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Inventory of the Richard Katz Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • State Assembly, 1980-1996
  • Scope and Content
  • Related Material at the California State Archives
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Richard Katz Papers
    Dates: 1980-1996
    Collection number: LP392
    Creator: Richard Katz, California Legislator
    Collection Size: 29 cubic feet of textual records, and 2 boxes of audio/visual materials containing 14 videocassettes and 36 audio cassetes
    Repository: California State Archives
    Sacramento, California
    Abstract: Richard Katz was first elected to represent the 39th Assembly district in 1980, and served until 1996, when he termed out of office. The Richard Katz Papers consist of 29 cubic feet of textual records and 2 boxes of audio/visual records reflecting Katz's legislative activities during his 16-year career in the State Assembly.
    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], Richard Katz Papers, LP392:[folder number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.

    Acquisition and Custodial History

    The California State Archives acquired the Richard Katz Papers following his final term in the State Legislature.


    Democratic Assembly Member Richard Katz was born in Los Angeles on August 16, 1950. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from California State University, San Diego. Katz established a graphic art and printing business in 1975. During the mid-1970s, Katz was active in the Santa Monica Democratic Club (among several other business and community organizations). Katz was a volunteer aide to San Francisco Mayor George Mascone during his 1973 gubernatorial campaign. In what was considered a "Republican landslide year" (Who's Who, 1981), the voters of the 39th Assembly District elected Katz on November 4, 1980, with 50% of the vote, defeating the one-term Republican incumbent.
    Katz's sixteen consecutive years in the Assembly indicate that communities such as Pacoima, Sepulveda, San Fernando, and Panorama City (municipalities included in the 39th District varied over the years) felt well represented by Katz. Katz held the post of Assembly Democratic Minority Floor Leader in 1996. His legislative interests include hazardous waste, public health, law enforcement, traffic management, and small business and consumer protection. Assembly Member Pringle introduced House Resolution 76 on August 5, 1996, commending the Honorable Richard Katz for his "exemplary service."
    Unable to stay in office due to term limit laws, Katz returned home to Sylmar in 1996 with his wife, Gini Barrett, and their numerous pets. Katz was later appointed by Governor Gray Davis to the California State Water Resources Control Board (2001-2006).
    According to the California Legislature at Sacramento (Handbooks) and the Assembly Final History, Katz served on the following committees:

    State Assembly, 1980-1996

    • Standing Committees
    • Aging and Long-Term Care, 1985
    • Consumer Protection and Toxic Materials, 1981-1982
    • Economic Development and New Technologies
    • *Vice-Chair, 1983-1984
    • Economic Development and Planning
    • *Vice-Chair, 1981-1982
    • Elections, Reapportionment and Constitutional Amendments, 1991-1992
    • Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials, 1985-1992
    • Finance and Insurance, 1987-1990
    • Government Organization, 1995
    • Housing and Community Development, 1981-1982
    • Policy Research Management
    • *Chair, 1983-1984
    • Televising the Assembly and Information Technology, 1995
    • Transportation
    • *Chair, 1985-1995
    • Utilities and Commerce, 1983
    • Water, Parks and Wildlife, 1981-1982, 1989-1992, 1995
    • *Vice-Chair, 1983-1984
    • Ways and Means, 1983-1984
    • Select Committees
    • Ethics, 1990
    • Insolvency of Orange County, 1995-1996
    • Olympic Oversight, 1983-1984
    • Policy Research Management, 1987
    • Small Business, 1990
    • *Chair 1982-1984, 1987-1988
    • Utility Performance, Rates and Regulations, 1982
    • Veteran's Affairs, 1982
    • Joint Committees
    • Rules, 1996

    Scope and Content

    The Richard Katz Papers consist of 29 cubic feet of textual records and 2 boxes of audio/visual records reflecting Katz's legislative activities during his 16-year career in the State Assembly. The records are organized into the following series: Bill Files, Chronological Files, Local Issues Files, Native American Remains (Repatriation) Files, Toxic Pits Files, Transportation Files, Small Business Files, Subject Files, and Audio/Visual Materials. The Bill Files document much of Katz's prolific legislative authorship during his term as a member of the California State Legislature. The Chronological Files consist of incoming and outgoing correspondence. The Local Issues Files relate to the events and needs of the communities of the 39th Assembly District. The Native American Remains (Repatriation) Files relate to AB2577 (1989-1990, vetoed) and AB12 (1991-1992, Chapter 370). These two bills concern the issue of repatriation of Native American human remains, the Lowie Museum of Anthropology at University of California, Berkeley, and the University of California, Los Angeles Museum of Cultural History. The Toxic Pits Files primarily relate to The Toxic Pits Cleanup Act of 1984 (AB3566, Chapter 1543), which addresses the issue of the toxic contamination of the state's underground water supply caused by leakage from waste-disposal ponds ("toxic pits"). The Transportation Files reflect the variety of legislation that the Assembly Transportation Committee reviewed during much of Katz's chairmanship (1985-1995) of that committee. The Small Business Files relate to the legislation and projects reviewed by the Assembly Select Small Business Committee during Katz's first chairmanship (1981-1984). The Subject Files contain 28 subjects, four of which have sub-topics of their own. These four are: "Dolphin Bill," "Dunsmuir Spill," "Finance and Insurance," and "Super Agency Bill." The Audio/Visual materials relate to many of the collection's significant topics, such as Native American remains and repatriation, the insurance industry, graffiti, and the solicitation of drugs and prositution.
    While the bills introduced by Katz include a wide array of subjects, Katz's primary concerns included environmental health and safety, traffic management, and emphasized community and youth issues. Some notable legislation introduced by Katz in the Assembly included The Equal Access to Justice Act (AB13, 1981-1982), The Water Marketing Act (AB3491, 1981-1982), The California Small Business Office of Advocacy (AB1592, 1983-1984), The Toxic Pits Cleanup Act (AB3566, 1983-1984), Work Time Credits (AB499, 1985-1986 and AB113 and AB2716, 1993-1994), The California Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (AB2833, 1987-1988), The Children's Poison Protection Act (AB4160, 1989-1990), The "Kids Vote!" Program (AB169, 1991-1992), The Arson Information Reporting System (AB2336, 1993-1994), Loitering and Solicitation (AB1035, 1995-1996), and The Oil Pipeline Environmental Responsibility Act (AB1868, 1995-1996).
    Audiocassettes and videocassettes have been separated to a cold-storage vault for preservation purposes and separation sheets are in the files to alert the researcher to the existence of these items.


    The researcher should be aware that there is much topical crossover between the series within this collection. For example, files concerning the topic of Lopez Canyon may be found in Bill Files, Local Issues Files, Toxic Pits Files, and Subject Files.

    Related Material at the California State Archives

    Assembly Aging and Long-Term Care Committee
    Assembly Consumer Protection and Toxic Materials Committee
    Assembly Economic Development and New Technologies Committee
    Assembly Economic Development and Planning Committee
    Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee
    Assembly Finance and Insurance Committee
    Assembly Government Organization Committee
    Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee
    Assembly Transportation Committee
    Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee
    Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee
    Assembly Ways and Means Committee
    California Native American Heritage Commission

    Indexing Terms

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