Goldway, Ruth

former Commissioner of the United States Postal Service; Santa Monica City Council





Field Value
ID 86
Title An oral history with Ruth Goldway
Date 2016-07-19
OH ID OH 5884
Citation Ruth Goldway interviewed by Abby Waldrop, July 19, 2016, Venice, California, Oral History #5884, transcript, Women Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton.
Restricted false
Created At 2017-07-30 19:18:17 UTC
Location Venice, CA
Language English
Subjects Family → Childhood Experiences
Education → Early Childhood Education
Family → Grandparents
Ideology → Communism
Historic Periods → 1950s
African American → Events → Civil Rights Movement (1960s)
Historic Periods → 1970s
Education → Higher Education
Work → Gendered Work
Colleges → University of Michigan
Colleges → University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)
Family → Marriage
Family → Parenting → Motherhood
Activism → Non-profit(s) → Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE)
City Council → Santa Monica City Council
Family → Divorce → Single Parent Home
Family → Remarriage
Elections → State Elections
Democratic Party
Ideology → Conservatism
City Council → Santa Monica City Council
Elected Officials → Mayoral
Elections → Campaigning
Sexism → Sexism in Politics
Republican Party
Recreation and Leisure → Travel
Gender and Sexuality → Feminism
Leadership → Female versus Male Leadership
Activism → Rent Control
Locations → Finland
Government Agencies/Positions → U.S. Ambassador
Government Agencies/Positions → U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission
Government Agencies/Positions → United States Postal Service


An oral history with Ruth Goldway, who is former chairwoman of the Postal Exchange Commission and former city council member and mayor of Santa Monica, California. 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 political career including her time on the Santa Monica City Council, experiences as a wife of a U.S. Ambassador to Finland, and her time as a member of the Postal Exchange Commission. Specifically, this interview talks about her early childhood in Manhattan, New York; her parents involvement in left wing politics and their jobs; her educational background and how she attended the University of Michigan and earned her degree in English Literature and Anthropology; discusses some of her experiences in the 1960s and the social turbulence at the time; gives an example of the 1960s normalized gender discrimination and recalls when she was denied a job at Honeywellin 1965; she explains why she became involved in politics and how food issues led her to organize with Fight Inflation Together; briefly discusses her divorce, remarriage, and initial move to Santa Monica, California; discusses how she ran for California State Assembly, her campaign platform, and losing; explains how she did well with voters in Santa Monica, which led her to her involvement with the Santa Monica City Council as a council member and mayor; she discusses the issues of importance at the time such as rent control in the late 1970s; explains the constant criticisms she faced for being a woman as well as her democratic background; talks about her involvement with creating farmer’s markets; briefly discusses Santa Monicans for Renter’s Rights and her allies on the council; she explains how she lost mayoralreelection in 1983; goes into detail about her husband, Derek Shearer’s appointment to U.S. Ambassador of Finland and her time there; talks about her relationship with Hillary and Bill Clinton; discusses her appointment as commissioner and eventually chairwomanof the Postal Exchange Commission; explains how she helped form an organization called Women in Logistics and Delivery Services, WiLDS; reflects onher experiences with leading delegations in China; explains what she believes it takes to be a successful politician; her leadership style; her thoughts on feminism, why she believes there are few women in politics; and she closes with a few thoughts on what it will mean for women in politics if Hillary Clinton wins the 2016 presidential election. Bulk Dates: 1950-2010.


Field Value
File Name 5884_P01_online.jpg
Content Type image/jpeg
Size 34953
Description> Ruth Goldway, 2016.
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File Name 5884_P03.JPG
Content Type image/jpeg
Size 119761
Description> Ruth Goldway during her oral history interview, 2016.