Game Changers: Elections that Transformed California

Learn about pivotal elections that demonstrated the power of voters to change the course of history, and hear the seldom-heard backstories behind those elections.


– Voting rights issues in California from the 1849 constitution on, including African Americans, Chinese Americans, and women

– The innovative campaign that women waged to get the vote

– The California Progressive Party (AKA California Bull Moose), which put women’s suffrage, the initiative, recall and referendum on the 1911 ballot

– The 2003 Gubernatorial Recall election

The presenters are Steve Swatt, Susie Swatt, and Jeff Raimundo, who along with Rebecca Lavally, wrote the books Game Changers: Twelve Elections That Transformed California; and Paving the Way: Women’s Struggle for Political Equality in California.

About the Authors:

Steve Swatt is a veteran political analyst and public affairs executive. He is a former award-winning political reporter with twenty-five years of journalism experience with The San Francisco Examiner, United Press International in Los Angeles, and KCRA-TV (NBC) in Sacramento. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.

Susie Swatt is a member of the National Advisory Council of the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley. She is a member of the Board of the California Archives. She spent nearly forty years as a key staff member in the California Legislature. As a special assistant for the Fair Political Practices Commission, she researched and authored a study that won a national award for “investigative work in the public interest.”

Jeff Raimundo recently completed twenty-five years as a political and public relations consultant based in Sacramento. Previously, he enjoyed a twenty-year career as a newspaper reporter and editor with The Sacramento Bee and McClatchy Company newspapers in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. He is a member of the Board of the California Archives, and the Matsui Center at the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley.

Recorded September 2, 2021