The Only Woman in the Room: The Norma Paulus Story

The Only Woman in the Room: The Norma Paulus Story


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Norma Petersen Paulus grew up in Depression-era poverty in Eastern Oregon. She survived a bout with polio in her teens, taught herself to be a legal secretary, and graduated from law school with honors despite not attending college first. Anyone with such a story would be remarkable, but this was just her beginning. Paulus came from a family of Roosevelt Democrats, but when a friend campaigned for a Republication seat in the state legislature, she switched parties. Amid the nationwide political upheavals of the late 1960s, Oregon's Republicans, led by popular governor Tom McCall, seemed to be her kind of people-principled, pragmatic, and committed to education, the environment, and equality for all citizens under the law Paulus's appointment by Governor McCall to the Marion-Polk Boundary Commission in 1969 launched her on a long and distinguished career of public service. She ran successfully for the Oregon House of Representatives in 1970. After three terms in the House, she was elected Oregon's Secretary of State in 1976-the first woman to be elected to a statewide office in Oregon. She was the Republican candidate for governor in 1986, served a stint on the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, went on to become Oregon's superintendent of public instruction, and at the end of her long career, headed the Oregon Historical Society. During her years of public service, Norma Paulus occupied a distinctive niche in Oregon's progressive political ecosystem. Her vivid personality and strong convictions endeared her to a broad swath of citizens. Engaging and opinionated, charming and forceful, Paulus was widely covered in statewide and national media during her eventful, sometimes controversial career. Now, The Only Woman in the Room documents her life and work in a lively, anecdotal history that will appeal to historians, political scientists, newshounds, and ordinary citizens alike.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780870718953
Publisher: Oregon State University Press
Publication date: 05/15/2017
Edition description: 1
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 3 Months to 18 Years

Table of Contents

Foreword Wallace P. Carson Jr. 7

Tribute Liz Paulus Fritz Paulus Jennifer Viviano 9

Note on Sources 11

1 The Early Years 15

2 Freshman in the House 49

3 Champion of the Environment 69

4 Land-Use Pioneer 83

5 A Journey to Feminism 97

6 Sunshine in Government 113

7 An Historic Election 125

8 Keeping Oregon Honest 143

9 The Rajneeshee Affair 159

10 Heartbreak and Consolation Prize 175

11 Oregon's Chief Educator 201

12 A Legacy of Service 221

Acknowledgments 247

Notes 249

Index 273

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