Jane Tolmach Collection


Jane McCormick Tolmach was a longtime Ventura County resident, community activist, and political leader. She initially found her footing in political affairs in the 1956 Presidential campaign and continued as Chairman of the Ventura County Democratic Central Committee (1959-1962), Women's Chairman South of the CA Democratic State Central Committee (1966-1970), and as Delegate for the Democratic National Conventions (1960, 1968). Although she is best known for being the first woman councilperson (1970-1978) and first woman mayor for the City of Oxnard (1973), Tolmach also served as a trustee for the Camarillo State Hospital, as a school board member for Oxnard High School, and was appointed to the State’s Community College’s Board of Governors, among other highly acclaimed positions. Tolmach became active in the human rights movements, especially in Cesar Chavez's effort to organize farm labor. She was elated when Senator Robert Kennedy joined the Presidential race in 1968 and was onstage with Kennedy and Chavez at a locally-hosted event just days before Kennedy was assassinated. After the assassination, Tolmach concentrated on environmental issues, such as the 1972 Santa Barbara Channel oil spill and the proposed Oxnard liquefied natural gas port. Always undaunted, she received a juris doctor degree from Southwestern University in 1981 and when the gambling industry tried to launch an Oxnard casino, at the age of 80+, Tolmach put together an alliance of minority leaders and fundamentalist ministers to march into a City Council meeting to protest the proposed change in zoning. This collection was donated by the family of Jane Tolmach and consists of artifacts, correspondence, documents, ephemera, and photographs. Please use the One Search feature on the main library page to search for other materials regarding this collection.

Recent Submissions