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No on Proposition 14: California Fair Housing Initiative Collection
GTU 94-7-01  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Historical Description
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: No on Proposition 14: California Fair Housing Initiative collection
    Dates: 1963-1964
    Collection number: GTU 94-7-01
    Creator: Conklin, George
    Collection Size: 1 box, 1 folio

    5 linear inches
    Repository: The Graduate Theological Union. Library.
    Berkeley, CA 94709
    Abstract: Proposition 14, or the California Fair Housing initiative, became a focal point for the issue of racial discrimination and the civil rights movement in California in 1964. The collection contains political campaign material (pamphlets, brochures, newsletters, monographs, flyers, bumper stickers) directly related to Proposition 14 from church bodies and political organizations. Also included are materials on race relations and the civil rights movement throughout the United States.
    Shelf location: 2/K/6
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Graduate Theological Union. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Graduate Theological Union 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 reader.

    Preferred Citation

    No on Proposition 14: California Fair Housing Initiative collection, GTU 94-7-01 . Graduate Theological Union Archives, Berkeley, CA.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift from George Conklin in 1977.

    Historical Description

    In June 1963, the California legislature passed AB 1240, the Rumford Act, a fair housing bill banning discrimination in the sale or rental of housing and to forbid lending institutions, mortgage holders, real estate brokers and others to practice discrimination in housing transactions. In April 1964, a "Realtor's Initiative", Proposition 14, was put on the state ballot. Its text stated that it was an initiative to prohibit the State from denying a person the right to rent or sell property "to any person as he chooses." In effect, the initiative would repeal the 1963 Rumford Act and amend the California constititution. Proposition 14, or the California Fair Housing initiative, became a focal point for the issue of racial discrimination and the civil rights movement in California. Religious bodies, civic groups, and political organizations rallied to strong vocal positions either in opposition to or approval of the initiative.
    Proposition 14 won overwhelmingly in the November 1964 election. In 1966 the California Supreme Court invalidated the amendment because it violated federal guarantees. The Rumford Act was reinstated. In 1967, the US Supreme Court agreed with the state Supreme Court. Subsequent efforts by Governor Ronald Reagan and members of the California legislature failed to replace or modify the Rumford act. Ultimately, Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (Fair Housing Act) provided protection against discrimination, which reduced the importance of the California act. (Source: Lou Cannon, Governor Reagan : His Rise to Power. New York : PublicAffairs, 2003, 201-205.)

    Scope and Content of Collection

    George Conklin, the donor, was on the staff of the Northern California Congregational Conference during the years of the Proposition 14 campaign. The material is, in his words, "a collection of public and background materials from that campaign." He further makes the point that the campaign against Proposition 14 "was a first in Catholic-Protestant cooperation in California on social issues." (August 17, 1977 memo, George Conklin to Oscar Burdick, Collection file, GTU Archives Office.)

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Discrimination in housing--California
    Race relations--Religious aspects--Christianity--History--20th Century
    California--Race relations
    United States--Race relations
    Civil rights movements--United States--History--20th Century
    Nonviolence--Religious aspects--United States--History--20th Century
    Clergy--Political activity
    Californians Against Proposition 14