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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Biography
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Restrictions
  • Publication Rights
  • Digital Content

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Herman Baca Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS 649
    Contributing Institution: Mandeville Special Collections Library
    9500 Gilman Drive
    La Jolla, California, 92093-0175
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 41.4 Linear feet (67 archives boxes, 7 records cartons, 2 card file boxes, 28 oversize folders, 4 art bin items) 4,343 online items
    Date (inclusive): 1964 - 2013
    Abstract: Papers of Herman Baca, prolific Chicano activist, political organizer, printer, and longtime chairman and one of several founders of the Committee on Chicano Rights (CCR). Baca is known for his community-based grassroots organizing, especially for civil rights and political and judicial equality. Formed and based in National City, California, CCR operates by volunteer membership and was organized to strive for human, civil, and constitutional rights for the Chicano community. CCR has also organized several events and community protests, including the Chicano National Immigration Tribunal (1981). Baca was an organizer for the Mexican-American Political Association (1968-1974) and La Raza Unida Political Party, among others. He is also the founder and owner of Aztec Printing, a print shop in National City. The papers contain a biographical series that includes newspaper articles of interviews, quotes, editorial writings, and written pieces about Baca and the Baca family, in addition to several community recognitions awarded to Baca. The papers contain subject files, research materials, and newspaper clippings (1964-2006) related to current issues on immigration, border conflicts, police brutality, discrimination, and community events; conference materials both attended and organized by Herman Baca, in and around the Southern California/Tijuana area; court litigation case documentation; and writings of others on issues of immigration, citizenship, social economics, and migration analysis. The collection also contains both a large audio and visual component including recordings of testimonies of the Chicano National Immigration Tribunal; posters of events; Chicano artworks including original illustrations by David Avalos and working production files of Aztec Printing related to Baca's activism. The photograhs series contains black-and-white and color photographs of individuals such as César Chávez, Bert Corona, and Herman Baca, and CCR organized events: Chicano National Immigration Tribunal (1981), Unity March Against the KKK (1977) and the National Protest March Against the Carter Curtain (1979).
    Creator: Baca, Herman

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The papers of Herman Baca, a National City, California, Chicano rights activist and prominent member of the Mexican-American community, document the contributions and accomplishments made by Herman Baca and the Committee on Chicano Rights. Since the 1960s, Herman Baca has been educating and representing the Chicano community and the rights of undocumented immigrants by means of organizing protests, encouraging self-determination, and defending human rights. The papers embody the organizational elements of the Committee on Chicano Rights, the Mexican-American Political Association, and La Raza Unida Political Party in the form of meeting minutes, correspondence, press releases, writings, membership materials, and articles of incorporation and bylaws. Biographical materials illustrate both Herman Baca's efforts as an individual and his work as a business owner, the latter reflected in the Aztec Printing production files; subject files; legal case documentation; conferences and events both organized and attended; writings of others; a visual component including videorecordings, photographs, individual artist's work and Chicano movement art, and a large portion of newspaper clippings dated 1964-2006.
    The BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS series is arranged in eight subseries: A) Interviews, B) Quotes, C) Writings, D) Awards, E) Miscellaneous Activist Organizations, F) Subject Files, G) Baca Family, and H) Telephone Memo Books and Calendars.
    A) In the interviews subseries, arranged alphabetically by organization, are photocopies of Herman Baca interviews published in La Prensa, El Dia, El Foro Del Pueblo, El Gallo, and National City Star News newspapers, as well as by an individual researcher and on a KCST-TV program entitled Undocumented Mexican Visitors.
    B) The Quotes subseries contains photocopies of newspapers and serials where Herman Baca is quoted and is arranged by date.
    C) The Writings subseries contains various writings authored by Herman Baca including opinion articles for newspapers, editorials, letters to editor, and position papers. The files are arranged by title.
    D) In the Awards subseries are various honors received from 1977-2006, including the City of San Jose "Key to Our City" (1977) and the Congreso para Pueblo Unidos - Hispanic of the Year Award (1980). The awards are arranged alphabetically by awarding organization.
    E) The Miscellaneous Activist Organizations files document activist organizations that Baca collaborated with from 1971 to 1980. Baca was chairman of CASA Justicia (1973-1977), an organization directly working toward the needs of the Mexican permanent residents; Narcotics Prevention and Education Systems, an organzation formed for the prevention of drug addiction and for narcotics rehabilitation through education; and Adelante, a community newspaper with content of interest to San Diego's Spanish speaking community. Baca also actively worked with the Greater San Diego Chapter of the American G.I. Forum, formed to address the needs of Mexican-American veterans, and as a member of the San Diego County Immigration, Law and Justice Subcommittee. The materials include correspondence, meeting minutes, conference materials, and are arranged alphabetically by organization.
    F) The Subject Files subseries, arranged alphabetically, comprises specific subject-based documentation either biographical or events directly relating to Herman Baca including the Celebration of the Chicano Archives on July 15, 2006. Materials include biographical articles, legal documentation including the FBI surveillance file copy on Herman Baca, speaking arrangements, and clippings related to the Aztec Printing hate crime attack incident in 1995.
    G) The Baca Family subseries contains newspaper articles about the Baca Family. Several folders refer to Mark Baca, Herman Baca's son.
    H) The Telephone Memo Books and Calendar subseries is arranged chronologically by date and reflects phone message logs for the Committee on Chicano Rights and Aztec Printing.
    The COMMITTEE ON CHICANO RIGHTS (CCR) was established in 1975 to formally address issues within the Chicano community. Run entirely on volunteer and member support, CCR was founded as a non-profit corporation to develop and improve the educational, social, and economic conditions of Chicanos by encouraging participation in educational, community, and civic affairs. The files include articles of incorporation and bylaws; incoming and outgoing correspondence; membership documents; public relations materials; meeting minutes, and fundraising materials. The series is arranged in six subseries: A) Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, B) Correspondence, C) Membership, D) Publicity, E) Administrative, and F) Fundraising.
    A) The Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws subseries for the Committee on Chicano Rights describes the statement of purpose, official rules and regulations for the organization. The documents include drafts and annotations.
    B) The Correspondence subseries is arranged chronologically and documents incoming and outgoing correspondence, mainly generated by Herman Baca, 1970-2003.
    C) The Membership subseries represent CCR membership- related documents including member lists, official membership criteria, applications, and registration. The subseries is arranged alphabetically.
    D) The bulk of the Publicity files is press releases and drafts of responses to issue proposals. The Committee on Chicano Rights communicated the organization's position primarily visual and written press releases. Other materials include brochures, the CCR newsletter, and press and media contact lists. The subseries is arranged alphabetically.
    E) The Administrative files, arranged alphabetically, contain CCR organizational meeting minutes, the organizational history draft, and various notes, as well as a copy of the court case file Herman Baca and CCR brought against the United States Department of Justice.
    F) The Fundraising files, arranged alphabetically, contain general fund request correspondence and materials involving the "Walk for Rights" fundraiser campaign to defeat the Simpson/Mazzoli Immigration Plan. Also included are grant proposal materials submitted to the General Commission on Religion and Race.
    The MEXICAN-AMERICAN POLITICAL ASSOCIATION (MAPA) was founded in 1960, in Fresno, California, to educate and represent constitutional, democratic, and political principles to the Mexican and Latino communities of the United States of America. Herman Baca became a member of MAPA in 1968 and organized a local National City chapter; soon thereafter he became the Southern Region Director (Counties of Imperial, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego), serving until 1974. The series is arranged in six subseries.
    A) The Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws subseries combines the official documents from the State of California, Southern Region constitution and proclamation, and National City Rights of Incorporation charter into one collection.
    B) The Correspondence subseries contains incoming letters to Herman Baca, representing the National City chapter, and outgoing correspondence generated by the National City Chapter and Southern Region affiliates. Baca's resignation letter as chairman and county director is also present. The subseries is arranged alphabetically.
    C) The Membership files contain member cards, duties, and lists of the Southern region members.
    D) The MAPA Newsletter collection, arranged alphabetically by title, contains issues from the Oakland Chapter, San Diego County Council Chapter, and the State of California.
    E) The Publicity subseries, arranged alphabetically, comprises newspaper clippings, political candidate endorsements, and press releases.
    F) The Administrative subseries documents meeting minutes for the Southern Region chapter and also contains related writing by members on various issues.
    The LA RAZA UNIDA POLITICAL PARTY was established as an independent, third-party political community organization dedicated to the struggle of the Chicano people. In California, La Raza Unida was first organized in the Bay Area, taking a radical stance, emphasizing working class issues and Chicano-Mexicano ideas. Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales helped shape the party from Colorado; while in Texas, under the leadership of José Angel Gutiérrez, the party continued to grow and eventually combined with a national office in New Mexico. The First La Raza Unida National convention was held in 1972, featuring Chicano leaders César Chávez, Reyes López Tijerina, José Angel Gutiérrez, and Corky Gonzales.
    Herman Baca became involved with La Raza Unida in 1970, serving as San Diego County organizer and Southern California representative to the National Convention. The collection of La Raza Unida materials documents Baca's involvement as a National City party member, but also the greater scope of the party's achievements and philosophies through administrative documents, newspaper clippings, organizational history, newsletters, and numerous position papers and resolutions. The series is arranged in three subseries: A) National City Chapter, B) State Central Committee, and C) Regional Chapters.
    A) The local National City Chapter subseries includes two parts. Folders 4-9, arranged alphabetically by author, are position papers written by Bert Corona, Corky Gonzales, and Mario García defining the party's initiatives and San Diego County newsletters. Folders 10-14 are administrative in nature and include letterhead, local membership and contributor lists, political endorsements, and incoming and outgoing correspondence generated by and for Herman Baca.
    B) The State Central Committee subseries documents the broader scope of La Raza Unida in California. Materials include organization structure and regulations documents; position papers authored by Juan José Peña, state chairman; and documents resulting from the Central Committee including meeting minutes and discussion bulletins. Baca compiled a La Raza Unida history notebook including newspaper clippings, correspondence, related writing, notes, and proposals. The subseries is arranged alphabetically.
    C) The Regional Chapters subseries, arranged alphabetically, contains the newsletters from area chapters in San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles County, New Mexico, and other related papers on regional politics.
    The SUBJECT FILES series includes source materials Baca compiled relating to current community and political issues addressed by the Committee on Chicano Rights including immigration, border conflicts, employment discrimination, police brutality, and congressional legislation. The files are arranged alphabetically and contain correspondence, notes, newspaper clippings, and brochures of individuals, organizations, events, and other relevant action-related information.
    The COURT CASE FILES series collects documents from lawsuits and similar legal proceedings involving immigration and discrimination issues. The files are arranged alphabetically by the name of the proceeding.
    The CONFERENCES AND EVENTS series, arranged alphabetically by conference, contains organization materials relating to conferences and events that Herman Baca and/or the Committee on Chicano Rights attended or organized including registrations, newspaper clippings, and correspondence. The bulk of the materials are for the Chicano National Immigration Tribunal, April 11, 1981, organized for the purpose of addressing immigration policy and resulting in a community-drafted summary document from the conference both in English and Spanish, presented to President Ronald Reagan and Mexican President José López Portillo.
