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Citizen Action Records

 Collection
Identifier: UR001636
The records in this collection are primarily from the national office of Citizen Action, though there are documents dealing with issues and activities in specific states. Also among these records are documents from affiliate organizations: Citizens/Labor Energy Coalition (C/LEC) and Energy Action.

Important Subjects: Auto insurance Citizens Fund Citizens/Labor Energy Coalition Elections, local, state and federal Energy issues Energy Action Environment and pollution Health care Health insurance Oil distribution and pricing Political activism Natural gas distribution and pricing

Important Correspondents: Heather Booth Robert Brandon Michael Podhorzer Edward Rothschild

Series Description: Series I: National Administrative Offices, 1981-1994 Series II: State Activities and Research, 1980s-1990s Series III: Citizen/Labor Energy Coalition and Energy Action, 1975-1990

Dates

  • 1973 - 1993
  • Majority of material found within 1980 - 1989

Creator

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.

Extent

11 Linear Feet (11 SB)

Abstract

Citizen Action (CA) was founded in 1979 by former members of Students for a Democratic Society and the Indochina Peace Campaign as a coalition of state and national liberal consumer and activist groups. It organized door-to-door canvassers to work on the state level promoting CA membership and educating the public on issues such as health care, energy, environmental concerns, and auto insurance. Citizen Action was also active in election campaigns on the local, state and national level to recruit and support candidates who espoused the same ideas on various issues. Citizen Action affiliates, such as Ohio Citizen Action and Connecticut Citizen Action Group, played a key role in get-out-the-vote campaigns and issue-specific canvassing and lobbying, especially regarding health care. On the national level, Citizen Action lobbied Congress and the federal government, often testifying before committees, working to introduce bills and interacting with federal departments and commissions. Citizen Action was shut down in 1997 after a scandal emerged involving illegal funds from the Teamsters.

The records in this collection are primarily from the national office of Citizen Action, though there are documents dealing with issues and activities in specific states. Also among these records are documents from affiliate organizations: Citizens/Labor Energy Coalition (C/LEC) and Energy Action.

History

Citizen Action (CA) was founded in 1979 by former members of Students for a Democratic Society and the Indochina Peace Campaign as a coalition of state and national liberal consumer and activist groups. At its height in the early 1990s, CA had 34 state affiliates and allied organizations and approximately 2.5 million members, with 75 offices around the country and 1,200 staff members. Its main offices were in Washington, DC, and Chicago. It organized door-to-door canvassers to work on the state level promoting CA membership and educating the public on issues such as health care, energy, environmental concerns, and auto insurance. Citizen Action was also active in election campaigns on the local, state and national level to recruit and support candidates who espoused the same ideas on various issues. Citizen Action affiliates, such as Ohio Citizen Action and Connecticut Citizen Action Group, played a key role in get-out-the-vote campaigns and issue-specific canvassing and lobbying, especially regarding health care. On the national level, Citizen Action lobbied Congress and the federal government, often testifying before committees, working to introduce bills and interacting with federal departments and commissions. Citizen Action was shut down in 1997 after a scandal emerged involving illegal funds from the Teamsters.

Arrangement

Arranged in 3 series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-3), Series 2 (Boxes 4-8) and Series 3 (Boxes 9-11). Folders in each series are simply listed by their location within each box. They are not arranged, so any given subject may be dispersed throughout several boxes within each series.

Acquisition

The records of Citizen Action were placed in the Walter P. Reuther Library on October 15, 1995.

Related Materials

Student Activists Records

Processing History

Finding aid written by Aimee Ergas on February 14, 2011.

Creator

Title
Guide to the Citizen Action Records
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Aimee Ergas.
Date
2011-02-14
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA