The collection consists of materials collected or created by Sylvia and Karl Kothe and the organizations in which they were
active, primarily concerning the creation of Oak Grove Regional Park in San Joaquin County, California, circa 1979-1999, and
citizens’ resistance to the attempted privatization by city officials of Stockton’s water services in 2002-2008. The collection
spans 1964-2012 and provides insight into grassroots activism in Stockton, California. It consists of documents, correspondence,
newsletters, newspapers, periodicals, photographs, CDs, videotape, book, scrapbooks, posters, and ephemera.
Karl and Sylvia Kothe were long-time members of the Audubon Society and the Sierra Club. Sylvia as well was active in the
Stockton League of Women Voters. Twice she was elected its president, the first time in 1969. Karl and Sylvia’s involvement
in these groups led them to activism in the issues that were important to them. They were part of a group of volunteers who
lobbied successfully for a natural preserve during the creation of Oak Grove Regional Park in San Joaquin County, California,
and Karl served as executive secretary for the Valley Oak Alliance. The Kothes also took part in a citizens’ resistance to
the attempted privatization by city officials of Stockton’s water services. Sylvia Kothe chaired the Concerned Citizens Coalition
(CCC), a group made up of individuals and organizations in the community who opposed privatization, and she became one of
its public voices. Following petition and referendum drives and lawsuits, the CCC and their partner groups were ultimately
successful in returning control of Stockton’s water services to public control.