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Finding Aid to the Communities of the Outer Mission Organization Records [1963]-1986 (bulk 1973-1978)
SFH 81  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Provenance
  • Digitized Content
  • Materials Transferred
  • Organizational History
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement
  • Processing Information

  • Title: Communities of the Outer Mission Organization Records
    Date (inclusive): [1963]-1986
    Date (bulk): 1973-1978
    Collection Identifier: SFH 81
    Creator: Communities of the Outer Mission Organization
    Physical Description: 3 boxes, 1 flat box (2.33 cubic feet)
    Contributing Institution: San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library
    100 Larkin Street
    San Francisco, CA 94102
    (415) 557-4567
    Abstract: Documents the organization's incorporation and activities including meetings and neighborhood actions, and publication of the Outer Mission News; through staff reports, agendas, petitions and flyers, communications with city officials, and photographs.
    Physical Location: The collection is stored onsite.
    Language of Materials: Collection materials are in English.


    The collection is available for use during San Francisco History Center hours, with photographs available during Photo Desk hours.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the City Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Francisco Public Library as the owner of the physical items.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Communities of the Outer Mission Organization Records (SFH 81), San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.


    Donated to the San Francisco Public Library, Excelsior Branch, by the COMO board following the organization's dissolution, circa 1986. Transferred to the San Francisco History Center in March, 2014.

    Digitized Content

    Newspaper clippings were digitized and are available online at https://www.flickr.com/photos/76275427@N05/sets/72157649270644401/.

    Materials Transferred

    Photographs have been transferred to the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection. Newspapers published by COMO, the Alemany-Mission Advertiser (1979) and Outer Mission News (1979-1984), have been cataloged.

    Organizational History

    Communities of the Outer Mission Organization (COMO) was established by residents, business people and Catholic church pastors in 1973 in response to deterioration of the mostly working-class, Outer Mission district. COMO was a grass-roots organization of over 150 groups including block clubs, area improvement clubs, church groups, and business associations. Aided by paid staff in the early years, members worked collectively on issues of housing, neighborhood improvement, recreation, planning and land use, and police services. Neighborhoods served included Bernal Heights, Cayuga, Crocker-Amazon, Excelsior, Portola and New Mission Terrace.
    Beginning in 1974, annual Community Congresses were convened to elect COMO leadership and plan the next year’s objectives. Notably, they carried out a 44-day sit-in in 1978 at the city-run Alemany Aid Station, also known as the Alemany Hospital, which was threatened with closure. Although some service was maintained as a result, the center was eventually closed.
    In 1978, COMO included 214 organizations representing 70,000 residents. City officials including Mayors George Moscone and Dianne Feinstein, supervisors and department managers addressed the organization and responded to their issues.
    To keep residents informed, the organization published the Outer Mission News (originally named the Alemany-Mission Advertiser), from 1979 to 1984. By the early 1980s, the organization was all-volunteer and the board's main job was publishing the newspaper. Several summer youth employment programs were created including mural painting. The first mural, in the Excelsior playground, is still maintained by the city. With leadership aging out, the organization closed down near the end of 1986.

    Scope and Contents

    Collection includes the organization's business files, staff reports, meeting agendas, petitions and flyers, communications with city officials, and photographs of annual Community Congresses. Subjects include housing and zoning, mental health facilities, neighborhood improvement, recreation, planning and land use, police services, traffic, and property taxes.


    The collection is organized into four series: 1: Business Files; 2: Member Organizations and Area Groups; 3: Issues; and 4: Photographs. Arranged alphabetically by subject title.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Communities of the Outer Mission Organization. -- Archives
    Community organization--California--San Francisco
    Outer Mission (San Francisco, Calif.)

    Processing Information

    Processed by Tami J. Suzuki.