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Gussie (Norma J) McRobert was born in Colorado, spent her formative years in Montana and southern Oregon and has lived in Gresham, Oregon since 1955. Gussie was married to longtime Gresham businessman, Chet McRobert, for thirty-eight years before his death in 2003. They raised five sons and are blessed with three granddaughters. She is a former Registered Nurse with Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Communications, and an Associate Degree in Professional Nursing.
McRobert has twenty-five years of experience in broadcast journalism and public relations. She worked as a radio and television producer/reporter for Oregon Public Broadcasting where her reports were featured on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Week End West; and news reports and documentaries for KKSN-AM Radio and news and public service features for KGW-AM Radio, covering city and county governments throughout the Tri-County area and Vancouver.
As owner of RX Communications, McRobert specialized in public service promotions for nonprofit organizations and government agencies. Her radio public service productions won local and national awards. Rx Communications—Gussie McRobert is now registered with the State of Oregon under the Independent Artists and Writers category. Rx Communications owns the registered website domain names of properwoman.net, fallingtoflying.com, theproperwomanthe tyrannyof expectations.com, and fromhellandbacksurviveandthrive.com.
McRobert’s past public service includes:
KBPS AM/FM Advisory Committee, Past President
Private Industry Council, Economic Development Committee
Multnomah County Planning Commission, Vice Chair
Gresham Parks Commission, Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary
Mayor, City of Gresham
Metro Growth Management Policy Advisory Committee
Metro Policy Advisory Committee
Regional Governance Committee
Regional Water Supply Taskforce
Oregon Progress Board, Vice Chair
Livable Oregon, Inc., Past President
Oregon Mayors Association, Board of Directors
Gresham Progress Board, Chair
Gresham Area Prevention Partnership
Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission
As mayor, McRobert initiated the city’s first community-wide visioning program to guide transportation planning and growth management until the year 2020. While an advocate of growth and “smart development,” McRobert also initiated the first voter approved, open space rescue and trail development program in the state; which has preserved some 700 acres of buttes, watersheds, wetlands, and creek corridors, and also provide 55 miles of off-road trails for recreation. She championed citizen involvement and greatly expanded the opportunities for people to be involved in city government.
McRobert’s personal commitment to herself to always “say it like it is” sometimes provoked other regional leaders, but was consistent with her vow to always honor her values and conscience -- even if no one wanted to hear it.