Samuel, Bruce (OH 93–1)

Oral History Interview with Bruce Samuel. (1991–1992). State Government Employee, 1960–1984.

Samuel begins the interview with a brief discussion of his childhood and education. He discusses Legislative Analyst A. Alan Post and his office, the budget hearing process under three governors and the Consumer Counsel's Office under Helen Nelson. He discusses partisanship changes in the state senate and assembly among legislators and staff. Samuel speaks about transportation issues such as sales tax on gasoline and motor vehicle air pollution. He discusses in detail the pro tem–ship of Senator Jim Mills, the renovation of the Capitol, the power of the press, and special interest groups.

Santillan, Richard A. (OH 91–7)

Oral History Interview with Richard A. Santillan. (1989). Director of Chicano Reapportionment Project, Rose Institute of State and Local Government, Claremont McKenna College, 1981.

Santillan discusses his early life and education in Los Angeles and details his activities and advocacy in various organizations, especially Californios for Fair Representation, and his reapportionment–related work as director, Chicano Reapportionment Project, Rose Institute of State and Local Government, Claremont, California.

Sargent, Gladys W. (OH 91–18)

Oral History Interview with Gladys W. Sargent (PDF) (1989). Lobbyist, 1950s– .

Sargent discusses her long career, from the 1950s to the 1990s, lobbying on the behalf of animals, stressing the tactics and point of view that have made her a beloved and highly successful woman lobbyist. Her friendships and access at the Capitol provide many anecdotes about individuals and proceedings at the California Legislature. She also discusses women legislators and other women lobbyists.

Schott, Phillip H. (OH 92–2)

Oral History Interview with Phillip H. Schott. (1990). California Assembly Chief Administrative Officer, 1963–1966; Legislative Representative, 1973 to present.

Schott discusses Jesse Unruh campaign of 1962, issues of the California assembly, work of the Rules Committee, senate and assembly leadership, legislative reform, and the role of the lobbyist.

Schuster, David R. (OH 94-3)

Oral History Interview with David R. Schuster. (1991, 1992). U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, 1965-1982; General Manager, California State Water Contractors, 1982-1989; Water Management and Policy Consultant, 1989-.

Schuster discusses Bureau of Reclamation projects (including San Luis Unit and New Melones Dam) and policies (Delta Standard) and the effect of election results, mentioning Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and Cecil Andrus. Mr. Schuster also describes State Water contractors work: developing policy, negotiating agreements with agricultural and urban water users, setting priorities for use. He includes discussion of the Peripheral Canal and the Coordinated Operation Agreement (1961-1986) and personalities: Governors Jerry Brown, George Deukmejian, and Pete Wilson; Senators George Miller, John Seymour, Bill Bradley; Water Resources director Ronald Robie and David Kennedy.

Seeley, Raymond T. (OH 90–36)

Oral History Interview with Raymond T. Seeley (PDF) (1990). Assembly Member, 1970–1974.

Seeley discusses his family background and education, the impact of the Great Depression on his personal life and its effects on his professional career. He talks about his political career, both on the county level and in the state legislature. He addresses the legislative needs of his district and the necessity of clean government in general. Seeley also describes the duties of the California Horse Racing Board and his eight years of service on it.

Shaw, Stanford C. (OH 89–1)

Oral History Interview with Stanford C. Shaw (PDF) (1988). Senator, 1959–1963; Assembly Member, 1951–1956.

Shaw discusses the nature of the assembly in the early 1950s: Speaker Sam Collins, lobbyist Arthur Samish, use of spot bills, impact of the Korean War, early concerns over smog, issues addressed in his bills. His senate service centered on his obtaining a state college for his county, the State Water Plan, and leadership in the senate. He comments on lobbying and the effect of incumbency in relationship to the state legislature.

Sher, Byron D. (2017-098)

Oral History Interview with Bryon D. Sher. (2007). Assembly Member, 1980-1996; Senator, 1996-2004.

Sher discusses his family background and education, early involvement in politics and the civil rights movement. Sher also reflects on his time in the Assembly and Senate, legislative accomplishments, the impact of term limits and environmental legislation.

Sieroty, Alan G. (OH 91–8)

Oral History Interview with Alan G. Sieroty. (1989, 1990). Senator, 1977–1982; Assembly Member, 1967–1977.

Sieroty discusses his early life in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles, California, education and early involvement in local politics, and details many aspects of his tenure in the California state assembly and California state senate before retiring from elective office in 1982.

