National Land for People, founded primarily by George Ballis and Berge Bulbulian, was a grassroots organization most active
in California in the 1970s and 1980s, concerned with a number of environmental factors, most notably federal irrigation water
use restrictions and the 160-acre limitation provision of the reclamation law as it applied to the west side of the San Joaquin
Valley, California. The National Land for People collection measures 25 linear feet and dates from 1850 to 1991, with the
bulk from 1972 to 1983. The collection is comprised of legislation and legal papers, land sales documentation, correspondence,
financial statements and contracts, reports, scholastic papers, historical and background information, press releases, printed
material including newsletters, brochures, propaganda, and campaign materials, maps,charts, newspaper and magazine issues
and clippings, notes, photographs, books and journals, ledgers, and other assorted materials pertaining to the history and
activities of the organization and some of its founding members.
National Land for People (NLP), founded under the leadership of George and Maia Ballis, Berge Bulbulian, and a handful of
others, started in the 1950s under several different names, including Western Water Resources Council, before being incorporated
as the National Land for People Foundation in 1974. George Ballis, a self-described "news reporter, news editor, community
and union organizer, still photographer, film maker, organic gardener-farmer, shamanic guide, and teacher," from Faribault,
Minnesota, lived in Chicago and San Francisco before accepting a position as labor editor for the
Valley Labor Citizen newspaper in Fresno in 1953. In this position Ballis focused on covering the issues of farm labor and farm workers of the
time. In 1965 Ballis worked as a part-time labor organizer for the AFL-CIO Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC),
which worked with the National Farm Workers Union, led by Cesar Chavez. It was also during this time that Ballis and Berge
Bulbulian became active in community organizing and that Ballis became the office manager for B. F. Sisk, who was subsequently
elected to the House of Representatives to represent Fresno. Ballis was soon put in contact with Paul Taylor in Berkeley,
and they began organizing around the state's water and farm labor issues. They produced maps showing the land ownership trends
in the new Westlands Water District, which included many farms of surprisingly large size, including one over 110,000 acres
owned by the Southern Pacific Railroad Company.
The library can only claim physical ownership of the collection. Users are responsible for satisfying any claimants of literary
Collection is open for research.