|Title:||Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 099 Mary Margaret Oliver|
|Creator||Oliver, Mary Margaret, 1948-|
|Dates||2009 December 18|
|Repository||Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies|
|Abstract||Mary Margaret Oliver served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1987-1992, and the Georgia Senate from 1993-1998. When Oliver was elected to the senate, she was appointed to chair the Judiciary Committee during her freshman term, and was the first woman to chair the Committee in 40 years. In 2002, Oliver ran successfully for the Georgia House, and represents District 83. Oliver discusses her time in legislature, the causes she is passionate about, and party politics in Georgia.|
Reflections on Georgia Politics began in the fall of 2006 at Young Harris College, as a lecture and discussion program hosted by Georgia political veteran Bob Short. In late 2007, the Richard B. Russell Library began producing the program as an oral history video series to further illuminate and personalize the tectonic shifts that occurred in Georgia politics in the late twentieth century.
Reflections on Georgia Politics Oral History Collection, ROGP 099, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia, 30602-1641.
Resources may be used under the guidelines described by the U.S. Copyright Office in Section 107, Title 17, United States Code (Fair use). Parties interested in production or commercial use of the resources should contact the Russell Library for a fee schedule.
Mary Margaret Oliver was born March 7, 1948 in Charleston, South Carolina. She earned her B.A. from Vanderbilt University in 1969 and graduated from Emory University Law School in 1973. Oliver served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1987-1992, and the Georgia Senate from 1993-1998. When Oliver was elected to the senate, she was appointed to chair the Judiciary Committee during her freshman term, and was the first woman to chair the Committee in 40 years. In 2002, Oliver ran successfully for the Georgia House, and represents District 83. Oliver has continued to practice law in Decatur and teach at Emory University.
Mary Margaret Oliver recalls her life as a young female lawyer in the 1970s. She recalls working with Voting Rights Act compliance and consumer advocacy work. Oliver discusses her work in private practice with Pierre Howard and Jim Martin.
Oliver discusses her first political race, which was a special election to fill a vacant state house seat. She recalls being appointed to the House Judiciary Committee by Speaker Tom Murphy. Oliver discusses her struggles with working in a highly male-controlled house and how her professional friendships helped her fight her struggle. Oliver compares her experience working in the state house and in the state senate. She also reflects on being appointed the first female Chairman of the Judiciary Committee of the Senate. Through her service as the Vice-Chair of Education and the Chairman of the Education Subcommittee for Appropriations, Oliver became knowledgeable of the status of education in Georgia. She comments on public schools, charter schools, and teacher quality.
Oliver discusses her passion for improving Georgia's Child Welfare system and senior citizen issues. She recalls running for lieutenant governor in 1998 but losing in a run-off. Oliver discusses the education, transportation, and water issues Georgia faces in the future.
Oliver comments on Democratic party politics in Georgia and the reason for the decline of the party. She explains the appropriations process in Georgia during the last few days of the legislative session and comments on the use of mental health money in prisons.