Local News

Women’s History Month: Local Notable Women

In honor of Women’s History Month, the Fullerton Observer recognizes some local notable women, past and present.

Lorriane Jones: Fullerton’s First Female Police Captain

Captain Lorraine Jones. Photo courtesy of Fullerton Police Department.

Fullerton Police Capt. Lorraine Jones was the Fullerton Police Department’s first female captain and lieutenant.

Her police career was one of great distinction. She started as a cadet in 1984 and was sworn in as an officer in 1986. Jones worked in Patrol, Crime Scene Investigation, Detectives, Accident Investigation, and Recruiting.

In 2002, she was promoted to the rank of sergeant. She became a lieutenant in 2010 and captain in 2012. Jones received many honors, including being recognized by Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva at the annual Celebrating Women in Leadership Conference. In 2011, she was cited by Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez as a Woman Leader in Fullerton. Jones retired in 2014 after a 30-year career.

There are currently 16 sworn female officers in the Fullerton Police Dept out of a total of 118.

Lupe Ramirez: Organizer for Justice

Lupe Ramirez. Photo by Jesse La Tour.

We honor Lupe Ramirez, local organizer who has fought to protect the senior residents of Rancho La Paz mobile home park. When the residents of her community were facing exorbitant lot fee increases from the Park’s new owner, Lupe organized a homeowners association and successfully worked to get a rent control law passed. A former union organizer, Lupe has worked tirelessly to protect her neighbors from losing their homes. The Mojave chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution recognized Ms. Ramirez on March 12 for her achievement in helping the tenants of Rancho La Paz mobile home park in Fullerton and Anaheim.

Lorraine Rothman: A notable local historical woman

by Judith Kaluzny

Lorraine Rothman. Photo courtesy of Judith Kaluzny.

Lorraine Rothman was born Evelyn Lorraine Fleishman in San Francisco in 1932 to Orthodox Jewish parents who immigrated from Ukraine in 1921. She moved to Fullerton in 1964 to a modest home on Balfour Avenue with her husband, Al (Alvin), a biologist who was a professor at California State University, Fullerton. When she died in 2007, obituaries were published in the New York Times, Time Magazine, the Los Angeles Times and in feminist publications.  She was known internationally for her research and writing regarding women’s gynecological health.  She held a patent for a menstrual extraction system.

Lorraine’s evolution from housewife and mother of four children began when she attended a consciousness-raising group of faculty wives, and really grew when she asked herself, “What did women do before there were doctors?”  She became a pioneer of the women’s self-help movement when she met Carol Downer, original strategist for the self-help movement, at a meeting in Venice, California. The subject of that meeting was to learn self-examination of one’s own cervix with a clear plastic speculum.

The two women traveled around the county teaching that method, leading to a federation of health centers.  She was an original participant in Self-Help Clinic One in Los Angeles in 1971, later known as the Feminist Women’s Health Center (FWHC). The second FWHC was soon established in Santa Ana, California. One writer said, “Few people today realize the extent to which these grassroots efforts shifted power and responsibility from the medical establishment into women’s hands as health care consumers, providers, and advocates.”

Lorraine was a cowriter of the books, Menopause Myths and Facts: What Every Woman Should Know About Hormone Replacement Therapy with Marcia Wexler, Feminist Health Press 1999; A New View of a Woman’s Body: A Fully Illustrated Guide by Federation of Feminist Women’s Health Center 1991. Carol Downer said recently, “As a result (of our research and writing), the compete sexism of the male-dominated medical profession was exposed; a generation of females who bought our books were shown the full truth about their sex organs and feminist authors and scientists of today are working to fill in the gaps.”

Lorraine’s lasting impact is chronicled in many other publications including Feminists Who Changed America edited by Barbara J. Love; Wikipedia; The Jewish Women’s Archive; Women’s Space: Lorraine Rothman, Pioneer of Guerilla Gynecology; “Body Politic: The Growth of the Women’s Health Movement” by Barbara Ehrenreich in Ms. Magazine 1984; Into Our Own Hands: The Women’s Health Movement in the United States, 1969–1990 by Sandra Morgen; and in obituaries printed in the New York Times, Time Magazine, the Los Angeles Times,  and the Orange County Register in 2007.

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1 reply »

  1. Lupe has helped us in Rancho La Paz to get rent control while the new owner, John Saunders raised the space rents 53% in the last 3 years. Gov Newsom signed the new rent control into law last summer so he can only raise the rent 5% per year going forward. Thank God for Lupe!

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