A Memorial Resolution
by Senator David A. Roberti
WHEREAS, It was with the most profound sorrow that the Members learned of the passing of a determined political activist and the founder of the Peoples Lobby, Mr. Edwin A. Koupal, on March 29, 1976, at the age of 48; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Koupal, who, together with his wife, Joyce, founded Peoples Lobby in 1968, transformed the organization into a powerful reform voice though the use of the initiative process, with the capstone of his efforts being the passing of proposition 9, the Fair Political Practices Act, by the voters of the state in 1974; and
WHEREAS, His first grassroots effort to qualify an initiative for the ballot was the Clean Environment Act of 1972, and he led the initiative drive for the upcoming June Primary ballot for nuclear safeguards, Proposition 15; and, at the time of his death, he was attempting to add the initiative and referendum process to the United States Constitution; and
WHEREAS, A native of Eugene, Oregon, Mr. Koupal was a graduate of Sacramento High School; worked as a bartender, car salesman, and chicken rancher; and got his political start when he and his wife attempted to put together a recall campaign against Governor Ronald Reagan; and
WHEREAS, In anticipation of the June 1976 Primary ballot, wherein Proposition 15 seeks to place a moratorium on nuclear power plant construction in California, he allied himself and Peoples Lobby with consumer advocate Ralph Nader to form a new organization called the Western Bloc, and he was in charge of gathering signatures for initiative petitions in six western states to put the nuclear initiative on the ballot; and
WHEREAS, He was one of the strongest advocates in a line of California reformers who have kept alive the promise of Hiram Johnson to make the government of the state accessible and open to the people of the state: and the courageous command he took of his last days was as much a source of strength to his family and friends as his death is a source of sorrow to all of us; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED BY THE SENATE RULES COMMITTEE, That the members express their deepest sympathies at the passing of Mr. Edwin A. Koupal, an, by this resolution, memorialize his illustrious record of personal and professional achievement, his dedication to democracy and political reform and the love and devotion he displayed on behalf of his family and friends; and be it further
RESOLVED, That suitably prepared copies of this resolution be transmitted to his wife, Joyce and children, Christine, Diane and Cecil.
California Senator David Roberti
1975-76 SRCR 304/EDWIN KOUPAL in Senator Roberti’s archives.