Perry, Jan

Former Los Angeles City Councilwoman and General Manager of the Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department


Multimedia

5854.1_T01_online.mp3

Transcript

Abstract

An oral history of Jan Perry, former Los Angeles City Councilwoman and General Manager of the Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department. 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 Perry’s political career including her time on the L.A. City Council. Specifically, this interview talks about her childhood in Cleveland, Ohio, and parents work as Civil Rights activists; recalls her families experiences with racial discrimination; describes families military service during World War II; parents political ideology; how her extended family reacted to Martin Luther King’s political ideology; longevity of the slave mentality; feeling disenfranchised during her junior high and high school years; talks about her religious background and experience of converting to Judaism; impact of mentorship on her life and role models; educational experiences at USC; recalls early memories of Southern California; why she’s passionate about public administration; balancing her home and work lives; talks about her jobs at LA City Hall including: planning deputy for Councilman Mike Woo and chief of staff for Rita Walters; talks about the challenges of term limits; challenges of running the Los Angeles census in 2000; explains why she ran for the city council in 2001, her campaign strategy, and reaction to winning the election; recalls her first days in office; sexism on the city council; her relationship with fellow L.A. City Councilmember Ruth Galanter; key issues she worked on as councilwoman including creating a seven-acre wetlands, constructing affordable housing, providing support services for Skid Row, and providing local jobs through L.A. Live; struggles with violence in South Central L.A.; shares stories about walking through Skid Row with various support organizations; involvement with the fast food chain ban; challenges of re-districting; shares why environmentalism is important to her and the local projects she has worked on; recalls the issues surrounding the community garden; discusses what Central Avenue was like when she started as a staffer and her restoration of the Dunbar Hotel; closes the interview with the challenges she faced while on council such as re-districting and funding.

Images

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Description> Jan Perry during her oral history interview, 2016.
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Description> Jan Perry being interviewed by Natalie Fousekis during her oral history interview, 2016.

Multimedia

5854.2_T01_online.mp3

Transcript

Abstract

An oral history with Jan Perry, former Los Angeles City Councilwoman and General Manager of the Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department. 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 Perry’s political career including her time on the L.A. City Council. Specifically, this interview discusses the importance of building affordable housing and the key housing issues in her district; the issue of homelessness as a public house issue and what she has done to address it; how she addressed her district’s population and building needs; discusses the changes in Downtown L.A. over her twelve years she represented the district; her interest in environmentalism; her “land use battle” for healthier food options; her views on term limits; her decision, experiences, and challenges while running for mayor in 2013; shares what she learned from her campaign; her work as general manager of Economic and Workforce Development and the city’s current challenges with employment; her relationship with other women councilmembers; sexism at city hall as a staffer in the nineties; differences between how men and women lead; how and in what ways she addressed women’s issues while on council; what motivates her a leader in the community; gender discrimination women face as elected officials; why there are so few women in elected office; shares advice for women interested in a political career; the unique perspective she brings to politics as a woman of color; her brief thoughts on Hillary Clinton; what she is most proud of in her current work and life; the role her daughter played in her campaign; closes the interview with her satisfaction on what she has accomplished so far in life.

Images

File Name 5854_P01.JPG
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Description> Jan Perry during her oral history interview, 2016.
File Name 5854.2_P01.JPG
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Description> Jan Perry being interviewed by Natalie Fousekis during her oral history interview, 2016.