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Inventory of the Wadie P. Deddeh Papers
LP372 and LP211  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • State Assembly, 1967-1983
  • State Senate, 1983-1993
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Wadie P. Deddeh Papers
    Dates: 1967-1993
    Collection number: LP372 and LP211
    Creator: Wadie P. Deddeh, California Legislator
    Collection Size: 11.5 cubic feet
    Repository: California State Archives
    Sacramento, California
    Abstract: The Wadie P. Deddeh Papers consist of 11.5 cubic feet of records reflecting Deddeh's activities during his 26-year career in the Assembly and Senate. The records contain Bill Files, 1973-1993 and Subject Files, 1967-1976.
    Physical location: California State Archives
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    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], Wadie P. Deddeh Papers, LP[number]:[folder number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.

    Acquisition and Custodial History

    The California State Archives acquired the Wadie P. Deddeh Papers following his final term in the State Legislature.


    Wadie P. Deddeh, Democrat, was a California Assembly Member from 1967-1983 and State Senator from 1983-1993. In 1966, Deddeh became the first Iraqi-born American elected to office anywhere in the United States.
    Deddeh attended the University of Baghdad and received a B.A. in Literature in 1946. After immigrating to the United States in 1948, he received a Master's Degree in Political Science in 1956 from the University of Detroit. In 1982, Deddeh received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from National University. Deddeh became a naturalized citizen in 1953 and worked variously as a grocery store clerk and owner, teacher of Arabic at the Army Language School at Monterey, California, and civics teacher at Sweetwater High School. Before being elected to office, Deddeh was Chair and Professor of the Southwestern College Department of Political Science.
    Deddeh married Mary-Lynn Drake, a drama and speech coach at Hilltop Junior High School in Chula Vista, California. The Deddehs have one son, Peter.
    Elected to the 77th Assembly District in 1966, Deddeh served for 16 years in the Assembly before successfully running for the 40th Senate District in 1982. During Deddeh's tenure in the Assembly, the 77th District extended from La Mesa on the north to the Mexican border on the south. Communities in the 40th District during Deddeh's tenure in the Senate include Balboa Park, Bonita, Chula Vista, Encanto, Harbor Island, Imperial Beach, Lemon Grove, National City, San Diego, San Ysidro, Spring Valley, Castle Park, Harbor Side, La Presa, Lincoln Acres, Otay Mesa, Rancho del Otay, and Sunnyside. In 1986, Deddeh was interviewed by the Reagan White House for an ambassadorship to Iraq, but was not appointed.
    As an Assembly Member, Deddeh's interests included alcoholic beverage policy and issues related to intoxicated motorists, border issues, education and retired educators, energy policy, environmental policy, gun control, judicial policy, Mexican-American affairs, retired employee benefits, tax policy, and unemployment compensation. In the Senate, Deddeh focused on taxation, education, public employees, and transportation. Some notable legislation sponsored by Deddeh in the Senate included limiting the dissemination of pornography, prohibiting abortions in certain cases, curtailing illegal gang activity, and banning transfers of funds between political candidates.
    According to the California Legislature at Sacramento (Handbooks) and the Assembly Final History, Deddeh served on the following Assembly committees:

    State Assembly, 1967-1983

    • Standing and Interim Committees
    • Finance and Insurance, 1971-1974
    • *Chair, 1973-1974
    • Finance, Insurance and Commerce, 1981-1982
    • Employment and Public Employees, 1971-1972
    • Government Administration, 1970
    • Governmental Organization, 1981-1982
    • Municipal and County Government, 1967-1970
    • *Vice Chair, 1967-1968
    • Public Employees and Retirement, 1969-1980
    • *Chair 1969-1978
    • Revenue and Taxation, 1967-1982
    • *Chair 1979-1982
    • Transportation and Commerce, 1967-1982
    • *Chair 1969-1972
    • Urban Affairs and Housing, 1969-1970
    • Subcommittees
    • Administration of the Personal Income Tax and Bank Corporation Taxes, 1977-1978
    • Air Quality, 1979-1980
    • Corporate Taxes, 1977-1978
    • Retirement, 1977-1978
    • Transit, 1975-1978
    • Unemployment-Disability Insurance, 1981-1982
    • Workers Compensation, 1981-1982
    • Select Committees (General Research Committees)
    • Mass Transit, 1979-1980
    • San Diego Foster Care Programs, 1973-1974
    • Medical Malpractice, 1970-1974
    • Joint Committees
    • Economic Conversion, 1968-1970
    • School Finance, 1972
    • Commissions, Committees, Boards, and Task Forces
    • Commission of the Californias, 1967-1982
    • State Highway Users Tax Study Commission, 1972
    • State Transportation Board, 1971-1972
    • State School Building Finance Committee, 1968-1980
    According to the California Legislature at Sacramento (Handbooks) and the Senate Final History, Deddeh served on the following Senate committees:

    State Senate, 1983-1993

    • Standing and Interim Committees
    • Appropriations, 1985-1990
    • Banking and Commerce, 1985-1988, 1993
    • *Chair, 1993
    • Budget and Fiscal Review, 1991-1992
    • Commerce and International Trade, 1991-1992
    • *Chair, 1991-1992
    • Education, 1983-1993
    • Health and Human Services, 1989-1993
    • Housing and Urban, 1983-1984
    • Insurance, Claims and Corporations, 1983-1990, 1993
    • *Vice Chair, 1983-1986
    • Public Employment and Retirement, 1983-1984
    • *Chair, 1983-1984
    • Revenue and Taxation, 1983-1986, 1989-1992
    • *Chair, 1989-1992
    • Transportation, 1983-1990
    • *Chair, 1985-1986
    • Veterans Affairs, 1989-1993
    • Select Committees (General Research Committees)
    • Border Issues, Drug Trafficking, and Contraband, 1987-1992
    • *Chair, 1987-1992
    • Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 1985-1986
    • Pacific Rim, 1985-1992
    • Planning for California's Growth, 1985-1992
    • Substance Abuse, 1987-1990
    • Tourism and Aviation, 1989-1990
    • *Chair, 1989-1990
    • Subcommittees
    • Education Reform, 1983-1990
    • *Chairman, 1983-1990
    • Special Committees
    • Border Issues, 1991-1992
    • Joint Committees
    • Legislative Retirement Committee, 1983-1992
    • Organized Crime and Gang Violence, 1987-1992
    • *Chair, 1987-1992
    • Public Pension Fund Investments, 1985-1992
    • Additional Committees
    • Committee on Executive Salaries, 1983-1984
    • Study Team on Judges' Retirement System, 1983-1984

    Scope and Content

    The Wadie P. Deddeh Papers consist of 11.5 cubic feet of records reflecting Deddeh's activities during his 26-year career in the Assembly and Senate. The records contain Bill Files, 1973-1993 and Subject Files, 1967-1976.
    The bill files document Deddeh's legislative activity during his tenure as a member of the California State Legislature. While the bills introduced by Wadie Deddeh include a wide array of subjects, Deddeh's primary concerns included border issues, education, public employees and retirement, tax policy, and transportation. The subject files provide further detail on Deddeh's work regarding education, energy, environmental regulation and pollution, finance, Mexican-American affairs, tax policy, and transportation.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Deddeh, Wadie P.
    Environmental policy
    Education and state