A native of Chicago, Joy Picus was the
first female member of the Los Angeles City Council from the San Fernando Valley. Elected to
the seat in 1977, during her four terms in office she worked on pay equity, childcare and
family leave, and environmental and educational issues. The collection documents these
efforts and also preserves: administrative records; materials from her election campaigns;
publicity, speeches, and news clippings; and publications and notes related to the
committees on which she served.
Joy Picus (née Newberger) was born on November 18, 1930 in Chicago, Illinois. Her father
died shortly after she was born, and her mother, Daisy, supported the family by managing an
apartment complex. Picus graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1951 with a degree in
political science. Following completion of her degree, she returned to Chicago where she met
Gerald Picus, and the couple were married on March 9, 1952. In 1959, the Picus family moved
to California, where Gerald worked as a physicist for Hughes Aircraft. They raised three
children in Woodland Hills, where she served as community organizer and volunteer for
several organizations, among them the Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, the League of Women Voters,
the Association of University Women, the Jewish Federation Council, and the PTA.
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