Oral Histories

Interview of Ernest E. Debs

California assembly member from 1943 to 1947. Member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors from 1958 to 1974.
Ernest E. Debs
California State Archives State Government Oral History Program
Politics and Government
Biographical Note:
California assembly member from 1943 to 1947. Member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors from 1958 to 1974.
Vasquez, Carlos
Debs, Ernest E.
Persons Present:
Debs and Vasquez.
Place Conducted:
Tapes I to III: Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, California; Tapes IV to VI: The Jonathan Club in Los Angeles, California.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Carlos Vasquez, Director UCLA State Government Interview Series, UCLA Oral History Program; B.A., Political Science, UCLA; M.A., Political Science, Stanford University; Ph.D. candidate, History, UCLA.Although there exists an impressive collection of Mr. Debs's papers and memorabilia as a special collection of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library at the California State University, Los Angeles, the materials include only the years Mr. Debs served on the Los Angeles City Council and on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. The interviewer was, therefore, not able to consult personal papersrelating to Mr. Debs's assembly career.
Processing of Interview:
Vasquez checked the verbatim manuscript of the interview against the original tape recordings, edited for punctuation, paragraphing, and spelling, and verified proper names. Insertions by the editor are bracketed. The interviewer also prepared the introductory materials.Debs reviewed the transcript and returned the transcript to the UCLA Oral History Program with only minor corrections.
Series Statement:
Interviews in this series were undertaken by the UCLA Oral History Program under the auspices of the California State Archives and in conjunction with the California State University, Fullerton, Oral History Program; California State University, Sacramento, Center for California Studies Oral History Program; Claremont Graduate School Oral History Program; and the University of California, Berkeley, Regional Oral History Office. Funds were allocated to the state archives after Governor George Deukmejian signed into law Assembly Bill 2104 (Chapter 965 of the Statutes of 1985), establishing a state government oral history program "to provide through the use of oral history a continuing documentation of state policy development as reflected in California's legislative and executive history." All interviews in the series are available at the California State Archives in Sacramento.
Family background; education; migration to California in 1923; pre-legislative employment; electioneering; elected to represent Fifty-sixth Assembly District; serves as assistant sergeant-at-arms in the California State Assembly; chairs Interim Committee on Postwar Airport Projects and Aviation; vice-chair of Committee on Health; serves on Ways and Means Committee, Education Committee, Committee on Government Efficiency and Economy; sponsors legislation creating UCLA medical school and Los Angeles campus of California State University; election to Los Angeles City Council and Board of Supervisors, Los Angeles County; committee involvement related to education and health.