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SVREP Travels to Los Angeles

March 3, 2017

During the first week of February, Amy Rushing and I had the opportunity to travel to the SVREP California Regional Offices located in Los Angeles, California. Our mission was to collect documents and any other materials relating to the SVREP Organization prior to 1994. Since the SVREP offices continue to operate and serve the community today, we found it necessary to collect these materials in order to contribute to UTSA’s growing activism collections.

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Entering Downtown L.A.

Let me just say from the beginning that Los Angeles was an amazing place to visit. I instantly fell in love with the city’s culture, food, and people and had not realized how much the city had grown and changed since I had last visited 10 years ago. Since I have begun processing the SVREP collection, I have become very familiar with the materials and documents and was eager to see the office in person. I enjoyed visiting the SVREP LA offices in person and observing their day-to-day operations, which allowed my work to come to life in a sort of way. As one can imagine, the offices contained an enormous amount of information form over the years. Amy and I went to work alongside SVREP employees who were more than helpful in guiding us through over 20 cabinet file drawers and assisting us in packing up the material.

In comparison to the 400 boxes the SVREP collection began with, we ended with 35 boxes of material from the LA Offices. The voter registration work conducted in LA was very similar to what was done in San Antonio and we often saw similar material. Some of the documents we found included IGOTV training materials, Administrative Files, Subject and Research Files (from individuals, corporations, unions and organizations). Other documents contained information concerning Latino Vote, Latino Academy, Foundations, Field Organizing, Grant Applications, California and AZ Regional Planning Committees, Training Retreats, Conference Programs, Law Offices, schools.

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Amy and I with the final 35 boxes and the amazing SVREP staff that helped us

It was a great experience to visit the offices and be involved in bringing new material back to UTSA. While we await the arrival of the boxes from LA, they will not be immediately processed. Amy and I hope that UTSA will return in the future to add material to the collection to continually preserve the contents of the LA Offices. Until then, we will continue sorting through the existing material, and look forward discovering the similarities and differences between the two offices.

***This project is generously funded by the NHPRC**

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