Oral Histories

Interview of Rosa Batres

Outreach coordinator for the South Bay Center for Counseling. Activist in the area of port pollution and clean air and member of the Community Partners Council and Cesar Chavez Mother's Brigade.
Series:
Environmental Activism in Los Angeles
Topic:
Social Movements
Latina and Latino History
Environmental Movement
Interviewer:
Collings, Jane
Interviewee:
Batres, Rosa
Persons Present:
Batres and Collings.
Place Conducted:
Batres's home in Long Beach, California.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interviews are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Jane Collings, interviewer and senior editor, Center for Oral History Research. B.A., Communications, Antioch College; M.A., Communications, University of Iowa; Ph.D., Critical Studies, UCLA. Collings prepared for the interview by reviewing material and talking to informed experts persons about the significant amount of environmentally focused community activism in the Long Beach area. While the interview reviews some of Batres's work as a community member involved in the struggle against port pollution, it is largely concerned with Batres's professional work as an outreach coordinator for the Children's Council of Los Angeles County, and as such concerning social issues beyond those pertaining to the environmental movement.
Processing of Interview:
The transcript is a verbatim transcription of the recording. It was transcribed by a professional transcribing agency using a list of proper names and specialized terminology supplied by the interviewer. Batres was then given an opportunity to review the transcript but made no corrections or additions.
Length:
4 hrs.
Language:
English
Copyright:
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Audio:
Series Statement:
The series documents environmental activism in the Los Angeles area from the 1970s through to the present day. The majority of interviews are with either founders or knowledgeable participants in major regional environmental organizations. Represented groups embody a wide range of issues, including conservation, restoration, environmental justice and toxic waste disposal.
Parents’ opinion of unions—The perceived importance of name brand merchandise—Family’s religious background—More on obtaining legal permanent resident status—School truancy—Alienation from Latina/o youth at school—Bullying in schools—The need for raising awareness among parents about advocating for their kids at school—The importance of hiring outreach coordinators that match up with the ethnic group of the parents—Batres’s professional responsibilities as a community organizer—Grassroots activist group activities—Typical group issues and goals—The importance of helping community groups to be self-sufficient and self-advocating—The preponderance of community groups in Service Planning Area (SPA) 8 makes SPA 8 a model for the other service planning groups—The success of the SPA 8 model—Instances where a community service group was not responsible to a community member’s needs—Batres’s philosophy of advocacy on behalf of parents—Relationship building methods when working with community groups—Batres’s interest in forming a housing problems group at her housing complex—More on relationship building methods when working with community groups—The high proportion of female participation in community groups—The work of the Cesar Chavez Mother’s Brigade—Examples of issues raised by community members—Notable Community Partners Council (CPC) successes—CPC’s inability to achieve rent control legislation in Long Beach—Importance of educating community members in how local government works—Immigration rights efforts—Promoting financial literacy with community members—An instance of housing a refugee in a sanctuary church, St. Luke’s—The importance of acting on issues brought forward by community members rather than promoting an agenda—A focus on relationship-based organizing—1st District candidates forum for community members—Importance of impartiality with regard to politics and religion in community groups.
Grassroots community groups taking on zoning issues with regard to business that pollute in residential areas—The health and welfare of children a s a motivating force for grassroots organizing—Men’s resistance to their wives’ activism—Batres’s outreach to neighborhood kids—Parenting classes for community members—Mother’s Brigade support for the Clean Trucks Program—Community efforts to educate themselves on the Clean Truck Program—The benefits of the Clean Trucks Program as implemented by the Port of Los Angeles—An awareness on the part of community members about how consumerism affects the environment and labor conditions—The Community Partners Council—CPC support for the Clean Trucks Program—Truckers' support of the Long Beach Ports’ version of the Clean Trucks Program—The future of community activism in Long Beach.