Perry, Bev

former member, Brea City Council





An oral history of Bev Perry, former mayor of Brea. 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 better understand the experiences that shaped her participation in politics. Specifically, this interview covers her childhood growing up in Southern California, and the support she received from her parents; talks about the opportunities provided to her through her undergraduate experience at the University of the Pacific; addresses her role as a resident assistant, and earning her master’s in college student personnel administration from the University of Southern California; how she met her husband; emphasizes how her mom was a strong model, and how she instilled the importance of participating in politics; touches on her own political alignment as a moderate Republican, and stresses how she seeks to find common ground; talks about learning patience and how she applied that in her work; comments on her love of politics but dislike of campaigning, and criticizes the increase in partisanship since her time in office; talks about her role as mayor of Brea during the Orange County bankruptcy; goes into more detail about her marriage and time spent in New York; discusses her bakery and why she left it for politics; recounts entering politics and her involvement with the redevelopment of Brea’s downtown; highlights how her time on the Parks and Recreation and Human Services Commission helped her campaign; describes how she didn’t feel that she was treated differently because of her gender; details her work with the city council, the issues they tackled, and the challenges they faced; she talks about her efforts to protect that Chino-Puente Hills; explains how she has no interest in high office, and that she still remains involved as a community member; addresses how obtaining an education has changed over the years; details her belief that women can make unique contributions to politics; recounts how her mom encouraged her to try new things, and discusses how, despite the limits of the time, she never felt like she couldn’t do something because of her gender; emphasizes how the support of her husband was crucial to her work; explains how she considers herself a feminist, and that she has noticed and appreciates the upswing in female participation in politics; advocates the importance of having core principles; recommends that women coming into politics build connections; explains the nature of her Christian faith and her openness to other points of view; and finally, concludes with talking about the accomplishments she is proud of.


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Description> Bev Perry, 2015.
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File Name 5762_P01.jpg
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Description> Bev Perry with interviewer, Taylor Dipoto, 2015.