Yvette McFrazier interviewed by Abby Waldrop, January 27, 2017, Rancho Cucamonga, California, Oral History #5957, transcript, Women Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton.
An oral history with Yvette McFrazier, former council aide to former Los Angeles city councilwoman Pat Russell. This 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 McFrazier’s work in city hall and experiences in local politics. Specifically, this interview discusses McFrazier’s youth growing up in South Los Angeles; graduation from high school and immediately going to work for the City of Los Angeles; how she excelled at typing and landed a job as a clerk stenographer and typist; recalls working at the Office of Urban Development and Neighborhood Youth Corps, seeing the social struggles of black and Latino Americans firsthand; remembers transitioning to Councilwoman Russell’s office in city hall as a senior clerk stenographer and promoting her way up to council aide; talks about her pregnancy and Russell’s enthusiastic support; shares fond memories of political interactions in Russell’s city hall office, including with Mayor Tom Bradley and Governor Jerry Brown; discusses Russell’s priorities for her council district; earning Russell’s trust and how she worked in all of her district offices at one point; speaks about becoming a single-mom, buying her first home, and supporting her son all on her own; remembers Russell’s election loss to Ruth Galanter and the aftereffects; shares what she learned from Russell; and finally, reflects on the leadership differences between men and women. Election 2016, feminism, why it’s important for women to be involved, and why she has always been an independent and strong woman.
Yvette McFrazier, circa 1986-87.
Pat Russell (seated, center) and her city council staff at Los Angeles City Hall, circa 1986-87. Yvette McFrazier is standing in back row, to the right of Russell (wearing black patterned top). Tavis Smiley is second from left.
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