Guide to the Women For: Orange County Records MS.R.069

Finding aid prepared by Laura Clark Brown and Carole McEwan
Special Collections and Archives, University of California, Irvine Libraries
The UCI Libraries
P.O. Box 19557
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, California, 92623-9557
© 2011

Title: Women For: Orange County records
Collection number: MS.R.069
Contributing Institution: University of California, Irvine. Libraries. Special Collections and Archives.
Irvine, California 92623-9557
Language of Material: English.
Physical Description: 2.3 linear feet (5 document boxes, 1 oversize folder)
Date (bulk): Bulk, 1984-1996
Date (inclusive): 1984-2003
Abstract: 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.
Creator: Women For: Orange County.


The collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

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.

Preferred Citation

Women For: Orange County Records. MS.R.069. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California. Date accessed.
For the benefit of current and future researchers, please cite any additional information about sources consulted in this collection, including permanent URLs, item or folder descriptions, and box/folder locations.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Women For: Orange County in 1998. Additional gifts were made in: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2008.

Historical Background

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 County, California.
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.

Collection Arrangement

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

Processing History

Preliminary processing by Laura Clark Brown in 1998. Processing completed by Carole McEwan in 2010.

Related Collections

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


Organizational records Series 1. Bulk, 1986-1998 1984-2003

Physical Description: 1.5 linear feet.

Series Scope and Content Summary

Organizational records include bylaws, procedures, general and board meeting minutes, treasurer's report, budgets, membership lists, correspondence and brochures. Women For: held regular meetings twice a month with different themes and speakers, actively publicizing them with mailed announcements, press releases and newsletters. Also included are newspaper clippings about meetings and events and some literature reflecting how they or their members were honored by other organizations.

Series Arrangement

This series is arranged in the same order as it was received.
Box 1, Folder 1

Brief history, 1986

Box 1, Folder 2

Bylaws, circa 1984

Box 1, Folder 3

Procedures, circa 1986

Box 1, Folder 4-16

Minutes, 1984-1992, 1994-1996

Box 1, Folder 17-19, Box 2, Folder 1-2

Board meetings, 1990-1994

Box 2, Folder 3

Board resignations, 1992

Box 2, Folder 4-5

Treasurer's reports, 1984-1989

Box 2, Folder 6

Budget, 1992

Box 2, Folder 7

Politics Committee: Candidate questionnaires, 1986, 1996

Box 2, Folder 8-11

Correspondence, 1985-1997

Box 3, Folder 1, Box 2, Folder 12-13

Membership lists, 1984-1986, 1989, 1992-1997

Box 3, Folder 2

Membership dues, 1985-1987

Box 3, Folder 4

Meeting room arrangements, 1991-1992

Box 3, Folder 5

Women For: newsletters, 1984-1991

Box 3, Folder 6

Brochures, 1987-1996

Box 3, Folder 7

Press releases, 1987-1992

Box 3, Folder 8-13

Announcements, 1984-2003

Box 3, Folder 14-16

Newspaper clippings, 1988-1997

Box 3, Folder 17

Honors by and for Women for:, 1984-1993


Great American Write-Ins Series 2. 1986-2000

Physical Description: 0.3 linear feet.

Historical Background

The major annual event of Women For: Orange County was the Great American Write-In. For this event 30-40 community groups active in fields including education, environmental protection, human and civil rights and peace would gather to dissiminate information to the public, who would in turn be invited to write to their governmental representatives.

Series Scope and Content Summary

The planning files are arranged by year and contain some or all of the following: committee minutes and planning documents, publicity flyers and posted announcements, correspondence to organizations, and information about the organizations participating. The file for the Great American Write-In for 2000 contains brochures for nearly all of the participating organizations. There are also some newspaper clippings about this event for 1990s.
There are five colored political buttons that represent contemporary women's issues: sexual equality, pro-choice, RU486 (abortion pill), women legislators, and anti sexual harrassment.
There are two handmade posters documenting the Great American Write-In held in 1991 at the University Club on the University of California, Irvine campus.

Series Arrangement

This series is arranged as it was received.
Box 3, Folder 18, Box 4, Folder 1-7

Planning records, 1986-2000

Box 4, Folder 8-9

Participant brochures, 2000

Box 4, Folder 10

Newspaper clippings, 1987-1997

Box 4, Folder 11

Buttons from political organizations, 1990s

Folder XOS 1

Posters, 1991


Suffrage Day Luncheons Series 3. 1984-1994

Physical Description: 0.1 linear feet. (2 folders)

Historical Background

The first annual Suffrage Day Luncheon in 1981, was sponsored by the Women's Network Alert, an organization for activist Orange County women. Women For: co-hosted the luncheon with them in the late 1980s, and early 1990s. From the 16th annual luncheon in 1997, Women For: sponsored the event on their own. Vivian Hall and Anna Freeman were instrumental in maintaining the continuity of this event.

Scope and Content Summary

Included are the printed programs for the Suffrage Day Luncheons, and newspaper clippings from both before and after the event.

Series Arrangement

This series is arranged in the order it was recieved.
Box 4, Folder 12

Programs, 1981-2000

Box 4, Folder 13

Newspaper clippings, 1990s


Photographs Series 4. 1986-1997

Physical Description: 0.4 linear feet. (1 document box)

Collection Scope and Content Summary

Included are color photographs from various Great American Write-Ins and Suffrage Day Luncheons, most undated and with people unidentified. There are photos of various activities from 1994 and from a meeting held in 1997, at Bolsa Chica State Beach, in Huntington Beach, California. An undated scrapbook of color photographs mostly from the Great American Write-In event is also included.

Series Arrangement

The photographs are arranged by function or by date as they were received.
Box 5, Folder 1

Great American Write-In, 1986, 1995

Box 5, Folder 2

Suffrage Day Luncheon, 1986, 1995

Box 5, Folder 3

Photographs, 1994

Box 5, Folder 4

Bolsa Chica meeting, 1997

Box 5, Folder 5

Great American Write-In scrapbook circa 1900-1999