Collection Scope and Content Summary
Title: Women For: Orange County records
Collection number: MS.R.069
University of California, Irvine. Libraries. Special Collections and Archives.
Irvine, California 92623-9557
Language of Material:
2.3 linear feet
(5 document boxes, 1 oversize folder)
Date (bulk): Bulk, 1984-1996
Date (inclusive): 1984-2003
Women For: Orange County was founded in 1984 as a chapter of Women For:, the political activist organization based in Los
Angeles, California. The collection is comprised of organizational records, photographs and other printed items which chronicle
the group's activities from 1984 to 1998, including the Great American Write-In and the Suffrage Day Luncheon.
Women For: Orange County.
The collection is open for research.
Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and
their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
Women For: Orange County Records. MS.R.069. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California.
Gift of Women For: Orange County in 1998. Additional gifts were made in: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2008.
In 1984, ten liberal, public-spirited Orange County, California women came together to address the issue of how to be politically
effective in conservative Orange County. In an election year these women were particularly interested in having an impact
on the nuclear arms race, but issues of interest to them also included protection of the environment and equal rights for
women among other concerns.
The first gathering consisted of 10 women who had never before all met each other. They were Ruth Bellows, Grace Dunkley,
Constance Haddad, Vivian Hall, Lynn Osen, Joyce Rothfeder, Joan Rowland, Mary Lou Sortais, Vivian Thorp and Paula Werner.
Vivian Hall recommended affliating with a group from Los Angeles called Women For: which had been in existence for 20 years
and was an established political action organization. These 10 women contributed $950 for the establishment of an Orange County
group and set the date for their first meeting.
The first official meeting of Women For: Orange County was held February 24, 1984 at a restaurant in Fullerton, California.
The speakers were Marilyn Kizziah, coordinator of the Los Angeles Women For:, and Selma Seligman, chairman of their politics
committee. They explained that Women For: is loosely organized and that its activities include lobbying, letter writing and
supporting important issues and candidates. Women for: is non-partisan and independent with no political favors owed to either
party, although the Democratic platform often reflects more of Women For:'s concerns. The first officers elected were: Vivian
Hall, chair; Joan Rowland, treasurer; and Paula Werner, politics chair.
In 1991, an incident occured at the Great American Write-In involving the unexpected participation of the Cousins Club of
Orange County, representing American Jews and Palestinians for peace. Two factions emerged in Women For: Orange County, one
for and one against the Cousins Club participating. There were meetings and correspondence in 1992 expressing strong feelings,
which ended in seven members resigning, including President Beverly Jacobs.
Collection Scope and Content Summary
This collection comprises records from Women For: Orange County, a women's liberal political activist organization in Orange
Organizational materials include: minutes, reports, correspondence, newsletters, press releases and announcements, brochures
and newspaper clippings. Their mailed announcements and press releases record the speakers and topics from the twice monthly
meetings. For the Great American Write-In, there are planning committee records, participant brochures and some political
buttons,newspaper clippings, posters and a scrapbook of photographs. There are also programs and newspaper clipppings for
the Suffrage Day Luncheons.
This collection is arranged in 4 series:
- Series 1. Organizational records, 1984-2003, 1.2 linear feet
- Series 2. Great American Write-Ins, 1986-2000, 0.3 linear feet
- Series 3. Suffrage Day Luncheons, 1984-1994, 0.1 linear feet
- Series 4. Photographs,1986-1997, 0.4 linear feet
Preliminary processing by Laura Clark Brown in 1998. Processing completed by Carole McEwan in 2010.
Related materials can be found in the following collections: Vivian Hall Papers, MS.R.008 and Health Care Council of Orange
County Records, MS.R.096
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Hall, Vivan, 1922-
Women For: Orange County -- Archives.
Activists -- California -- Orange County.
Buttons (Information artifacts)
Photographic prints -- California -- Orange County -- 20th century.
Political participation -- Women -- California -- Orange County -- History -- Sources
Posters -- 20th century.
Scrapbooks -- California -- Orange County -- 20th century
Women -- Political activity -- California -- Orange County -- History -- Sources