Inventory of the California Commission on the Status of Women Records

Processed by Kim Mitchell
California State Archives
1020 "O" Street
Sacramento, California 95814
Phone: (916) 653-2246
Fax: (916) 653-7363
Email: archivesweb@sos.ca.gov
URL: http://www.sos.ca.gov/archives/
© 2012
California Secretary of State. All rights reserved.

Inventory of the California Commission on the Status of Women Records

Collection number: R214

California State Archives

Office of the Secretary of State

Sacramento, California
Processed by:
Kim Mitchell
Date Completed:
November 2012
Encoded by:
Sara Kuzak
© 2012 California Secretary of State. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: California Commission on the Status of Women Records
Dates: 1965-2010
Collection number: R214
Creator: Commission on the Status of Women
Collection Size: 14 cubic feet
Repository: California State Archives
Sacramento, California
Abstract: The records of the California Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) consist of fourteen cubic feet of textual, photographic, and audiovisual records reflecting the Commission's research and recommendations specifically on women's issues within the state. The records date from 1965-2010.
Physical location: California State Archives
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

Administrative Information

Access

While the majority of the records are open for research, any access restrictions are noted in the record series descriptions.

Publication Rights

For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives collections.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Commission on the Status of Women Records, R214.[series number], [box and folder number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.

Acquisition and Custodial History

The California State Archives acquired the Commission on the Status of Women Records according to state law.

Administrative History

The California Advisory Commission on the Status of Women was established by Chapter 1378 (Statutes of 1965), for the purpose of "developing recommendations which will enable women to make the maximum contribution to society." The recommendations of this commission were due to the Governor by June 30, 1967. The 15 members of the Advisory Commission consisted of three members of the Senate appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules, three members of the Assembly appointed by the Speaker, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Chief of the Division of Industrial Relations, and seven public members appointed by the Governor with the consent of the Senate. Chapter 854 (Statutes of 1967) extended the sunset date of the Commission through June 1969. It also increased the membership to 17 commissioners, with the Senate Rules Committee and the Speaker each appointing one public member in addition to their existing appointments. Chapter 721 (Statutes of 1969) again extended the sunset date of the Commission, this time through June 1971. The Advisory Commission (1965-1971) was authorized to conduct hearings, appoint an Advisory Committee of public members from a variety of backgrounds, encourage the development of local commissions of a similar nature, and perform research in the pursuit of their final recommendations.
On August 11, 1971, Chapter 541 (Statutes of 1971) was signed by the Governor, making the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) a permanent agency. In addition to its existing duties, CSW was also mandated to "act as an information center on the status of women's needs" and "develop and coordinate with [those] concerned with preventing problems brought about by the changing roles of women, and [those who] develop programs to enable women to be fully contributing members of society." Chapter 1596 (Statutes of 1984) created the Displaced Homemaker Emergency Loan Act (DHELA), a pilot loan program administered by CSW until 1998 (extended by Chapter 1385, Statutes of 1985, and Chapter 488, Statutes of 1995).
Neither the Advisory Commission nor CSW had any distinct organizational programs until 1981, when the work of CSW was divided into Research and Information Services, Legislative Liaison, and Administration. These divisions remained unchanged until 1985 when the Comparable Worth Task Force and the DHELA programs were added. In 1987, the Task Force was ended, the first three program areas were condensed into one, and DHELA was retained as a separate program. In 1999, DHELA was ended and, as of 2012, CSW remains a single multi-functional program of Administration-Legislation-Research and Information Services.
Over the course of its lengthy history, the Commission has formed many committees, including the following: Advisory, Child Care, Child Support/Custody, Community Involvement, Criminal Justice, Education, Employment, Executive, Health, Homemaker, Marital Property, and Public Information. Notable task forces include those on Minority Women and Comparable Worth.
Commission Chairs
Ruth Miller, 1965-1966
Kathleen Finucane, 1967
Betty Concannon, 1968-1971
Anita Miller, 1972-1978
Betty Stephens, 1978-1980
Irene Hirano, 1980-1982
Hannah-Beth Jackson, 1982-1983
Carole Ward-Allen, 1983-1984
Dorothy Jonas, 1984-1985
Verna Dauterive, 1986-1988
Jan Hall, 1988-1990
Meg Troughton, 1990-1991
Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz, 1991-1995
Lily Ring Balian, 1995-1997
Cheryl D. Kendrick, 1997-1999
Eileen Padberg, 1999-2000
Bonnie Sloane, 2000-2001
Elmy Bermejo, 2001-2005
Holly Mitchell, 2006-2007
Lindy DeKoven, 2008-2009
Elaine Suranie, 2010-2011
Geena Davis, 2012-present
Executive Directors
Marian Ash, 1965-1967
Carolyn Heine, 1968-1974
Pamela Faust, 1975-1982
Lee Novick, 1982-1983
Margaret Almada, 1984-1985
Pat Towner, 1986-1996
Karmi Speece, 1996-1999
Iola Gold, 2000-2001
Mary Wiberg, 2001-present

Scope and Content

The records of the California Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) consist of fourteen cubic feet of textual, photographic, and audiovisual records reflecting the Commission's research and recommendations specifically on women's issues within the state. The records date from 1965-2010. The records are organized into sixteen record series: Meeting Files, Meeting Minutes, Business Meeting Files, Transcripts, Hearing Files, Chronological Correspondence, Commission Publications, Publications, Reports to the Legislature, Newsletters, Sex Equity in Education (SEEA) Regulations Files, Staff Files, Equal Rights Amendments (ERA) Files, Laws Affecting Women, Publicity Files, and Subject Files.
As the only state agency to exclusively focus on the needs and concerns of females of all ages and backgrounds, the Commission on the Status of Women holds a noteworthy place in the history of California. Their records reflect the diverse and complex topics that impact women in this state while chronicling the ever-changing nature of legislative attitudes surrounding those topics. Many series within the record group document the day-to-day activities of the Commission and its staff, such as the Meeting Files, Meeting Minutes, Business Meeting Files, Chronological Correspondence, Staff Files, and Subject Files. Other record series directly expose the Commission's presence in the middle of national debates and social movements to better the lives of women. These series include the Transcripts, Hearing Files, Commission Publications, Publications, Reports to the Legislature, Newsletters, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) Files, and the Publicity Files.

Accruals

Further accruals are expected.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
California. Advisory Commission on the Status of Women
California Commission on the Status of Women
Women's rights - California


Series Descriptions

R214.001, Box 1, folder 1 - Box 2, folder 5

Series 1 Meeting Files 1965-2003

Physical Description: 27 file folders, 2 VHS tapes

Access Information

Access to audiovisual material requires the production of use copies.

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by meeting date.

Scope and Content Note

Meeting Files pertain to the meetings held by the Commission between 1965 and 2003. These files are not comprehensive, with records of meetings missing from 1969, 1981-1995, 1997-2000, and 2002. Files include agendas, minutes, memoranda, notes, press releases, transcripts, publications, correspondence, public testimony, background information, news clippings, and articles. The meetings cover numerous topics of concern to the Commission such as the establishment of the Advisory Commission and the Advisory Committee, the Equal Rights Amendment, maternity leave, child support, community property, agricultural workers, Title IX, and prisoners. These meetings were held by a variety of Commission Committees including the Executive, Education, Employment, Child Care, Community Involvement, Public Information, and Criminal Justice committees.
Audio/videotapes have been removed to cold storage and separation sheets are included within the file folders to indicate this.
R214.002, Box 2, folders 6 - 9

Series 2 Meeting Minutes 1970-2001

Physical Description: 4 file folders, 2 mini audio cassettes

Access Information

Access to audiovisual material requires the production of use copies.

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by meeting date.

