Longtime L.A. political figure Roz Wyman named to county arts panel

Roz Wyman gets another turn at public service at 84.

She won a seat on the Los Angeles City Council when she was just 22, back in 1953. And a few years later she helped bring the then-Brooklyn Dodgers to their current home at Chavez Ravine.

On Tuesday, Roz Wyman, a longtime prominent fixture in Democratic politics at all levels, got a new gig in local government -- appointment to the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

Wyman, 84, nominated by recently elected county Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, won unanimous approval along with a handful of other appointees to various county-run commissions. 

It's unlikely that any of them can come close to matching Wyman's long record in public life.

Born and raised in Los Angeles and a recent graduate of USC, Rosalind Wiener in 1953 became the youngest person -- and only the second woman--elected to the council. A year later she married attorney Eugene Wyman and went on to help bring the Dodgers to Los Angeles, in part by leading efforts to secure stadium land in what was then a barrio.

She was re-elected twice but lost her council seat to Edmund D. Edelman (who eventually became a long-serving county supervisor) in 1965.  Some political observers attributed her loss to lingering bitterness over the expulsion of the mostly Mexican American residents of Chavez Ravine to make way for the stadium; others cited her long-running feud with then-Mayor Sam Yorty.

Widowed when her husband suffered a heart attack early in 1973, Wyman, by then the mother of three, tried unsuccessfully to win back her old council seat in 1975.  She didn't make it past the primary and the winner was Zev Yaroslavsky.  He later moved to the Board of Supervisors and was recently replaced by Kuehl when term limits forced his board  retirement.

Outspoken and energetic, Wyman, a longtime Bel-Air resident and arts patron, continued to make her mark in politics long after her time in elected office was up.

She helped lead the successful campaigns of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and had key roles in Democratic National Conventions in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Over the years, she raised money for scores of candidates, running for president on down.

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