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Inventory of the Teresa P. Hughes Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • State Assembly, 1975-1992
  • State Senate, 1993-2000
  • Scope and Content
  • Related Material at the California State Archives
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Teresa P. Hughes Papers
    Dates: 1975-2000
    Collection number: See series descriptions.
    Creator: Teresa P. Hughes, California Legislator
    Collection Size: 14 cubic feet
    Repository: California State Archives
    Sacramento, California
    Abstract: Teresa P. Hughes, Democrat, was both a State Assembly Member, 1975-1992 and a State Senator, 1993-2000. She represented cities in Los Angeles County in the 47thth Assembly District and the 25th Senate District. The Teresa P. Hughes Papers consist of 14 cubic feet of textual records reflecting Hughes's activities during her 25-year career in the Assembly and Senate. The records contain Bill Files, 1975-2000.
    Physical location: California State Archives
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    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 collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Teresa P. Hughes Papers, LP[number]:[folder number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.

    Acquisition and Custodial History

    The California State Archives acquired the Teresa P. Hughes Papers following her final term in the State Legislature.


    Teresa P. Hughes, Democrat, was both a State Assembly Member, 1975-1992 and a State Senator, 1993-2000. She represented cities in Los Angeles County in the 47thth Assembly District and the 25th Senate District.
    Hughes was born October 3, 1932 in New York City. Hughes received a bachelor's degree in physiology and public health from Hunter College in New York, where she also did graduate work in sociology. She earned two degrees in education administration, a master's from New York University and a Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate School. After completing her education, Hughes worked as a social worker, teacher, school administrator, and professor of education at California State University, Los Angeles. Prior to being elected to the State Assembly, Hughes had been a legislative consultant and administrative assistant to Senator Mervyn Dymally, a legislation and education consultant to the state Commission for Teacher Preparation and Licensing, a student coordinator of the Urban Affairs Institute, and a consultant to the Senate Select Committee on Children and Youth. Hughes has two children: Vincent and Deirdre Hughes, and is married to Frank E. Staggers, M.D.
    Elected to represent the 47th Assembly District in 1975 in a special-election, Hughes served for seventeen years before successfully running for the 25th Senate District in 1992. When Hughes took office in 1975, she was the 16th woman to have ever served in the Legislature. During Hughes's term in the Assembly, the 47th District included a large part of south central Los Angeles, including the University of Southern California and the cities of Bell, Cudahy, Huntington Park, Downey, and Compton. Cities in the 25th Senate District also included much of south central Los Angeles County, such as Inglewood, Hawthorne, Gardena, Lynwood, Compton, and Paramount. Some of her main interests included education reform, unemployment, early childhood and bilingual education, and consumer issues. She once gave this statement, which gave insight to her governmental and political philosophy, "If we are to improve the quality of life in California, we must work hard to ensure better services for senior citizens, improve education opportunities, improve transportation, housing programs, and better health care treatment for all." (Members of the California Legislature and Other State Officials, 1977-1978)
    While Hughes represented her Assembly and Senate districts in the Legislature in Sacramento, she found time to stay involved with other civic activities as well. Her interest in education was evident with membership in the California Teacher's Association as well as sitting on the Board of Directors of the California Museum of Afro-American History and Culture (1977-1992), Board of Councilors of the USC School of Public Administration (1983-1992), and the Board of Trustees of the Los Angeles County High Schooled for the Arts (1993-2000). Her membership in the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Mexican-American Political Association (MAPA), and Board Memberships with the National Coalition of 100 Black Women (1993-2000) and the Black Agenda (1993-2000) also expressed her commitment to cultural interests. Additionally, she was affiliated with the California State Employees Association, AFL-CIO and the Coalition of Labor Union Women (1981-2000). Her Corporate Membership in Blue Shield of California (1985-2000) also showed her commitment to health care in California. She also founded Aware Women of California and was a member of the Democratic Women's Forum and the California Democratic Women's Caucus.
    According to the California Legislature at Sacramento (Handbooks) and the Assembly Final History, Hughes served on the following legislative committees:

    State Assembly, 1975-1992

    • Standing and Interim Committees
    • Business and Professions, 1981-1982
    • Economic Development and Planning, 1979-1980
    • Education, 1975-1990
    • *Chair, 1983-1990
    • Elections, Reapportionment and Constitutional Amendments, 1991-1992
    • Finance and Insurance, 1985-1988
    • Health, 1981-1982
    • Housing and Community Development, 1975-1982, 1989-1990
    • *Vice Chair, 1977-1978
    • *Chair, 1979-1980
    • Human Resources, 1975-1978
    • *Chair, 1977-1978
    • Local Government, 1991-1992
    • Public Employees and Retirement, 1983-1986
    • Public Employees, Retirement, and Social Security, 1987-1990
    • Utilities and Commerce, 1983-1988, 1991-1992
    • Ways and Means, 1977-1978, 1991-1992
    • Subcommittees
    • Higher Education, 1985-1990
    • Housing Production, 1979-1980
    • Interstate Banking, 1985-1986
    • Postsecondary Education, 1975-1982
    • *Chair, 1981-1982
    • Medi-Cal Reform, 1981-1982
    • Workers' Compensation, 1985-1986
    • Select Committees
    • Accreditation, 1989-1990
    • California-Mexico Affairs, 1989-1990
    • Genetic Diseases, 1977-1980, 1989-1990
    • *Chair, 1996
    • Olympic Oversight, 1983-1984
    • Review of State Mandates on School Districts, 1981-1982
    • Special Committees
    • Los Angeles Crisis, 1991-1992
    • Ad Hoc Subcommittee
    • Adult Vocational Education, 1977-1978
    • Boards, Commissions, Etc.
    • Consumer Advisory Council, 1975-1980
    • Education Commission of the States, 1983-1992
    • Lieutenant Governor's Advisory Committee, 1975-1976, 1989-1992
    • *Co-Chair 1975-1976
    • Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission, 1981-1992
    • National Student Loan Marketing Association(by Appointment of President Carter), 1979-1980
    • Review of the Master Plan for Higher Education, 1985-1988
    • State's Economy, 1979-1990
    • State Allocation, 1981-1982, 1985-1990

