Gilpin, Sharon

political campaign consultant





An oral history with Sharon Gilpin, a community activist and founder of The Gilpin Group. 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 collect Gilpin’s life history and details on her political involvement. Specifically, this interview details Gilpin’s family life and childhood growing up in the outskirts of Los Angeles; her parent’s work and education history; her teenage years in the seventies, sexism she faced at work, and her decision to attend California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and the University of Southern California; early courtship and college romance; experiences being the daughter of a police officer; recalls the Watts Riots; talks about how politics were discussed in her home and her parent’s Republican status; shares her role models; her political engagement and aspirations during college; her involvement and experiences with saving the Santa Monica Pier from demolition in the early seventies; advocacy against development, the Rouse Company and Santa Monica Place; her foray into local politics and organizing campaigns; discusses the slow growth initiative for Santa Monica, authored by her in the early nineties; opinion on rent control in Santa Monica; the minor work she did to help create the Coastal Commission; her work and involvement with Proposition S, and describes what the victory meant for the future of Santa Monica and its beach overlay zone; the challenges Proposition S faced and how she is most proud of her work on this campaign; her experiences being a woman within her workplace; the importance of women in politics; the way she leads her campaigns; what she looks for in candidates; her decision to run for Santa Monica City Council in 1990, her campaign platform, and subsequent loss; why she believes there are still few women in office; the differences between men and women in leadership; her thoughts on feminism; her thoughts on Hillary Clinton and the 2016 Election; how her work has shaped the person she is today; the changes in politics and women’s involvement throughout the years; closes the interview with what she is most proud of in her professional and personal life.


File Name 5934_P02_online.jpg
Content Type image/jpeg
Size 193674
Description> Sharon Gilpin in Europe, 2017.
File Name 5934_P01.JPG
Content Type image/jpeg
Size 2200578
Description> Sharon Gilpin in Europe, 2017.