M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives

ARCHIVES OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS AND POLICY

Finding Aid for the
LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF RENSSELAER COUNTY, NEW YORK
RECORDS, 1914-2000

(APAP-103)

For reference queries contact M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives Reference staff

Finding Aid Compiled by
Rosann Santos
February 2001







M. E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives 
University Libraries / University at Albany / State University of New York 
1400 Washington Avenue / Albany, New York 12222 / (518) 437-3935


VOLUME: 11.2 cubic feet

ACQUISITION: All items in this manuscript group were donated to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, by The League of Women Voters of Rensselaer County, New York in September 2000. An additional accession received in August 2005 is not yet arranged and described.

ACCESS: Access to this record group is unrestricted.

COPYRIGHT: The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Administrative History

Scope and Content Note

Series Descriptions

Box and Folder List:


League of Women Voters of Rensselaer County
Administrative History

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The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

The National Organization[1]
The League of Women Voters is an outgrowth of the suffragist movement. Carrie Chapman Catt founded the organization in 1920 during the convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. The convention was held only six months before the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, giving women the right to vote after a 57-year struggle. The organization's name, like its mission, derives from the proud legacy of the women's suffrage movement. Today's members are women and men; any citizen aged 18 or older can join. Members may join through any level of the League, and with membership comes the opportunity to work on local, state, regional and national public policy issues. Local Leagues set their local programs, priorities and dues; state Leagues set the statewide agenda.

The League began as a "mighty political experiment" designed to help 20 million women carry out their new responsibilities as voters. It encouraged them to use their new power to participate in shaping public policy. From the beginning, the League was an activist, grassroots organization whose leaders believed that citizens should play a critical role in advocacy. It was then, and is now, a nonpartisan organization. League founders believed that maintaining a nonpartisan status would protect the fledgling organization from becoming mired in the party politics of the day. However, League members were encouraged to be political themselves, by educating citizens about, and lobbying for, government and social reform legislation. "Naturally, this course has failed to please extremists of either brand," noted the League's first president, Maud Wood Park, in 1924. "The partisan radicals call the League conservative, the thorough-going reactionaries are sure that it is radical or worse."

Today, nonpartisanship has allowed the League to continue to influence public policy. The League's impact is felt at all levels of government: local, state and national. The League's work is based on the belief that citizens who have well-researched and unbiased information will make wise decisions for their communities and their nation. The League helps citizens ensure that their voices are heard at the local, state and national levels.

The Rensselaer County Chapter
"Let the people know, make the people care and help the people act" was the motto adopted by the 38 women who founded the Rensselaer County League of Women Voters in October 1939. The first president of the county League was Beulah Bailey Thull (1891-1975), who was one of Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt's speechwriters at the time. In addition to helping establish the Rensselaer County League, Thull helped establish the Women's Legislative Forum and the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) (serving as the latter's first president).[2] Thull did not finish out her term with the Rensselaer County League and was replaced by Catherine Benson. Though she was not originally from New York, Benson became an important leader in the early years of the Rensselaer County Chapter and in the New York State suffrage movement. WWI interrupted Benson's plans to become a doctor and instead she enrolled in Bellevue Hospital's nurses training course in New York City. By the time she became a nurse, the war ended. She married a doctor who set up a practice in Troy, NY. During the 1940s and 1950s, Benson became the Director of Nurses at Leonard Hospital in Troy.[3]

A month after its founding, the League drafted a letter to Mr. Raymond T. Neitzel, President of Troy's Chamber of Commerce, stating that "the League has but one purpose - 'Better Government.'"[4] At the time of the Rensselaer League's founding, the Troy Chamber of Commerce called for a survey of Troy's budget. The League saw an opportunity for political involvement at the local level and took it. The letter to Neitzel resulted in a luncheon hosted by the League, whereby the Mayor of Troy "appointed a citizens committee to sit in with him on the preparation of the budget."[5] There were 30 people on the committee including the League's president. The League produced a resumé of Troy's budget and of the Comparative Cost of Government in Troy, along with a chart showing the necessary factors of a good budget. "This is the first time that such a thing had ever happened in Troy as the budget was usually a secret chamber act."[6] Thus began the Rensselaer County League's non-partisan involvement in local government.

By 1944, the League began plans to expand both their membership and their scope of activities. They did this by establishing a headquarters and developing committees including finance, public relations, programming, research, government, foreign relations, and training.[7] In the same year, the League formed a coalition with the Business and Professional Women's Club, the YWCA, and the Junior League, creating the Women's Joint Education Committee. "Its purpose was to secure an enlarged Board of Education in Troy with one or more women members, with the hope of improving the school system."[8] The committee quickly learned the ins and outs of the politics of education, suggesting areas for change and/or expansion. As a result, the Rensselaer County League found a niche in public education. In December of 1955, Trojans, Know Your Schools, was published. It "presented concise, non-partisan information concerning the public schools of the Troy District."[9] As a result of the publication, board of education meetings were opened to the public. Know Your Schools involved a survey of the school boards, finances, and teachers. The first decade of the Rensselaer County League was marked a success. They began the Know Your County series and had a regular monthly radio program on WTRY.

The League's activities expanded in the 1950s. Know Your Town became one of the main local projects, surveying county departments and chronicling the county's history for its citizens. The state League published a similar booklet for New York State, entitled Know Your State. Know Your Town was published in 1950 and gained a great deal of accolades (see clippings in Series 1, Box 1, Folder 15). 1950 was also the first year the League published election guides, which provided information to citizens about candidates and amendments that were up for a vote in upcoming government and school elections. The League expanded its scope by speaking out about national and international issues. In 1953, the League participated in United Nations Day and in 1954 they came out against the Bricker Amendment, which would "define and limit the President's treaty-making powers."[10] They believed that such an amendment was "an impediment to the proper conduct of foreign affairs, a disguised isolationist effort to reverse and prevent cooperation in international issues, a violation of the expressed convictions of the framers of the Constitution, and an expression of distrust of both the President and the Senate."[11] On state matters, the League was pressing Governor Dewey to pass legislation for permanent personal registration, which, to the organization's dismay, was vetoed by Dewey in 1955. The latter part of the 1950s saw the League involved in conservation, court reform, county probation, world trade, charter reform, municipal government, equal pay for equal work, improvement of the primary and electoral systems, regulation of child labor laws, urban renewal and the implications of Sputnik. This did not replace past agenda items like the Troy school budget or permanent personal registration. The League merely continued to expand its scope on various levels.

