Steve and Susie Swatt will be discussing their new book, Paving the Way: Women’s Struggle for Political Equality in California(2019), which tells the remarkable stories of dozens of resilient women — most of them lost to history — who overcame long odds, discrimination, and stereotypes to help transform the political landscape of California from the Gold Rush to current times. The talk marks the Swatts’ second Speaker Series appearance: previously, they discussed their award-winning first book, Game Changers: Twelve Elections that Transformed California (2015).
Steve Swatt, lead author of Paving the Way, spent over 25 years with United Press International in Los Angeles and KCRA-TV in Sacramento, mostly as a political reporter. He won a Northern California Emmy and recently was honored by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for his contributions to journalism and his community. After his journalism career, Steve became managing partner of a statewide public affairs firm and taught political communication at Sacramento State University. Susie Swatt spent nearly 40 years in the State Legislature, much of it as a chief of staff in both the Assembly and Senate. She also served as a special assistant for the State Fair Political Practices Commission, winning a national ProPublica award for “outstanding investigative work in the public interest.” She currently serves on the Friends of California Archives board and the advisory council of UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies.