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Finding Aid of the Shirley Adelson Siegel papers 0303
0303  
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Box 1, Folder 1-2

Los Angeles Citizens Housing Council 1947-1948

Scope and Content

These files pertain to Siegel's role as Executive Director of the Los Angeles Citizens Housing Council, a post she held from 1947 to 1948. Included are article clippings, handwritten notes, correspondence, reports, memoranda, journal excerpts, several editions of the Council newsletter, other publications created and distributed by the Council, various pieces of housing-related legislation drafted at the state and federal levels, and the Council's 1947 Report on the Conference on Housing. All materials in these files relate to the Council's objective of ensuring the existence of equitable and affordable housing in Los Angeles, and many pertain specifically to the controversial Taft-Ellender-Wagner housing bill which spearheaded the construction of federally-subsidized public housing developments.
Box 1, Folder 3

Speaking Engagements: California 1947-1950

Scope and Content

In her capacity as Executive Director of the Los Angeles Citizens Housing Council, Siegel delivered a number of speeches about race restricted covenants, informal gentlemen's agreements, and other discriminatory tactics that existed within California's housing market in the mid-twentieth century. The file consists of materials related to Siegel's speaking engagements between 1947 and 1950. Included is correspondence; pamphlets, brochures, and article clippings announcing her speeches; and transcriptions of several interviews and speeches delivered by Siegel.
Box 1, Folder 4

American Jewish Congress Commission on Law and Social Action: California 1946-1948

Scope and Content

As a member of the American Jewish Congress's Commission on Law and Social Welfare, Siegel advocated against restrictive covenants, which were often written into housing deeds to exclude members of the Jewish faith from purchasing real estate. Materials in this folder pertain to Siegel's tenure as a member of the Commission. Included are memoranda, correspondence, and Commission newsletters, as well as transcripts from several Los Angeles-area court cases that challenged the constitutionality of discriminatory housing tactics.
Box 1, Folder 5

Los Angeles Housing Educational Fund and Los Angeles Citizen Housing Council 1949-1952

Scope and Content

Included in this folder are materials pertaining to the Los Angeles Housing Educational Fund, an arm of the Los Angeles Citizens Housing Council with which Siegel was involved. The folder contains minutes from the Educational Fund's Board of Directors' meetings, handwritten notes taken at these meetings, an informational pamphlet, press releases, correspondence, and a legal memorandum.
Box 1, Folder 6-7

California Housing Initiative 1947-1948

Scope and Content

In 1948, Siegel was selected to serve on the Southern California Advisory Committee for the California Housing Initiative. The committee circulated petitions and advocated in favor of the California Housing Initiative (Proposition 14) that was taken before voters in the November, 1948 statewide election. Proposition 14, which sought to implement a statewide public housing program for low-income individuals and families, ultimately failed at the ballot box but nonetheless laid the groundwork for similar legislation that was drafted at the federal level soon thereafter. The filed consist primarily of correspondence exchanged between Siegel and other public housing advocates regarding Proposition 14. Also included are handwritten notes; pamphlets; a voter guide; an operating budget; press releases; reports and summaries; and a copy of the petition that was circulated in order for the initiative to qualify for the November, 1948 ballot.
Box 1, Folder 8

California Housing Association 1948-1949

Scope and Content

Materials in this folder pertain to Siegel's role as the Southern California Secretary of the California Housing Association, a post that she held in 1949. Included are pamphlets published by the Association, correspondence, minutes from the Association's board meetings, and several issues of Association newsletters. Items in the series primarily relate to how California was affected by the implementation of the Housing Act of 1949, a landmark piece of federal legislation that sought to provide "a decent home and a suitable living environment for every American family" through the clearance of slums and the construction of public housing projects.
Box 1, Folder 9

Fair Employment Practices Committee and Council for Equality in Employment 1949

Scope and Content

In 1949, Siegel worked in conjunction with the Council for Equality in Employment to draft a Fair Employment Practices Ordinance, which aimed to prohibit discrimination in the workplace because of race, color, creed, national origin, or ancestry. The folder contains materials related to Siegel's work in this capacity. Included is correspondence related to the creation of the ordinance, draft copies of the ordinance, and a chart listing cities that had adopted similar measures.
Box 1, Folder 10

Race Restricted Covenants: California Activities and Congregational Church 1948

Scope and Content

The folder includes materials published by the Congressional Committee for Christian Democracy regarding the United States Supreme Court's 1948 ruling in Shelley v. Kraemer, which outlawed court enforcement of race restricted covenants that were often used to exclude minorities from certain urban and suburban neighborhoods. Included are press releases, a resolution, correspondence, and fact sheets, all of which discuss the Committee's stance on restrictive covenants and strategies to overcome racism in the housing market.
Box 1, Folder 11

Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations 1948-1949

Scope and Content

The folder includes materials related to county-wide housing issues, as addressed by the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations. Included are agendas and meeting minutes from Commission meetings, memoranda distributed among Commission members, and correspondence. Materials pertain to the racial and ethnic composition of public housing developments within the county, as well as plans for the clearance and redevelopment of blighted neighborhoods.
Box 1, Folder 12

Los Angeles County Housing Authority 1949-1950

Scope and Content

Although the Housing Act of 1949 allocated millions of dollars of federal funds for the identification, demolition, and redevelopment of distressed and blighted areas, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors failed to apply for funds that had been earmarked for county-wide redevelopment projects. This drew the ire of Siegel and her colleagues at the California Housing Association, who argued that the Supervisors' lack of action suggested a lack of commitment to ensuring that fair and adequate housing existed within the county. Materials in this file pertain to the state of the Los Angeles County Housing Authority in 1949 and 1950 and include notes, article clippings, press releases, correspondence, memoranda, meeting agendas, and interview transcripts. Also included is a formal declaration issued by the California Housing Association, and a list of recommendations that was created by the Association and directed at the Board of Supervisors.
Box 1, Folder 13

