LAW OFFICES OF
ROGER JON DIAMOND
2115 MAIN STREET
SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA 90405-2215
TELEPHONE 1310) 399-3259
FAX 13101 392-9029
September 8, 1993
359 Jean Street
Mill Valley, CA 94941
Re: People’s Lobby
Thank you for your letter of August 19, 1993. It did not arrive until September 2, 1993 by fax.
I would like to help you in any way I can. I think that your project is extremely worthwhile and will be quite a tribute to Ed and Joyce.
With respect to your 22 questions, I will briefly answer them now but I can give more detailed responses should you choose to interview me.
First, I met Ed and Joyce in 1968 or 1969 shortly after they ran the recall Reagan campaign. They had run a statewide recall measure designed to recall Governor Ronald Reagan. I had just helped begin an organization known as the Clean Air Council. had suggested to the Clean Air Council that we run a statewide initiative to stop air pollution.
Ed and Joyce heard about the Clean Air Council and our plans to do an initiative and we combined forces because of Ed and Joyce’s experience in doing a statewide petition.
I drafted the Clean Environment Act Initiative Petition and we began circulating it in 1969. We wanted to qualify it in time for the June 1970 ballot. I was one of the official proponents of the measure.
Ed, Joyce, and I had circulators out at numerous establishments including shopping centers.
A volunteer circulator, William Duxler, was ordered to leave the Inland Center in San Bernardino on October 30, 1969. The shopping center claimed he was trespassing on private property. I prepared and filed a lawsuit on November 5, 1969 against the Sheriff of San Bernardino County, Frank Bland and numerous other defendants, including the shopping center owner. I went to San Bernardino and sought a temporary restraining order from Judge Haberkorn on November 5, 1969.
He denied the TRO but set it down for preliminary injunction hearing on November 14, 1969. On that day I had just completed my first jury trial and while the jury was deliberating in East Los Angeles, I drove to San Bernardino in time for the 1:30 court appearance. At that time I argued the shopping center case. Judge James E. Cunningham, an ex State Senator heard the case and denied the injunction.
I appealed to the California Court of Appeal on an expedited basis. On May 25, 1970, the Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment of the Superior Court that we had no right of access. then petitioned the State Supreme Court for review.
Incidentally, the initiative campaign failed in January of 1970. However, we planned another initiative for the 1972 ballot.
At the same time, I was a candidate for State Assembly. I won the June 1970 primary and was on the ballot for November 2, 1970.
I went to Sacramento on November 3, 1970, the day I lost the general election, to argue the case before the Supreme Court. Because United Airlines lost my luggage, I had to argue the case in a borrowed suit. It was my first argument before the Supreme Court.
I began the argument by telling the Court that we needed a speedy decision because the People’s Lobby was planning to do another initiative and we needed to get access to shopping centers right away. Chief Justice Donald Wright leaned over and told me that they always decide their cases quickly.
In any event, the California Supreme Court on December 16, 1970 reversed the lower courts and ruled that we did have a right to go on to shopping centers to get other signatures. It was a landmark ruling.
With access to shopping centers guaranteed by the Diamond v. Bland decision, People’s Lobby proceeded to circulate and qualify the Clean Environment Act Initiative for the June 1972 election.
I again ran for State Assembly and won the primary in June of 1972. Unfortunately, the Clean Environment Act, which qualified for the ballot (Proposition 9) was defeated.
We then decided that we wanted to do political reform before we tried to solve the environmental mess and we returned to the streets with the Political Reform Act which qualified for the 1974 ballot and which won. Proposition 9 became law.
I had not been politically active prior to the People’s Lobby.
Indeed, it was in January 1970 when I was speaking to the Santa Monica Democratic Club to support the initiative that was then being circulated, the Santa Monica Democratic Club suggested that I run for State Assembly. Thus, it was the People’s Lobby at work itself that got me involved in politics.
With respect to my participation in the People’s Lobby, it remained. I testified before United States Senate Committee on the national initiative.
Ed and Joyce were truly wonderful people to work with. Our greatest ability was the ability to move quickly. We were not a bureaucratical organization. Ed, Joyce, and I could decide matters very quickly. We had a great ability to get to court on a moments notice.
We took the question of whether Ed Reinecke was disqualified from holding office by virtue of his perjury conviction to the Supreme Court in a matter of days. Ed was very charismatic and Joyce was very thoughtful and helpful.
I remember Ed debating the President of the State Chamber of Commerce on statewide television just prior to the 1972 election regarding the Clean Environment Act.
The most disappointing thing was losing the 1972 election and the most gratifying was winning the 1974 Political Reform Act Initiative.
I would like to offer additional thoughts and memories but time does not permit. I would be glad to sit for a lengthy interview and give you my thoughts and memories in more detail.
There are countless People’s Lobby cases you have not mentioned in your letter to me. You reviewed most of the appellate court decisions but there were numerous other cases that you should mention in any book you are writing.
I would be glad to send you a list or discuss that if you should come down to Los Angeles.
Keep up the good work. I hope you complete the project.
ROGER JON DIAMOND