Scope and Content
Title: Millender-McDonald (Juanita) Collection
Dates: (Bulk 1997-2007)
Collection Number: Consult repository
[13.34 linear ft]
California State University, Dominguez Hills
Archives and Special Collections
Archives & Special Collection
University Library, Room G-145
1000 E. Victoria Street
Carson, California 90747
Phone: (310) 243-3013
The Juanita Millender-McDonald collection (1992-2007) includes: correspondence, newsletters,
press releases, speeches, reports, flyers, questionnaires, bills and amendments, greeting cards,
newspaper clippings, and ephemera including photos, plaques and video tapes. A large number of files
are devoted to the Congressional Black Caucus, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the
Congressional Caucus on Women’s issues, California Assembly, and House Administration. Subjects
include labor issues, HIV/AIDS, CIA Nicaraguan Contra scandal, education, minority issues, finance,
health, the John Kerry Presidential Campaign, political practices and policies, transportation and
Language: Collection material is in English
There are no access restrictions on this collection.
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Archives
and Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical
materials and not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.
[Title of item], JUANITA MILLENDER-MCDONALD COLLECTION, Courtesy of the Department of Archives and Special Collections. University
Library. California State University, Dominguez Hills
Materials in this collection were donated by the Millender-McDonald family in September 2007.
Processed in 2007 by Li-Wei Yang, Jean Pierre Vande Zande, and Rob Gutner.
Juanita Millender-McDonald (1938-2007) was an educator, civic leader and congresswoman who
championed women’s and minority issues, human rights and education. She was born in Birmingham,
Alabama on September 7, 1938. At three, her mother died and her father moved his family of five
children to the Los Angeles area. She received her B.A. in Business at the University of Redlands (1981), and a M.A. in Education
Administration from California State University, Los Angeles (1988). She began her career as an English teacher in the Los
Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) while studying for her first graduate degree. After receiving her Masters, she left
the classroom to become a writer for the LAUSD and edited a textbook called Images. The textbook, which was written to steer
female students toward non-traditional careers, exemplified Millender-McDonald's life-long interest in women's issues. Later,
she was appointed as Director of Gender Equity Programs for the LAUSD.
Her interest in politics began with working on local campaigns including former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley’s gubernatorial
race (1982) and as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention (1984; and later as a state legislator, 1992; and as congresswoman,
2000). She was the first African-American woman councilmember (1990-92) and Mayor Pro Tempore (1991) of Carson, California.
She began her career-long interest in transportation issues by tackling the freight train and traffic congestion in the Alameda
corridor near Carson. In addition, she showed an early interest in gender equity issues by raising the pay of Carson’s city
clerk and treasurer.
Millender-McDonald was elected to the California State Legislature (1992-96) as the representative of the 55th Assembly District
and became the first woman to chair both the Insurance Committee and the Revenue and Taxation Committee. She was involved
early on in raising awareness of HIV and AIDS, especially among black women. For 10 years, she held an annual AIDS Walk at
Cal State Dominguez Hills. She continued to be attracted to transportation and education issues. She resolved the Alameda
corridor issue through state legislation and then pursued designating the corridor as a national transportation artery for
federal funding. In addition, she conducted hearings across the state for three years to create an urban education reform
Millender-McDonald was elected to the United States Congress (1996) in a special election and represented the 37th District
of California, which included Carson, Compton, Long Beach, Signal Hill and Watts. She was reelected to the six succeeding
terms (1997-2007) until her death. She was considered a front-runner for the job of Secretary of Transportation if John Kerry
had been elected. She was a firm believer in celebrating women’s achievements and in assisting women to fulfill their potential.
As an international leader she had been proactive in building coalitions with female leaders in Spain, Africa, Afghanistan,
Central America, Canada, China and India to promote the status of women leaders.
As a member of the 109th Congress (2005-06), Millender-McDonald served as the first African-American woman to chair the House
Committee on House Administration. She also served on the House Committee on Small Business including the Subcommittee on
Investigations and Oversight, the Subcommittee on Tax Finance and Exports (ranking minority member); House Committee on Transportation
and Infrastructure including the Subcommittee on Aviation, the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation and
the Subcommittee on Highways, New Democratic Coalition, Transit and Pipelines; Joint Committee on the Library of Congress,
Joint Committee on Printing, and Congressional Black Caucus.
Scope and Content
This collection documents Millender-McDonald’s professional activities and political interests relating to her career from
1992-2007. This collection includes correspondence, newsletters, press releases, speeches, reports, flyers, questionnaires,
bills and amendments, greeting cards, newspaper clippings, and ephemera including photos, plaques and video tapes. The correspondence
includes letters from national political figures Hillary Rodham Clinton, John Kerry, and Nancy Pelosi and regional politicians
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Joe Baca John Garamendi, Betty Karnette, and Mervyn Dymally. A significant number of files are devoted
to her professional activities with the Congressional Black Caucus, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the Congressional
Caucus on Women’s issues, California Assembly, and House Administration. Other political interests include labor issues, HIV/AIDS,
CIA Nicaraguan Contra scandal, education, minority issues, finance, health, the John Kerry Presidential Campaign, political
practices and policies, transportation and China.
Whenever possible, original folder titles have been retained and the folders kept in their original order.
Congressional Black Caucus
United States. Congress
African American legislatures
AIDS (Disease)—Social aspects
Millender-McDonald, Juanita 1938-2007