The prosopography of the League at the end of the decade was typical of many women's groups in the country. The median age of the members was 45, 43 for the presidents. 50% of the members were college graduates. 82% of the members were married, with a median family income of $10,000. Only 6% of the membership had incomes below $5000.[12]

In the 1960s, the League continued to publish its Bulletin, Facts for Voters, and Voters Guides. Also civil rights began to creep into the League's activities in the second half of the 1960s. However, the documents do not seem to indicate any major activity within the Civil Rights Movement or Women's Rights Movement per se. According to the League's 1964 Annual Report, Rensselaer County League members participated in an NAACP survey (survey of what is unclear). In addition, two members served on different committees of the Troy Area Committee for Human Rights in order to prepare voters service materials about local elections for inner-city voters.[13] League members also did a follow-up study of sub-standard rural and urban housing with a slide show that was shown to the community.[14]

In 1965, the League ran the "Voters Mailbag" column of the Troy Record. That same year, the local league took on a national item project - development of human resources - in order to parallel the national LWV's agenda. Development of Human Resources explored the problems of the poor, automation, employment and education.[15] Out of this project, the LWVRC published Up the Ladder (see series 2) and Day Care: Community Challenge and Responsibility (no copy in the collection). Up the Ladder was partially subsidized by the United Way and thus distributed to their participating social agencies. Day Care was the result of a Community Day Care Conference, which featured panel discussions by day care providers, educators and public officials. The County Day Care Council was established and Day Care was published. It was a citizens' guide for setting up day care centers.[16]

In the early 1970s, the League was diligently fundraising, working on the county and city charters, land use and health care and perfecting their regular agenda items such as voter registration and school initiatives. They were very supportive of school lunch programs in Troy city schools. They also added the Know Your Schools column of the Times Record to their resume. They continued their concern on national and international levels. For example, the League supported "a fair and thorough impeachment inquiry of President Nixon by the House Judiciary Committee."[17] In addition, they came out in support of the Equal Rights Amendment, which was eventually defeated. The League was also beginning to deal with the issue of allowing men into the organization as full voting members. The issue was contentious on a national level, but the Rensselaer County chapter appeared to be more flexible about the issue.[18]

By 1979, the League of Women Voters of Rensselaer County celebrated its 40th anniversary. It encouraged informed voter participation via publications like "Facts for Voters," "Newcomers Flyers," and "Civic Information Sheets." The League organized Meet the Candidates forums and high school voter registration drives. In a period of 40 years, the League lobbied the state legislature for improved election laws and sponsored monthly luncheon lectures on issues such as property tax assessment, urban crisis, women and the law and the family court system. Finally, they were consistently active in evaluations of county and city charters in Rensselaer County.[19]

In the 1980s, the League moved into newer, sometimes more controversial issues. Reapportionment of the county legislature, women and the law, and reproductive rights were some of the newer concerns the League tackled. The League also became an integral supporter of the "Bottle Bill" of the early 1980s. In 1983, the organization agreed to store its papers and publications at the Troy Public Library. They received a $4200 grant from the Howard and Bush Foundation in order to prepare "an historical repository of League papers at the Troy Public Library."[20] At the same time, the League helped form the Inter-League Organization (ILO) in order to create a coalition of the five local Leagues in the Capital region.[21]

The records are not as complete for the 1990s. However the League has not wavered in its traditional goals of nonpartisan, educational information for citizens of the Capital region. In 1992, A Citizens' Guide to Governments in Rensselaer County was published under the auspices of the Tema Bellinson Memorial Fund. The publication described the governmental functions for each of the 21 municipal governments of the county (see series 2).[22] The League's involvement in welfare issues focused on the needs of children via the Healthy Kids Program with Samaritan Hospital (1994), Bureau of Youth Services and Human Services contracts (1995). Children at risk became a National Junior League focus item in the late 1990s.[23] They also grew concerned about criminal justice reform and lobbying reform.

The LWVRC continued to fall in line with the national League by adopting another item agenda the mid 1990s - "Making Democracy Work" (see series 6, box 3, folder 10). Activities have concentrated on outreach and involvement of the under-served communities in the county, distributing voter education materials, and election information to state agencies such as WIC, day cares, youth programs, food pantries, public housing authorities, and private agencies like the YWCA, TRIP, and Unity House. Two multi-session community meetings of League members and representatives from these groups have been held to discuss ways to increase voter participation.[24]

The history of this organization in the Capital District is valuable to New York State History, local political history, women's history, or the history of any of the many topics that the League tackled.

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Notes

Back to History

1. The administrative history about the National League is taken verbatim from the League of Women Voters' Website - www.lwv.org. The history of the Rensselaer County League was developed from a variety of sources within the collection, especially information in Series 1 and information from an email to Rosann Santos from Mary Stierer dated February 5, 2001 which can be found in the administrative file about the collection (herein the email).
2. November 1975 document. See Series 1, Box 3, Folder 6 (green sheet of paper).
3. Memo from Mary Abbott to Paula Auclair outlining the LWV history, including a rudimentary timeline of the Rensselaer County League's activities from 1939 to 1978. Series 1, Box 3, Folder 13.
4. Letter to Raymond T. Neitzel from the League President, November 3, 1939. Series 1, Box 1 Folder 2.
5. Rensselaer County League of Women Voters, April 3, 1940 (recap), page 2. Series 1, Box 1, Folder 2.
6. Ibid.
7. Expansion Proposal for the Troy League of Women Voters by Mary Gosselin, February 15, 1944.
8. Interim Report of the Women's Joint Education Committee, Troy, N.Y. February 1946. Series 1, Box 1, Folder 5.
9. A Report to Members on Their Accomplishments in 1955-1956. Series 1, Box 1, Folder 16.
10. Newspaper clipping dated January 23, 1954. Series 1, Box 1, Folder 15.
11. Ibid.
12. Notes on the Character of the League and Members as brought out in the Michigan Group Study and Reported by Mrs. Reubhausen, 1958. Series 1, Box 1, Folder 19.
13. Annual Report, Mrs. Bernard Foerster, President, April 16, 1964. Series 1, Box 2, Folder 5. See also the email.
14. The email.
15. President's Annual Report, April 21, 1965. Series 1, Box 2, Folder 5.
16. See the email. There is no information in the collection about the Community Day Care Conference, Day Care or the County Day Care Council.
17. Kay Shield, "Women Voters Give Stand on Impeachment." Series 1, Box 3, Folder 2.
18. P.J. Rader, "Should League of Women Voters Admit Men." Times Record, February 21, 1974. Series 1, Box 3, Folder 4.
19. General Letter/Announcement to membership dated only with 1979. Series 1, Box 3, Folder 10. See also Series 1, Box 3, Folder 13 for a Memo from Mary Abbott to Paula Auclair outlining the LWV history, including a rudimentary timeline of the Rensselaer County Leagues activities from 1939 to 1978.
20. Memo from Mary Abbott to LWV Board Members dated August 31, 1983, re: attached agreement with the Troy Public Library. Series 1, Box 3, Folder 14.
21. Series 1, Box 3, Folder 15.
22. The email.
23. "Children At Risk Programs in Rensselaer County." Series 1, Box 3, Folder 16.
24. The email.


