The 2023-2024 Blue Book is dedicated to Governor Kate Brown in gratitude for over 30 years of public service to the people of Oregon.
First elected in 1992, Gov. Brown served in both the State House and Senate. In 2004, she became the first woman to serve as Senate majority leader. In 2008, Brown was elected as Oregon’s 24th Secretary of State, serving two terms. After Governor John Kitzhaber resigned in 2015, Brown was sworn in as Oregon’s 38th Governor. She was elected on November 8, 2016 to finish out Governor Kitzhaber’s first term and was reelected in 2018 to a second term.
Governor Brown served during an unprecedented worldwide pandemic that required her to take decisive actions. She relied on science, data, and the advice of health experts, to make tough choices that saved lives. Thanks to her leadership, Oregon’s pandemic performance ranked near the top as measured by vaccination, hospitalization and mortality rates. Governor Brown also worked to ensure that Oregon has had a strong and equitable economic recovery from the pandemic, focusing on the hardest hit communities. She established Oregon’s Racial Justice Council to, for the first time, truly center equity in state government by bringing community voices directly to decision-making tables.
In addition to her leadership during these most challenging times, Governor Brown has worked to make historic investments in addressing climate change, education, transportation, and affordable housing, and expand the Oregon Health Plan to cover 94% of adults and every single child in Oregon. Under her leadership, Oregon has:
- Dramatically increased access to the ballot box, as the first state in the country with automatic voter registration;
- Made historic investments in Oregon education with the passage of the Student Success Act, which prioritized access and opportunities for students who have been historically underserved by the education system;
- Set some of the most ambitious goals in the nation to comprehensively address climate change, reduce carbon emissions, and move to 100% clean energy sources;
- Invested more in affordable housing and homelessness prevention during her tenure than under any previous Oregon governor;
- Enhanced protections against discrimination for the LGBTQIA+ community;
- Led the nation by passing the Reproductive Health Equity Act, the first bill of its kind in the nation, to expand and ensure access to reproductive health services for all Oregonians;
- Negotiated a historic agreement between timber, environmental, and fishing interests to update the Forest Practices Act.
We are thankful to Governor Brown for her service to the people of Oregon.