Scope and Content Note

The Meeting Minutes document the meetings held by the Commission between 1970 and 2001. These files may not comprehensively record every meeting held by the Commission. Files include agendas, minutes, agendas, and meeting notices. The meetings discussed such topics as the Equal Rights Amendment and domestic violence.
Audio/videotapes have been removed to cold storage and separation sheets are included within the file folders to indicate this.
R214.003, Box 2, folders 10-25

Series 3 Business Meeting Files 2000-2003

Physical Description: 16 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by meeting date.

Scope and Content Note

The Business Meeting Files document the business meetings held by the Commission. These files may not include all meetings held by the Commission. Files include agendas, minutes, memoranda, correspondence, publications, testimony, by-laws, press releases, background information, reports, news clippings, and articles. The meetings covered such issues as homeless women, sexual assault, faculty merit salary increases, pay equity, prisoners, and gender equity in education.
R214.004, Box 3, folder 1 - Box 4, folder 8

Series 4 Conference and Hearing Transcripts 1966-1981

Physical Description: 29 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by date.

Scope and Content Note

Transcripts pertain to the conferences and hearings held by the Commission between 1966 and 1981, which were recorded and transcribed. Legislative bodies involved in the hearings include the Joint Committee on Legal Equality, Social Welfare Committee, Judiciary Committee, and Criminal Justice Committee. The transcripts document topics such as day care, rape, community property, credit, employment, Labor Code, medical rights, and comparable worth.
R214.005, Box 4, folders 9 - 19

Series 5 Hearing Files 1966-1999

Physical Description: 11 file folders, 2 VHS tapes

Access Information

Access to audiovisual material requires the production of use copies.

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by hearing date.

Scope and Content Note

The Hearing Files pertain to the public hearings held by the Commission between 1966 and 1999. Files include agendas, memoranda, notes, correspondence, pamphlets, public testimony, background information, news clippings, and articles. The hearings focused on such issues as adolescent mental health, improving child care, and employment.
Audio/videotapes have been removed to cold storage and separation sheets are included within the file folders to indicate this.
R214.006, Box 4, folder 20 - Box 8, folder 12

Series 6 Chronological Correspondence 1982-1988

Physical Description: 90 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by date.

Scope and Content Note

The chronological correspondence of the Commission contains primarily outgoing mail from the office of the Executive Director. Files include agendas, minutes, memoranda, mailing lists, background information, news clippings, and requests for information. The correspondence reflects the wide variety of subjects that the Commission dealt with on a daily basis: the newsletter, meetings, administration of the staff and commissioners, legislative opinions, Miller vs. CSW, incest, comparable worth, poverty, homemaker's rights, community property, affirmative action, Women's History Month, and the Sexual Harassment in Employment (S.H.E.) Project.
R214.007, Box 8, folder 13 - Box 9, folder 36

Series 7 Commission Publications 1966-2010

Physical Description: 68 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by publication date.

Scope and Content Note

This record series contains the publications produced by the Commission alone or in conjunction with another organization. These files may not include all publications created by the Commission. Files include directories, annual reports, hearings, studies, manuals, conferences, profiles, conventions, retreats, and pamphlets. Significant topics include farm workers, sexual harassment, comparable worth, the Equal Rights Amendment, child custody, displaced homemakers, disabilities, and sex equity in education.
Researchers should note that two specific Commission-created publications are found in their own separate series: the newsletter and Laws Affecting Women. Also, Commission-created publications that were "reports to the legislature" are found in their own series by that same name.
R214.008, Box 9, folder 37 - Box 10, folder 15

Series 8 Publications 1975-2007

Physical Description: 26 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by publication date.

Scope and Content Note

The Publications document directories, studies, reports, manuals, conferences, law reviews, and dissertations which were not produced by the Commission. The creators of these publications include the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Women's Education Fund, the California State Employee's Association, the California Women Legislators Caucus, the Institute for Women's Research Policy, the California Attorney General's Office, the California Coalition for Women, and the California Center for Research on Women and Families. Publication topics include domestic violence, racism, and child support.
R214.009, Box 10, folders 16 - 39

Series 9 Reports to the Legislature 1967-1999

Physical Description: 24 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by publication date.

