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Darlene Hooley papers

Identifier: WUA022

Scope and Contents

The Darlene Hooley papers are organized into three series: I) Campaign records, II) State of Oregon records, and III) United States Representative records. The Campaign records series documents Hooley's opponents and contains information and memorabilia from various campaigns throughout her political career. The State of Oregon records series consists of papers generated and received by Hooley's office during her two terms representing the Twenty-seventh District in the Oregon House of Representatives and during her time serving on the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners. The third series contains materials generated by her office during her six terms representing Oregon’s Fifth District in the United States Congress from January 3, 1997 through January 3, 2009. She served on the Science and Technology, Energy and Commerce, and Budget committees. She was a House Senior Whip for the Democratic Party and a member of the New Democrat Coalition.

Of particular note is the Legislative subseries, which contains appropriations requests for science, technology, energy, and commerce, along with other funding, and is organized by Funding Year (FY), then session of Congress. Many of these requests are for Oregon projects centering on public transportation, i.e. the Light Rail project in the Portland Area, and technology programs such as the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute at Oregon State University. Hooley was successful in securing public investments in Oregon’s Fifth District, which is evident in the materials relating to legislative work on bills concerning Mount Hood, forestry issues, and the Port of Portland. She also obtained millions of dollars in county timber payments in lieu of taxes on federal lands for local schools and roads, federal funding for transportation, port and infrastructure needs, as well as agricultural research and biomedical research funding. This series also contains material on Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act and the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (HR 2622).

Other highlights of the collection include constituent letters from grade school students, photographs of Hooley at work in Congress, and copies of speeches she made on subjects such as women’s rights, science, and trade.


  • 1980-2009


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

These papers are open to researchers with the exclusion of Series I, Subseries A: Opponent Files.

Conditions Governing Use

Library acts as “fair use” reproduction agent.

For further information, see the section on copyright in the Regulations and Procedures of the Willamette University Archives and Special Collections.

Copyright Information: Before material from collections at Willamette University Archives and Special Collections may be quoted in print, or otherwise reproduced, in whole or in part, in any publication, permission must be obtained from (1) the owner of the physical property, and (2) the holder of the copyright. It is the particular responsibility of the researcher to obtain both sets of permission. Persons wishing to quote from materials in any collections held by University Archives and Special Collections should consult the University Archivist. Reproduction of any item must contain a complete citation to the original.

Biographical / Historical

Darlene Olson Hooley was born in Williston, North Dakota on April 4, 1939. At the age of eight her parents moved to Salem, Oregon. In 1961 she graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Science in Education. In addition to pursuing post-graduate work at Oregon State and Portland State Universities, Hooley taught physical education, music, and reading in several Portland-area high schools from 1961 to 1970. In 1965 she married John Hooley and they raised two children, Chad and Erin, before divorcing in 1995.

In the early 1970s, Hooley’s son was injured in a playground accident in West Linn, Oregon. The city’s lack of response to playground safety issues motivated Hooley to enter politics and in 1976 she became the first woman member of the West Linn City Council. In 1980 she entered the Oregon State House of Representatives where she served until 1987. During her time in the state legislature, she focused on bills dealing with public kindergartens, equity pay, and reform of the state’s welfare system.

After leaving the state legislature in 1987, Hooley again broke new ground when she became the first woman elected to the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners. In 1996 she was elected as a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives and was a member of the One Hundred Fifth to the One Hundred Tenth Congresses (January 3, 1997 - January 3, 2009). She was not a candidate for reelection in 2008.

During her first term in office, Hooley was elected House Democratic freshman class president. Additionally, during her tenure, she was a House Senior Whip for the Democratic Party and a member of the New Democrat Coalition. As a member of the House Financial Services Committee she advocated adapting banking laws and acting to disrupt the financial foundations of terrorist networks and focused on issues surrounding identity theft prevention and increasing medical and financial privacy. In 2003 she was a key sponsor of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (HR 2622), which gave Americans the right to free credit reports. A staunch advocate of a federal prohibition of online poker, Hooley cosponsored H.R. 4411, the Goodlatte-Leach Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, in 2006.

In 2002 Hooley voted against the authorization of the use of military force in Iraq. As a member of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, she focused on issues of veterans' health care and deployment of National Guard troops to the Iraq War.

Following her retirement from Congress, Hooley joined former Multnomah County Commissioner Lisa Naito in founding Hooley & Naito, a strategic planning and legislative advocacy firm. Hooley also established the Darlene Hooley Scholarship for Oregon Veterans, and in 2012 the City of Portland dedicated the Darlene Hooley Pedestrian Bridge, a bridge that connects the Lair Hill neighborhood to the South Waterfront district.


60 Linear Feet (60 boxes)


The Darlene Hooley papers (1980-2006) consist of papers generated and received by the office of Darlene Hooley during her time as a Oregon State representative for the Twenty-seventh District, her time on the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners, and her six terms in the United States House of Representatives representing the Fifth District of the state of Oregon.


The Darlene Hooley papers comprise 42 linear feet and are organized into three series. The first series, Campaign records, contains two subseries: Opponent Files and Campaigns. The second series, State of Oregon records, contains two subseries: Oregon State Legislature and Clackamas County Board of Commissioners records. The third series, United State Representative records, consists of five subseries: Personal/Political/Official records, Legislative records, Correspondence, Press relations/media activities records, and Photographs and Memorabilia.

Arrangement of series, subseries, and sub-subseries maintains original order whenever possible. When original order cannot be determined, chronological or alphabetical order is used. There is a certain amount of subject overlap between series as well as duplicate materials in various folders. Researchers are encouraged to examine the entire collection in order to cover all material addressing their interest.

Physical Location

Mark O. Hatfield Library

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Darlene Hooley, 2009

Related Materials

Michael J. Kopetski papers, Willamette University Archives and Special Collections

Separated Materials

Photographs and audio/visual materials have been removed for preservation reasons.
Guide to the Darlene Hooley papers, 1980-2009
Finding aid processed by Rose Marie Walter.
© 2010
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.
Edition statement
2nd edition

Repository Details

Part of the Willamette University Archives and Special Collections Collection Descriptions

Mark O. Hatfield Library
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 United States