Guide to the Lorette Wood Collection (1960 – 2010) – History

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Lorette Wood moved to Santa Cruz in 1943.  She had no thoughts of entering civic service or politics.  In her words “She had her hands full being a housewife, helping establish her husband’s radio-TV shop, and raise a son.”  She then became involved with the Parent Teachers Association at her son’s school, she not only was involved she was elected the president.  She organized a parents committee to protest and change the unfair hiring practice of excluding married women teachers.  This committee created a sensation since nobody went to school board meetings in those days.  She then moved on to children and juvenile delinquents campaigning vigorously for judges to inject realistic ideas for dealing with juveniles.  Then in 1967 she was approached by several Santa Cruz businessmen to run for the city council.  With the support of her husband and son she ran for and was elected the first female city councilor.  She was reelected in 1971 and then appointed the first woman mayor.   She was a champion for women in government though she did draw the line at the President of the United States – she did not feel a woman could project the image of the presidency.