Mary Alice Blaydes interviewed by Skye Gomez, July 7, 2016, Brea, California, Oral History #5881, transcript, Women Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton.
An oral history with Mary Alice Blaydes, anti-nuclear and environmental activist. This interview was conducted for the Women, Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage Oral History Project for California State University, Fullerton. The purpose of this interview was gather information regarding her life and work as an environmental activist. Specifically, this interview talks about Blaydes childhood in Southern California; talks about messages she received from her parents about gender roles; shares how she met her husband, why they married, and memories of starting a family; importance of education; talks about why she and her husband joined Creative Initiative as anti-nuclear activists, the mission of the group, grassroots activities, and why they placed an importance on a strong marriage; why they remained active in Creative Initiative when other couples dropped out; why she opposed the San Onofre and Diablo Canyon power plants; how her activism influenced her children; shares about challenges she faced in her activism; talks about her friend who was arrested at the Diablo sit-in; her work substitute teaching; reflects on her greatest accomplishment as an activist; recalls the march in Los Angeles in front of the Department of Water and Power; describes importance of informational coffees; differences between how men and women lead; challenges women face as elected officials; how Hillary Clinton winning the 2016 presidential election would impact future women running for office; why she decided to go back to work; why it’s important for women to be involved in politics and activism; shares advice for women interested in becoming activists; describes feminism; how her activism influenced her life and her current involvement; and finally, reflects on what she’s most proud of in life.
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