League of Women Voters of Rensselaer County
Scope & Content Note

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The League of Women Voters of Rensselaer County (LWVRC) donated 15 boxes of records to the M.E. Grenander Special Collections and Archives of the University at Albany Libraries in May 2000. The boxes contained information about the history and activities of the LWVRC since 1939 and up to the present. The collection includes board and general meeting minutes and agendas, treasurers' reports, the results of various studies conducted by the organization, photographs, videos of workshops and debates and audio tapes of oral histories of former members' participation in the League. Publications put out by the League, either locally or nationally, including monthly Bulletins and Calendars, The Voter (a monthly newsletter) and Election and Voter Guides published for local elections, are a valuable part of the collection. Though items in the collection span from 1914 to the present, the bulk of information spans the late 1950s through the 1980s.

Series 1, Administrative Files, includes official documentation of the boards including meeting minutes, agendas, treasurer reports, and correspondence. Box 4 contains the board meeting minutes and agendas from 1961 to 2000, but with several gaps in time. The series also contains information about the League's annual meetings (1966-1999), membership (1942-1998), by-laws and policy, and tax returns (1967-1985), again with several gaps in time.

Series 2 includes League publications (1944-2000), both locally and nationally. Like all of the projects described in the administrative history, the League sought to educate and inform the voting public about government and policy in Rensselaer County, New York, and to a smaller extent, the United States. Publications include a series of pamphlets about specific elections, voting in general, registration facts and candidates. In addition, the collection includes histories about the League and Carrie Chapman Catt, the League's founder. League Bulletins from 1942-1990 are also included. The Bulletins were usually monthly and included up-to-date information about League activities. Letters from the Presidents, calendars of events, future and current goals, and projects and legislation of interest were often part of the information included in the Bulletin. Ten years worth of the League's newsletter, The Voter are also part of the series, along with Election Bulletins of the 1940s, and Voter's Bulletins of the 1950s and 1960s. The LWVRC also put out their own publications about local issues including Troy - Your City (1952); Trojans, Know Your School (1955); and Up the Ladder: A Study of Anti-Poverty in Rensselaer County (1968).

Series 3, Rensselaer County Government (1943-1993), provides a chronological record of the League's activities concerning the county government from 1952 to 1982. Some of the subject areas include apportionment, the charter, economic development, fair campaign practices and lobbying. The series contains a subseries, Know Your Rensselaer County, an effort by the LWVRC to bring awareness to Rensselaer County residents about the county government and electoral process within the county. The LWVRC has been involved in this since the 1940s, surveying and evaluating the status of the county government and its projects at any given time. The League was especially interested in public health (tuberculosis in particular), children's services, and the county's welfare administration in the 1940s. However, their interests also included jury selection, election participation, population, economy and local history. In the 1960s, the League began drafting Know Your Rensselaer County, which provided a portrait of the county's various departments, elected offices, and public projects. In 1972, the county voters passed a charter-form of government. As a result, the League would become a sort of "watchdog" group for the implementation and execution of the goals of the charter, as will be seen in Series 6. By 1992, the League published the Rensselaer County Government Workbook, as part of the 1989 County's Bicentennial Commission.[25] It expressed the League's position, supporting the County Charter. The purpose of the workbook was to "share information about the County Charter with students and teachers of High School Participation in Government classes as part of the Bicentennial Commission's Education Program."[26] (The workbook may be found in oversized box 1.)

Series 4, Local Program Studies (1946-1990), includes documentation about the various projects and programs that the LWVRC has taken on. Again focusing on elections and financing, particularly in the schools, the LWVRC provided information to the citizens of the county. Aside from public school related projects, the League took on apportionment, city planning, land use, criminal justice court reform, human resources development, environment, ERA, health care, housing, international relations, arms control, New York State politics, revenue sharing and reproductive rights.

Series 5, Troy Government (1939-1993), is similar to Series 3 in that the documents provide a chronological account of the League's involvement in the affairs of Troy's Government. The series contains the subseries Troy City Charter. The LWVRC has been involved in the oversight and development of Troy's charter since the 1950s. In more recent times, the League has been involved in charter campaigns and revisions, examining the role of the mayor and developing questionnaires about how to improve the city's charter.

Series 6 contains information about Voters Services (1943-1999). Voters Services is the League's most active program, whereby they register people to vote, sponsor election debates, publish literature about candidates and citizens' rights as voters, and oversee the local electoral process in hopes of keeping the process fair and the citizenry well-educated about their rights and responsibilities as voters. This series contains various oversized items, including the League's Election and Voter Guides that were often published as supplements in the local papers. The League advocated high school students' participation in local elections and permanent personal registration. They were also involved in the Troy Housing Authority, Troy Public Library, and Rensselaer School elections. Their activities ranged from voter registration, to candidate questionnaires to flyers and pamphlets that provided basic information about voting and the candidates.

Series 7, Subject Files (1955 to 1999), consists of a more general and broader overview of the Rensselaer County League's programs and activities. The series contains newspaper clippings from 1974 to 1993 on issues surrounding politics and schools, county apportionment, human resources, financing public higher education, investment in developing countries, the New York State Budget Process, public health, redistricting, Troy housing and Troy police court.

