Lake, Laura

Community and environmental activist for Westwood, Los Angeles, CA





An oral history of Laura Lake, former lecturer at UCLA in the interdisciplinary environmental doctoral program, grassroots environmental activist, and former President of the National Council of Jewish Women. The purpose of this interview is to gather information regarding women in grassroots and activist movements in Southern California. This interview is part of an oral history project, the Women, Politics and Activism Since Suffrage Project. Specifically, this interview talks about Laura Lake’s childhood in Bedford Stuyvesant area, Fort Greene, Brooklyn; discusses her first involvement in protests at the University of Wisconsin; describes becoming engaged with international politics; notes her marriage and move to New York to attend graduate school; discusses working at the Ford Foundation in New York; describes her concern for the environment and environmental activism; discusses moving to Westwood, California to teach at UCLA in the interdisciplinary environmental doctorate program; describes becoming involved with zoning and redevelopment issues in Los Angeles; discusses her decision to run for city council; describes her lack of support in her campaigns; notes her objective was to give a voice to residents on issues like redevelopment and zoning; describes losing the vote because no one knew that she was Jewish; notes that the city council is considered a Jewish seat; states how men and women lead differently; notes that many women are not voted into local office because of fundraising barriers for women candidates; describes her involvement in the Grazing Lands Commission; discusses her current involvement in the creation of the Mullen House, a female veterans housing center; describes her Board of Directors involvement in Fix the City, to provide basic needs for Los Angeles residents; discusses her feminist ideas and how they function in the grassroots sector; shares her views of what voice women have in politics; describes her concern if Donald Trump were to be voted in as President of the United States; and finally, shares that she is proud of having learned to use experience and apply it to the next challenge.


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Description> Laura Lake, 2016.
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Description> Laura Lake during her oral history interview, 2016.