THE THOMAS AND DOROTHY LEAVEY CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF LOS ANGELES RESEARCH COLLECTION
DAVID A. ROBERTI PAPERS (CSLA-1)
The series descriptions below provide an overview of the organization and content of the David A. Roberti Papers, CSLA-1. To view the contents of each series and their arrangement in boxes and folders, select the links to the box and folder lists in the series descriptions below.
Series 1: Legislation | Series 1. Subseries A: Weapons Bills | Series 2: Press Releases | Series 3: Office of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs | Series 4: Senate Democratic Caucus | Series 5: Ward Valley | Series 6: Issues Files
Series 1. Legislation. back to top
Note: The box and folder list for this series is divided chronologically; to view the box and folder lists of this series select the following dates:
1967-1982 | 1983-1992
Series Size: 83.25 linear feet (212 archival document boxes)
This series consists of David Roberti's bill files from his time in the Assembly and the Senate. Files contain printed bill descriptions, correspondence, legislative counsel decisions, newspaper clippings, and other materials related to specific bills. The series is organized chronologically (1967-1990) and then alphabetically and numerically by bill.
Series 1. Subseries A: Weapons Bills (1987-1994)back to top
(Note: Click on the preceding subseries title to view the box and folder list for the contents of the series.)
Subseries Size: 3.75 linear feet (9 archival document boxes)
This subseries of the Legislation Series contains the materials concerning David Roberti's landmark gun control legislation from the late 1980s and early 1990s. Roberti was the first California legislator to introduce successfully significant legislation (SB 292) that controlled the ownership of certain types of semi-automatic weapons. Besides Roberti's senate bill SB 292, this subseries also contains material on its companion assembly bill, AB 357; both were passed in 1989. (For additional material on AB 357, consult the Legislation Series of the Mike Roos Papers, CSLA-3.) David Roberti also steered through the California legislature SB 1795 (1988) and SB 292 (1993) restricting the reproduction and use of gun replicas. The SB 292 passed in 1993 is not the same bill as SB 292 passed in 1989 concerning assault weapons.
This subseries consists of memoranda and correspondence on the efforts to pass these bills; legislative materials such as roll call cards, and copies and annotated drafts of bills; studies and reports on gun control; material on opposition to the bills, principally from the National Rifle Association; and newspaper clippings. Correspondents of note include John Van de Kamp and George Deukmajian. Important pro- and anti-gun registration organizations found in this collection include the Gun Owners of California, Handgun Control, and the National Rifle Association. The majority of materials in this collection are photocopies. In this subseries, the original folder titles have been retained for the most part.
Series 2: Press Releases (1967-1994)
(Note: Click on the preceding series title to view the box and folder list for the contents of the series.)
Series Size: 6.25 linear feet (15 archival document boxes)
This series consists of press releases that the office of Assemblyman and then Senator Roberti issued concerning his legislative and political activities, eg, gun control, his support for Soviet Jewish dissidents, and the impact of the federal budgets of President Ronald Reagan on the state of California. The chronological span is 1967-1994, but gaps in the holdings exist; for example, the releases for 1980 are missing. Some of the press releases are originals, while others are photocopies.
Series 3: The Office of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (OAPIA) back to top
Series Size: 18.75 linear feet (45 archival document boxes)
Reacting to a lack of Asian-American representation in the State Legislature, David Roberti announced on January 29, 1987, the establishment of the Office of Asian and Pacific Affairs, which later became the Office of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (OAPIA). According to Roberti, the Office served "to provide the Asian constituency a direct means to ensure that their (sic) views are known on legislation and policies that affect their (sic) political, economic and social interests." Another function of the OAPIA was "to assist other Senators in developing stronger relations with Asian organizations and leaders in their districts." The OAPIA encouraged the political appointments of Asian-Americans and monitored their involvement in local, state, and federal politics. Because of budget cuts, the OAPIA was dismantled.
Subjects of interest in this series of the Roberti Papers include the University of California admissions policy, affirmative action, discrimination against Asians in education and in employment opportunities, licensure for foreign trained optometrists, designation of Asian and Pacific Islanders on the 1990 census form, demographic information documenting the rise in California's Asian population, the Kennedy/Simpson Immigration Bill and its restriction of Asian immigrants, the Refugee Targeted Assistance Project, hate crimes and violent acts against Asians, fair representation for Asians during reapportionment, voter registration in the Asian community, redress for WWII internment, Pacific rim trade, business opportunities for Asian small businesses, and the controversy surrounding Dan Lungren, including his position on Asian issues, nomination as State Treasurer, and the court battle to assume the position.
The OAPIA series has been divided into three sub-series: Subject Files, Correspondence, and Newspaper Clippings. The dates for this series are 1981-1994, with the majority of material falling in the period from 1987 to 1993.
Subseries A: Subject Files.
Note: The box and folder list for this subseries is divided alphabetically; to view its box and folder list select the following alphabetic subdivisions:
A-E | F-M | P-W
Subseries Size: 17.75 linear feet (42.5 archival document boxes)
As closely as possible, the arrangement of this subseries adheres to the original order imposed on the material by its originators. Subject Files are arranged alphabetically by the initial letter of the topic, and then, where appropriate, divided into subcategories of the topic. For example, a folder with material on Asian entrepreneurs in business would be filed under the subject of business, and then under Asian entrepreneurs. This subseries spans the year 1981-1994, with the bulk dates 1987-1993.
Searches for materials in this series may be conducted in several different ways. For instance, not all organizations are listed under the subject heading "Ethnic Groups / Organizations." An organization closely associated or concerned with a particular issue will often be filed under that subject, as will committees created to treat that issue. For example, the Asian Pacific Women's Network is found under the heading "Asian Network", the New California Coalition (exclusively concerned with immigration) is found under the subject heading "Immigration", and the Asian Bar Association and other legal organizations are filed under "Justice."
