WVGS History 

West Valley Girls Softball was founded in the Spring of 1969.  In the early days, our players wore skirts.  Imagine that concept today!

For the next 31 years, our league suffered through playing at local schools.  Because these schools sports fields were deemed "multi-use" fields, we were unable to skin the infields or make any improvements.

Frustration within our league was mounting.  Our players were at a distinct disadvantage.  They were forced to play on unsafe fields and had no opportunity to build the necessary "nest egg" to afford our own location.  Meanwhile, the local boys leagues had access to local parks and designated land with which they could improve and build.  Still, our numbers grew and the girls played... for the love of the game.

In 1996, under the leadership of our League President Bruce Weinstein, we obtained permits at two local high schools.  With the hard earned and saved dollars from fundraisers and contributions, we skinned infields, installed batting cages and greatly improved the schools facilities.  At the end of that season, after spending thousands of dollars, one of the schools terminated our permit.  Frustration builds even further.

The next  President of our League, Dave Berman, took his position in the fall of 1997.  His main goal was to obtain a "home of our own".  After countless letters, telephone calls and meetings, he hit a brick wall with our local Parks Commission and Politicians.  It was obvious that the only way to obtain equal access to safe playing fields was to turn to the courts.

After one phone call, one fax and a period of one week, we had the full support of the American Civil Liberties Union behind us.  In April of 1998, the ACLU, in conjunction with the Women's Law Center and the law offices of Kaye Scholer, filed suit in U.S. Federal Court on behalf of West Valley Girls Softball against the City of Los Angeles for gender discrimination.  In October of 1999, a tentative agreement was reached between the City of Los Angeles and West Valley Girls Softball.

The ACLU expanded the lawsuit to include ALL girls in the city of Los Angeles.  As a result, the Los Angeles City Council, by unanimous vote, approved and implemented the "Raise the Bar" program to improve accessibility and programs for all girls sports throughout the city of Los Angeles.

To be continued......

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