Rose Espinoza interviewed by Kristyn McGowan, November 24, 2014, La Habra, California, Oral History #5490.1, transcript, Women Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton.
An oral history of Rose Espinoza, founder of Rosie’s Garage and activist living and working in La Habra. The purpose of this interview was to learn about her activism and work regarding Rosie’s Garage for the Women, Politics and Activism since Suffrage Project at Cal State University Fullerton for Dr. Natalie Fousekis’ HIST 493 course. This interview covers Rose Espinoza’s personal and family life story throughout the years including her parents immigration to the US; living in a migrant community called “Red Camp”; her childhood experiences from being in a poor, working-class immigrant family; her many jobs including working at Olsen Brothers; gang activity in her neighborhood and the difficulties and danger they caused in the community; working with housing associations; creating Rosie’s Garage; how Rosie’s Garage flourished and grew with the help of the media; the impact Rosie’s garage continues to have on the communities it helps and the wide range of kids they reach; changing Rosie’s Garage from a volunteer organization to a non-profit; her motivation coming from those that have served and died for our country; how education has changed low-income neighborhoods, bringing down gang activity; how activism has changed for women and how women can get involved; what feminism means to her; and reflects on her activism throughout the years and what she is most proud of.
Rose Espinoza interviewed by IN, April 8th, 2016, La Habra, California, Oral History #5490.2, transcript, Women Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton.
An oral history of Rose Espinoza, current La Habra City Councilmember and former La Habra Mayor. 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 regarding her experience running for city council as well as her time spent serving for both as council member and Mayor. Specifically, this interview provides information on Rose’s upbringing from the time she grew up in a migrant camp (Campo Colorado) among citrus pickers, and her childhood; she describes how gender roles were enacted in her household since she was a child; she explains her commitment to the community through a tutoring program she started from her garage called Rosie’s Garage; she remembers when MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund) asked her to consider running for city council; she discusses her experiences running and losing the council race three times; she explains the strategies she used to win her fourth campaign; she describes her involvement in her political campaign; her recollections when she heard the news that she had won the council race and the feeling to know that she was the first Latina ever being elected to a council seat in the city of La Habra; she describes her sixteen years in office; she details some of her challenges and success while in office; she comments on how politics impacted her family and how she dealt with some of the challenges; she explains the political climate when she took office and how divided the council board used to be; she talks about her views on how men and women lead; she explains her views about some of the challenges women face when choosing to run for politics; she discussed her views on feminism and women’s role in society; she explains that after serving for sixteen years she’s ready to let another person experience what she has experienced; she exhorted young women who want to get involve in politics to “get involved.”
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