Laura Chick interviewed by Natalie Fousekis, May 3, 2016, Kensington, California, Oral History #5848, transcript, Women Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton.
An oral history of Laura Chick, former Los Angeles City Councilwoman, City Controller, and state Inspector General. 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 political career including her time on the L.A. City Council. Specifically, this interview talks about her early childhood in New York City and moving to Southern California when she was eight years old; her families religious background and where she went to college; talks about meeting her husband’s; how she juggled home and work life; talks about going back to school and training to be a social worker; how she got involved in politics; talks about working for L.A. Councilwoman Joy Picus; explains why she ran for Councilwoman Picus’ seat in 1993, her campaign strategy, and reaction to winning the election; describes the challenges of running against an incumbent; how her political ambitions affected her marriage (to Robert Chick); recalls her first days in office; key issues she worked on as councilwoman: public safety and anti-truancy; talks about sexism on the city council; relationship between female councilmembers and the Commission on the Status of Women; what it takes to be an effective city councilmember; describes leadership style; differences between how men and women lead; talks about what motivated her as an elected official; why she ran for city controller in 2002 and key audits including: backlogged rape kits, LAPD, Department of Water and Power, and LAFD; describes how she prioritized audits; talks about the opposition she faced from city officials; reflects on her appointment as state inspector general by Governor Schwarzenegger; importance of hosting Women’s Dialogue panels during her tenure in Sacramento; reasons for leaving politics and moving to Northern California; talks about gender discrimination women face as elected officials; comments on why more women aren’t in elected office; why it’s important for women to be in politics; how Hillary Clinton winning the 2016 presidential election will impact future women running for office; and finally, talks about what she is most proud of in her life.
Laura Chick, 2016.
Interviewer, Dr. Natalie Fousekis and Laura Chick, 2016.
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