Media Room

REMARKS AS PREPARED

Governor Kate Brown
Women of Achievement Awards Ceremony and Women’s History Month Proclamation
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
 

I am thrilled to be here with you all to celebrate Women’s History Month in the company of so many amazing women.
 
For the first time in Oregon’s history, women have been voted into a majority of our statewide elected offices. I think it’s important that we take a moment to pause and celebrate this historic milestone.
 
Oregon is now third in the nation for having the most women serving in the state Legislature.
 
While we are still a far cry from Nevada—which has 50.8 percent in their legislature—now more than ever, leadership in our state is reflective of Oregon’s people. And that’s a really good thing.
 
I’m proud to join with the Oregon Commission for Women in honoring your chosen 2018 Woman of Achievement, Susan Stoltenberg.
 
Susan has worked for many years to help her fellow Oregonians empower women while creating greater equity and diversity. Through her work at the YWCA, she supports women who are survivors of domestic violence, the incarcerated, and the elderly. Susan, thank you for all that you do.
 
Women’s History Month reminds us that Susan has many sisters across Oregon’s history. We feel their lasting impacts today.
 
From Oregon’s indigenous women who overcame extreme adversity. To Norma Paulus—the 1986 Woman of Achievement. She was the first woman elected to high office in the state of Oregon, and we mourn her recent death. 

Norma was a pioneer who shattered glass ceilings. Her brilliance was evident to all that met her — including Willamette University’s law school. She was admitted even though she didn’t have a college degree — in a time when not many women even went to law school.
 
Those who came before paved a path for today’s advocates who are fighting to ensure all women are paid equally and treated with respect in the workplace.
 
We fight so all women, no matter where they come from, who they love, or how they identify, can access health care and reproductive health services. 
 
We fight for a minimum wage that helps working mothers and families. For paid family leave, and quality, affordable child care.
 
Together, our work, built on the work of generations of Oregonian women, is what puts us at the forefront for equity, inclusion, and justice.
 
Thank you!