Singer, Rita (OH 92–13)

Oral History Interview with Rita Singer (PDF) (1991). Attorney, U.S. Dept. of Interior, 1944–1976; California Dept. of Water Resources, 1977– . 

Singer discusses her law school experience in the 1930s as one of very few women; people in the Bureau of Indian Affairs including John Collier, William Brophy, Phileo Nash and handling Indian claims litigation in Alaska; World War II and Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman; Department of Interior issues and people including Harold Ickes, Stewart Udall, Cecil Andrus; the Bureau of Reclamation and the 160–acre limit, power and electrical utility law, water issues, the Westlands contract; the state of California Dept. of Water Resources and Ronald Robie.

Smith, Steven E. (OH 91–5)

Oral History Interview with Steven E. Smith. (1990). Executive Director, California Commission for Economic Development, 1975–1978; Consultant and Staff Director, Assembly Elections and Reapportionment Committee, 1964–1966; Executive Director, Assembly Rules Committee, 1962–1964.

Smith discusses his educational background, activities in the state legislature, the 1960s reapportionment, his consulting and political firm, campaigns for Los Angeles City Council and his defeat in his bid for the state senate. He discusses at length his relationship with Congressman Phillip Burton, and Jesse Unruh's interest and supervision in reapportionment plans.

Song, Alfred H. (OH 90–17)

Oral History Interview with Alfred H. Song (PDF) (1986). Senator, 1966–1978; Assembly Member, 1962–1966; Deputy Attorney General, 1984– .

Song discusses his early political career in Monterey Park, the philosophy and organization of the Democratic Party and its leadership in the 1960s and 1970s. He spends considerable time on the practices of lobbying and legislating, with particularly detailed accounts of the formulation of consumer protection and legal code revision laws. Evaluations are made of many other office holders during his tenure, as well as on political changes in the legislature in the 1970s.

Soto, Nell (OH 89–24)

Oral History Interview with Nell Soto (PDF). (1988). Pomona City Councilwoman, 1987– .

Soto discusses her family background, education, experiences working during World War II, interest and activity in Democratic party politics in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, and involvement in her husband's [Philip L. Soto] La Puente City Council and California State Assembly election campaigns.

Soto, Philip L. (OH 89–25)

Oral History Interview with Philip L. Soto. (1988). Assembly Member, 1963–1967.

Soto discusses his family background, service in World War II, securing a vocational education under the G.I. bill, civic affairs and community involvement in La Puente, including service on the city council, supporting the presidential candidacy of John F. Kennedy, running successfully in 1962 and 1964 for an assembly seat, sponsoring numerous bills on education, health, and local government. He shares his observations about Edmund G. Brown, Sr., Jesse M. Unruh and other assembly members.

Stanford, Dan L. (OH 90–23)

Oral History Interview with Dan L. Stanford. (1989). Chair, Fair Political Practices Commission, 1983–1986.

Stanford discusses his legal training and clerkship under U.S. District Court Judge Malcolm Lucas and his association with the law firm of Luce, Forward, Hamilton and Scripps. He relates his active role in Republican politics in San Diego and his work with George Deukmejian in his statewide campaigns. He fully discusses his chairmanship of the Fair Political Practices Commission and his campaign for the state controllership.

Stiern, Walter W. (OH 88–2)

Oral History Interview with Walter W. Stiern (PDF) (1987). Senator, 1959–1986.

Stiern discusses his family background, veterinary career, and service in World War II in the China–Burma–India Theater. He discusses his initial and other election races, especially reapportionment and the 1966 election, the Donahoe Act (Master Plan for Higher Education), the governors in office during his service, particular legislation he carried, members of the state senate and presidents pro tem, lieutenant governors, Ronald Reagan and the University of California, the senate in the 1970s, and committee service.

Strom–Martin, Virginia (OH 2004–05)

Oral History Interview with Virginia Strom–Martin. (2003). California State Assemblywoman, 1996–2002.

Strom–Martin discusses her early life and background, her education, and her teaching career. She talks about her work with the California Teachers Association (CTA) and her involvement in Democratic Party politics and larger education issues. She speaks of her campaign for an assembly seat, her committee assignments, and her relationships with other legislators as well as her legislation. She comments on standardized testing, her work with the Education Committee, and her involvement with natural resources and fishing legislation.

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