Rebecca "Beckie"Gomez interviewed by Molly Andrews, October 13, 2015, Tustin, California, Oral History #5915, transcript, Women Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton.
An oral history of Rebecca “Beckie” Gomez, a current City of Tustin, city council member and newly elected Orange County Department of Education Board member. The purpose of this interview was to collect her life history as a public servant, beginning at the community level and growing to county level. Gomez was specifically selected for this project because she is a minority woman currently involved as political figure and public servant. This interview was collected on behalf of Dr. Natalie Fousekis’ History 401A Women, Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage Oral History project. Specifically, this interview details Gomez’ childhood and family life in Whittier, California; the importance of playing sports at a youth; her role models and childhood aspirations; her extended family’s political involvement and influence on her; her family values of work ethic; higher education and political engagement; discusses her family life, husband, and children; explains her involvement within the Tustin community and why she decided to run for city council; her motivation as a public servant and the importance of family issues; what it takes to be an effective public servant; explains how running for city council was a family decision as well as how she balances her work and home life; discusses her role as a woman during the campaign and while on council; explains the benefits of her athlete background and competitive nature; she discusses the importance of accumulating accomplishments for the public; the unique contributions and importance of women involved in politics and activism; discusses social and cultural factors preventing women of color getting into politics; her mother’s response to her running for city council; her experiences of working as a liberal democrat in a traditionally republican dominated county; her decision to run for the Orange County Department of Education; her thoughts on the 2016 United States Presidential election; advice to girls and individuals wanting to get involved in activism and public servant work; why she believes there are few women in politics.
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