1. EPICEPIC is the Educational Participation in Communities. This organization involves students as volunteers in the fight against poverty and social neglect in local communities. The goal is social awareness and student involvement. It says that poverty, neglect, and social inequity are a growing reality for millions of people in America. Families are losing their homes, people can’t find good jobs, children go hungry, and education in the inner-city is a disaster. There is a is problem because the public and community programs that serve as a safety net to assist such populations are strained beyond their capacity and are usually understaffed and under-funded. Since they cannot do the job without help, EPIC helps. It recruits college students to do volunteer work in schools, hospitals, community centers, legal aid, probation, youth agencies, and other and public service programs. EPIC volunteers provide thousands of volunteer hours to the community.
2. Earl WarrenEarl Warren was a political leader. He was a governor of California, but he is remembered as the chief justice who led the Supreme Court of the United States when it made big changes in civil rights laws and in criminal procedures. Warren was a liberal Republican, and he was born in Los Angeles, California. He was elected attorney general of California in 1938. During his four years in office he gained standing as a strong enemy of racketeers. He was elected governor of California in 1942. His progressive policies won him bipartisan support and he was reelected as governor in 1946 and 1950. He was seen as an activist on the Supreme Court, as well as a liberal.
3. Pat BrownPat Brown was the governor of California. He was elected two times, for two terms (12 years total). He was a Democrat. He thought that nobody could beat him, but the Republican, Ronald Reagan, beat him in the 1966 election. Brown had good policies, and by 1962 California had a booming economy and the largest population of any US state. Brown generously funded social programs that were a factor to the state’s prosperity. He enlarged the University of California system, and he built many water projects. During Brown’s two terms a governor, the California legislature passed some of the most progressive civil rights laws in the US.
4. Ronald ReaganIn 1966 Ronald Reagan beat Pat Brown by a landslide in the election for California governor. Brown believed that it would be easy to beat Reagan. He thought that it was lucky for him when Reagan ran against him, instead of the moderate George Christopher. But Pat Brown had a lot of bad publicity. For example, the Watts riot and the student uprisings that began at Berkeley in December of 1964 gave Reagan issues that Brown could not overcome. Berkeley was the symbol of California’s enlightened programs and attitude. The state’s taxpayers had paid generously for the education of a bunch of scruffy ingrates who were trying to shut it down.
Ronald Reagan also became the 40th President of the United States (1981-1989). He was a Republican who had a career as a movie actor. Later went into politics. He was elected governor of California for two terms, and he left during his second term to run for President. He defeated Jimmy Carter in the 1980 presidential election. Reagan talked about the dangers of big government, and he gained a reputation as a tax-cutting president.
5. Okies”Okie” was used as a bad word for a migrant farm worker from Oklahoma during the 1930’s, when the Dust Bowl ruined their farms and they had to leave. Many of the Okies came to California, where there were many farms that they could work on. People hated and feared the thousands of poor people from the Mid-West who came into California. They saw them as unbearable burdens on the relief that cost taxpayers money. At a state-wide conference in Los Angeles in 1937, political leaders tried to deal with the issue. California had a serious relief crisis, and there were fears about a possible epidemic. Los Angeles County received many of the refugees from the Dust Bowl, to the point where about 20 percent the population was on relief. The migrant farm workers were also putting a huge burden on the relief and health agencies in the San Joaquin valley, where many of the Okies worked as fruit pickers on the California farms. They were feared and hated, much like the black people.
6. Kaiser Ship YardsThey needed war ships in World War II, so they started the Liberty Ship program. The Kaiser ship years made many of the Liberty ships. Henry John Kaiser was an industrialist who was responsible for the construction of major highways, bridges, and dams, including the Grand Coulee Dam (1942). His shipyards produced more than 1,400 vessels during World War II. In 1942, there was a sudden need for additional shipyards for the construction of major types of ships to meet an increase of one third in the previous goals for military ship building. One of these new yards was set up by the Kaiser group at Vancouver, Washington, across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon. This ship yard in Washington state made ten Liberty Ships, as well as hundreds of military vessels. The local labor supply was almost used up, so Kaiser engaged in a big recruiting drive in the mid-West and the mountain states, as well as places as far away as New York.