Coordinating Councils, or voluntary neighborhood councils interested in community social welfare, were a national phenomenon during World War I. The Councils typically were concerned with the maintenance of community morale, the prevention of juvenile delinquency, and the promotion of wholesome recreation and character-building group activities for young people. As advisory rather than functional bodies, their effectiveness depended on the cooperation of community social service agencies, schools, parent/teacher associations, and law enforcement personnel. In Los Angeles County the first Coordinating Councils were launched in 1932 with the formal sponsorship of the Juvenile Court and the County Probation Office. The volunteer members of the Coordinating Councils attempted to cope with severe community dislocation during two world wars and a prolonged depression.
This collection include records of both the Los Angeles County Coordinating Councils (renamed the Federation of Community Coordinating Councils of Los Angeles County by the end of the 1940s) and Coordinating Councils, Inc., an organization directed between 1938 and 1944 by four prominent members of the Board of Los Angeles County Coordinating Councils. This Board convened representatives of the more than sixty Councils in Los Angeles County, together with executives of public and private agencies, civic group and service club leaders, religious leaders, recreation workers, school board members, and law enforcement personnel.
Coordinating Councils, Inc. was incorporated as a research and service organization for the advancement of community coordination. In the six years of its active existence the organization served as a national clearing house for research, assembled a specialized library, published a bimonthly magazine ("Community Coordination") and a well-received manual, and planned and conducted regional, state, and national conferences.