Carmen Warschaw was a major figure in Democratic politics in Los Angeles and beyond for decades. She was a former member of the Democratic National Committee. Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky announced her death today at the Board of Supervisors, citing a call from the family.
Warschaw endowed a $3 million chair at USC a few years ago: the Carmen H. and Louis Warschaw chair in practical politics. Her late husband Louis died in 2000.
LA Observed columnist Bill Boyarsky wrote this in 2008:
Carmen and her late husband, Lou, helped shape the California Democratic party and the careers of many of its leaders. They were teenage sweethearts, attended USC together and immersed themselves in politics as volunteers, donors and in leadership positions. Carmen has played politics tough and hard. She is unforgiving to enemies, generous to friends and has always tried to fill political offices with the women and men she thought would do the best job.
In announcing the award, she said she didn't believe much in political theory, no doubt chilling the academics in the large audience of faculty, her friends and family. She believes in the nuts and bolts of politics, from lawn signs in her early days to today's computerized methods of identifying voters, and from shaking hands at campaign fund raisers to providing constituent services while in office.
She talked about the pre-term limit days and wished they were back. Never a fan of political reformers, she put in a good word for lobbyists.
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