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Inventory of the Alan Robbins Papers
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • State Senate, 1973-1990
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Alan Robbins Papers
    Dates: 1973-1991
    Collection number: LP438
    Creator: Alan Robbins, California Legislator
    Collection Size: 15.5 cubic feet
    Repository: California State Archives
    Sacramento, California
    Abstract: Alan Robbins, Democrat, was a State Senator, 1973-1991. He initially represented the 22nd Senatorial District. Following redistricting in 1974, he represented the 20th Senatorial District. The Alan Robbins Papers consist of 15.5 cubic feet and are organized into three record series: Bill Files (1973-1991); Subject Files (1973-1991); and Press Releases (1973-1981).
    Physical location: California State Archives
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Administrative Information


    While the majority of the records are open for research, any access restrictions are noted in the record series descriptions.

    Publication Rights

    For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Alan Robbins Papers, LP438:[folder number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.

    Acquisition and Custodial History

    The California State Archives acquired the Alan Robbins Papers following his final term in the State Legislature.


    Senator Alan Robbins, Democrat, was a State Senator, 1973-1991. He initially represented the 22nd Senatorial District, that included the San Fernando Valley communities of Sepulveda, Panorama City, Sylmar, San Fernando, Pacoima, Sun Valley, and parts of Van Nuys, North Hollywood, Granada Hills, Mission Hills, Reseda and Burbank. Following redistricting in 1974, he represented the 20th Senatorial District, which included cities within Los Angeles County.
    Alan Robbins was born in Philadelphia in 1943. In 1949 his family moved to Southern California, where he attended Lankershim Elementary School, North Hollywood Junior High, and North Hollywood High School. He graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1963 with a Bachelor's Degree in political science, and in 1966 he graduated from the UCLA School of Law where he received the American Jurisprudence Prize in land use planning.
    In 1966 he was admitted to the California Bar at the age of 23, becoming the youngest licensed attorney in the state at that time. In 1966 he also drafted the Revision of the Legislative Article of the State Constitution, which had been the only successful constitutional revision in California since 1879, for which he was commended by the California Legislature. He married Miriam Elbaum and they have two children, Leah and Jacob.
    Throughout his career, Robbins participated in many community and philanthropic organizations. He was an active participant in the Valley Association for the Vista del Mar Orphanage, the San Fernando Valley Symphony Association, the United Jewish Welfare Fund, the American Bar Association, the Valley and County Bar Associations, the Valley Beach and Bar Committee for Israeli Bonds, the Van Nuys Toastmasters, the Encino Chamber of Commerce, the North Hollywood, B'nai B'rith and the Justice Lodge of the B'nai B'rith, the Van Nuys Elks, the Environmental Education Group, the San Fernando Valley Naval Reserve Association, the United Crusade, City of Hope, and the Cedar-Sinai Medical Center.
    Alan Robbins also served in the California Army National Guard with active duty in the U.S. Army in 1967, and in 1968 he became a Commissioned Officer in the United States Naval Reserve. He was also President of the Valley Council of Young Democrats, the Los Angeles County Young Democrats and a member of the Democratic State Central Committee of California, and in 1960 was the Vice Chairman of the Youth for Kennedy (Southern California).
    During his initial term in 1973, Robbins authored more legislation than any other freshman Senator in history. During this first session, he authored the Robbins Rape Evidence Law (Chapter 569, Statutes of 1974), which became the model for similar legislation in several other states. In 1979 he authored and successfully helped pass Proposition 1, which was California's landmark anti-busing initiative. And he was also involved in authoring and passing the Robbins-Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and various auto insurance bills which required drivers to carry proof of insurance.
    In 1991 Robbins was charged with racketeering and tax evasion and was sentenced to 20 months in prison and a $250,000 fine for accepting bribes and filing a false tax return. He also agreed to aid in the investigation of government corruption in an attempt to lessen his federal sentence. Robbins resigned from the State Senate on November 20, 1991. In 2000, the California Legislature passed a bill which wiped Robbins' name from any and all laws he authored and which were "tombstoned" in his memory.
    During his term in the Legislature, Alan Robbins was a member of the following committees:

    State Senate, 1973-1990

    • Standing Committees
    • Banking and Commerce, 1981-1990
    • Budget and Fiscal Review, 1985-1989
    • Business and Professions 1981
    • Elections and Reapportionment, 1975, 1983-1984
    • Finance, 1981-1984
    • Governmental Organization, 1983-1986
    • Industrial Relations, 1975-1980 (Vice Chair, 1975-1976)
    • Vice Chair, 1975-1976
    • Insurance, Claims and Indemnity 1983-1984 (Chair, 1983-1984)
    • Chair, 1983-1984
    • Insurance, Claims and Corporations 1985-1990
    • Chair, 1985-1990; Insurance and Financial Institutions 1977-1980; Insurance and Indemnity, 1981-1982
    • Chair, 1981-1982
    • Judiciary, 1973-1980, 1982
    • Local Government, 1977-1982
    • Public Employment and Retirement, 1973-1976
    • Public Utilities and Corporations 1973
    • Revenue and Taxation, 1973
    • Transportation, 1983-1990
    • Select Committees
    • Government Efficiency, 1982-1990 (Chair, 1982-1990)
    • Chair, 1982-1990
    • Motion Picture, Television, Commercial and Recording Industries, 1984-1990
    • Public Transportation Problems in Los Angeles, 1977-1980 (Chair, 1979-1980)
    • Chair, 1979-1980
    • Special Committees
    • Legislative Oversight and Government Efficiency, 1980 (Chair, 1980)
    • Chair, 1980

    Scope and Content

    The Alan Robbins Papers consist of 15.5 cubic feet and are organized into three record series: Bill Files (1973-1991); Subject Files (1973-1991); and Press Releases (1973-1981). The Bill Files document Robbins' legislative activity during his terms and include a wide array of subjects. Of particular interest are bills concerning rape legislation, Proposition 1 (the California anti-busing initiative), auto insurance, health insurance, drug use prevention, the Robbins-Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and transportation.
    The Alan Robbins Papers also include Subject Files that pertain to proposed legislation, with topics including constituent correspondence, energy, rape legislation, San Fernando Valley Fair, reapportionment, redevelopment, and busing. The Press Releases include bound volumes of official press releases from Senator Robbins.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Robbins, Alan, 1943-
    California. Legislature. Senate
    United Jewish Welfare Fund