Series 8 is made up of audiovisual tapes. There are 5 VHS tapes (1995-1997). In 1995, the League hosted a panel discussion on environmental issues. In 1996, they hosted a public information meeting on financing education and a workshop on the 1996 election. In 1997, they hosted a candidates' forum and a meet the candidates' panel. In addition, the series also includes a 7.5 speed dual track reel of a discussion between Beulah Bailey Thull, the LWVRC's first president, and Mary Stierer, LWVRC president from 1969-71, concerning the city manager form of government, Troy politics and history, the suffrage movement and voter registration. The discussion was for Paul Flanigan's radio show (WTRY) in 1970. There are also 2 UCA60 videocassettes about the 1980 election for Troy mayor. Finally the series contains 3 60-minute audiotapes labeled the "History Project." Taped in 1982, the cassettes are interviews with Ruth Binder, Eva Levy and Mary Stierer, past League leaders.

Series 9 is made up of photographs spanning from 1970 to circa 1999, though some are undated. The series contains 199 photographs (black & white and color) of various events and gatherings sponsored by the LWVRC. Some of these activities include voter registration, the LWVRC's 40th anniversary celebration, an annual meeting, holiday parties, 75th anniversary celebrations, and the Port of Albany Tea Party.

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Notes

Back to Scope & Content Note

25. The email.
26. League of Women Voters of Rensselaer County, in forward of Rensselaer County Workbook, 1992. Series 3, Box 1, Folder 12.


League of Women Voters of Rensselaer County
Series Descriptions

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Series 1: Administrative Files, 1914, 1925, 1939-2000. 2.0 cubic feet (5 boxes). Arranged chronologically.

Series 1, Administrative Files, includes official documentation of the boards including meeting minutes, agendas, treasurer reports, and correspondence. Box 4 specifically contains the board meeting minutes and agendas from 1961 to 2000, but with several gaps in time. The series also contains information about the League's annual meetings (1966-1999), membership (1942-1998), by-laws and policy, and tax returns (1967-1985), again with several gaps in time.

Series 2: Publications, 1944-2000. 1.0 cubic foot (3 boxes). Arranged alphabetically by title, except for the Bulletin, which is arranged chronologically.

Series 2 includes League publications (1944-2000), both locally and nationally. Like all of the projects described in the administrative history, the League sought to educate and inform the voting public about government and policy in Rensselaer County, New York State, and to a smaller extent, the United States. Publications include a series of pamphlets about specific elections, voting in general, registration facts and candidates. In addition, the collection includes histories about the League and Carrie Chapman Catt, the League's founder. League Bulletins from 1942-1990 are also included. The Bulletins were usually monthly and included up-to-date information about League activities. Letters from the Presidents, calendars of events, future and current goals, and projects and legislation of interest were often part of the information included in the Bulletin. Ten years worth of the League's newsletter, The Voter are also part of the series, along with Election Bulletins of the 1940s, and Voter's Bulletins of the 1950s and 1960s. The LWVRC also put out their own publications about local issues including Troy - Your City, Trojans, Know Your School, Up the Ladder: A Study of Anti-Poverty in Rensselaer County in 1952, 1955 and 1968 respectively.

Series 3: Rensselaer County Government, 1943-1997. 0.8 cubic feet (2 boxes). Arranged chronologically.

Series 3, Rensselaer County Government (1943-1993), provides a chronological record of the League's activities concerning the county government from 1952 to 1982. Some of the subject areas include apportionment, the charter, economic development, fair campaign practices and lobbying. The series contains a subseries, Know Your Rensselaer County, an effort by the LWVRC to bring awareness to Rensselaer County residents about the county government and electoral process within the county. The LWVRC has been involved in this since the 1940s, surveying and evaluating the status of the county government and its projects at any given time. The League was especially interested in public health (tuberculosis in particular), children's services, and the county's welfare administration in the 1940s. However, their interests also included jury selection, election participation, population, economy and local history. In the 1960s, the League began drafting Know Your Rensselaer County, which provided a portrait of the county's various departments, elected offices, and public projects. In 1972, the county voters passed a charter-form of government. As a result, the League would become a sort of "watchdog" group for the implementation and execution of the goals of the charter, as will be seen in Series 6. By 1992, the League published the Rensselaer County Government Workbook as part of their review of the charter. It also expressed the League's position, supporting the County Charter. The purpose of the workbook was to "share information about the County Charter with students and teachers of High School Participation in Government classes as part of the Bicentennial Commission's Education Program."27

Series 4: Local Program Studies, 1946-1990. 1.2 cubic feet (3 boxes). Arranged by alphabetically by subject.

Series 4, Local Program Studies (1946-1990), includes documentation about the various projects and programs that the LWVRC has taken on. Again focusing on elections and financing, particularly in the schools, the LWVRC provided information to the citizens of the county. Aside from public school related projects, the League took on apportionment, city planning, land use, criminal justice court reform, human resources development, environment, ERA, health care, housing, international relations, arms control, New York State politics, revenue sharing and reproductive rights.

Series 5: Troy Government, 1939-1993. 0.8 cubic feet (2 boxes). Arranged chronologically.

Series 5, Troy Government (1939-1993), is similar to Series 3 in that the documents provide a chronological account of the League's involvement in the affairs of Troy's Government. The series contains the subseries Troy City Charter. The LWVRC has been involved in the oversight and development of Troy's charter since the 1950s. In more recent times, the League has been involved in charter campaigns and revisions, examining the role of the mayor and developing questionnaires about how to improve the city's charter.

Series 6: Voters Services, 1943-1999. 1.2 cubic feet (3 boxes). Arranged chronologically and then alphabetically by subject.

Series 6 contains information about Voters Services (1943-1999). Voters Services is the League's most active program, whereby they register people to vote, sponsor election debates, publish literature about candidates and citizens' rights as voters, and oversee the local electoral process in hopes of keeping the process fair and the citizenry well-educated about their rights and responsibilities as voters. This series contains various oversized items, including the League's Election and Voter Guides that were often published as supplements in the local papers. The League advocated high school students' participation in local elections and permanent personal registration. They were also involved in the Troy Housing Authority, Troy Public Library, and Rensselaer School elections. Their activities ranged from voter registration, to candidate questionnaires to flyers and pamphlets that provided basic information about voting and the candidates.

