Oral Histories

Interview of Philip L. Soto

La Puente city council member from 1958 to 1962 and California assemblyman from 1962 to 1966. Director of the Small Business Administration's minority business development program and activist in the Chincano/a movement of the 1960s.
Philip L. Soto
California State Archives State Government Oral History Program
Politics and Government
Vasquez, Carlos
Soto, Philip L.
Persons Present:
Soto and Vasquez.
Place Conducted:
Soto's home in Pomona, 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. There exist no private papers which the interviewer was able to consult for this interview.
Processing of Interview:
Vasquez checked the verbatim manuscript of the interview against the original tape recordings edited for punctuation, paragraphing, and spellings, and verified proper names. Insertions by the editor are bracketed The interviewer also prepared the introductory materials. Soto reviewed a copy of the edited transcript and returned it with 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; service in World War II; securing a vocational education under the G.I. Bill; supporting the presidential candidacy of John F. Kennedy; elected to represent the Fiftieth Assembly District, 1963-67; John Moreno also victorious at the polls in November 1962; Soto's and Moreno's presence marks the first time in the twentieth century that Mexican-Americans are seated in the state assembly; Soto active in civic affairs and community organizations in La Puente; elected to the La Puente City Council in 1958; in the state assembly Soto carries legislation on alcoholic beverages, narcotics, salaries for local elected officials, compensatory education, and numerous other bills.