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Finding Aid for the Independent Progressive Party and Californians for Liberal Representation records, 1938-1986
1614  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Independent Progressive Party and Californians for Liberal Representation records
    Date (inclusive): 1938-1986
    Collection number: 1614
    Creator: Berman, Jack.
    Extent: 26 boxes (13 linear ft.) 5 oversize boxes.
    Abstract: The records of the Independent Progressive Party and Californians for Liberal Representation as collected by Jack Berman capture the trajectory of liberal and progressive politics as it unfolded in Los Angeles from 1938-1986. The bulk of the collection is comprised of the Independent Progressive Party (IPP) and Californians for Liberal Representation's (CLR) organizational records. The collection also contains a small sampling of Jack Berman's personal papers from his involvement in California politics after the organizational lives of the IPP and CLR.
    Language: Finding aid is written in English.
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Jack Berman.

    Processing Note

    Processed by Tiffany-Kay Sangwand and Krystal Appiah in the Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT), with assistance from Kelley Wolfe Bachli, Summer 2008.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Independent Progressive Party and Californians for Liberal Representation records (Collection 1614). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 2723042 

    Biography

    The records of the Independent Progressive Party and Californians for Liberal Representation as collected by Jack Berman capture the trajectory of liberal and progressive politics as it unfolded in Los Angeles from 1938-1986.
    The Independent Progressive Party formed in 1948 to support Henry A. Wallace and Glen Taylor's Presidential/Vice-Presidential campaign. In 1947, the Third Party Organizing Committee formed to put the IPP on the ballot. In 1948, the IPP merged with the Progressive Citizens of America (PCA), an organization founded in 1946. This occurred under the tenure of Bert Witt, Executive Director of the PCA. The Hollywood Independent Citizens Committee of the Arts, Sciences and Professions (HICCASP), an affiliate organization of the PCA which consisted of 3,000 people in radio, motion pictures, sciences and education, remained autonomous but affiliated with the IPP. At the time of the merger, HICCASP was chaired by the screenwriter Howard Koch.
    Calvin Benham "Beanie" Baldwin, IPP National Secretary, headed the national headquarters in New York. The IPP had offices in at least forty-five states. As evidenced by the records collected by Jack Berman, California was a particularly active site of the IPP. He was a small businessman who was extremely active in the IPP and served as the Los Angeles County Vice-Chairman under Bill Elconin, Los Angeles County Chairman. Berman ran for office on the Board of Education but withdrew as to not divide support among progressive candidates.
    In July 1948, the Independent Progressive Party held its founding convention in Philadelphia where it announced the presidential candidacy of Wallace. It was well-attended by labor leaders, progressive politicians, community leaders, the working-class and people of color. The IPP/Wallace platform called for peace, the end to Jim Crow laws, and improving the nation's standard of living. Wallace's campaign was unique at the time because it was not segregated; black and white candidates appeared alongside each other and Wallace would refuse to speak to segregated audiences or patronize segregated business establishments. Although the IPP vigorously organized across the country, Wallace was unsuccessful in his bid for presidency against Harry Truman. In 1950, Wallace broke with the party due to political differences.
    Following the Wallace campaign, the IPP continued to organize on the local, state and national level but remained on the fringes of American politics. In the McCarthy and Cold War era, the party was labeled Communist for its staunch support of labor and call for diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Russia. Many party members were harassed by the House of Un-American Activities Committee. The IPP was also marginalized for its support of African American candidates. A portion of the received correspondence captures the vehement pro-segregation and anti-Communist mindset that swept the society of the time.
    In 1952, the IPP held its third national convention in Chicago, Illinois where it announced Vincent Hallinan and Charlotta Bass as the IPP's Presidential and Vice-Presidential nominees, respectively. W.E.B. DuBois gave the keynote speech. The 1952 IPP campaign is particularly historic because Bass was the first African-American woman to run for national office. However, the campaign failed to garner widespread attention and support and was unsuccessful.
    The IPP disbanded in 1955.
    Californians for Liberal Representation (CLR) arrived on the Los Angeles political scene in 1962. It was founded by mostly white, middle-class, liberally minded, anti-war advocates. They coalesced around the issue of the Vietnam War and their first major fundraising campaign in 1962 helped elect Edward Roybal and George Brown, two anti-war Congressmen. Some of the early members of the organization include Arthur Carstens (Chairman), Maurice Weiner (Executive Director), Jack Berman (Coordinator) and Eleanor "Elly" Wagner (Administrative Secretary). The board consisted of activists from the broad spectrum of Los Angeles political life and included members from organizations such as the ACLU, community religious leaders, and entertainers such as Steve Allen.
    After its 1962 campaign for Roybal and Brown, CLR continued its work choosing liberal candidates and formally endorsing them with fundraising and publicity. They were particularly instrumental in supporting and increasing representation of Mexican-American and African Americans within municipal politics. In 1968, CLR planned a rally featuring Martin Luther King; unfortunately, the rally was never realized as King was assassinated a few weeks before the event was slated to take place. In 1969, CLR executed one of its largest campaign efforts in support of Tom Bradley's mayoral bid.
    In addition to aiding liberal politicians in Los Angeles, CLR supported liberal politicians and figures nationwide. Each year they presented the Estes Kefauver Award, which was named after the Assembly member and Congressman who assisted the CLR in building a progressive coalition of community leaders. Some of the Kefauver Award winners include journalist William Shirer, Senators George McGovern, Wayne Morse, and Joseph Clark.
    The organization remained active for over ten years. Eleanor Wagner, one of the founding members, left CLR in 1972. Jack Berman fulfilled her duties as administrative secretary (essentially the executor of board decisions) and CLR continued its work through the late 1970s. To date, there has been little scholarship on CLR's contribution to liberal politics in Los Angeles.

    Scope and Content

    The bulk of the collection is comprised of the Independent Progressive Party (IPP) and Californians for Liberal Representation's (CLR) organizational records. The third series contains a small sampling of Jack Berman's personal papers from his involvement in California politics after the organizational lives of the IPP and CLR.

    Organization and Arrangement

    The collection is organized into three series: Independent Progressive Party (IPP), Californians for Liberal Representation (CLR), and Liberal Political Activity in California, 1968-1986. The series titles were imposed as the collection lacked a meaningful original order. The series are arranged in chronological order.
    • The Independent Progressive Party series contains three subseries: Administrative, Subject Files, and Henry A. Wallace. Folders are arranged in alphabetical, chronological (when appropriate) order.
    • The Californians for Liberal Representation series contains two subseries: Administrative and Subject Files. Folders are arranged in alphabetical, chronological (when appropriate) order.
    • The Liberal Political Activity in California, 1982-1986 series contains four folders divided by articles, organizations, and people. Folders are arranged in alphabetical order.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

    Subjects

    Independent Progressive Party.
    Californians for Liberal Representation.

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