Series 7: Subject Files, 1955-99. 0.4 cubic feet (1 box). Arranged alphabetically by subject.

Series 7, Subject Files (1955 to 1999), consists of a more general and broader overview of the Rensselaer County League's programs and activities. The series contains newspaper clippings from 1974 to 1993 on issues surrounding politics and schools, county apportionment, human resources, financing public higher education, investment in developing countries, the New York State Budget Process, public health, redistricting, Troy housing and Troy police court.

Series 8: Video and Audio Tapes, 1970-1997. 0.4 cubic feet (1 box).

Series 8 is made up of audio/visual tapes. There are 5 VHS tapes (1995-1997). In 1995, the League hosted a panel discussion on environmental issues. In 1996, they hosted a public information meeting on financing education and a workshop on the 1996 election. In 1997, they hosted a candidates' forum and a meet the candidates' panel. In addition, the series also includes a 7.5 speed dual track reel of a discussion between Beulah Bailey Thull, the LWVRC's first president, and Mary Stierer, LWVRC president from 1969-71 concerning the city manager form of government, Troy politics and history, the suffrage movement and voter registration. The discussion was for Paul Flanigan's radio show (WTRY) in 1970. There are also 2 UCA60 videocassettes about the 1980 election for Troy mayor. Finally the series contains 3 60-minute audiotapes labeled the "History Project." Taped in 1982, the cassettes are interviews with Ruth Binder, Eva Levy and Mary Stierer, past League leaders.

Series 9: Photographs, 1970 to circa 1999. 0.2 cubic feet (1 box). Arranged chronologically.

Series 9 is made up of photographs spanning from 1970 to circa 1999, though some are undated. The series contains 199 photographs (black & white and color) of various events and gatherings sponsored by the LWVRC. Some of these activities include voter registration, the LWVRC's 40th anniversary celebration, an annual meeting, holiday parties, 75th anniversary celebrations, and the Port of Albany Tea Party.


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Notes

27. League of Women Voters of Rensselaer County, in forward of Rensselaer County Workbook, 1992. Series 3, Box 1, Folder 12.


League of Women Voters of Rensselaer County
Box and Folder List

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Series 1: Administrative Files, 1914-2000

Note:Boxes 1 to 3 contain meeting minutes, membership lists, annual reports, financial information, and some clippings and correspondence pertaining to the set of years labeled on the folders.

Box 1

1. 1914, 1925
2. 1939-43
3. 1943-44
4. 1944-45
5. 1945-46
6. 1946-47
7. 1947-48
8. 1948-49
9. 1949-50
10. 1950-51
11. 1951-52
12. 1951-54, Newspaper Album
13. 1952-53
14. 1953-54
15. 1954-55
16. 1955-56
17. 1956-57
18. 1957-58
19. 1958-59
20. 1959-60

Box 2

1. 1960-61
2. 1961-62
3. 1962-63
4. 1963-64
5. 1964-65
6. 1965-66
7. 1966-67
8. 1967-68
9. 1968-69
10. 1969-70

Box 3

1. 1970-71
2. 1971-72
3. 1972-73
4. 1973-74
5. 1974-75
6. 1975-76
7. 1976-77
8. 1977-78
9. 1978-79
10. 1979-80
11. 1980-81
12. 1981-82
13. 1982-83
14. 1983-84
15. 1984-87
16. 1990-2000

Box 4

1. Board Meeting Minutes and Agendas, 1961-62, 1965, 1972-73
2. Board Meeting Minutes and Agendas, 1978-81
3. Board Meeting Minutes and Agendas, 1982-83, 1985
4. Board Meeting Minutes and Agendas, 1993-96
5. Board Meeting Minutes and Agendas, 1997
6. Board Meeting Minutes and Agendas, 1998
7. Board Meeting Minutes and Agendas, 1999-2000

Box 5

1. Annual Meetings - Programs, 1966, 1976-77, 1979-84, 1993, 1995-96, 1999
2. Budgets, 1952-70
3. Budgets and Treasurers' Reports, 1971-1987
4. Budgets and Treasurers' Reports, 1993-97
5. By-Laws (with revisions), 1946-1982
6. Certificate of Merit, 1996
7. Membership - Directories, 1972-73, 1979-81, 1995-98
8. Membership - Joining LWVRC
9. Membership - Lists, 1942-1954 and 1976-78 (SEE OVERSIZED BOX 1)
10. Membership - Tea, 1964
11. Non-Partisan Policy, 1992-93
12. "Resolution Celebrating 75th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage," 1995
13. Tax Returns, 1967-1985


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Series 2: Publications, 1944 to 2000

Box 1

1. Calendar, 1993-1995, 1999-2000
2. "Carrie Chapman Catt: The Power of an Idea," 1958
3. "A Citizen's Guide to Local Governments in Rensselaer County," 1993-95
4. Election Bulletins, 1944-48
5. Forty Years of a Great Idea: The League of Women Voters of the United States, 1960
6. "Getting into Issues: Your Guide to the 1996 Elections," 1996
7. "A Great Idea Through the Years: 1920 to Present," 1984
8. In League: League of Women Voters of the United States, 1989
9. The National Voter, June/July 1997
10. Pamphlets - "Action in Albany," 1994-97
11. Pamphlets - "Candidates for Office in Rensselaer County," 1997
12. Pamphlets - "Easy to Read Voter Registration Facts in New York State," 1988
13. Pamphlets - "Election 1997," 1997
14. Pamphlets - Voting in General, 1997-98
15. "A Report to the Nation on the Activities of the League of Women Voters of the United States," undated
16. "Trojans, Know Your School," 1955
17. "Troy - Your City," 1952
18. 25 Years of a Great Idea, 1946
19. "Up the Ladder: A Study of Anti-Poverty in Rensselaer County," 1968
20. The Voter, Nov/Dec 1991-September 1994
21. The Voter, 1995-2000
22. Voter's Bulletins, 1950-69

