Neighbors in the News

 

 


credit: Gary Leonard Each and every year, the Los Angeles City Commission on the Status of Women asks each Councilmember to recognize one “Pioneer Woman” from her/his district -- an honor that is meant to illuminate and celebrate women who have made amazing contributions to their community and city.

Roz Wyman, this year's 5th Council District Pioneer Woman, could not be more deserving. Roz was born in Los Angeles in October, 1930, and went to college at USC, and, while she was at USC, she announced her candidacy for the Los Angeles City Council, 5th District -- and was elected before she had even graduated!  This made her the youngest person and second woman ever to sit on the City Council, as well as the first Jewish Council member in 53 years. 

During her three terms, she was always much respected as a top-notch and diligent Councilmember, but Roz is best known for her crucial role in bringing the Dodgers here from Brooklyn.  While this year is a tough one for the Dodgers and Dodger fans, there is no doubt that bringing the Dodgers to Los Angeles in 1958 has brought pride and joy to millions of Angelenos while adding immense status and global prestige to the city, placing Los Angeles in the select pantheon of cities with Major League teams.  It is also true, but less well known, that Roz was instrumental in getting the Lakers to move here from Minnesota.

After leaving office, she has remained immensely active in public, political and humanitarian affairs.  Roz served as chair of the 1984 Democratic National Convention -- the first woman from either major political party to wield a gavel at a presidential nominating convention.  She has served on the UNESCO Commission and National Endowment of the Arts as well as many other local and national boards and charities, and is an active leader of the Los Angeles Jewish community.  Sadly, her beloved husband, Eugene Wyman, passed away unexpectedly in 1973. 

In accepting her honor, Roz Wyman was delighted to sit once more in a Council chair (Paul Koretz's!), and was roundly applauded as many people came to see and hear her on her return to City Hall. She spoke with feisty eloquence about how important it is for women to be welcome participants in government.  Certainly, she was a trailblazer in that regard, and she still is a relentless champion for greater opportunities for women in politics.  Los Angeles is a far better place because of Roz Wyman, and so congratulations to her for being recognized as a 2011 Pioneer Woman!

Posted at 3:47 PM

















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