Oral Histories

Interview of Anton Calleia

Senior staff to Mayor Tom Bradley. Liason with the Los Angeles City Council. Responsible for the city budget and managed the city's bid for the 1984 Olympics.
The Bradley Years: Los Angeles City Government, 1973-1993
Politics and Government
Biographical Note:
Senior staff to Mayor Tom Bradley. Liason with the Los Angeles City Council. Responsible for the city budget and managed the city's bid for the 1984 Olympics.
Parker, Caitlin
Calleia, Anton
Persons Present:
Calleia and Parker.
Place Conducted:
Calleia’s home in Carlsbad, California.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Caitlin Parker, UCLA Center for Oral History Research; B.A., History, Amherst College; M.A., U.S. History, UCLA. Parker’s dissertation focuses on urban policy in Los Angeles during Mayor Tom Bradley’s administration.Parker prepared for the interview by conducting research in the Bradley Administrative Collection at UCLA Special Collections and reviewing a budget history provided by Anton Calleia.
Processing of Interview:
The transcript is a verbatim transcription of the recording. It was transcribed by a professional transcribing agency using a list of proper names and specialized terminology supplied by the interviewer. Calleia was then given an opportunity to review the transcript and made a number of corrections and additions. Those corrections were entered into the text without further editing or review on the part of the Center for Oral History Research staff.
4 hrs.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Series Statement:
This series includes interviews with key individuals who served in Los Angeles city government during the administration of Mayor Tom Bradley. The interviews focus on each individual’s political development, activism, and role in the Bradley administration. Major urban policy issues addressed in the interviews include social services, economic development, urban redevelopment, housing, transit, policing, education, and city finances. This project was generously supported by Arcadia funds.
Family Background in Malta – Moving to the United States as a teenager – Working as a journalist – Reporting on Beverly Hills and UCLA for the Los Angeles Times – Relationship with LA Times reporter Kenneth Reich – Internal changes at the Los Angeles Times under Otis Chandler – Desire to get involved with city politics to support civil rights – Reforming civil service and providing equal employment opportunities for women – Balancing the interests of real estate developers and residents – Public–private partnerships under Bradley – Pulling off the Olympics – How Bradley boosted self-confidence of city, increased demands for appropriations – Bradley’s administrative style and relationship with the City Council – Personal involvement in civil rights – Working as a Deputy to Maury Weiner in Bradley’s 1969 campaign for Mayor – Role as Chief Deputy in Marvin Braude’s council office, issues of environment and development.
Transitioning to Bradley’s staff – Opinion of Yorty as Mayor – Campaigning for Bradley in the Valley – Bradley’s support from labor – Learning from the campaign of Wilson Riles, the first African-American to win state-wide office in California – Working for Bradley in his council office – Focus on working for a just society.
Initiating bid for the Olympic Games in 1974 – Bradley’s support for the Olympic Games if held at no public expense – Negotiating with the International Olympic Committee on financing of games – Managing revenues from the games – Cooperation and unity behind the games – Public support for a spartan games – Cooperation between the city and the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee – Bradley’s use of public-private partnerships – Bradley’s philosophy towards the budget – Negotiating with the City Council over budget cuts post-Proposition 13 – How the budget process worked – Budgeting for the police and fire departments – Limiting cost of living adjustments for pensions – Bradley’s close relationship with the City Council – Involving the UCLA Anderson School of Management and the Chamber of Commerce in economic forecasting for the budget – Dealing with the decline of federal funding – Bradley’s “kitchen cabinet” – Redevelopment in downtown and South Los Angeles – Fiscal relationship with the state following Proposition 13 – Bradley’s response to the 1992 civil unrest – Flying over the riot areas with Peter Ueberroth – Transition to Mayor Richard Riordan’s administration.
Bradley’s social justice orientation – Establishing equal employment and compensation in city jobs – Bradley’s love for the city – Bradley’s open houses in City Hall – Lack of hierarchy among Bradley’s staff – Bradley’s decision-making style – Bradley’s focus on fairness – Impact of term limits – Relationship with Bradley.