Oral Histories

Interview of Wilfred Marshall

Presidentially appointed economic development representative for the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration. Director of Business and Economic Development for Mayor Tom Bradley's Office of Small Business Assistance.
The Bradley Years: Los Angeles City Government, 1973-1993
Politics and Government
Parker, Caitlin
Marshall, Wilfred
Persons Present:
Marshall and Parker.
Place Conducted:
Marshall’s office 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 Caitlin Parker, UCLA Center for Oral History Research; B.A., History, Amherst College; M.A., U.S. History, UCLA. Parker’s dissertation focuses on urban policy in Los Angeles during Mayor Tom Bradley’s administration. Parker prepared for the interviews by reviewing archival records related to Wilfred Marshall in the Bradley Administrative collection at UCLA and looking at articles from the Los Angeles Times and other print sources.
Processing of Interview:
The interviewer prepared a timed log of the audio recording of the interview. Marshall was given the opportunity to review the log in order to supply missing or misspelled names and to verify the accuracy of the content but made no changes.
2 hrs.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Series Statement:
This series includes interviews with key individuals who served in Los Angeles city government during the administration of Mayor Tom Bradley. Bradley served as mayor of Los Angeles from 1973 to 1993. The interviews focus on each individual’s political development, activism, and role in the Bradley administration. Major urban policy issues addressed in the interviews include social services, economic development, urban redevelopment, housing, transit, policing, education, and city finances. This project was generously supported by Arcadia funds.
Early career history--The Economic Development Administration (EDA)-- Facilitating business loans-- The 1965 Watts Riots--The Economic Resources Corporation (ERC)--Regionally based economic development defined--The East Los Angeles Community Union--Marshall’s professional network--The Committee of 25--Tom Bradley as his neighbor--Marshall’s move to City Hall--The city Economic Development Office under Bradley--The larger infrastructural mission of his administration--The Olympics as a pretext for urban development--Small businesses in the Olympics--Expanding foreign trade--Olympic security and vendors--Corporate contracting--Trouble with the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee.
Civic government and economic development-- Interagency communication--The Crenshaw Plaza redevelopment project--Interagency consolidation--Small business, finance, and bond measures--The City’s 1B program--Bradley’s pet-projects--The limitations of small business in urban redevelopment--The expansion of foreign trade for small business--The impact of the 1992 L.A. Riots on small businesses--Short-term recovery loans for distressed businesses following the unrest--Crenshaw District vacancies--Residential development on commercial strips--Lack of funds as an obstacle to regional recovery--A moratorium on liquor stores--Weak markets vs. excessive regulation---The Rebuild L.A. project--Bradley’s political and personal strengths--Weaknesses in his administration-- Bradley’s personality.