Oral history interview with Miguel F. Garcia II


SESSION 1, February 21, 1990

    SESSION 1, February 21, 1990
  • [Tape 1, Side A]
  • Family history in Jalisco - Migrating to Tijuana, then to Los Angeles - Underrepresentation of Mexicans in his high school - His father's pressure that he become a physician - Difficulty with the English language - Attending California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) - Contemporaries and activists in United Mexican-American Students at CSULA - Unable to join fraternities and other social groups as a married student - The decision to become a lawyer - Picking a law school - The intimidating environment at Loyola University School of Law - More on his father's influence in attaining an education - Garcia's introduction to political concerns - First involvement in electoral politics - working for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services [DPSS] - The impact of the East Los Angeles school walk-outs - Advocate for welfare recipients - How his involvement meshed with other manifestations of the Chicano movement - Demonstrating against the director of DPSS - His role in Católicos por la Raza - Advocating a more responsive Catholic church in Los Angeles - Demonstrations at St. Basil's Cathedral.

  • [Tape 1, Side B]
  • Participation in demonstration leads to delays in certification for the bar - What he learned from participation in demonstrations - His first case against police abuse leads to establishment of legal principle - Working for the rights of defendants in police violence cases - More on police abuse cases and the destruction of citizen complaints - Winning a landmark case in the California Supreme Court - Using the defense of "discriminatory enforcement" - The Pitchess motion - The Murgia motion - Destruction of complaint documents by law enforcement agencies.

SESSION 2, February 26, 1990

    SESSION 2, February 26, 1990
  • [Tape 2, Side A]
  • Garcia's involvement in the 1970s California reapportionment - The Congress of Mexican-American Unity - Chicanos for Fair Representation - The 1980 reapportionment effort - The role of Richard A. Santillán and the Rose Institute of Local and State Government - The conference to launch the 1981 effort - Impressions of the presentations at that conference - The importance of the data-processing capabilities at the Rose Institute - Preparing a follow-up to the Rose Institute meeting - The founding meeting of Californios for Fair Representation (CFR) - A nonpartisan effort that seemed to prefer the Democratic party - Reservations about working with the Rose Institute - The role of the director, Alan Heslop - Organizational representatives in the early stages of CFR - The committee structure of the CFR coalition - Developing strategies and tactics for CFR - Armando Navarro - Electing the leadership of the organization and organizing chapters statewide Garcia's role as "consensus documenter."

  • [Tape 2, Side B]
  • Individual members of CFR - The role of organizations in southern California - How Navarro's efforts expanded the size and number of local chapters - The response to CFR from established Latino organizations - The response of Latino elected officials - The participation of members of the Latino legislative caucus - Mistrust of motives among key members of CFR - The suspicions of the Democratic party - The response of Democrats in charge of reapportionment - The Republican party's efforts to be helpful.

SESSION 3, May 14, 1990

    SESSION 3, May 14, 1990
  • [Tape 3, Side A]
  • More on CFR strategy - Disagreements over the value of public hearings - Using the hearings to "benefit from the information without making any concessions in terms of philosophy" - Most members were registered Democrats - Some consistencies with earlier La Raza Unida party principles - Lessons gained from La Raza Unida that helped CFR - Democratic party principles that still attracted some members of CFR - Chicanos need a more individualistic approach to get ahead - Social welfare's self-perpetuating quality - More on how incumbents reacted to CFR - Garcia's view of the successes of CFR's efforts - Richard J. Alatorre - Speaker of the Assembly Willie L, Browns Jr. - Why some CFR leaders mistrusted Alatorre - The sit-in in Brown's office - More on the creation of local coalitions to address reapportionment - The media as the main leverage CFR used - Why litigation was not used effectively during the 1981 reapportionment effort - Personality clashes that characterized CFR in its final stages - Ideological diversity - More on differences with Alatorre - More on the sit-ins - The political strengths of CFR.

  • [Tape 3, Side B]
  • CFR's political weaknesses - Reliance upon the media - Chicano incumbents wary of CFR - Efforts not to alienate black incumbents - Proposals to collapse Democratic incumbents' districts to favor Latinos - The accomplishments of CFR - How CFR encouraged voter registration drives - The political lessons of the CFR experience - Impact of demographics and experience upon future efforts.

About this text
Courtesy of Dept of Special Collections/UCLA Library, A1713 Charles E. Young Research Library, 405 Hilgard Ave, Box 951575, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575; http://www.library.ucla.edu/libraries/special/scweb/
Title: Oral history interview with Miguel F. Garcia II
By:  García, Miguel F., 1943-, Interviewee, Vásquez, Carlos, 1944-, Interviewer
Date: 1990
Contributing Institution: Dept of Special Collections/UCLA Library, A1713 Charles E. Young Research Library, 405 Hilgard Ave, Box 951575, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575; http://www.library.ucla.edu/libraries/special/scweb/
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