Land, Abbe

Former City Council Member and Mayor of West Hollywood






An oral history of Abbe Land, former West Hollywood Mayor and 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 spent in office as well as her time spent working in the community. Specifically, this interview talks about Land’s childhood and family life; the challenges of being raised in a single parent household by an alcoholic mother; recalls her parents political involvement; reflects on her childhood role models and school memories; speaks about her college experience at Virginia Intermont (Bristol, Tennessee) and experiencing religious and cultural discrimination for being a Jewish woman and northerner; explains how she got her start as a woman’s rights activist; shares initial impressions of Southern California; describes her work with the Coalition for Economic Survival; documents the development of rent control in West Hollywood; talks about how West Hollywood was formed and her role in the process including being involved in the planning commission; explains why she ran for city council in 1986; talks about her work on the city council and as mayor including advocating for HIV and AIDS awareness, LGBTQ equality, developing a West Hollywood lesbian health bill of rights, and marriage equality; shares how she balanced her professional and political careers; tells about her involvement in Women in Municipal Membership, Feminist Majority Foundation and the L.A. Free Clinic; describes how her work on the rent control issue helped make her more electable; shares what political and social issues are most important to her: women’s rights, gun control, and environment; explains why she established a West Hollywood Women’s Advisory Board; recalls attending March for Women’s Lives rally (1992 and 2004); explains why she considers herself a feminist and how she defines feminism; talks about experiencing gender discrimination while on the city council; shares how she responds to political critics; talks about why she ran for state assembly (1994, 2006), campaigning, and how she felt when she lost; describes the transition to life post-city council; why it’s important for women to be involved in politics and how culture with women in politics has changed since the 1980s; describes her leadership style; compares how men and women lead; and finally, shares what she is most proud of her in her life. Bulk Dates: 1986-1997 and 2003-2015


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Description> Professional Portrait of Abbe Land.
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Description> Abbe Land with interviewer, Natalie Fousekis, during her oral history interview, 2015.
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Description> Abbe Land during her oral history interview, 2015.