Box 2

1. Bulletin, 1942
2. Bulletin, 1943
3. Bulletin, 1944
4. Bulletin, 1945
5. Bulletin, 1946
6. Bulletin, 1947
7. Bulletin, 1948
8. Bulletin, 1949
9. Bulletin, 1950
10. Bulletin, 1951
11. Bulletin, 1952
12. Bulletin, 1953
13. Bulletin, 1954
14. Bulletin, 1955
15. Bulletin, 1956
16. Bulletin, 1957
17. Bulletin, 1958
18. Bulletin, 1959
19. Bulletin, 1960
20. Bulletin, 1961
21. Bulletin, 1962
22. Bulletin, 1963
23. Bulletin, 1964
24. Bulletin, 1965
25. Bulletin, 1966
26. Bulletin, 1967
27. Bulletin, 1968
28. Bulletin, 1969
29. Bulletin, 1970

Box 3

1. Bulletin, 1971
2. Bulletin, 1972
3. Bulletin, 1973
4. Bulletin, 1974
5. Bulletin, 1975
6. Bulletin, 1976
7. Bulletin, 1977
8. Bulletin, 1978
9. Bulletin, 1979
10. Bulletin, 1980
11. Bulletin, 1981
12. Bulletin, 1982
13. Bulletin, 1983
14. Bulletin, 1984
15. Bulletin, 1985
16. Bulletin, 1986
17. Bulletin, 1987
18. Bulletin, 1990


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Series 3: Rensselaer County Government, 1943-1997

Box 1

1. 1952
2. 1953
3. 1954
4. 1955
5. 1956
6. 1958
7. 1961
8. 1966
9. 1968
10. 1968 - Court Ruled Apportionment
11. 1969
12. 1970 - Budget
13. 1970 - Charter Study (SEE OVERSIZED BOX 2)
14. 1971 - Charter Study
15. 1971 - Charter - Voters Service (SEE OVERSIZED BOX 2)
16. 1971 - Action Campaign
17. 1972 - Voters Service
18. 1972 - Action Supporting County Charter
19. 1973
20. 1976 (SEE OVERSIZED BOX 1)
21. 1978
22. 1980
23. 1982
24. Commission on Economic Development, 1968-70
25. Fair Campaign Practices Committee, 1997
26. Government Workbook, 1991
27. Legislature and Reapportion - Study, 1981
28. Legislature and Reapportion - Position/Lobbying, 1982

Box 2

Know Your Rensselaer County Studies, 1943-1993

1. 1943
2. c. 1955
3. 1965 - draft of County Project II (government, services, history)
4. 1965 - draft (government)
5. 1965 - draft (education sections and private agencies)
6. 1965 (SEE OVERSIZED BOX 1)
7. c. 1968
8. 1970-71 - Local Government (towns)
9. c. 1972
10. 1975
11. 1977
12. Rensselaer County Government Workbook, 1991-93 (SEE OVERSIZED BOX 1)


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Series 4: Local Program Studies, 1946-1990

Box 1

Schools, 1946-1976

1. Education - "Up the Ladder Publication," 1968-69
2. Education - "Up the Ladder Publication," 1970
3. Know Your Schools - City of Troy, 1955
4. Know Your Schools - City of Troy, 1956
5. Know Your Schools - City of Troy, 1971
6. Know Your Schools - City of Troy, 1975
7. School Elections, 1946-55
8. School Elections, 1966-70
9. School Elections, 1971
10. School Elections, 1972 (SEE OVERSIZED BOX 1)
11. School Elections, 1973-76
12. School Financing, 1953
13. School Financing, 1954
14. School Financing, 1956
15. School Financing, 1957
16. School Financing, 1958
17. School Financing, 1959
18. School Financing, 1970
19. School Financing, 1972-73
20. School Financing, 1974-75
21. School Financing, 1976
22. School Financing, 1977
23. School Financing, 1981
24. School Financing, 1982
25. School Lunch, Troy, 1971-73 (SEE OVERSIZED BOX 1)
26. Schools, 1946
27. Schools, 1955
28. Schools, 1972
29. Troy School Budget, 1961

Box 2

General Local Studies, 1954-1990

1. Apportionment, 1960s
2. City Planning, Troy - Urban Renewal, 1960-64
3. County Planning Study - Land Use, 1970-71
4. Criminal Justice Court Reform, 1954-75
5. Development of Human Resources - Education and Employment, 1965-67
6. Development of Human Resources - Education and Employment, 1967-68

(SEE OVERSIZED BOX 1)

7. Development of Human Resources - Office of Economic Opportunity/Commission
on Economic Opportunity (OEO/CEO), 1966-72

8. Development of Human Resources - Day Care, 1969
9. Development of Human Resources - Day Care, 1969
10. Development of Human Resources - Housing, 1968-70
11. Development of Human Resources - Legal Aid National Update, 1980-81
12. Development of Human Resources - Welfare, Alternatives to, 1970-71
13. Development of Human Resources - Welfare Reform, 1972-77
14. Election Law Study, 1970-72
15. Electoral College Study, 1968-70
16. Energy, 1977 (SEE OVERSIZED BOX 1)
17. Environmental Quality - Clean Air Act, 1971
18. Equal Rights Amendment - National Amendment, 1975
19. Equal Rights Amendment - New York State Constitutional Amendment, 1975
20. Government - Study of Congress, 1971-72

Box 3

1. Government - Home Rule - Washington, DC, 1971
2. Health Care in Rensselaer County, 1973-74
3. Housing, 1969
4. Housing, Urban Renewal, 1970-77
5. Hudson River Basin Study - Water Resources, 1966
6. Individual Liberties - Federal Loyalty Security Program, 1957
7. Inter-League Organizations - Coastal Zone Management, 1977
8. Inter-League Organization - Regional Planning, 1972 (SEE OVERSIZED BOX 1)
9. International Relations - Bricker Amendment, 1954
10. International Relations - China, 1968-70
11. International Relations - Foreign Economic Policy, 1969
12. International Relations - Foreign Policy, 1969-70
13. International Relations - Trade, 1965-70
14. International Relations - UN Study, 1976-77
15. Land Use, undated
16. National Security - Arms Control, 1983-85
17. New Federalism, 1982
18. New York State Constitution, 1966-70
19. New York State Election Law, 1978-83
20. New York State Legislature Study, 1975-76
21. Parks and Recreation - Rensselaer County, 1964-71
22. Revenue Sharing, 1973-74 (SEE OVERSIZED BOX 2)
23. Rensselaer County Open Meeting Law Observer Corps, 1978-79
24. Reproductive Rights, 1982
25. Single-Member legislative Districts - Rensselaer County, 1990
26. Solid Waste Management, 1968-84
27. State Government Initiative and Referendum, 1977-79
28. Water Pollution, 1966-70
29. Water Resources - Clippings, 1964-65
30. Water Resources - Hudson/Mohawk River Basin Study, 1956-57, 1964-65
31. Women and the Law, 1982


