Pachon, Harry P. (OH 98–2)

Oral History Interview with Harry P. Pachon (PDF). (1997). President, Tomas Rivera Policy Institute; Kenan Professor of Political Studies, Claremont Colleges; Former Executive Director, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Education Fund, 1983–1993.

Pachon discusses his family background and childhood, Latino movements and political ideology, and his education and teaching career. He relates his experiences as administrative assistant to Congressman Edward R. Roybal and talks about immigration and naturalization. He also speaks of the mission of The Tomas Rivera Policy Institute, and comments on Latino politics in California as well as relations between Latinos and African Americans.

Papan, Louis J. (OH 89–14)

Oral History Interview with Louis J. Papan (PDF) (1988). Assembly Member, 1972–1986.

Papan discusses issues and activities of the state legislature during his tenure as Democratic assemblyman. He talks of his chairmanship of the Rules Committee and membership on the Finance and Insurance, Transportation, and Policy and Research Management committees. He also discusses Governors Reagan and Deukmejian and other legislators such as Leo McCarthy, Bob Moretti, John Foran.

Patsey, Richard L. (OH 90–6)

Oral History Interview with Richard L. Patsey. (1988). Constitutional Revision Commission Special Counsel, 1964–1966; Judge, Contra Costa Superior Court, 1980– .

Patsey was appointed in 1964 as counsel and executive director to the Constitutional Revision Commission. He worked closely with Bruce Sumner, head of the commission on several articles dealing with the powers of government. In 1966 he left to practice law, and in 1980 he was appointed to the Contra Costa superior court bench.

Pesonen, David E. (OH 93–12)

Oral History Interview with David E. Pesonen. (1992). Chair, Californians for Nuclear Safeguards, 1974–1976; Member, State Board of Forestry, 1977–1979; Director, Department of Forestry, 1979–1983; Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge, 1983–1984.

Pesonen discusses the campaign for the Nuclear Safeguards Initiative and the anti–nuclear power movement, including the citizen's group Creative Initiative. He comments on his appointment to the State Board of Forestry and the relationship between the Board and the Department of Forestry. He outlines his subsequent appointment to the State Department of Forestry and restructuring and reorganizing the department. He talks about working with Secretary for Resources Huey Johnson, managing resources, and fire fighting programs. He also describes his midnight appointment to the Contra Costa Superior Court and the political difficulties of retaining a judgeship in a county where he had no political base.

Petris, Nicholas C. (OH 91–10)

Oral History Interview with Nicholas C. Petris (PDF). (1988). Senator, 1967– ; Assembly Member, 1959–1966.

Petris has represented Alameda County in the California Assembly since 1959 and in the state senate since 1967. He discusses local and state Democratic politics, the California Democratic Council, and key issues on which he has been a leader: environmental protection, mental health services, tax structure and equity, legislative reapportionment, judicial appointments, San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, and others.

Polanco, Richard (OH 2023-05)

Oral History Interview with Richard Polanco (PDF). (2021). Assembly Member, 1986-1994; Senator, 1994-2002.

Polanco discusses his early life, family, education, early involvement in politics, community work, career leading up to his political campaigns, serving in both the state assembly and senate, his legislative priorities and committee work, legislation to address the AIDS epidemic, serving as the Latino Caucus chair, working with Cesar Chavez, support of Senate Bill 984, memories of September 11, 2001, decision not to run for re-election in 2002, and his creation of the fellows program under the Latino Caucus Institute. 

Post, A. Alan (OH 2003–05)

Oral History Interview with A. Alan Post (PDF) (2002). State Legislative Analyst, 1950–1977.

Post discusses his family and early life, growing interest in art, serving in Naval Intelligence during World War II and his job with Legislative Auditor's Office. He describes his later work as Legislative Analyst and comments on his relationship with members of the legislature and such subjects as mental hospitals, World War II's effect on California, and water policy. He talks the state budget process, governors, the Master Plan for Higher Education, and the University of California system. He also mentions his artistic career as a painter and his role in encouraging museums and the spread of culture in California.

Post, Manning J. (OH 88–8)

Oral History Interview with Manning J. Post (PDF) (1987). Member, Commission on California State Government Organization and Economy, 1961–1982.

Post discusses his family background and education, business activities, and the growing interest in state government efficiency. He details his work on various state government commissions, particularly his service on the Commission on California State Government Organization and Economy (Little Hoover Commission). He talks about the formation of the Commission, its staff, and specific reports of the Commission. Post also offers his views on bureaucracy, political campaigns and fundraising, and those in positions of power.

Prager, Susan Westerberg (OH 2004-23)

Oral History Interview with Susan Westerberg Prager. (2004). Research Assistant for Senator Thomas H. Kuchel, 1964-1965; Administrative Assistant for Assemblyman John G. Veneman, 1966-1967.

Prager talks about her childhood and family background, her college career, and her time working as a research assistant for US Senator Thomas Kuchel. She then discusses her position in the California State Legislature working for Assemblyman John Veneman and shares her views on legislators’ interest in social welfare, mental health and campaign finance issues.

Presley, Robert (OH 2003–04)

Oral History Interview with Robert Presley. (2002–2003). Senator, 1974–1994; Secretary, Youth and Adult Correctional Agency, 1999–2003.

Presley discusses his early life and schooling, work in law enforcement, his entry into Riverside politics, and his political experience with the California Peace Officers Association. He talks about his initial failed candidacy for Senate and subsequent victory over the incumbent candidate. He relates information about his committee work experiences and the crime legislation he worked on. Presley also discusses prison design, funding, and growth as well as term limits, and his post–Senate work with the Youthful Offender's Board and Youth and Adult Correctional Agency.

Priolo, Paul V. (OH 92–9)

Oral History Interview with Paul V. Priolo. (1990). Assembly Member, 1967–1980.

Priolo talks about his family background and growing up in San Francisco, his education, and going into business in Santa Monica. He details his decision to run for assembly, the California Democratic Council, and partisanship problems. He discusses Jesse Unruh and other legislative leaders and comments on legislative reform. He also outlines his committee work and the importance of legislative staff, and talks about his attempt for a state senate seat and his subsequent career as a legislative lobbyist.

Summaries and Subject Index

Interview summaries are arranged alphabetically by surname. Clicking on the letter will take you to the surname page. If a transcript of an interview is available, the summary will have a link to a downloadable PDF file.

-A- -B- -C- -D- -E- -F- -G- -H- -I- -J- -K- -L- -M- -N- -O- -P- -Q- -R- -S- -T- -U- -V- -W- -X- -Y- -Z-

Subject list uses Library of Congress subject headings.

Subject list