TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Dallas Commission on the Status of Women was founded in 1975 to further the opportunity and advancement of all women and men, and to eliminate discrimination on the basis of sex. The commission built on the legacy of many national, state and local women's organizations that acted as important voices for the rights of women. The Dallas Commission on the Status of Women came about with the help of advocacy from the local branches of Women For Change, League of Women Voters, and other local women's organizations. These women's organizations wanted Dallas to have its own official city commission for women and so they petitioned the mayor and city council for a commission in 1975, the International Year of the Woman. The commission was approved by the Dallas City Council on June 30, 1975.
The members of the commission were appointed by Dallas City Council members, who picked two people from their district. The commission included 22 members with Dr. Carolyn Galerstein, a Spanish Professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, as its first Chairwoman. The commission was divided into four task forces: Political, Legal, Financial; Education; Employment; and Health and Social Services. Over its lifespan, the commission held several public hearings and workshops that were meant to address problems facing local women and provide information and resources for women. The main output of the Dallas Commission on the Status of Women was its annual report. The report was divided by the commission's task forces and examined the life of women in Dallas while providing recommendations to city council. Dallas City Council decided to disband the commission in September 1979 after determining that the commission had fulfilled its duty and was no longer needed. Supporters of the commission argued against the disbanding, stating that women's rights issues still needed to be addressed in the city.
This collection documents the activities of the Dallas Commission on the Status of Women. The collection contains the administrative files and internal documents of the commission including meeting minutes, memoranda, agendas, budgetary reports, member biographies, and photos and negatives. The records of the commission's task forces are present in the collection with the exception of the employment task force's records. The Health and Social Services Task Force provides the bulk of the task force records, including letters and recommendations concerning mental health services to Texas state representatives and the City of Dallas. Annual reports from the four years of the commission's existence are present in the collection and include draft reports with written notes and edits. Chairwoman Carolyn Galerstein, Vice-chairwoman Shirley Miller, and Health and Social Services Task Force head Mary Krueger provide the majority of the correspondence in the collection with general correspondence coming from various members and leaders in the commission.
Press releases, invitations, programs and informational packets document the commission's active role in holding public hearings and events in the city for women. Commission members collected news articles, newspapers and magazines, news releases, pamphlets, informational packets and reports that had relevance to the commission and its mission from various sources and organizations. The collection contains a large number of news articles organized by subject. The news articles address the activities and conflicts of the commission and issues, such as abortion and women's health, that concern the commission. The commission and its members collected reports from the City of Dallas, the state of Texas, and the federal government which dealt with the status of women in America. The collection contains records from different women's organizations and records pertaining to the Equal Rights Amendment and International Women's Year advocacy. Members of the commission were members of other local and national women's organizations and collected materials from these organizations prior to the commission's start and during the commission's life. The records from these women's organizations document the commission members' participation in and following of other women's organizations across the United States.
Arranged into 8 series.
MA97-6 Shirley Briggle Miller Collection
This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Krueger, Mary. Miller, Shirley. Galerstein, Carolyn. Baillargeon, Margaret.
Dallas Commission on the Status of Women
Dallas County (Tex.)
Dallas commissions, Women's Rights, Feminism
MA 97.2 Dallas Commission on the Status of Women
Finding aid created by Hagan Barber