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Series 5: Troy Government, 1939-1993

Box 1

1. 1939
2. 1949
3. 1953
4. 1955
5. 1956
6. 1957
7. 1958
8. 1959
9. 1960
10. 1961
11. 1962
12. 1963
13. 1964 (SEE OVERSIZED BOX 1)
14. 1965
15. 1966
16. 1967
17. 1968
18. 1969 (SEE OVERSIZED BOX 1)
19. 1970
20. 1972
21. 1973
22. 1974
23. 1976
24. 1977 - Personnel Management and Affirmative Action Study
25. 1978
26. 1979
27. 1980
28. 1981
29. 1982
30. 1984

Box 2

Troy City Charter, 1956-1993

1. Troy City Charter - 1956
2. Troy City Charter - 1959
3. Troy City Charter - 1960
4. Troy City Charter - 1971
5. Troy City Charter - 1975
6. Troy City Charter - 1976
7. Troy City Charter - 1980-82
8. Troy City Charter - Campaign, 1994
9. Troy City Charter - Guide for LWV Questionnaire, 1976
10. Troy City Charter - Media, 1980 (Also see video tapes in Series 10)
11. Troy City Charter - Questionnaire, 1970
12. Troy City Charter - Questionnaire, 1976
13. Troy City Charter - Revision Commission, 1979-80
14. Troy City Charter - Role of the Mayor, 1992-93
15. Troy City Charter - Study, 1980
16. Troy City Charter - Study Transparencies, 1980
17. Troy City Charter - Study, 1992-93


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Series 6: Voters Services, 1943-1999

Box 1

1. 1943-49
2. 1950-55
3. 1956-60
4. 1961-65 (SEE OVERSIZED BOX 1)
5. 1966-67 (SEE OVERSIZED BOX 1)
6. 1968-69 (SEE OVERSIZED BOX 2)
7. 1970 (SEE OVERSIZED BOX 2)
8. 1971 (SEE OVERSIZED BOX 2)
9. 1972 (SEE OVERSIZE BOX 2)

Box 2

1. 1973 (SEE OVERSIZED BOX 2)
2. 1974-75
3. 1976
4. 1977 (SEE OVERSIZED BOX 2)
5. 1978-79 (SEE OVERSIZED BOX 2)
6. 1980-83
7. 1984-86 (SEE OVERSIZED BOX 2)
8. 1987-88
9. 1990
10. 1992 - Troy Housing Authority Elections
11. 1993 (SEE OVERSIZED BOX 1)

Box 3

1. Candidates Meeting - School Board, 1984-85
2. Candidates Questionnaire - 1976-86
3. Correspondence, 1985-86
4. "Easy to Read Voter Registration Facts for New York State," 1984
5. Facts for Voters, 1978-86
6. Flyers and Pamphlets, 1972-86
7. General Planning, 1983-86
8. High School Participation in Government Local Elections - Workbook Kit, 1993
9. Judicial Ethics of Judicial Candidates, 1972-75
10. Making Democracy Work Committee, 1998
11. Permanent Personal Registration, 1956-58
12. Permanent Personal Registration, 1966-67
13. Polling Places and Enrollment Information, 1983-84
14. Speakers, 1979-80 and 1983-84
15. Troy Public Library Forum and Election, 1990
16. Voter Guide, 1999 (SEE OVERSIZED BOX 2)
17. Voter Registration, 1984-98


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Series 7: Subject Files, 1955 to 1999

Box 1

1. Archives in Troy Public Library, 1998 (Prior to coming to the Grenander Special Collections, the LWVRC's records were in the Troy Public Library)
2. Clippings - General, 1974-93
3. Clippings - Politics, 1974-92
4. County Apportionment, 1980-86
5. County Study - Human Resources, 1968
6. Financing Public Higher Education, 1997-99
7. Howard and Bush Proposal, 1980-81
8. Local Government Conference, January 12-13, 1996
9. Local Government in New York State, circa 1974
10. Miscellaneous
11. Mobilization for Our Children (State Communities Aid Association), 1995
12. National Study - Investment in Developing Countries, 1963
13. New York State Budget Process - Background Material, 1992
14. New York State Budget Process - "BudgetWatch," 1992
15. New York State Budget Process - Committee and Meeting Notes
16. New York State Budget Process - Consensus Questions, 1992
17. New York State Budget Process - State Board Reports, 1992
18. New York State Budget Process - State Committee Notes, 1992
19. New York State Budget Process - The Voter, 1992
20. Public Health, 1994
21. Public Meeting - Federal Tax Reform Proposals, 1985
22. Recycling Speaker, 1987
23. Redistricting/Reapportionment, 1991-92
24. State Study - Reapportionment, circa 1964
25. Tema Bellinson Memorial, 1955-56, 1970-71, 1994
26. Troy Housing, 1973
27. Troy Police Court, 1993


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Series 8: Video and Audio Tapes, 1970-1997

Box 1

VHS Video Tapes

ˇ Water Panel, October 26, 1995
ˇ Public information Meeting on Financing Education, March 28, 1996
ˇ Getting into Issues - 1996 Election, September 24, 1996
ˇ Election 1997 Candidates Forum for County Clerk, District Attorney,
and Local Executive, October 8, 1997
ˇ Meet the Candidates for Troy Council, October 23, 1997

7.5-Speed, Dual Track Reel
ˇ WTRY, October 1, 1970 - Beulah Bailey Thull, first president, and Mary
Stierer, president, 1969-71, discuss city manager form of government,
Troy politics and history, suffrage movement, and voter registration;
with Paul Flanigan on radio, 58 minutes.