    State Senate, 1993-2000

    • Standing and Interim Committees
    • Appropriations, 1995-1998
    • Education, 1995-2000
    • Energy and Public Utilities, 1993-1996
    • Energy, Utilities, and Communications, 1995-2000
    • Governmental Organization, 1993-2000
    • Health and Human Services, 1993-2000
    • Insurance, 1995-2000
    • Local Government, 1993-1996
    • Public Employment and Retirement, 1993-1998
    • *Chair, 1993-1998
    • Rules, 1997-2000
    • Subcommittees
    • School Safety Chair, 1993-1996
    • Horseracing, 1995-2000
    • Aging, 1997-1998
    • Aging and Long Term Care, 1999-2000
    • Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders, 1997-1998
    • *Chair, 1997-1998
    • Morbidity and Mortality Disparities, 1997-1998
    • Health Care Reform, 1995-1996
    • Select Committees
    • Alameda Corridor, 1997-1998
    • California's Business Climate, 1995-1996
    • *Chair, 1995-1996
    • Community Development, 1997-2000
    • *Chair, 1997-2000
    • Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health, 1997-2000
    • Family Preservation and Teenage Pregnancy Prevention, 1993-1996
    • *Chair, 1993-1996
    • Higher Education Admission and Outreach, 1997-2000
    • *Chair, 1997-2000
    • Northridge Earthquake, 1995-1996
    • School Safety, 1997-2000
    • *Chair, 1997-2000
    • Urban Economic Development, 1999-2000
    • *Chair, 1999-2000
    • Women in the Workforce, 1993-2000
    • Special Committees
    • Entertainment Industry, 1993-1996
    • Legislative Black Caucus, 1993-2000
    • Legislative Women's Caucus, 1993-2000
    • Local Government Investments, 1995-1996
    • Joint Committees
    • Arts, 1993-2000
    • Rules, 1997-2000
    • Workers' Compensation, 1997-1998
    • Boards, Commissions, and Councils
    • Task Force on School Violence, 1993-2000

    Biography/Organization History

    Senator Hughes did not run for re-election in 2000 due to term limits. In July of 2000, Hughes was given a formal tribute by the Honorable Julian C. Dixon in the House of Representatives for her distinguished public service to the citizens of California. The renaming of an elementary school in Cudahy, California as the "Teresa P. Hughes Elementary School" was another tribute that Hughes received in 1988. This commemorated Hughes's longtime public and personal commitment to ensuring quality education for California's school children. Hughes served as a California Assembly Member and State Senator for 25 years.
    Following a brief retirement, Hughes continued her commitment to fair housing for all Californians. She became a board member of the Nehemiah Corporation of America in 2005. Nehemiah Corporation of America is a non-profit organization specializing in homeownership, affordable housing and community development.

    Scope and Content

    The Teresa P. Hughes Papers consist of 14 cubic feet of textual records reflecting Hughes's activities during her 25-year career in the Assembly and Senate. The records contain Bill Files, 1975-2000.
    The bill files document Hughes's legislative activity during her tenure as a member of the California State Legislature. The bills introduced by Teresa Hughes include a wide array of subjects. She authored bills concerning education, public health, housing, and community development. Hughes's primary concern while in the Legislature was education. She regularly introduced and supported legislation to improve all levels of California's public education. She introduced numerous pieces of legislation intended to improve the quality of education received by pre-school through post-secondary students. After working as an educator herself, Hughes recognized that improvement of students relied on a well educated, respected, and rewarded pool of teachers. Her legislation reflected this by requiring continued education for teachers and more equitable salaries. One of Hughes's most notable pieces of legislation in the Assembly was AB70 of 1983. This bill intended to strengthen high school graduation standards, improve high school course offerings, and to attract and retain high quality teachers and administrators. Along with SB 813 (Hart) these bills became known as the Hughes-Hart Education Reform Act. Other legislation she introduced mandated affirmative-action reporting in admissions for institutions of higher education and also implemented a race and ethnic relations course requirement for students in California colleges and universities. (ACR 28, 1977-1978; AB 383, 1983-1984; AB3207, 1982)
    Teresa Hughes also introduced legislation to improve the public health programs for Californians. She legislated research grants for lupus and high blood pressure, two illnesses that disproportionately affected her African American constituents. She was instrumental in reforming sexual education taught in schools in order that material would include AIDS prevention in junior high schools as well as high schools. She also introduced legislation that allowed a physician to inform a patient's spouse of a positive AIDS test. (AB 2170, AB2688; 1988)
    While in the Senate, Hughes focused on many of the same issues she pursued in the Assembly. Additional interests that she advocated for included elder abuse prevention and anti-predatory lending policies. After the Los Angeles Riots of 1992, Hughes introduced many bills reflecting violence prevention in schools and the community such as SB1729 in 1993 and SB355 in 1999.

    Related Material at the California State Archives

    Assembly Committee on Education Committee Records
    Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development Committee Records
    Assembly Committee on Utilities and Commerce Committee Records
    Legislative Black Caucus Records
    Senate Committee on Health and Human Services Committee Records
    Senate Committee on Public Employment and Retirement Committee Records

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Hughes, Teresa P.
    Public health