    This series includes published and unpublished writings on issues of concern to Herman Baca and the Committee on Chicano Rights. The writings represent papers presented at conferences, published works, and research papers on topics of immigration, labor disputes and discrimination, and cultural history. The series is arranged alphabetically by author or by title, if anonymous.
    The AUDIOVISUAL RECORDINGS series, arranged alphabetically, contains audiocassettes, DVDs, CDs, and videocassette recordings of various audio interviews, recorded speeches, and video footage of protest marches including, the roundtable proceeding of the Chicano National Immigration Conference Tribunal and Memorial March, 1981; Herman Baca as an interviewee on "Heart of San Diego" and KCTV Channel 39 "Look Alive"; and video footage of Herman Baca as a participant for the "Yes to Proposition Y" rally and "No to Proposition BB" debate. The series also contains several documentary DVDs created by Mark Baca.
    The PHOTOGRAPHS series comprises photographs of individuals, organizations, conference events, protest marches, and press conferences from 1963 to 2003. Of particular note are photographs of César Chávez's Yes to Proposition 14 Rally, 1976; Unity March against the Ku Klux Klan, 1977; National Protest March Against the Carter Curtain, 1979; and the Chicano National Immigration Tribunal, 1981. The series is arranged alphabetically.
    Herman Baca founded Aztec Printing in National City in 1969. The AZTEC PRINTING PRODUCTION FILES series accounts for pre-press materials used in creating brochures, flyers, fundraiser posters, and newsletters, all related to Baca's activist activities. The files are arranged in two subseries by material type: A) Newsletters and B) Organizational.
    A) Aztec Printing had primary responsibility for all levels of the pre-production layout work and printing for newsletters for the Chicano Federation of San Diego County, Committee on Chicano Rights, and El Tiempo Chicano with David Avalos as editor. Materials include pre-press paste-ups, halftone artworks, photographs, and used label copy. The subseries is arranged alphabetically.
    B) Aztec Printing was also responsible for the production of publicity and press materials for several organizations and events in the community including the Committee on Chicano Rights, CASA Justicia, local MEChA chapters, and La Raza Unida. The Organization files consist of print orders taken by Aztec Printing and the productive and pre-press documents. The types of materials included are posters, tickets, leaflets, programs, brochures, invitations, letterhead, and business cards, organized alphabetically by name of organization and is arranged alphabetically.
    The CHICANO ART series is arranged in three subseries by artist: A) David Avalos B) Victor Orozco Ochoa and C) Other Individuals.
    A) David Avalos has been creating provocative public art installations, video, and multi-media art since the 1970s in San Diego, National City, and Tijuana. The artworks represented in the CHICANO ART series are mainly original pen and ink illustrations used as visual commentary for the El Tiempo Chicano newsletter and as political statement art.
    B) Victor Orozco Ochoa is a widely recognized Chicano painter/muralist who co-initiated the Chicano Park community murals and co-founded the Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park. He is represented by two pen sketches.
    C) The third subseries contains artworks from other individuals in the Chicano community including Sal Barajas and Mario Acevedo in various media formats.
    The Chicano art movement has been fueled by intense polticial activity, cultural pride and expression from within the Chicano community. The collection of CHICANO MOVEMENT ART represents political and event related posters, Chicano "mexicanidad" calendars, and memorabilia. The series is arranged in three subseries: A) Posters, B) Calendars, and C) Miscellaneous.
    A) The Posters subseries represents promotional posters from the Annual Chicano Park Day (1981-2006), celebrating community pride and preservation of Barrio Logan history; Committee on Chicano Rights events and fundraisers, including the Chicano National Immigration Conference and March Against the Carter Curtain; national and international events in Mexico; regional events in and around San Diego and Tijuana, and events happening at University of California, San Diego.
    B) The Calendars collection contains "mexicanidad" wall calendars and Chicano and La Raza historical significance calendars.
    C) The Miscellaneous collection of CHICANO MOVEMENT ART are mainly mixed media large format political poster art representing immigration, discrimination and racism, equal labour rights, and La Raza visual statements. The collection also features posters of Malcolm X, César Chávez, and Francisco "Pancho" Villa. Additionally, the collection contains a cloth funeral procession flag for Cesar Chavez and several buttons from political candidate endorsements and protest marches.
    Herman Baca extensively utilized newspaper journalism as a research source when addressing pertinent issues. The NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS series contains clippings from newspapers and magazines from national, San Diego, Tijuana, and Baja California dating from 1964-2006. The collection represents both English and Spanish language sources and is arranged chronologically.
    The ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES contains the originals of brittle or acid content documents that have been photocopied.


