Unger, Cathy

Former President of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges; Former Co-Chair of the Los Angeles Women’s Political Committee





Field Value
ID 36
Title An oral history with Cathy Unger
Date 2016-02-02
OH ID OH 5808
Citation Cathy Unger interviewed by Natalie Fousekis, February 2, 2016, Huntington Beach, California, Oral History #5808, transcript, Women Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton.
Restricted false
Created At 2017-07-30 19:18:08 UTC
Location Los Angeles, CA
Language English
Subjects Leadership → Female versus Male Leadership
Family → Family Histories and Traditions
Family → Childhood Experiences
Family → Grandparents
Religion → Judaism
African American → Events → Civil Rights Movement (1960s)
Historic Periods → 1980s
Family → Courtship
Gender and Sexuality → Women's Rights → Reproductive Rights
Women's Health → Planned Parenthood
Republican Party
Community Organizations → Democrats of North Orange County (DNOC)
Gender and Sexuality → Feminism
Gender and Sexuality → LGBTQ Rights
Gender and Sexuality → Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) - should this be under 'Health, Medicine, Awareness' ?
Elections → Propositions → Proposition 209
Gender and Sexuality → Feminism
Constitution → Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)
Colleges → University of California Berkeley
Activism → Anti-War Activism
Elections → Presidential Elections → Election 2016 (Trump/Clinton)
Direct Action → Marches
Police and Law Enforcement → Juvenile Hall
Community Organizations → Project Heavy
Elected Officials → Congressional → U.S. House of Representatives → Mel Levine
Leadership → Leadership Style
Direct Action → Fundraising
Elections → Presidential Elections → Gary Hart, 1984
Elected Officials → Congressional → U.S. Senate → Barbara Mikulski
Elected Officials → Gubernatorial (Governor) → Ann Richards
Women's Health → Planned Parenthood
Women's Health → Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project
Women's Health → Abortion
Women's Organizations → Women's Political Committee (Los Angeles)
Education → California Community College Board of Governors
Community Organizations → American Jewish Committee
Elected Officials → Congressional → U.S. Senate → Ted Kennedy
Community Organizations → California Community Foundation (CCF)
Women's Organizations → Grameen


An oral history of Cathy Unger, political and social rights activist. 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 Unger’s political involvement. Specifically, Unger talks about her family background and Jewish roots; growing up in Southern California; memories of attending UC Berkeley and why she joined the anti-war movement; shares how she met her husband; why she got involved with politics; recalls working for Mel Ovine’s State Assembly campaign; work as political fundraiser and founding Unger/Thomas; memorable campaigns including Gary Hart for president; importance of Barbara Mikulski and Ann Richards to women in politics; why she’s passionate about women’s reproductive rights; talks about serving on Planned Parenthood board and the lack of pro-choice partisan support; how Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project aided the organization in Los Angeles; how she defends Planned Parenthood to people who oppose abortion; challenges to fight for women’s reproductive rights; talks about the Women’s Political Committee; why women don’t run for office; how men and women are judged differently as political candidates; how things have changed for women in politics since the early eighties; shares advice for women interested in a political career; defines feminism; talks about role on California Community College’s Board of Governors and why community colleges are an important part of the educational system; speaks about why she supports the American Jewish Committee, MECLA (Municipal Elections Committee of Los Angeles), and gay/lesbian rights; involvement with the California Community Foundation and role of her friend and CEO Antonia Hernandez; describes her leadership style; talks about her vision for Planned Parenthood in 2016 and why she opposes the parental notification ballot initiative; differences in how men and women lead; how a female president would impact young women; shares about her children why it’s important to have their support; what she’s most proud of in her life; influence of Peg Yorkin and her contribution so women’s reproductive issues; and finally, why it’s important to value women in all walks of life.


Field Value
File Name 5808_P01.jpg
Content Type image/jpeg
Size 679294
Description> Cathy Unger, 2016.