League of Women Voters of Sacramento County Collection MC 107

James C. Scott
Sacramento Public Library

Contributing Institution: Sacramento Public Library
email: sacroom@saclibrary.org
phone: (916) 264-2795
Title: Guide to the League of Women Voters of Sacramento County Collection
Identifier/Call Number: MC 107
Physical Description: 5.5 Linear Feet 6 archival boxes
Date (inclusive): 1939-2017
Abstract: Contained are scrapbooks, meeting minutes, rosters, policy and position documents, published materials, newsletters, and photographs that reflect the functions and goals – from 1939 to 2019 – of the League of Women Voters of Sacramento County.
Language of Material: English .

Biographical / Historical

From its origins in the early twentieth-century, the League of Women Voters of Sacramento County (LVWSC) has dedicated itself to promoting and defending the democratic process. In doing so, voter literacy/education, voter participation, and non-partisanship have all been foundational elements of the group's mission. Although the Sacramento LWVSC claims foundation in 1939, the group's first recorded meeting – facilitated by the Sacramento Women's Council – took place at the offices of the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce on April 5, 1924. Gladys B. Howe was the organization's first official president, holding that post from 1939 to 1940. The group incorporated in April 1965, expanded its representation to all of the Sacramento County in 2005, and gained 501(c)(3) status in July 2015. From its inception, notable positions of LWVSC focus, study, and education have been broadly divided into realms of 1) government; 2) human/resources and social policy; and 3) natural resources, which have been distilled historically into action on, for example, relief during the Great Depression, tax policy during World War II, the emergence of the United Nations, the merger of Sacramento city and county governments, fair housing in the Sacramento area, the advent of atomic power at Rancho Seco, campaign finance, the juvenile justice system, mass transit, charter revision, air quality and water use throughout the state of California.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], League of Women Voters of Sacramento County Collection, MC 107, Sacramento Room, Sacramento Public Library, Sacramento, California.

Scope and Contents

The collection has been arranged into eight primary series. Series I: Scrapbooks; Series II: Sacramento Voter newsletter; Series III: Photographs and Newspaper Clippings; Series IV: Meeting Documents; Series V: Administrative Documents; Series VI: Published Documents Regarding Voter Education; Series VII: Position Documents; and Series VIII: Recognition. Not all serial items - newsletters, annual rosters, annual reports - are held in complete runs.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests to publish or quote from private collections held by the Sacramento Public Library must be submitted in writing to sacroom@saclibrary.org. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Sacramento Public Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the patron. No permission is necessary to publish or quote from public records.


Series I: Scrapbooks

Material Specific Details: Box 1: Scrapbook, 1943 to 1947, consists of several newspaper clippings from the Sacramento Union and Bee that track the activities of the group. Also found is April 4, 1944, correspondence, which invites local candidates to appear at a public meeting on April 19, facilitated by the Sacramento League of Women Voters, and geared toward topics relevant to upcoming elections. A list of possible questions for candidates is included. Subsequent scrapbooks, each divided into 1948 to 1954, 1952 to 1958, 1958 to 1968, 1968 to 1971, and 1961 to 1977, are comprised, almost exclusively, of newspaper clippings from the Sacramento Union and Bee, with an assortment of chapter documents and brochures.

Series II: Sacramento Voter Newsletter

Material Specific Details: Box 2: Folders 1 through 18: Issues of the organization's monthly newsletter, The Voter, running from 1980 to 2015. A single issue exists for 1968. There are inconsistencies in newsletter coverage from year to year.

Series III: Photographs and Newspaper Clippings

Material Specific Details: Box 2: This small series is comprised of images that cover chapter meetings and parties (State of Community Luncheon of 1989 and League of Women Voters luncheon at a member's home which includes several shots of Anne Rudin). Also included is the photograph of a LWV-funded voter registration billboard that was displayed in three different spots in Sacramento County in 1956.

Series IV: Meeting Documents

Material Specific Details: Box 4: This series is comprised of all documents that relate to executing meetings. Agendas, minutes, planning documents, and promotional materials form the bulk of content. The LWVSC's Annual meetings (1962 through 2019), monthly board meetings (1981 through 2013), State of the Community Luncheon (1985 through 2004), and miscellaneous observances, anniversaries, workshops, conferences, and holiday events are included.

Series V: Administrative Documents

Material Specific Details: Boxes 4 and 5: Administrative documents include LWVSC annual reports (1961 through 2004), handbooks and rosters (1970 through 2019), officer and director lists (1979 through 1989), training documents, policy statements, and materials relating to special initiatives, specifically the Suffragist Club, Education Fund, Observer Program, the move toward 501(c)(3) status, Social Media, and the Equal Rights Amendment. Financial statements are included with particular emphasis on the chapter budget, tax commitments, and contracts. General correspondence is the final subseries.

Series VI: Published Documents Regarding Voter Education

Material Specific Details: Box 5: Published materials regarding voter education include a "Survey of Candidates for the City Council of Sacramento! October 1953"; "A Sacramento Dilemma" (1966), which addresses city/county consolidation; "1981 Facts for Voters"; "The Budget Process: Sacramento County" (1994); and publications covering Sacramento government for 1969, 1981, 1984, and 1997.

Series VII: Position Documents

Material Specific Details: Box 5: Position documents are made up of correspondence, research materials, and meeting documents that inform a consensus decision on a specific topic. Topics covered are education, privatization, term limits, instant runoff, redistricting, city charter review commission, air quality, transit funding, local government funding, city governance, climate change, juvenile justice, campaign finance, the Sacramento general plan, Rancho Seco nuclear power plant, Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, and campaign ethics.

Series XIII: Recognition

Material Specific Details: Boxes 5 and 6: Included is an article, a plaque, and several certificates recognizing the efforts of the LWVSC for their efforts in various areas.