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.