League of Women Voters of Los Angeles 1949-1950

Scope and Content

Materials in this folder relate to Siegel's tenure as Chairman of the League of Women Voters' Los Angeles Legislative Action Committee, a post she held in 1949. Included is correspondence, memoranda, notes, and several editions of the League Reporter, the League of Women Voters' official newsletter. Materials pertain to the League's commitment to overcoming racial and economic discrimination.
Box 1, Folder 14

Housing Discrimination 1947-1950

Scope and Content

This folder includes materials pertaining to discrimination in the housing market, with an emphasis on race-restricted covenants and the Supreme Court's decision in Shelley v. Kraemer (1948) which prevented the enforcement of the covenants in court. Included in the series are article clippings, memoranda, correspondence, handwritten notes, and a breakdown of the racial and ethnic composition of public housing developments in the City of Los Angeles.
Box 1, Folder 15-16

Los Angeles Conference on Community Relations: Non-Discrimination 1949-1951

Scope and Content

From 1949 to 1950, Siegel served as Housing Commission Chairman for the Los Angeles County Conference on Community Relations, a consortium of community-based organizations that aimed to advance racial and economic equality and challenge institutionalized discrimination throughout Los Angeles County. These files include materials related to an ordinance drafted by Siegel and other conference members in 1950 that prohibited segregation and discrimination in urban redevelopment projects. Included are pamphlets describing the mission and purview of the Conference; correspondence; press releases and article clippings; several issues of The Community Reporter, the Conference's official newsletter; reports; agendas, minutes, and supplemental materials from meetings conducted by the Conference's Housing and Executive committees; notes; memoranda; and drafts of the aforementioned ordinance.
Box 1, Folder 17

American Jewish Committee: Legal and Civic Action Committee 1948

Scope and Content

In 1948, Siegel served as a staff representative to the Legal and Civic Action Committee of the American Jewish Committee's Los Angeles chapter. During Siegel's tenure, the Committee launched an investigation into the racial pattern of tenant selection in Los Angeles County's public housing developments, and determined that whites, Mexican-Americans, and African-Americans were segregated in separate housing projects, with African-Americans assigned to inferior quarters. Included in this folder are a copy of the Committee newsletter, memoranda, minutes from Legal and Civic Action Committee meetings, reports, and article clippings.
Box 1, Folder 18

1948 Article The Supreme Court Rules Out Race Restrictive Covenants - Women Lawyers Journal, 1948 1948

Scope and Content

In 1948, Siegel authored an article entitled The Supreme Court Rules Out the Race Restrictive Covenant, which was published in the Women Lawyers' Journal and discusses Shelley v. Kremer's implications on race restrictive covenants. Included in the folder are two copies of Siegel's article and three letters of commendation that were subsequently mailed to Siegel.
Box 1, Folder 19

Los Angeles County Conference on Community Relations 1949-1951

Scope and Content

Siegel served as Chairman of the Housing Committee for the Los Angeles County Conference on Community Relations, an organization that functioned as an information clearinghouse and sought to coordinate housing and community development efforts in Los Angeles County. The file consists of materials related to Siegel's tenure at the Conference. Included is an informational pamphlet discussing the scope and purview of the Conference; minutes from the Conference's staff and committee meetings; reports and memoranda regarding current issues; a membership roster; letters and telegrams; a program from the Institute on Community Relations for City Officials and Employees held in 1945; and several editions of The Community Reporter, the Conference's semi-monthly newsletter.
Box 1, Folder 20

San Francisco Council for Civic Unity 1949

Scope and Content

In 1949, the Council for Civic Unity of San Francisco submitted an ordinance and a resolution to the County Board of Supervisors that aimed to prevent discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, or ancestry for all redevelopment projects within the county. During this effort, several members of the Council consulted with Siegel, who was spearheading a similar effort in Los Angeles at the time. The file is comprised of materials related to the proposed San Francisco ordinance and the exchange between Siegel and Council officials. Included are several draft resolutions; handwritten notes; correspondence; legal opinions; and memoranda regarding the purpose of the Ordinance, its composition, and its validity.
Box 1, Folder 22

California Federation for Civic Unity 1949-1950

Scope and Content

In 1950, Siegel was elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the California Federation for Civic Unity, an organization that advocated racial and religious tolerance in public affairs. Prior to her nomination to the Board of Directors, Siegel had served as the Chairman of the Housing Workshop for the organizations fourth annual conference in 1949. Materials in this folder correspond to Siegel's contributions to the Federation between 1949 and 1950. Included are informational pamphlets; correspondence; several editions of the organization's newsletter, Blueprint for Action; a program, itinerary, and summary report of the Federation's fourth annual conference; a roster of the Board of Directors elected in 1950, which included Siegel; and minutes from several Board of Directors meetings.
Box 1, Folder 21

Civil Liberties in General 1946

Scope and Content

This folder consists of miscellaneous materials related to civil liberties in general. Included is a memorandum regarding the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, which was adopted by the United Nations in 1948; a copy of the Bill of Rights; an article clipping and a report regarding civil rights legislation proposed by President Truman in 1948; a court transcript from Oyama v. California (1946), a Supreme Court case that challenged the validity of restrictive alien land laws; handwritten notes; a list of possible candidates for a Los Angeles-based human rights committee; and a proposed constitution drafted by the Citizens Community Council of Greater Los Angeles.