Letitia Clark interviewed by Molly Andrews, November 21, 2016, Costa Mesa, California, Oral History #5925, transcript, Women Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton.
2018-11-01 19:31:34 UTC
Costa Mesa, California
An oral history with Letitia Clark, district director of public affairs for Coast Community College District and newly elected member of the Tustin City Council. The interview was conducted for the Women, Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage Oral History Project for California State University, Fullerton’s Center for Oral and Public History. The purpose of this interview was to gather information on Clark’s life history and work in public service. Specifically, this interview details her childhood and family life in Santa Ana, California; her parents’ work backgrounds; childhood aspirations; attending Xavier University of Louisiana and majoring in Political Science; childhood struggles; challenges while attending HBCU [historically black colleges and universities]; early exposure to diversity in Orange County; her family’s political activism and community-based service; family values and the multitude of individuals who influenced her life; political engagement in college and what motivates her; thoughts on what it takes to be an effective elected; experiences as a legislative aid, and her time working with Emerge California, which prepared her for Tustin City Council; family support she has received while in politics; how she balances home and work life; discusses campaign for Tustin City Council and sexism; goals and challenges; unique contributions women make in politics and why it is important to have their involvement; discusses her time in New Orleans as a legislative aide and how she is most proud of her decision to stay in the city after Hurricane Katerina; reflects on the emotionally-draining experiences of Hurricane Katerina, which led her to have a greater respect for elected office; barriers that women of color face in activism and politics; personal experiences with racism during her campaign; being Democrat in a Republican-dominated county; thoughts on current U.S. politics; how her work has shaped the person she is today and what political courage means to her; advice she would give an individual running for public office; and finally, closes the interview with why she believes few women are involved in politics today, as well as her thoughts on feminism.
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