Respondent
Cohen, Charlotte
Interview Date
June 7, 1988
Abstract
Respondent Volunteer, born 1915.
[T1S1] Respondent shaped housing codes and represented subsidized housing in Pittsburgh, also active with League of Women Voters. Respondent mentions family background, parents from Russia; describes childhood; talks about children. Respondent mentions father's involvement in WWII. Respondent discusses education; became RN in 1933. Respondent recalls daily life, describes how depression affected family. Respondent elaborates on nursing school employment. Respondent details courtship, marriage in New York to Paul, a chemist, move to Pittsburgh.
[T1S2] Respondent describes various high school activities. Respondent talks about parents desire to leave "yeroosha" (legacy): importance of education and independent spirit. Respondent describes duties as nurse. Respondent recalls helping to organize strike at hospital.
[T2S3] Respondent elaborates on feed mill father ran during WWII, mentions father's death. Respondent recalls how different family members emigrated to America. Respondent reminisces about move to Pittsburgh; describes their first apartments in Oakland; mentions husband's salary at Bureau of Mines. Respondent talks about working as nurse until son, Howard, was born. Respondent talks about pregnancy, birth of son, inadequate medical care.
[T2S4] Respondent continues talking about inadequate medical care. Respondent talks about joining the League of Women Voters in 1959; worked on tax study and fair housing task force in late 1960s. Respondent reminisces about becoming member on Mayor's Committee on Housing, now known as Community Committee on Housing (CCH). Respondent recalls creating emergency repair department to help senior citizens maintain their housing.
[T3S5] Respondent describes transition and creation of CCH; becoming part of CCH as representative for League, later chairperson. Respondent outlines some housing codes and laws; discusses regulation 236, covering low cost rentals and regulation 235, involving home ownership; talks about problems with new homeowners. Respondent talks about success of regulation 235; problems with regulation 236. Respondent mentions CCH members. Respondent recalls developing, implementing, overseeing maintenance code; lists other accomplishments, failures. Respondent recalls legal battle with unions over Davis/Bacon Act.
[T3S6] Respondent talks about Glen Hazel Community; elaborates on results of 235 and 236, outlines duties as chairman. Respondent details housing problems, eventual solutions. Respondent lists duties of subcommittees. Respondent details implementation of rodent control program in 1975.
[T4S7] Respondent elaborates on rodent control program; talks about start of Department of Environmental Control. Respondent lists CCH's accomplishments. Respondent details encounter with Henry Woods in mid 70's. Respondent mentions awards and honors; asked to join board of Action Housing, awarded VP for Distinguished Special Award. Respondent talks about collaborating with Action Housing to start women's shelter on Center Ave.
[T4S8] Respondent discusses personal life; discusses religious beliefs; lists membership with Jewish Organizations. Respondent recalls receiving Jefferson Award from America Institute of Public Services in 1988. Respondent reflects on fulfillment and satisfaction with volunteerism.
Subjects
Cohen, Paul; Community Committee On Housing (Pittsburgh, Pa.); Pittsburgh (Pa.). Dept. of Environmental Control; Housing--Law and legislation; American Institute for Public Service. Jefferson Award; League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh; New York (N.Y.); Housing subsidies; Synagogues; Young Peoples Synagogue (Pittsburgh, Pa.); Woods, Henry
Birth Date
1915
Length (hours)
4
Interviewer1
Ariel, Rose Anne
Interviewer2
Haus, Marlene
Indexer
Frisque
Collateral Materials
Box 100 FF 47
Identifier
ais196440.076
Rights
All rights reserved. University of Pittsburgh