    Herman Baca was born to Nicholas and Eloisa Carrasco Baca on April 5, 1943, in Los Lentes, New Mexico, a small agricultural community outside of Los Lunas. When he was eleven years old, his family moved to National City, California, where Baca attended Sweetwater Union School District schools through high school. Starting in the printing trade business after high school, he worked in a few local shops before opening his own private business, Aztec Printing, in 1969.
    With the emerging Chicano movement in the 1960s, Baca became involved in local electoral politics with a Chicano perspective. His father's (Nicholas Baca) participation in New Mexico's intense electoral politics influenced his development and transformation in California from a believer in the two-party political system into an independent Chicano activist committed to self-determination and human rights.
    Having previously worked as a block captain for the 1968 Richard Nixon presidential campaign, Baca organized the National City chapter of the statewide Mexican-American Political Association (MAPA) in 1968 and served as its president and southern region director until 1974. Despite the opposition of the local Democratic Party, Baca successfully managed Peter Chacon's primary election bid to win a seat to the California State Assembly; Chacon went on to author the state's bilingual education bill. Baca also managed the campaign of Ben Moreno, elected as a Southwestern Community College trustee, as well as other Chicano candidates.
    In 1970, prompted by the lack of Chicanos represented by either the Republican or the Democratic parties, Baca organized the San Diego County chapter of La Raza Unida Party, a national third-party effort to increase the participation of the Chicano commmunity as both registered voters and political candidates. That same year, he served as the Southern California representative to the National Congreso de la Raza Unida, the party's national convention. Also in the early 1970s, while chairman of the board of "War on Poverty" programs such as the Mexican American Advisory Committee, now the Metropolitan Area Advisory Committee (MAAC), and NEPSI, a narcotics education and prevention program, Baca organized and served as the chairman of the board of Casa Justicia, a community-based social service agency providing support for undocumented persons dealing with immigration issues.
    Not long after working on Peter Chacon's campaign, Baca helped organize the Ad Hoc Committee on Chicano Rights, representing thirty-two organizations in the Chicano community, with a purpose to address issues affecting the Chicano communities' civil and constitutional rights.
    Finally in 1975, in reaction to the co-option of the government-funded community organizations by the traditional political apparatus, he reorganized the Ad Hoc Committee as the Committee on Chicano Rights (CCR). With Baca as its chairman, the CCR established itself as a community-based, non-profit, non-government funded, volunteer membership organization committed to developing social and political awareness in the Chicano/Mexicano/Latino communities.
    Herman Baca currently operates Aztec Printing, resides in National City, and continues to address issues and be involved in local politics within the community, representing the Committee on Chicano Rights.
    Herman Baca Timeline:
    1943 Born and raised in Los Lentes, New Mexico
    1954 Moved with family to National City, California
    1961 Graduated from Sweetwater Union High School, National City
    1968 Organized the National City Chapter of a statewide political organization, the Mexican-American Political Association (MAPA) and served as president and Southern Region organizer until 1974
    1969 Organized Peter Chacon's successful primary election campaign for California State Assembly
    1969 Established private business, Aztec Printing in National City
    1970 Served as San Diego County organizer for the La Raza Unida Party, a Mexican-American national third-party, and acted as the Southern California representative to the National Congreso de La Raza Unida, its national convention
    1970 Served as chair of the board for community organizations such as MAAC and NEPSI, a narcotics education and prevention program
    1970 Organized and served as chair of the board at Casa Justicia, a community based social service agency supporting undocumented persons dealing with immigration issues
    1970 Chaired the Ad-Hoc Committee on Chicano Rights, representing thirty-two organizations in the Chicano community
    1972 Casa Justicia co-organized a Los Angeles march of 10,000 undocumented workers protesting the California Legislature's Dixon/Arnett Immigration Bill
    1973 Organized a 500-person picket at the San Diego County jail, protesting Sheriff Duffy's order to taxicab drivers to report suspected "illegal alien" passengers
    1975 Organized a 2000-person march in National City protesting a National City police officer's shooting and killing of an unarmed Latino youth, Luis "Tato" Rivera
    1975 Organizer and founding chairman of the Committee on Chicano Rights (CCR), a community based, non-profit, non-government funded, volunteer membership organization based on the principal of self-determination and dedicated to protecting the civil, constitutional, and human rights of the Chicano community
    1975 CCR organized a recall of National City mayor and city council for their failure to address the murder of Tato Rivera
    1977 CCR organized a 10,000 person unity march at the US-Mexico border protesting the Ku Klux Klan's planned apprehensions of undocumented Mexicans
    1979 CCR organized a Chicano National Immigration Conference, representing 200 national organizations, followed by a memorial march of 4000 community members at the US/Mexico border
    1981 CCR organized the Chicano National Immigration Conference Tribunal in San Diego, attended by major Chicano leaders to document the violence and brutality against person of Mexican ancestry. A 1,000 page document was delivered to the President of Mexico and to the Reagan administration
    1983 CCR organized a 3,000 person "17 Mile Walk for Rights" from San Diego to the US/Mexico border protesting Congress's Simpson/Mazzolli Immigration bill
    1984 CCR organized a rally to stop the National City Police Department from enforcing federal immigration laws
    1985 CCR organized a rally protesting the INS policy of arresting, incarcerating and deporting minor age children
    1986 CCR organized a protest of San Diego County Supervisor Susan Golding's utilization of police reports against undocumented immigrants
    1987 CCR assisted Native Americans in opposition to the canonization of Father Junipero Serra
    1988 Opposition to the 1987 Congressional approval of the Simpson/Rodino Immigration Act
    1989 Protested the San Diego County Jail abuse of inmates
    1990 Opposed talk show host Roger Hedgecock's campaign to encourage his supporters involvement in a "Light up the Border" effort at the US/Mexico border
    1991 Assisted National City's Filipino community seeking redress for police harassment
    1993 Opposed Senator Barbara Boxer's proposal to utilize California National Guard at the US/Mexico border to stop illegal immigrants
    1994 Organized a campaign and boycott against San Diego's NFL Chargers football team for naming their defensive line the "Border Patrol"
    1997 Campaigned against a Sierra Club's anti-immigration vote
    1998 Addressed through press release the 150th anniversary of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
    1999 Organized a political campaign regarding inferior education by Sweetwater Unified School District
    2000 Campaigned against the US Census Bureau's labeling of Chicano/Mexico/Latinos as white
    2003 Organized campaigns against National City's mayor and city council for failing to carry out voter mandates

    Preferred Citation

    Herman Baca Papers, MSS 649. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.

    Acquisition Information

    Not Available


    Master audiovisual recordings in Series 9 are restricted. Researchers must request a viewing copy to be produced.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    Digital Content

    Selected materials from this collection have been digitized and can be viewed through links in the container list.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Avalos, David
    Committee on Chicano Rights.
    Orozco Ochoa, Victor
    Graphic arts -- California -- San Diego
    Mexican American posters
    Mexican Americans -- California -- San Diego
    Mexican Americans -- Civil rights
    Mexican Americans -- Politics and government
    Political activists -- California -- San Diego