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Black News and News Makers in History: Loretta Glickman Austin

African American news from Pasadena -Black News and News Makers in History recognizes Loretta Glickman Austin this week in Black history.Pasadena may best know her as Loretta Glickman, a Pasadena pioneer who set records.

Born May 23, 1945 in New York City, Loretta Jean Thompson Glickman was the first African American woman mayor of a city with a population of more than 100,000. Loretta served as Pasadena mayor from 1982 to 1984. She also served as Pasadena's City Director for six years, retiring in 1989 with a total of 14 years involvement in city government.

Loretta began her political career in the 1960s as President of the Human Relations Committee at Pasadena City College where she led the fight to ensure equal access for all in the Rose Queen competition sponsored by the Tournament of Roses Association. In 1978, she became the first African American woman to become a member of the Tournament of Roses Association.

In 1977, Loretta became the first African American woman to be elected to the Pasadena City Council. After serving three years, she became Pasadena's first African American vice-mayor. Two years later, being elected mayor, set a record in the United States. According to Dolores Hickambottom, who served as field representative for Loretta during her tenure on the Pasadena City Council, Loretta's goal as mayor was "to respond to needs in all sectors of Pasadena...she created a legacy of inclusion and goodwill that continues today, twenty years following her taking office." Loretta successfully made local government more accessible to residents in black neighborhoods which increased political activism and heightened interest in civil affairs among the black community.

African American news from Pasadena - Black News and News Makers in History recognizes Loretta Glickman Austin this week in Black history.After retirement from Pasadena city government, Loretta relocated to Lubbock, Texas and worked in various positions with the United Methodist Church, Texas Tech Health Sciences Clinic, and Accord Insurance Company. In 1998, she became a financial aid counselor at Wayland Baptist University.

At New Jerusalem Baptist Church, she was very involved as minister of music, taught women's bible study and youth Sunday school. She also was active with the Interdenominational Ministers Wives Alliance, Black Church Fellowship of the Lubbock Baptist Association and served as executive secretary for the association. She also played piano one Sunday a month for a Methodist church.

Loretta's involvement in music meant a return for her. Prior to her political career, she sang professionally with the New Christy Minstrels. As an African American member of the singing group, she helped break racial barriers as the group performed in the South. She also had spent several years as a choir director, English teacher and investment counselor.

African American news from Pasadena -  Black News and News Makers in History recognizes Loretta Glickman Austin this week in Black history.Loretta died suddenly March 18, 2001 at age 55. Wayland's Lubbock Campus established an endowed scholarship in her memory.

Compiled from various Internet resources.

 
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