose material has been organized topically. The series for this collection are General Politics, Women’s Rights, Equal Rights Alliance, Campaigns and Elections, Legislature, Press, Special, Oversized.
Detailed Description of the Collection