The Ellen Stern Harris papers document the efforts and accomplishments of a California environmental activist whose concerns
ranged from protecting the California coastline to cleaning up campaign finances. Harris established herself as a leading
activist through exhaustive correspondence, editorials, committee testimonies, lectures, cable television shows, and a Los
Angeles Times consumer advocate column. Highlights of the collection include papers concerning her fight against the San Onofre
Nuclear Generating Station (1971), the writing and passing of Proposition 20 (1972), her term as Vice Chairwoman of the California
Coastal Zone Conservation Commission (1972-1976), and her internal investigation of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern
California (1978). Also included is her research on such topics as media power, financial reform, electromagnetic field health
concerns, and Beverly Hills community issues. This collection documents Harris’ lifelong dedication to promoting citizen rights
in both her professional appointments and personal interests.
Ellen Stern Harris (1929-2006) was an environmental activist primarily concerned with water management and coastal protection.
She grew up in Beverley Hills, California and was largely self-taught—she did not attend college. She was the mother of two
children and was divorced in the mid-1960s. Harris served on a number of environmental committee boards and has a diverse
set of accomplishments to her name, including founding the non-profit organization the Fund for the Environment in 1970 and
serving as Executive Director until her death.
18.4 linear ft.
(46 document boxes and 1 flat box)
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