Raul Morin, Community Organizer
Following his military service, Raul Morin turned his attention to local matters affecting the
culture and politics of his home in Los Angeles.

An avid sports fan, Raul Morin dedicated himself to managing an amateur basketball team and even helping to form a league so that young men from local parks could engage in meets. That’s him in the bottom row on the left.

One activity that Raul Morin was particularly proud of was the realization of the Eugene A. Obregon Park. This came about because of concern for improving the community in East Los Angeles. This particular area had several condemned buildings in its midst and, in addition, there were high incidences of crime due to the lack of supervision and lighting.

To replace the blight, the idea of a park was suggested by Raul, incluing the recommendation for naming it Eugene A. Obregon Park.

To attain this goal he enlisted the aid of the American GI Forum and also asked Supervisor Ernest Debs to back him up. The challenge was readliy accepted because everyone agreed that it was a solid idea.

The moment arrived when it was finally dedicated, and Mrs. Henrietta Obregon, mother of the Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, was present alongside Supervisor Debs and members of the American GI Forum. It was a great moment appreciated by all.

While Edward Roybal was running for the City Council, Raul Morin selflessly dedicated himself to registering voters. With a squad of co-workers, they brought in so many new voters that is was necessary to add eight new precincts. Raul's dedication to Roybal's career continued with the Congressional race, culminating in Edward Roybal becoming the first Mexican-American Congressman from California.

Working as an assistant aid to Congressmen George Brown, 27th Congressional District, Raul Morin met with Vice President Lyndon Johnson on two separate occasions.

Raul became active in Veteran’s affairs and that’s where his heart really was as he tirelessly championed veteran’s causes and sought recognition for their valor. He helped to found the American Legion and VFW Posts in East Los Angeles.

This photo was taken at the beginning of the September 16 Mexican Independence parade in East Los Angeles (circa 1952).

Originally Post 508, this East L.A. American Legion Post evolved to Post 804 after redistricting.

It was evident to those who knew him that Raul Morin wanted fair play for his people, and more than that, he wanted unity.

He had heard of an individual in Texas who had gained fame as a fighter for equal rights, and who had founded his own civial rights organization. In 1956, with his family in tow, Raul made a trip to visit relatives in Texas, also stopping in Corpus Cristi with the express purpose of meeting Dr. Hector Garcia, founder of the American GI Forum.

After a lenghty discussion, Dr. Garcia gave his blessing for Raul to charter his own GI forum chapter in California, providing important contacts to help in the research that he needed for the book he was working on.

Raul Morin had gained some momentum and support for his book project and he tirelessly worked for expansion of the American GI Forum. He founded the first chapter in Los Angeles and also assisted in founding other chapters throughout the state.

Raul Morin with other members of the East L.A. Chapter of the American G.I. Forum preparing gift packages for the needy.

Raul Morin accompanied by his wife, Ramona, during a speaking engagement at the Los Angeles Press Club.


East Los Angeles, as an unincorporated area, has had its own share of civic problems. Whan a vacancy for the Municipal Court Judge opened, that position was filled by an appointment from Sacramento.

This did not sit well with the local residents, who felt that they should have some say in the matter. A petition was circulated to protest, demanding autonomy and the right for residents of East L.A. to select their own judge.

A special election was called because of the efforts of Raul Morin, and Leopoldo Sanchez became the first duly-elected Municipal Court Judge of East Los Angeles.

Raul Morin with good friend, Texas Congressman Henry Gonzales.

At this juncture, Raul Morin decided to run for an open State Senate seat, ultimately proving to be one of the few disappointments in his career. He had given so much of himself and worked at such a strenuous pace that it eventually caught up with him.

Mr. Morin took ill and on May 4, 1967 he passed away at the age of 53 years.

A promotional flyer for a beverage company called on Raul Morin's reputation as a community leader to instill pride in the community.
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