Oral Histories

Graphic tile that reads "Oral Histories" in white and orange on top right. On the left is an image of a Black man and a white woman at a table in front of an audio recorder. The man wears a backwards cap and reading glasses and has his hands clasped in front of him, he is mid-speech. The woman smiles at him, leaning on the table. Bottom right of the graphic is a piece of an oral history transcipt.
Oral Histories included here gather and preserve stories documenting Portland's City government.

The Archives and Records Management Division of the City Auditor’s Office operates the City of Portland Archives and Records Center, making city administrative and historical records accessible to the public and City employees. The Archives started the oral history program in 2022, with the goal to gather and preserve stories documenting the projects, activities, and policy decisions made by City government. We aim to amplify diverse experiences through conversations with current and past City employees, as well people within the community.

In our latest set of oral history interviews, the City of Portland Archives explored the history of the Independent Police Review for the City of Portland. The Independent Police Review (IPR) is a civilian oversight agency created in 2001. When IPR formed, it was tasked with investigating and monitoring allegations of misconduct by sworn members of the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) and serves as Portland's intake point for community complaints about officers. Until 2022, IPR was part of the City Auditor’s office, reporting directly to the City Auditor.

As IPR was transitioning out of the Auditor’s Office, Archives began to collect oral histories from several individuals who have been involved in police accountability and community oversight in Portland, focusing on the era of Independent Police Review’s time in the Auditor’s Office. We reached out to nine people, and out of the nine, we were able to record seven interviews, making a collective oral history focusing on the IPR and police accountability in Portland. View all of the interviews here.  

The City of Portland Archives Oral History Program conducted our first oral history with former elected official and city employee, Mike Lindberg. Lindberg has a long history of serving the city of Portland and his community, and we are honored that he agreed to serve as our inaugural interviewee.

Click here to view the entire interview and transcript.

Mike Lindberg grew up in Astoria, OR and graduated from the University of Oregon in 1964. From 1973-79, he was Director of Public Works and subsequently Director of Planning and Development for the City of Portland. Mike served on the Portland City Council from 1979 until 1997.  

The interview with Mike Lindberg took place at the Portland Archives and Records Center on July 26, 2022, and was conducted by Morgen Young, Senior Historian with Historical Research Associates, Inc.