The "Ethnic Groups/Organizations" subject heading also covers matters of concern to specific ethnic groups. For example, files about issues such as Filipino optometrists' licensing and the Vietnamese fishermen's gill net controversy will be found under this subject heading.
Names of individuals are usually found under subject headings. A person involved in political life would be listed under "Asians in Politics", or under "Federal", if involved in federal politics. Politician Dan Lungren has his own subject heading, under "L."
Although there is a "Legislation" subject heading, legislation files can also be found under other subject headings. Legislation involved many issues, from immigration, to Filipino optometrists' licensing, to human rights. Federal legislation may be found under the heading "Federal". Legislative material is often filed with the rest of the holdings under a subject file and may not have a separate file. Any issues that are of exclusive interest to the federal government, such as international relations, can be located under the heading "Federal."
Types of material in this subseries include newsletters, journals, copies of correspondence, memoranda, invitations, copies of drafts and the final form of legislation, programs, petitions, leaflets, pamphlets, background reading material generated by conferences, newspaper and magazine clippings, papers, and reports from commissions and individuals, and Senate transcripts. The OAPIA staff annotated some material.
Subseries B: Correspondence
(Note: Click on the preceding subseries title to view the box and folder list for the contents of the subseries.)
Subseries Size: 5 inches (1 archival document box)
Correspondence files are divided into incoming and outgoing mail and then organized chronologically for the years 1986-1991. These files contain announcements, invitations, and memoranda in addition to correspondence. Some correspondence concerns the creation of the OAPIA.
Subseries C: Newspaper Clippings
Newspaper clippings from Asian Week are organized separately from those of other newspapers. The Asian Week clippings cover March 1991-December 1992, with the exception of June, which is missing. The other clippings are dated March 1991-August 1992 and include some clippings from 1993.
Series 4: Senate Democratic Caucus back to top
(Note: Click on the preceding series title to view the box and folder list for the contents of the series.)
Series Size: 2.5 linear feet (6 archival document boxes and 1 oversize folder)
This series is divided into two subseries: Subseries A: "The Gang of Five"; and Subseries B: Polling Data Subseries. The holdings in this series include bill descriptions, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and other materials related to specific bills.
Subseries A: Gang of Five.
Subseries Size: 0.8 linear foot (2 archival document boxes)
The Gang of Five achieved notoriety as a group of conservative Democrats who joined with Republican members of the California Assembly to create a majority on certain votes to curtail Speaker Willie Brown's influence and power. The Gang of Five included Assemblymen Gary A. Condit, Rusty Areias, Charles M. Calderon, Steve Peace, and Gerald R. Eaves. The holdings of this subseries consist mainly of newspaper clippings, though some correspondence, notes and drafts are also included. Newspaper clippings are organized by date, and cover the period from late 1987 to early 1990. The bulk of the clippings are from January 1988 to May 1989. Of interest is the "Gang of Five" Assemblyman Jerry Eaves' re-election campaign in 1988, which documents (in box 1, folders 4 and 5) his opponent's, Joe Baca, use of illegal tactics and the subsequent trial for his illegalities.
Subseries B: Polling Data.
Subseries Size: 1.6 linear feet (4 archival document boxes)
The Polling Data subseries consists mainly of hardbound reports of various Senate Districts prepared by J. Moore Methods, a market research firm. In this subseries, exists much material on District 33, Cecil Green's district. Each J. Moore Methods report contains the questionnaire, responses, and various statistical results. The bulk of the reports are from 1987 to 1988, though the period 1986-1994 is covered. Of general interest is the California Congressional District Voter profile report of 1988 (box 3, folder 4).
Series 5: Ward Valley (1984-1994) back to top
Series Size: 6.25 linear feet (21 archival boxes)
This series consists of David Roberti's records pertaining to the proposed low-level radioactive waste facility in Ward Valley, located 22 miles west of Needles, California in the Mojave Desert. Ward Valley was to be the location for the first low-level radioactive waste facility to be built in America since 1971. However, David Roberti, Senator Barbara Boxer, environmental groups, and Colorado River Indian Tribes brought to public attention the potentially malign environmental impact on the desert tortoise and on the Colorado River, only 20 miles from the proposed waste site. This political pressure resulted in lawsuits and public hearings to determine the risks that the project presented. Ultimately, both the state and federal governments decided to drop plans for building the waste facility. The holdings in this series consist of correspondence, court documents, newspaper clippings, press releases, and materials related to ancillary topics or lawsuits. All materials are photocopies; the bulk of the material, in its original form, dates from 1993 and 1994.
Series 6: Issues Files back to top
Note: The box and folder list for this very large series is divided numerically, by box numbers; to view the box and folder lists of this series select the following box numbers:
1-18 | 19-31 | 32-42 | 43-52 | 53-61
Series Size: 25.5 linear feet (61 archival document boxes)
This series consists of David Roberti's records of legislative issues. Court documents, whether related to implementation of propositions or to the activities of David Roberti himself, make up approximately half of the series. Prominent issues in this series include the reapportionment of Senate districts for California, state propositions, the controversial proposal to construct a prison in East Los Angeles, and Roberti's opposition to, and victory over, Governor Deukmejian's attempted appointment of Dan Lungren to the State Treasurer's office. Other items of interest are the Final Bill Records of David Roberti Box (Box 16, Folders 2-3) and his file on the Jewry of Soviet Union (Box 10, Folder 17). The holdings in this series consist of correspondence, court documents, newspaper clippings, press releases, and materials related to lawsuits.
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