Guide to the Women For: Orange County Records
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
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
Organizational records Series 1.
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.
This series is arranged in the same order as it was received.
Box 1, Folder 4-16
Box 1, Folder 17-19, Box 2, Folder 1-2
Box 2, Folder 4-5
Box 2, Folder 7
Politics Committee: Candidate questionnaires,
Box 2, Folder 8-11
Box 3, Folder 1, Box 2, Folder 12-13
Box 3, Folder 2
Box 3, Folder 4
Meeting room arrangements,
Box 3, Folder 5
Women For: newsletters,
Box 3, Folder 7
Box 3, Folder 14-16
Box 3, Folder 17
Honors by and for Women for:,
Great American Write-Ins Series 2.
0.3 linear feet.
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.
This series is arranged as it was received.
Box 3, Folder 18, Box 4, Folder 1-7
Box 4, Folder 8-9
Box 4, Folder 10
Box 4, Folder 11
Buttons from political organizations,
Suffrage Day Luncheons Series 3.
0.1 linear feet.
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.
This series is arranged in the order it was recieved.
Box 4, Folder 13
Photographs Series 4.
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
The photographs are arranged by function or by date as they were received.
Box 5, Folder 1
Great American Write-In,
Box 5, Folder 2
Suffrage Day Luncheon,
Box 5, Folder 4
Bolsa Chica meeting,
Box 5, Folder 5
Great American Write-In scrapbook