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Zoe Paolantonio

July 3, 2017


Hudson, NY


Recorded by

Laura Hoffmann

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A domestic-violence attorney, Zoe Paolantonio is originally from Albany, NY, spent much of her Childhood in New Jersey, studied in Boston, and most recently lived in Washington, DC. She describes how her career path came out of the values instilled in her by her family, especially of women’s rights, and her sense of responsibility as someone from her background—and the interesting life she is now getting to lead as a consequence. She feels deeply indebted to her mentor and her peers and steadfast friends, who played a crucial role in her professional development as well as in her ability to handle challenging cases, of which she describes a few. She moved to Hudson three years ago upon the birth of her daughter, so as to be closer to her husband’s family, who run the Hawthorne Valley Farm in Ghent, NY. She describes the different worlds she moves in, most notably those of her domestic-violence clients in Hudson and Albany; her life as a mother meeting other local mothers; and her husband’s anthroposophical family ties. Without denying its dark side, she considers Hudson as full of opportunity, in the sense that anyone with ideas and initiative can try to implement change—something that would be more difficult in New York City, for example, where many organizations are already in place. When asked about how she’d like to imagine the city’s future, she volunteers a scenario for affordable housing under Section 8.

This interview may be of interest to those who want to hear about the experience of a recent transplant to Hudson, NY; the work of a domestic-violence attorney in Columbia County and her schooling and professional development leading up to it; and ideas about ow to set up more affordable housing in Hudson.

Interviewer Bio:
Laura Hoffmann

Laura Hoffmann has worked as an editor, translator, and book seller, and is currently focused on interviews. She has always been interested in how to capture people’s unique voices and ways of thinking, but so far only in print—whether in magazine assignments, translations, or interview edits. Laura is drawn to Oral History for its more immediate format, but also for the role it may play in complicating established narratives, activism, and intervention.

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This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.

Part of this interview may be played in a radio broadcast or podcast.

Oral history is an iterative process. In keeping with oral history values of anti-fixity, interviewees will have an opportunity to add, annotate and reflect upon their lives and interviews in perpetuity. Talking back to the archive is a form of “shared authority.”

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