former council aide; first woman Chief of Staff for a Los Angeles mayor
An oral history with Robin Kramer
AbstractAn oral history with Robin Kramer for the Women, Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage Oral History Project. The purpose of this interview was to learn more about Kramer’s civic career in Los Angeles City Hall, working alongside prominent political figures. Specifically, this interview covers Kramer’s Jewish upbringing and formative years in Denver, Colorado; high school memories in the era of Civil Rights and how it contributed to her early political awareness; the role of faith in her family; role models; college years at Pitzer, majoring in Political Studies and running the school newspaper; meeting her husband; internship with the National Women’s Political Caucus; post-college Coro Fellowship experience; joining briefly the Southern California chapter of the Democratic Party and doing campaign work; her first job in city hall working as Chief Deputy for Los Angeles City Councilman Bob Ronka; working as the executive director of the Coro Foundation; returning to city hall to become Councilman Richard Alatorre’s Chief Deputy; working as Chief of Staff to Mayor Richard Riordan, and implementing major changes in his office; talks about Riordan’s strength as a mayor, especially during the 1994 Northridge Earthquake; working in the private sector, including a brief stint with the Broad Foundation and consulting with Warren Christopher on police reform; moving on to work for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; Villaraigosa’s strengths and challenges as mayor; the challenges of Recession 2008; compares experiences working for Riordan and Villaraigosa; reflects on the role of women in city hall; how they work harder and prepare more; the difference of men and women’s leadership; her motivations behind her work; on being a feminist; why so few women are elected to office; advice for women wanting to be involved, and why it’s important; Election 2016; and finally, reflects on what she is most proud of in her life.
|Description>||Robin Kramer with interviewer, Natalie Fousekis, 2017.|