Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Molina (Gloria) papers
mssMolina  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (447.12 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Gloria Molina papers
    Date (inclusive): 1965-2014
    Bulk dates: 1991-2005
    Collection Number: mssMolina
    Creator: Molina, Gloria
    Physical Description: Approx. 546 Linear Feet (Approx. 1,254 boxes, 23 cartons)
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2129
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection contains the papers of Gloria Molina (born 1948), who was a Los Angeles County Supervisor of the First Supervisorial District from 1991 to 2014. This collection is mainly comprised of records created and accumulated during her years on the Board of Supervisors. These materials -- including correspondence, agenda, motions, reports, press clippings, notes, ephemera, site plans, photographs, audiovisual and electronic resources -- document a wide range of activities performed by Molina and her staff, such as project planning, legislation, lawsuits, redistricting, campaigning, and budget planning.
    Language: The collection is primarily in English with some material in Spanish.

    Conditions Governing Access

    Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department.
    Some material in this collection has been sealed:
    • Items marked CONFIDENTIAL by the donor are sealed for 30 years from date of creation.
    • Materials related to closed sessions of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors are sealed for 30 years from date of creation.
    • Some personal, financial, medical, and education records are sealed for 75 years from date of creation.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Gloria Molina papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Provenance

    Gift of Gloria Molina, November 2014.

    Biographical Note

    Gloria Molina was a Los Angeles County Supervisor of the First Supervisorial District from 1991 to 2014. Prior to becoming the first Latina elected to the Board of Supervisors in 1991, Molina served as California State Assembly Member from 1982 to 1987 and Los Angeles City Council Member from 1987 to 1991. Notably, she was also the first Hispanic woman elected to the state legislature and Los Angeles City Council.
    Gloria Molina was born on May 31, 1948 in Montebello, California, a city east of downtown Los Angeles. Molina was the oldest of ten children, whose parents were Leonardo and Concepcíon Molina. After Molina graduated from El Rancho High School in 1966, she worked as a legal secretary for a corporate law firm in downtown Los Angeles. Molina initially studied fashion design at Rio Hondo College, then she transferred to East Los Angeles College and subsequently California State University, Los Angeles. In 1971 Molina worked as a job counselor at the East Los Angeles Community Union (TELACU), and in 1972 she was as an instructor at the East Los Angeles Skills Center.
    Molina took her first steps in politics when she volunteered in Robert Kennedy's 1968 presidential campaign. In 1970, she participated in the Chicano Moratorium against the Vietnam War, a grass-roots, Chicano anti-war movement in East Los Angeles. While a member of the Mexican-American Students Association at East Los Angeles College, Molina focused her political thought on the empowerment of Chicanas. During that period, Molina volunteered at Casa Maravilla Community Center to educate underprivileged Hispanic women. Molina also became a key member of Comisión Femenil Mexicana Nacional; she was the founding president of Comisión Femenil de Los Angeles in 1973, the national president from 1974 to 1976, and the first Chairwoman of Chicana Service Action Center.
    Molina began her political career volunteering for the State Assembly campaign of Richard Alatorre in 1972 and of Art Torres in 1974, both of whom were key political members of the Chicano Generation. After Torres was elected, Molina worked in his District Office as an administrative assistant. At that time, she also served as chair of Women's Rights Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. In 1975 Molina was the Hispanic deputy for Jimmy Carter's successful presidential campaign in California, then she served as a Deputy for Presidential Personnel in Washington, D.C. In 1979 Molina moved to San Francisco to serve as the Director of Intergovernmental and Congressional Affairs for the United States Department of Health and Human Services. In 1981 Molina returned to Los Angeles to work as the chief deputy to California State Assembly Speaker Willie Brown.
    In 1982, after Art Torres decided to run for State Senate, Molina won the race for his vacated seat in the 56th District of the State Assembly. During her tenure, Molina established herself as a populist political outsider by drafting legislations and organizing civil actions that prioritized her Boyle Heights-based constituency above personal and establishment interests. Notably, after the Department of Corrections proposed to build a state prison in East L.A. in 1985, Molina worked alongside community activists, such as Mothers of East Los Angeles, to orchestrate a grass-roots movement against the construction plan, which was eventually abandoned in 1992.
    In 1987, with her rising popularity as result of the fight against the prison, Molina was elected to the Los Angeles City Council. Representing the First District, Molina initiated policies to ensure neighborhood safety and to enhance municipal services for her constituents in East L.A. Some notable plans include Central City West, a commercial and affordable housing development in downtown L.A., and More Advocates for Safe Homes (MASH), a neighborhood crime abatement group.
    Following the 1990 Garza v. County of Los Angeles ruling, which ended the Board of Supervisor's lengthy gerrymandering that had excluded Latino representation from County government, Molina ran in the 1991 special election for the seat of a redrawn First District. The largely Latino district stretched from Downtown L.A. to Claremont, encompassing eastside cities and unincorporated areas such as East Los Angeles, El Monte, Azusa, Walnut, and Pomona. In February 1991, Molina was elected to the County Board of Supervisors, which acts as the legislative, executive, and judicial governing body of the County. At the time, the five-member Board controlled a budget of $13 billion that served 8.5 million people in the county.
    During her twenty-three years as County Supervisor, Molina tackled an extensive range of issues affecting her district and the wider county, such as transportation, education, public safety, public and mental health, child welfare, environmental protection, homelessness, affordable housing, and development of parks and cultural spaces. Some of her major accomplishments included the eastside extension of Metro Gold Line, ending County's practice of pension spiking, redevelopment of East Los Angeles Civic Center and Grand Park, and construction of LAC+USC Medical Center. Molina won Board re-elections in 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, and 2010.
    In addition, Molina served as a vice chair on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) from 1996 to 2004. She was also a board member for Mexican American legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), Robert F. Kennedy Memorial, and Southwest Voter Registration and Education Project.
    In 2014, Molina retired from the Board of Supervisors due to term limits, ending her thirty-two-year career in public service for Los Angeles.

