1951 - 1990

Disability Rights: 1970

The “Rolling Quads” and other advocates at UC Berkeley found the Physically Disabled Students’ Program to help students find attendants, readers, and accessible places to live. The program also provides wheelchair repair, transportation, counseling, and orientations.

World War II Incarceration: 1970

At the Japanese American Citizens League national convention, activist Edison Uno advocates for redress for Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II.

Labor: 1970

Grape growers begin to sign union contracts with the United Farm Workers, banning child labor and establishing a basic fair wage and safety and pesticide controls.

Immigrants' Rights: 1970

In Castro v. State of California, the state supreme court rules that the English literacy requirement for voting violates the equal protection clause of the federal constitution.

LGBT Rights: 1970

12,000 march in Los Angeles to commemorate the Stonewall Inn rebellion in New York the previous year.

Dissent: 1970

Chicano MoratoriumChicano Moratorium National Chicano Moratorium sponsors a massive march in East Los Angeles against the Vietnam War. Police and sheriff’s deputies try to break-up the post-march rally and violence ensues. Reporter Rubén Salazar is killed when a tear gas canister hits him in the head. Two others are killed.

An appellate court judge rules that the charges against the “East L.A. Thirteen” cannot be imposed because they were exercising their First Amendment rights.

Race: 1970

Judge Alfred Gitelson issues a landmark ruling in Crawford v. Board of Education calling the Los Angeles school board’s conduct de jure (government sanctioned) discrimination and ordering integration by the following school year. The school board appeals, thus delaying enforcement of the decision.

Governor Ronald Reagan signs the Wakefield measure, named for South Gate Assembly member Floyd Wakefield, which prohibits busing for any purpose without written parental permission. 

Race: 1971

Federal agents remove the few remaining Indian protestors on Alcatraz.

California Supreme Court rules in San Francisco Unified School District v. Johnson, a challenge to the Wakefield anti-busing law, that districts can assign students to schools outside their neighborhoods.  Busing could be banned, but parents would still be responsible for transporting their children to their assigned school. 

Women: 1971

California Supreme Court rules in Sail’er Inn v. Kirby that laws preventing women from full participation in the workplace are impermissible.

Women: 1972

Voters pass an initiative adding a guarantee of privacy to the California Constitution; this amendment later becomes the basis to protect a woman’s right to choose.

State supreme court, in People v. Barksdale, eliminates the section of the Therapeutic Abortion Act requiring women to appear before a 3-doctor panel.

Congress passes the Equal Rights Amendment; California is one of the states that ratifies it.  However, it was never added to the Constitution as it failed to receive ratification from 38 states within the allotted period of time.

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