WHC Biographical Profile
Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project, University
Mrs. Caver has decades of experience locally, nationally, and internationally as
a public servant and in the private sector.
In Seattle, she served 17 years with the City of Seattle in the Human Rights Department.
As Community Development specialist, she organized 27 Human Rights Committees both
in the city and suburban cities. Through these councils efforts, Open Housing was
passed by the City Council and also the creation of the department with civil rights
laws to enforce. She served the department as assistant Director from 1971 to 1975
when she was appointed by Mayor Wes Uhlman as the Director.
Nationally and internationally, she served as Director of Training and also President
of the International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies, member of the
U.S Depart of Labor Women’s Advisory Committee. A national EEO consultant for discrimination
with the U.S. Department of Defense.
Mrs. Caver retired from Totem Girl Scout Council, Seattle, as Director of Membership/Human
Resource and Diversity in 1993.
Since retirement, she remained actively involved in improving the quality of life
in Seattle and the State of Washington. In 1994 she served in the Washington State
Legislature as the 37th District Representative from Seattle, completing the remaining
term of then newly-elected Governor Gary Locke. She was a member of the Washington
State Judicial Conduct Commission. As a member of the Washington State Democrats
Central Committee Executive Board, she chairs the Affirmative Action Committee,
and held the position of Chair of the 37th Legislative District two terms, as well
as Vice Chair.
Mrs. Caver has received numerous awards and commendations for services. In 2000
she was designated King County Democrat’s “Living Treasure of the Year.” Big Sisters
of King County honored her with their first Leadership Emeritus award for standing
out “at a time when women received extremely limited acceptance in non-traditional
roles. She has been a board member of Pioneer Human Services for 22 years and received
their Meritorious Service Award. Other recognitions include the Affirmative Action
Award given by the Seattle Urban League and Employee of the Year award by the Totem
As a business woman in the 1960s, Mrs. Caver operated the first African American
Quotation from Vivian Caver
Serving as the third African American woman representing the 37th Legislative District
in the House of Representatives was a privilege. Marjorie Pitter, Peggy Maxie and
I served at a time when women were beginning to step out of their traditional roles
and expand their presence in public service. My background as director of the Human
Rights Department of the city of Seattle assisted me in developing policy and legislation.
My term of vice chair and chair of the 37th District Democrats prepared me to represent the
issues and concerns of the citizens of my district regarding improvement of the
quality of life in Seattle and the state of Washington. It was one of the most rewarding
experiences of my life and I am grateful for the honor to serve.