    Scope and Contents

    The Gloria Molina papers is comprised predominantly of records created and accumulated during her tenure on the Board of Supervisors from 1991 to 2014. These materials -- including correspondence, agenda, motions, reports, press clippings, notes, ephemera, site plans, photographs, audiovisual and electronic resources -- document a wide range of activities performed by Molina and her staff, such as project planning, legislation, lawsuits, redistricting, campaigning, and budget planning. The collection also includes few groups of material from Molina's years on the State Assembly and City Council from 1982 to 1991, most notably files regarding her opposition to the construction of a state prison in East Los Angeles.
    Series I consists of papers from Molina's main office at the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration. These documents highlight a wide range of issues covered in Molina's work as a County Supervisor. The files contain agenda, correspondence, memoranda, reports, press releases, photographs, site plans, audiovisual and electronic resources, and notes about many topics Molina and her team focused on throughout her terms, such as county services, social and political events, cities and unincorporated areas, LAC+USC Medical Center, budget, and legislation. A small portion of this series also contain files that were created when she was a member of the State Assembly (1982-1987) and the City Council (1987-1991), such as those on the construction of a state prison in East Los Angeles. (Most records created between 2012 to 2014 is currently in process and will be opened later in 2017.)
    Series II contains records from Molina's El Monte and East Los Angeles Field Offices, which served as platforms for the field deputies to communicate directly with communities in the First District. The Field Office files include material related to local issues, such as city infrastructure, education, public health, and senior programs. (Series II is currently unavailable and will be opened later in 2017.)
    Series III contains photographs of County Supervisor Gloria Molina during presentations, meetings, and other public events. (Series IV is currently unavailable and will be opened later in 2017.)
    Series IV consists of press clippings and biographical material about Gloria Molina during her terms on the L.A. County Board of Supervisors. (Series III is currently unavailable and will be opened later in 2017.)
    Series V is comprised of VHS and DVDs that document LA County Board of Supervisors meetings, public events, press conferences and ceremonies that Gloria Molina attended. They also include news excerpts, documentaries, and other recordings about LA County and related topics. (Series V is currently unavailable and will be opened later in 2017.)

    Arrangement

    The collection is arranged in five series:
    • Series I. Hall of Administration files
    • Series II. Field Offices files
      • Subseries A: El Monte Field Office files
      • Subseries B: East Los Angeles Field Office files
    • Series III: Photographs
    • Series IV: Press files
    • Series V: Audiovisual materials

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

    Subjects

    Molina, Gloria
    Los Angeles County (Calif.). Board of Supervisors
    City Planning -- Los Angeles County (Calif.)
    County government -- Los Angeles County (Calif.) -- Officials and employees
    Gerrymandering -- California -- Los Angeles -- Case studies
    Hispanic Americans -- California -- Los Angeles -- History -- 20th century
    Hispanic Americans -- California -- Los Angeles -- History -- 21st century
    Hispanic Americans -- Civil rights -- California -- Los Angeles -- 20th century
    Hispanic Americans -- Civil rights -- California -- Los Angeles -- 21st century
    Legislators -- Los Angeles County (Calif.)
    Los Angeles County (Calif.) -- History -- 20th century
    Los Angeles County (Calif.) -- History -- 21st century
    Los Angeles County (Calif.) -- Politics and Government -- 20th century
    Los Angeles County (Calif.) -- Politics and Government -- 21st century
    Los Angeles County (Calif.) -- Social conditions -- 20th century
    Los Angeles County (Calif.) -- Social conditions -- 21st century
    Mexican American women politicians -- California -- Los Angeles
    Urban policy -- California -- Los Angeles -- 20th century
    Urban policy -- California -- Los Angeles -- 21st century

    Forms/Genres

    Photographs -- Los Angeles County (Calif.) -- 20th century.
    Photographs -- Los Angeles County (Calif.) -- 21th century.
    Site plans
    VHS