“Growing Up in Tucson” panel discussion



Date and time:
Sep 17, 2015 6:00pm to 8:00pm
UA Special Collections, 1510 E. University Blvd.

Guest speakers:
Richard Elias, Member, Pima County Board of Supervisors, District 5
Lydia Otero, PhD. Professor, Mexican American Studies
Molly McKasson, former Tucson Councilmember, Ward 6
Katya Peterson, businesswoman, daughter of Cele Peterson

This evening’s panel features an eclectic group of Tucson natives, remembering life from the 1950s onward. Joining us to share their stories will be former City Councilwoman Molly McKasson, business owner Katya Peterson, Pima County Supervisor Richard Elias and Dr. Lydia Otero, Professor of Mexican American Studies.

Whether you’re a long time Tucsonan or a newcomer to the Old Pueblo, you’ll enjoy the reminiscences of these community leaders. The discussion will be followed by a Question and Answer session and a reception.

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Carolyn Classen
Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for Tucsoncitizen.com for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, www.southernazjapan.org (since Jan. 2013).


  1. az territory it must be parallel universe since you left out jack williams,evan mecham, jim cooper, the republicans in the legislature vendetta against professor morris starskyand the yuma county sheriff threading to shoot cesar chavez. (this one might have been a conservative democrat its been so long ago) and many others I hope the readers add to this list. also for many years we were the only state with out medicare and you would walk into circle k’s with tin cans with a childs face begging for money for his operation. in the 1930’s the klu klux klan ran the city council ( I know they were democrats then but not now!) anybody remember ned warren? or read the green felt jungle?

  2. I grew up in Phoenix in the same time period, and you must have been living in a parallel universe. The most ‘extreme’ politician would have been Barry Goldwater, (who now would be kicked out of his party) and who invited my scout troop to his home ‘radio shack’ as we were working on our ham licenses. The Legislature may have disagreed, but the likes of John Rhodes, Burton Barr, Raul Castro, Polly Getzwiller, Bruce Babbitt, Sandra Day O’ Connor, and many others represented both sides of the aisle. Apparently you don’t recall that Republican majority Legislatures with a Democrat as Gov were very common. When the day was over, they met for drinks and left the rancor behind; the British idea of the ‘loyal opposition’ would have well described those decades. Look no farther than the Central AZ Project. Public service and public servants were not vilified, and the quaint idea that government is a business had not yet reared its corporate head. When the Johnny-come-latelies like McCain, Symington, Franks and Schweikert showed up, a new era showed up in their packing boxes, with a lot of xenophobia, lack of compromise for the common good and small mindedness thrown in for good measure (with a dose of corporate funding.) The state continues to reel.

  3. I grew up in phoenix in the late 1950’s. people ask me what is the difference between then and now. when I first came here this place was a red neck (mississippi west or nazi germany west) republican fascist police state. now it is just a republican fascist police state as they throw the rednecks in sheriff joes gulag along with everybody else.

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