UCA60 Videocassettes
ˇ Tape 1: Election 80 - Mayor or Manager for City of Troy
ˇ Tape 2: Election 80 - Mayor or Manager for City of Troy

History Project Audio Cassettes, 60 minutes each
ˇ History Project, Ruth Binder, August 5, 1982
ˇ History Project, Eva Levy, October 10, 1982
ˇ History Project, Mary Stierer, August 23, 1982

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Series 9: Photographs

Box 1

ˇ 180-186: Air Pollution Study, 1970 - 7 B&W Photos
ˇ 184: Caring for the Children, April 21, 1970 - 1 B&W Photo
ˇ 191-199: Electoral College Study, circa 1971 - 9 B&W Photos
ˇ 177-179, 187: Voter Registration, 1973 - 3 B&W Photos
ˇ 188-190: LWVRC 40th Birthday Party, November 1979 - 3 Color Photos
ˇ 86-112: Annual Meeting, 1984 or 1985 - 5 B&W Photos; 27 Color Photos
ˇ 29-30: LWVRC Meeting at Nancy Macintyre's house, Winter 1986-87 - 3 B&W Photos
ˇ 27: April 1989 - 1 B&W Photo 167-172: LWVNYS Convention in Tarrytown, NY,

June 1995 - 6 Color Photos

ˇ 154-156: WMHT Telethon, March 9, 1996 - 3 Color Photos
ˇ 157-166: Council, Art of Advocacy, April 21-22, 1996 - 10 Color Photos
ˇ 14-26: Photos of what appears to be a memorial event for Robert A. Stierer (1920-1999),
c. 1999-2000 - 13 color photos with negatives

ˇ 1-13: Trojans Know Your School, undated - 13 B&W Photos of storefront windows.
ˇ 31-85: LWV December and May Fundraising Meetings, undated - 55 Color Photos
ˇ 113-153: 75th Anniversary Celebrations, undated - 41 Color Photos
ˇ 173-176: Port of Albany Tea Party, undated - 4 B&W Photos


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Oversized Material

Box 1 (smaller oversized box)

1. Membership Lists, 1959 to 1974 (Series 1)
2. Rensselaer County Maps, Divided by County, Town and School Districts, 1965 (Series 3)
3. Rensselaer County Map; 1776 to 1988 County Annual Reports (Series 3)
4. Voters Guide for the Lansingburgh School District Election, 1972 (Series 4)
5. "Type A for a Better Day" poster; National School Lunch Program pamphlets (Series 4)
6. SUNY Urban Center of HVC brochure, 1967-68 (Series 4)
7. "Energy Open House Tours" poster, 1977 (Series 4)
8. Capital District Regional Planning Commission News, 1972 -

Work-Flow Regional Development Plan (Series 4)

9. Rensselaer County Charter Referendum, 1976 (Series 3)
10. Map of Troy's Seven City Council Districts, 1964 (Series 5)
11. Petition to the City Council of the City of Troy, 1969 (Series 5)
12. 1961-65 - Map of Troy's Seven City Council Districts (Series 6)
13. 1966-67 - Flyer: "Register, Mister Voter" (Series 6)
14. 1974-75 - Voters Guide: Issues and Answers from Candidates,
The Knickerbocker News October 29, 1974;
Election '74, The Times Record October 29, 1974;
Election '75, The Times Record October 31, 1975 (Series 6)

15. 1993 - Election '93 Voters' Guide, The Record October 31, 1993 (Series 6)

Box 2 (larger oversized box)

1. 1971 - Charter Voters Services - Proposed Form of Government Flow Chart (Series 3)
2. 1970 - Charter Study - Present Form of Government Flow Chart (Series 3)
3. Revenue Sharing, 1973-74 - "Local Government Plans for Federal Revenue Sharing Funds

Jan. 1 to June 30, 1973," The Times Record June 25, 1973 (Series 4)

4. 1968-69 - Voters Guide of the LWVRC, Supplement to the Record Newspaper October 25, 1969;
Sample Ballot for the City of Troy November 4, 1969;
Sample Ballot for Rensselaer County 101st Assembly District;
absentee Voter's Ballot, 106th District (Series 6)

5. 1970 - Sample Ballot for the City of Troy and the 101st Assembly District, November 3, 1970;
Absentee Voter's Ballot, 100th Assembly District;
Rensselaer County Charter Referendum, June 8, 1970 (Series 6)

6. 1971 - Rensselaer County Charter Referendum, June 8, 1971;
Absentee Voter's Ballot, County Legislative District At-Large, November 2, 1971;
Troy City Council Candidates, The Troy Record October 26, 1971 (Series 6)

7. 1972 - Election Guide '72, The Knickerbocker News October 24, 1972;
Absentee Voter's Ballot, Rensselaer County 110th Assembly District, November 7, 1972;
Election Facts for Voters in . , The Record November 3, 1972 (Series 6)

8. 1973 - The Schaghticoke Sun, November 2, 1973;
"Troy City Council: Fourteen Seek Seven Seats," The Times Record October 15, 1973;
Schenectady County Voters' Guide, The Knickerbocker News October 29, 1973;
Rensselaer County Voters Guide, The Knickerbocker News October 30, 1973;
"Facts for Voters," The Knickerbocker News October 30, 1973;
"Rensselaer County Voters' Guide: County Legislators at Large," The Knickerbocker News October 31, 1973;
"Candidates for Rensselaer County Legislature Districts 1 and 2," The Times Record, October 30, 1973;
Albany County Voters' Guide, The Knickerbocker News, November 1, 1973;
"Legislators: Albany County Voters' Guide," The Knickerbocker News, November 5, 1973;
Rensselaer County Voters' Guide: Other City of Rensselaer Races, The Knickerbocker News, November 2, 1973;
"Meet the Candidates: Chief Judge, Court of Appeals," The Knickerbocker News, November 1, 1973 (Series 6)

9. 1977 - "League of Women Voters asks.and the East Greenbush slates respond with
three answers," GAN Press, October 18, 1977 (Series 6)

10. 1978-79 - Election Guide Campaign '78, November 1, 1978 (Series 6)
11. 1984-86 - Election '84, The Sunday Record, November 4, 1984;
Election '85, The Sunday Record November 3, 1985 (Series 6)

12. Voters' Guide 1999, Times Union November 1, 1999 (Series 6)


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Last updated August 2, 2005