Scope and Content
Title: Jean Moorhead Duffy papers,
Date (inclusive): 1979-1982
Identifier: LP235:1-43, LP255:169-194
Duffy, Jean Moorhead
2.5 cubic feet
California State Archives
Abstract: Assembly Member Jean Moorhead Duffy was elected as Jean Moorhead to the 5th District in 1978. She originally ran as a Republican.
In 1981, she switched her party affiliation to the Democratic Party. In 1985, she married former Assembly Member Gordon Duffy
and changed her name to Jean Moorhead Duffy. The Jean Moorhead Duffy Papers consist of Bill Files, 1979-1982. Her background
as a nurse and mother influenced a number of the bills she sponsored.
Physical location: California State Archives, Sacramento, California.
Collection is open for research.
Conditions of Use
Please credit California State Library.
For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication
is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility
for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives
[Identification of item], Jean Moorhead Duffy Papers, LP number:[folder number], California State Archives, Office of the
Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.
These materials were donated by Jean Moorhead Duffy.
Assembly Member Jean Moorhead Duffy was elected as Jean Moorhead to the 5th District in 1978. She originally ran as a Republican.
In 1981, she switched her party affiliation to the Democratic Party. Her district was in Sacramento County and covered most
of the city of Sacramento from downtown to McClellan Air Force Base and Fair Oaks. After redistricting in 1982, her district
no longer included downtown Sacramento, and instead included parts of Placer County, including the city of Auburn.
Assembly Member Moorhead was born Jean Macpherson in Oakland on December 17, 1938. She attended public schools in her hometown.
She received her A.A. degree in Pre-Nursing from the University of California, Berkley, and then transferred to Stanford University,
where she received her degree in Nursing in 1961. She later continued her education at San Jose State University where she
received a M.S. in Public Health in 1971. She married Ernest L. McElderry in 1960. They had four children, Stuart, Janet,
Robert, and Glenn. She worked as a public health nurse for Santa Clara County Health Department, then part-time at a clinic
for migrant farm workers in southern Santa Clara.
In 1970, she began working for the Placer County Health Department but soon left that position for a teaching position in
School of Nursing at California State University, Sacramento. After divorcing her first husband, she married George V. Moorhead
in 1974. She had a fifth child with him, Lorna. In 1984, they divorced. The following year, she married former Assembly
Member Gordon Duffy and changed her name to Jean Moorhead Duffy.
She was active in professional societies associated with nursing, including the California Nurses Association, the Northern
California Public Health Association, and Healthcare, a Sacramento-based nonprofit health care plan. She was a Fellow in
the American Academy of Nursing. In 1979, she received the Helan Nahm Award for increasing the involvement of nurses in community
affairs. In the same year, the Western Branch of the American Public Health Association honored her with the Dorsey-Sippy
Award for her outstanding public health service. She attended the Northminister Presbyterian Church. She participated in
the Sacramento Branch of the Scottish Country Dance Society and the Republican Women's Club.
After becoming more involved with health care policy issues, she was offered a job as a lobbyist for the California Nurses
Association in 1976. She took a leave of absence from CSU, Sacramento and began that career. Her lobbying on health care issues
brought her into regular contact with Assembly Member Gordon Duffy who provided her with much insight into the workings of
the California Legislature.
This guidance and her experience as a lobbyist inspired her to run for the Fifth Assembly District seat in 1978 when Eugene
T. Gualco decided to run for U.S. Congress.
In February 1981, Assembly Member Duffy attracted considerable attention from the media and her fellow legislators when she
announced her decision to switch her party affiliation to the Democratic Party.
According to the California Legislature at Sacramento (Handbooks), she served on the following committees:
Aging and Long Term Care, 1983-1986
* Chair, 1983-1986
* Vice Chair, 1979-1980
Utilities and Energy, 1981-1982
Health Personnel, 1983
* Chair, 1983
Alcohol and Related Problems, 1985-1986
* Chair, 1985-1986
Auburn Dam, 1983-1984
Genetic Diseases, 1983-1984
Mass Transit, 1981
As a member of the legislator, she was one of eleven female legislators who started the Second Tuesday Breakfast Club, which
later became the Second Tuesday Dinner group. She also served on the Policy Research Management Committee, 1983-1984.
In 1985, Assembly Member Jean Duffy decided not to seek re-election in order to spend more time with her new husband. Her
district seat was won by Tim Leslie, a Republican. Duffy briefly explored working as a lobbyist in a firm with her husband.
Instead, however, she spent some of her post-legislative career as a professional public speaker. In 1988, she retired to
her second home at Sea Ranch where she was still living in 2001.
Scope and Content
The Jean Moorhead Duffy Papers consist of Bill Files, 1979-1982. The bill files document most of her legislative activity
as a member of the California State Legislature. Her background as a nurse and mother influenced a number of the bills she
sponsored. During her first term, she successfully sponsored AB1112 that allowed nurses to invest in medical corporations.
A pair of her bills (AB1113 and AB 2497, 1979-1980) made reporting child abuse simpler. Her support for tougher penalties
for convicted criminals showed in AB 80 (1979-1980) that would have required a life sentence without parole for individuals
convicted of three violent crimes; it failed to pass. Both interests manifested themselves in her sponsorship of AB541 and
AB542 (1981-82) that increased the penalties for drunk driving significantly. Winning passage of the bills resulted, in part,
from her working closely with new organization, Mothers against Drunk Driving. As chair of the Assembly Committee on Aging
and Long-Term Care in 1984, she introduced a number of bills that increased training for caregivers of the elderly and funded
research into Alzheimer's Disease.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in
the library's online public access catalog.
Duffy, Jean Moorhead
Nursing - Law and legislation - California
Drunk driving - California
Jean Moorhead Duffy, oral history interview conducted by Jacqueline S. Reinier, 1994, Oral History Program, Center for California
Studies, California State University, Sacramento.