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Valley Voters Organized Toward Empowerment Collection
URB.VOTE  
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Table of contents What's This?
  • Historical Note:
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement of Materials:
  • Electronic Format:
  • Conditions Governing Access:
  • Conditions Governing Use:
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Preferred Citation:
  • Processing Information:

  • Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives
    Title: Valley Voters Organized Toward Empowerment Collection
    Creator: Valley Voters Organized Toward Empowerment
    Identifier/Call Number: URB.VOTE
    Extent: 13.93 linear feet
    Extent: 5.82 Gigabytes
    Date (inclusive): 1978-2003
    Date (bulk): 1997-2002
    Abstract: Valley Voters Organized Toward Empowerment (Valley VOTE) is the non-profit organization which led the secession efforts of the San Fernando Valley from 1997-2002. The collection documents their petition drive, the resulting investigation by the Local Agency Formation Commission for the County of Los Angeles (LAFCO), and the Measure F campaign which allowed Los Angeles residents to vote on the issue of secession.
    Language of Material: English, Spanish; Castilian

    Historical Note:

    Valley Voters Organized Toward Empowerment (Valley VOTE) is the non-profit organization which led the secession efforts of the San Fernando Valley from 1997-2002. The group was formed in 1996 under the direction of two San Fernando Valley Residents: commercial real estate broker, Jeff Brain, and attorney, Richard Close.
    In 1997, shortly after California Governor Pete Wilson signed a bill removing the veto power of city councils in cases of municipal reorganization and requiring instead a majority community vote, Valley VOTE launched a petition drive to initiate a feasibility study on the detachment of the San Fernando Valley from the City of Los Angeles. The petition drive was ultimately successful and in 1999 the Local Agency Formation Commission for the County of Los Angeles (LAFCO) began an investigation to determine the fiscal self-sufficiency of a new valley city and measure the fiscal impacts of Valley cityhood on the City of Los Angeles. The LAFCO investigation required extensive reports from both Valley VOTE and the City of Los Angeles, as well as public hearings. During this time, other local communities were attempting similar detachment efforts, including Hollywood and L.A.'s Harbor area.
    In 2002, LAFCO approved the San Fernando Valley Proposal for Special Reorganization and Ballot Measure F was scheduled for the fall 2002 election, giving Los Angeles residents the opportunity to vote on the issue. In addition to determining Valley secession, the 2002 ballot also gave residents the opportunity to name the new city and elect a mayor and council members. Valley VOTE led the campaigning efforts in support of Measure F, but the measure failed to garner the necessary votes to pass.
    Valley VOTE continues to operate as a non-profit organization focused on improving local government.

    Scope and Contents

    The Valley Voters Organized Toward Empowerment Collection documents the efforts of the San Fernando Valley residents who, from 1997-2002, attempted to secede from the city of Los Angeles to form a separate municipality. The collection includes their petition drive, the investigation conducted by the Local Agency Formation Commission for the County of Los Angeles (LAFCO), and the Measure F campaign which allowed Los Angeles residents to vote on the issue.
    The collection is divided into four series: Organizing Files (1978-2003), Local Agency Formation Commission of Los Angeles County Investigation (1998-2003), City of Los Angeles (1994-2002), and Reorganization Efforts of Nearby Communities (1994-2002).
    Series I, Organizing Files, documents Valley VOTE's grassroots efforts to create an autonomous municipality in the San Fernando Valley. The series is further divided into four subseries: Administrative Files (1992-2003), Outreach and Events (1997-2003), Special Issues (1987-2002), and Independent Reports and Publications (1978-2002). Subseries A, Administrative Files, consists of correspondence, Valley VOTE meeting agendas and minutes, research materials such as maps, legislature, and reports, housekeeping files, materials from affiliated organizations, and press coverage related to Valley VOTE's secession efforts beginning just before the initial petition drive in 1997 through the conclusion of the 2002 general election, including an audio recording of KRLA Radio 870's "Legal Challenges." Also included are materials documenting the candidates of local elections, including those running for office in the proposed new valley city. The files are arranged alphabetically according to subject and chronologically within. Subseries B, Outreach and Events, documents Valley VOTE's promotional activities and volunteer efforts, including a letter writing campaign to Governor Wilson regarding Assembly Bill 62, the petition drive to initiate the LAFCO investigation, public submissions to rename the new valley city, and the Measure F Campaign. Contact lists, volunteer lists, event fliers and calendars, promotional handouts and forms, press kits, and campaign brochures are also included. The files are arranged alphabetically according to subject and chronologically within. Subseries C, Special Issues, consists of those files identified by Valley VOTE as a special issue to their organizing efforts. The files maintain Valley VOTE's original naming conventions and are arranged alphabetically according to subject and chronologically within. Subseries D, Independent Reports and Publications, consists of publications on the topic of valley secession authored by individuals or organizations not directly tied to Valley VOTE's operations. Authors include the League of Women Voters, the Rose Institute of State and Local Government, the Committee Investigating Valley Independent City/County, the Symposium on Rightsizing Local and Regional Government, the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley, California State University Northridge, California State University Sacramento, University of California Los Angeles, Harvard University, and scholars of political science, public policy, and economics. The files are arranged chronologically. For news publications, see Series I, Subseries A.
    Series II, Local Agency Formation Commission of Los Angeles County Investigation, documents the formal investigation conducted by LAFCO which was initiated by Valley VOTE's Application for Special Reorganization petition drive. It consists primarily of reports submitted to LAFCO by Valley VOTE and the City of Los Angeles to determine the feasibility of detaching the San Fernando Valley from Los Angeles. Reports cover the reorganization plan and proposal, the initial and comprehensive fiscal analysis, environmental impact, as well as follow-up comments and negotiations of Valley VOTE, city officials, and LAFCO's executive officer. Related meeting materials and correspondence are also included as well as audio recordings of several LAFCO proceedings and an audo recording of a special workshop on reorganization for LAFCO Commissioners. The files are arranged alphabetically according to subject and chronologically within.
    Series III, City of Los Angeles, documents aspects of the city's involvement in the secession movement and consists primarily of expenditure reports of various municipal departments. Organizational charts and meeting materials of the city's Ad Hoc Committee on Secession are also included, as well as a cost burden analysis conducted by an independent consultant on behalf of the city. The files are arranged alphabetically according to subject and chronologically within.
    Series IV, Reorganization Efforts of Nearby Communities, documents the secession efforts of other communities in Los Angeles with a predominant focus on Hollywood and the Harbor Area. The series includes promotional materials, maps, and correspondence as well as some of the formal reports submitted to the county for separate investigation. Additional Harbor reports can be found in Series II and are labeled as such for easy identification. The files are arranged alphabetically according to subject and chronologically within.

    Arrangement of Materials:

    Series I: Organizing Files, 1978-2003
        Subseries A: Administrative Files, 1992-2003
        Subseries B: Outreach and Events, 1997-2003
        Subseries C: Special Issues, 1987-2002
        Subseries D: Independent Reports and Publications, 1978-2002
    Series II: Local Agency Formation Commission of Los Angeles County Investigation, 1998-2003
    Series III: City of Los Angeles, 1994-2002
    Series IV: Reorganization Efforts of Nearby Communities, 1994-2002

    Electronic Format:

    Digital reproductions of selected items in this collection are available electronically as a part of the San Fernando Valley History Digital Library.  

    Related Material

    Conditions Governing Access:

    The collection is open for research use.

    Conditions Governing Use:

    Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection has been transferred to California State University, Northridge. Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Jeff Brain, 05/29/2003

    Preferred Citation:

    For information about citing items in this collection consult the appropriate style manual, or see the Citing Archival Materials  guide.

    Processing Information:

    Christine Hertzel, Inderdeep Kaur, and Tiffney Sanford, 2015

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Ephemera
    Maps
    Documents
    Photographs
    Audiovisual materials