Governor John A. Kitzhaber's Administration

Scope and Content Note

The records of the administration of Governor John Kitzhaber, 1995-2003, document the actions of the governor, first lady, staff, state agencies, and various related entities such as cities, counties, schools, federal agencies, and interest groups. The records will be more fully arranged and described as time allows.

Size of the Kitzhaber record group
377 cubic feet of boxed records
137 rolled maps

Older records
A small number of the records were created before the beginning of the Kitzhaber Administration in January 1995. These records include those generated and received by Governor-elect Kitzhaber and his staff from November 1994 to January 1995. Some older records from various sources were also used by the Kitzhaber Administration for reference in the process of developing new policy. Finally, the records include those inherited from the administration of Governor Barbara Roberts. Of these, several clearly distinct record series amounting to 15.3 cubic feet have been placed in the Governor Roberts record group.

Offices and functions
The Kitzhaber Administration records reflect the increasing complexity of government and society on all levels. In order to develop policy related to state government, several offices within the Governor's Office specialized in subject areas. Examples include natural resource; health, human services and labor; and education and workforce policy. Other functional offices or responsibilities included chief of staff, senior policy advisor, legal counsel, outreach, communications, and affirmative action. For access purposes, the record series have been arranged into 17 categories based on office or function.

Organization and staff
The makeup of the organization and staff of the Governor's Office changed over the eight years of the administration. The Governor’s Office Staff Policy and Organization Records include several organizational charts and other records that provide an overview of the office.

Schedule, travel, and correspondence records
Several record series document the schedule, travel, and correspondence of the governor. These include detailed records of contacts and events that place the governor's work in the context of time and place. They also reflect the ceremonial and political aspects of the governor's duties.

Legislative records
Legislative records are interfiled in dozens of record series. But the record group also includes series specifically dealing with the issues and bills related to each legislative session. These document strategy and policy decisions on many of the major bills of a legislative session. Legal records include those of the governor's legal counsel as well as those related to subjects such as court cases of interest and executive clemency. Another significant duty of the governor, the appointment of judges, boards, commissions, and others is documented in 11 cubic feet of Executive Appointment Records.

Natural Resource Office records
The Natural Resource Office was the largest office within the Governor's Office in terms of staff and the over 100 cubic feet of records reflect this. Many of the records are arranged as advisor or issue record series. Examples include Salmon Advisor Records and Forest Issues Records. The Kitzhaber Administration launched several major natural resource initiatives including the Oregon Agreement, which sought to further the view that a healthy environment and strong economy could work together. Major efforts reflecting this were the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds and its relatives, the Coastal Salmon Restoration Initiative and the Healthy Streams Partnership. The records document these initiatives extensively. Other major topics include the Willamette and Columbia rivers, dams, and various federal efforts such as the Northwest Forest Plan and the Umatilla Army Depot.

Other significant records
Large record series document other responsibilities and initiatives of the Governor's Office. For example, the Oregon Option was a groundbreaking effort to cooperate with the federal government on several fronts to improve the delivery of services to citizens. The development and implementation of this initiative is represented in 10 cubic feet of Oregon Option Records. Several series relate to workforce development and the efforts of numerous related entities such as the Oregon Workforce Quality Council, the Oregon Workforce Investment Board, and others. A large number of health and human services records document the Oregon Children's Plan, Oregon Health Plan, Oregon Strategy for Social Support Initiative, Social Support Investment Work Group, juvenile crime prevention, and other subjects. Community development and growth management policy is reflected in records documenting the Community Solutions program, Governor’s Growth Task Force, Willamette Valley Livability Forum, and general issues of sustainability and transportation. Numerous record series document actions related to public safety. These include subjects such as prison siting, September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, community corrections, and others. The work of the Public Safety Advocate is also represented in 27 cubic feet of records covering a wide range of related issues. The activities and programs of the first lady are documented in the Sharon Kitzhaber Records. Many smaller record series document efforts related to telecommunications policy, affirmative action, minorities, education, mental health, prescription drugs, cultural development, court cases, intergovernmental relations, and other subjects.

Other media
In addition to standard paper documents, various media such as photographs, slides, maps, computer floppy discs, compact discs, and videotapes were interfiled with the records of each related record series. These will be separated for better storage when detailed arrangement and description of the record group is completed.

Access restrictions
Some of the records were labeled "confidential" or contain information that is legally access restricted. Contact a reference archivist for more information.

Archived Web site
Also see the archived version of Governor Kitzhaber’s Office Web site that is maintained on the Oregon State Archives Web site. The archived site is a "snap shot" of the governor's Web site from January 13, 2003. Some of the links, particularly to outside sources, may not function.

State Archives • 800 Summer St. NE • Salem, OR 97310

Phone: 503-373-0701 • Fax: 503-378-4118 • reference.archives@state.or.us