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Interview with Cathey Steinberg, February 24, 2010

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:34 - Childhood

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Partial Transcript: Kingston, Pennsylvania.

Segment Synopsis: Steinberg talks about her childhood in Pennsylvania. She later talks about her move to Atlanta and how the city had changed throughout the years. Steinberg talks about her early married years when her husband moved around in the New England area due to his medical studies. However, they decided to settle in Atlanta.

Keywords: Atlanta; Emory; Kingston, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania; Snow Belt; Willis Hurst; climate; fellowship; flood; mining town

00:05:35 - Run for State Legislature

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Partial Transcript: But on a fluke, a friend of mine – who doesn’t live here now – recruited me to run for the
Legislature against George Petro.

Segment Synopsis: Steinberg talks about how she decided to run for the state legislature after a small accident with her new station wagon. She recollects on her first campaign for state legislature.

Keywords: Dekalb; Fulton; George Petro; adoption; campaign; car accident; carpool; primary

00:10:20 - First impressions of the General Assembly

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Partial Transcript: So, you get to the Capitol in 1977.

Segment Synopsis: Steinberg gives her first impressions of the state legislature which was predominately filled with white males from rural Georgia. Steinberg also talks about how she was treated differently by the other members of the legislature because she is a woman, a Yankee, and Jewish.

Keywords: Gloria Steinem; Mike Nichols; Yankee; jewish; legislature; preacher; women

00:14:56 - Tom Murphy / Anti-rape legislation

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Partial Transcript: Tom Murphy.

Segment Synopsis: Steinberg reflects on her interactions with Speaker Tom Murphy. They head butted on the anti-rape legislation and Steinberg's campaign for a ladies' room.

Keywords: Tom Murphy; anti-rape bill; bathroom; ladies' room; media; roll

00:18:43 - Committee assignments / Guidance

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Partial Transcript: How did he treat you in the way of committee assignments?

Segment Synopsis: Steinberg expresses her difficulty in getting on certain committees such as the Judiciary Committee and the Rules Committee. She also talks about the different things she did at the beginning of her political career. Steinberg later talks about some of the friends she made in the House that helped her, and she also reflects on how there weren't that many female politicians to look up to.

Keywords: Betty Clark; Betty Jo Williams; Sidney Marcus; breakfast; committees; judiciary committee; rules committee

00:24:16 - Other women's issues

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Partial Transcript: You mentioned working on the rape bill.

Segment Synopsis: Steinberg talks about the other women's issues that she led while she was in office such as the Equal Rights Amendment. She jokes how she was known as the ERA Lady or the Yankee ERA Lady.

Keywords: ERA lady; Georgia Women's Political Caucus; Joe Frank Harris; Roy Lambert; Rudy Johnson; equal rights amendment; female movement; feminism; legislators; liberalism; rape bill

00:33:36 - Transition into Public Service Commission

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Partial Transcript: So, after twelve years of being the ERA lady and the Yankee person you decided to run for the public service commissioner.

Segment Synopsis: Steinberg talks about the final events that led to her transition from the General Assembly to the public service commissioner office.

Keywords: Atlanta; DeKalb; Fulton; Joe Frank Harris; Steinberg Bill; Supreme Court; Willis Hurt; computerized telephone calls; local legislation; public service commissioner; zoning commission

00:45:36 - Career after Congressional election

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Partial Transcript: So, what happened after the Congressional race?

Segment Synopsis: Steinberg talks about her career after her race for Congress. She was appointed the position of Consumer's Insurance Advocate, and she later worked for the Juvenile Justice Fund and her own consulting company.

Keywords: Angela's House; Bobby Kahn; Consumer's Insurance Advocate; John Bevis; Juvenile Justice Fund

00:50:25 - Reapportionment / Other issues

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Partial Transcript: Let me ask you a question about reapportionment.

Segment Synopsis: Steinberg talks about the politics of reapportionment and any possible ways it can be done fairly. She also talks about the declining roll of race in politics. She later mentions how the attitude towards women in politics has greatly improved over the years.

Keywords: Bernie Marcus; CNS Bank; First National Bank; Georgia; Jewish; antisemitism; conscious; districts; mixing of races; power; race relations; reapportionment

01:02:34 - Accomplishments as insurance advocate

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Partial Transcript: Cathey, if you will, let’s go back for a moment to your role as the insurance advocate for the state of Georgia.

Segment Synopsis: Steinberg remembers her accomplishments while she was working as the insurance advocate. She was able to pass good legislation for consumers.

Keywords: Congress; George Busbee; Hank Huckabee; John Bevis; Roy Burnes; Senate; consumers; healthcare; insurance; insurance companies; issues; legislation; medical care; oxendine

01:15:35 - Reflections on Georgia politics

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Partial Transcript: It's often said in Georgia and I guess also around the South, that to be a Democrat is to be a liberal, and to be Republican is to be conservative.

Segment Synopsis: Steinberg discusses the changes in the politics of Georgia such as the rise in Republicanism and the increasing number of women in politics.

Keywords: Cathy Cox; Democratic party; Jan Jones; Obama; Republican party; politics; power; women

01:20:40 - Closing reflections

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Partial Transcript: Well, as you look back over a very successful and meaningful career --

Segment Synopsis: Steinberg talks about her accomplishment of gaining the respect of the "good ole' boys" of the General Assembly. She also talks about the disappointments that she had during her time in public service.

Keywords: Barbara Nivens; Billy Randall; Congress; equal rights amendment; health and ecology committee; nursing home residents bill of rights