Scope and Content Note

This record series contains the Commission-created publications that were formal reports to the California Legislature. These files may not include all reports to the Legislature created by the Commission. Subjects of reports include pay inequities, the Displaced Homemaker's Emergency Loan Act (DHELA) program, child care, and adolescent mental health.
R214.010, Box 10, folders 40 - 46

Series 10 Commission Newsletters 1968-2001

Physical Description: 7 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by publication date.

Scope and Content Note

The newsletter produced by the Commission was titled California Women for most of its history. These files may not include all newsletters produced by the Commission. The newsletters provide an encapsulated glance into matters of interest to the Commission and women at given points in time. Topics include the Equal Rights Amendment, comparable worth, homemakers, credit, insurance, child care, Title IX, domestic violence, reproductive rights, Proposition 13 (1978), and breast cancer.
R214.011, Box 11, folders 1 - 5

Series 11 Sex Equity in Education (SEEA) Regulation Files 1987-2001

Physical Description: 5 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by date.

Scope and Content Note

The Sex Equity in Education (SEEA) Regulations Files contain to the information accumulated by the Commission between 1987 and 2001 regarding these regulations. Files include memoranda, correspondence, testimony, court documents, proposed legislation, news clippings, and pamphlets. The regulations surround such topics as California Community Colleges, the California State University, the university of California, K-12, discrimination, access to resources, and teacher credentialing.
R214.012, Box 11, folders 6 - 9

Series 12 Staff Files 1980-2000

Physical Description: 4 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by last name of staff member.

Scope and Content Note

The Staff Files contain information on many Commission members and Executive Directors. Files include correspondence, oaths of office, biographies, photographs, letters of resignation, job duty statements, press releases, and news clippings.
R214.013, Box 11, folder 10 - Box 13, folder 14

Series 13 Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) Files 1970-1987

Physical Description: 61 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject heading.

Scope and Content Note

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) Files document the Commission's involvement in the state and national attempts to pass this controversial federal constitutional legislation. Files include agendas, minutes, memoranda, court documents, correspondence, testimony, promotional materials, background information, reports, news clippings, and articles. Topics of interest to ERA general research include labor, employment, marriage, the draft, homosexuality, rescission, referendums, religion, and the history of the ratification efforts in California. Those researching the Commission, specifically, may be interested in the legal case brought against the Commission, Miller v. CSW.
R214.014, Box 13, folders 15 - 18

Series 14 Laws Affecting Women 1973-1998

Physical Description: 4 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically by publication date.

Scope and Content Note

Laws Affecting Women was an annually published report of the Commission. The report summarizes the California laws chaptered in the previous legislative session that impact women. Notable topics include family law, health access and coverage, equality, violence, education, and child care.
R214.015, Box 13, folders 19 - 31

Series 15 Publicity Files 1988-1997

Physical Description: 13 file folders

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject heading.

Scope and Content Note

The Publicity Files consist of the photographs, promotional materials, and information regarding Women's History Month and other Commission events. Files include photographs, correspondence, memoranda, flyers, speeches, notes, and proclamations. Photographs include images of Commissioners, staff, and political leaders. Women's History Month records are from 1988 to 1993 and include many proclamations from both the Governor of California as well as various municipalities.
Oversized items have been moved to oversized storage and separation sheets are included within the file folders to indicate this.
R214.016, Box 13, folder 32 - Box 14, folder 24

Series 16 Subject Files 1985-2005

Physical Description: 28 file folders, 1 VHS tape

Access Information

Access to audiovisual material requires the production of use copies.

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by subject heading.

Scope and Content Note

The Subject Files document a variety of topics of interest to the Commission. Files include reports, correspondence, promotional materials, news clippings, articles, memoranda, notes, court documents, and proposed legislation. Significant topics include the California's Elected Women's Association for education and research (CEWAER), the commission history, conferences, conventions, retreats, the executive committee, domestic violence, Notable Women, rape, Title IX, athletics, and the Women's Appointment Project.
Audio/videotapes have been removed to cold storage and separation sheets are included within the file folders to indicate this.