Love Letters to Oregon: A First Look at the Personal Papers of Oregon's First Elected Women


Did you ever go through your mother’s hope chest or ever steal a look at someone’s diary? Six trailblazing political women in Oregon are giving you the chance to do just that with the donation of their personal political papers to a new archive at Portland State University.

What did Justice Betty Roberts’ campaign materials as the first woman to run for Governor look like? What newspaper clippings did Mayor Vera Katz keep? What did Senator Avel Gordly (the first African-American woman elected to the Oregon Senate) write in the margin notes of her documents?

Take an exclusive journey through the history of policy-making in Oregon through selected personal notes, newspaper clippings, campaign memorabilia and private letters of Oregon’s first elected women.

Nova Newcomer

Affiliation Center for Women, Politics & Policy

Nova Newcomer’s first political opus was a short essay (which she still has in her possession) in 4th grade on Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. A Political Science degree, several hundred pages and a career in communication later, Nova is currently doing what she loves best — providing people with tools to communicate better about important policy issues and helping women develop their leadership potential and learning from the amazing women who have fought for a better Oregon.

A strategic communication consultant, Nova has worked in various capacities for local non-profits as well as small and large businesses. She is also active in local non-profits and community activities.

Nova is a loyal fan of the Trail Blazers (from birth), a baseball fanatic and a proud resident of North Portland with her husband and young son.