The Portland State University Center for Women, Politics & Policy recently hosted its fifth annual Women's Leadership Luncheon. In addition to celebrating the efforts and achievements of women leaders, the Luncheon is designed to inspire determination in all attendees, as well as among women in the community at large. This year’s event honored four women who have paved the way for a new generation of women leaders, including my friend, mentor and adopted-mom, Lifetime Achievement Award winner Gretchen Kafoury.
As a former State Legislator, Portland City Council member, and County Commissioner, Gretchen has worked continually for decades with a bold vision of equality. She is particularly passionate and effective on affordable housing issues, and serves on the Home Forward (formerly Housing Authority of Portland) Board. She was a founding board member of NEW Leadership Oregon, which teaches college-age women how to become leaders. Pictured with me, from left to right, are Katharine Kafoury, the Honorable Gretchen Kafoury, and Multnomah County Commissioner Deborah Kafoury.
Per the PSU Center for Women, Politics & Policy's website, "the mission for the Center for Women, Politics & Policy is to increase women's leadership in public policy through targeted teaching and community service programs. The Center works toward this goal by promoting scholarship that examines the presence and role of women in politics and public policy and by providing diverse and inclusive service programs that will develop the next generation of women leaders who will serve the city, state, region and nation."
Women in politics are most effective when we support each other. Gretchen truly deserves her Lifetime Achievement Award for exemplifying the best of political leaders in Oregon.