Delores Zurita interviewed by Angela Salter, April 25, 2016, Compton, California, Oral History #5847, transcript, Womens, Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton.
An oral history of Delores Zurita, former Compton City Councilwoman. 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 gather information regarding her time on the Compton City Council as well as her efforts advocating for the elderly. Specifically, this interview talks about Zurita’s childhood in Mobile, Alabama, and living in Mobile as an African American; shares why her family moved to Compton, California, when she was twelve years of age; talks about memories of her deceased mother; reflects on the role of faith in her life; describes how her mother died; talks about how she met her husband; discusses fertility issues; talks about her commitment to community service including PTA president and an after school program through Compton Unified School District; talks about her daughters Satra (Compton School Board Vice President) and Janna (Compton City Councilwoman); reflects on directing Compton Meals on Wheels for forty-four years and the importance of looking after the elderly; explains why she was arrested in 2003 (along with fellow councilmembers Omar Bradley and Amen Rahh); discusses the correlation between her arrest and subsequent Meals on Wheels audit; effect of corruption charges on her political career; reflects on Meals on Wheels career; talks about how her political career began; shares her hopes for the city of Compton including improved city services such as pick-up services and road repairs; describes her leadership style; speaks about her daughter Satra’s involvement with improving local education; describes feminism; shows her prized Mother Teresa Award; reflects on the importance of social justice; challenges of enforcing Three Strikes law in Compton; talks about candidates in the 2016 presidential election; how her political experiences shaped who she is today; talks about how the differences for female politicians today vs. when she started; shares advice for young female politicians; why she’s volunteering at her local church; and finally shares stories about her children and grandchildren.
Delores Zurita, 2016.
Delores Zurita with interviewer, Angela Salter, 2016.
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