Mayor Karen Vialle Papers

Vialle Voters Pamphlet Headshot, c. 2011 Karen and Marvin Vialle, c. 2011 Vialle with Voters at Playground, c. 2011 Vialle with Voters at Door, c. 2011 Meeting with Norm Rice and Black Collective (VHS)

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Mayor Karen Vialle Papers


  • 1944 - 2011 (Creation)


2 boxes
(1.5 cubic foot)
179 MB

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Biographical history

Karen Vialle was born in Tacoma in 1943 to Leo and Arline Ristvet. She graduated from Wilson High School in 1961 and from the University of Puget Sound in 1963. In 1988, she launched her first run for office and was elected to the Tacoma City Council. In 1990, she became the first woman elected Mayor of Tacoma, serving in the role until 1994. She was elected to the Tacoma Public Schools Board of Directors in 2011 and 2017. She also served as an Assistant Professor at the University of Puget Sound, a consultant for the Puyallup and Muckleshoot tribal school systems, a substitute teacher, executive director of Centro Latino, assistant director of the State Budget Office, and deputy chief for the State Insurance Commissioner. In 2019, former Mayor Marilyn Strickland credited Vialle for making it possible for other women and diverse candidates to run for office in Tacoma. As Mayor, Vialle arranged for the purchase and cleanup of the Foss Waterway and led urban renewal and mass transit projects.

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Includes photographs, correspondence, reports, speeches, VHS tapes, and other material related to Vialle's roles as an educator and the first woman to serve as Mayor of Tacoma.

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Initial acquisition was acquired from Marvin Vialle in May 2021.

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Accural transferred from Marvin Vialle in November 2021.

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