TABLE OF CONTENTS
Janna Zumbrun Papers
An Inventory of the Collection
During the 1970s and 1980s Janna Zumbrun worked to eliminate discrimination and prejudice against and defend the human and civil rights of lesbians and gays in Austin, Texas. She was very active as a leader or member of several local organizations and commissions including the Citizens for a United Austin, Austin Lesbian/Gay Political Caucus, City of Austin Human Relations Commission, Austin Lesbian Feminist Organization (originally known as the Austin Lesbian Organization) and the Texas Women's Political Caucus. Her work at the local level led to her to being selected to attend the 1980 National Democratic Party Convention in New York.
The City of Austin Human Relations Commission (HRC) advises and consults with the City Council on all matters involving racial, religious or ethnic discrimination and devises practices to promote equal opportunity. It is an advisory body on non-discrimination policies, aid in forming local community groups, investigates complaints of prejudice and discrimination and conduct educational programs. Janna was appointed to the HRC in October of 1975 as an open member of the Austin Lesbian Organization and she held the position until 1981. Soon after her appointment the HRC recommended an equal access Public Accommodation Ordinance that included sexual orientation as one of the protected statuses. She also held the position of chairperson of the Housing Subcommittee of the HRC and was active in crafting the recommendations to City Council concerning the Fair Housing Ordinance in 1977. These recommendations were not adopted by the City Council (a watered down version was passed) and the issue would be taken up again by the Human Relations Commission in the early 1980s.
The Austin Lesbian/Gay Political Caucus (ALGPC) was formed in 1978 to organize Austin area lesbians and gay men to combat arbitrary discrimination on such bases as sex, race, age, physical handicap, economic condition with particular focus on discrimination based on sexual orientation. Janna was a founding member of the organization and served in several capacities within the ALGPC from co-chair to recorder. The organization held speaker events with such guests as the Austin Police Department Liaison Officer and the COA Human Relations Department; endorsed political candidates and held candidate forums; registered public response to discrimination issues and mobilized the gay and lesbian community members to protest; published a newsletter and raised money for lesbian/gay causes.
The Citizens for a United Austin (CUA) was formed in 1981 to fight an anti-gay housing measure proposed by a group called the Austin Citizens for Decency (ACD). ACD collected nearly 20,000 signatures of Austin voters to force an initiative election on an ordinance that would read "It shall not be unlawful to deny housing on the basis of sexual orientation." The Austin City Council set the election to vote on this ordinance for January 16, 1982. Members of the ALGPC approached business and political leaders to form a coalition to fight the proposed ordinance in an effort to make the campaign less like a vote for a lesbian and gay issue and focus on basic civil rights. Janna served as the Campaign Director of the CUA was the only ALGPC member on the board. The proposed measure was rejected by Austin voters with 63% voting against the proposal. Several months later the Austin City Council amended the Fair Housing Ordinance to provide protection on the basis of sexual orientation, age, parenthood, creed and marital status.
The collection primarily contains the papers of gay and lesbian political and civil rights organizations that Janna Zumbrun was associated with during the 1970s and the 1980s. The bulk of the Organizations series (1974-1988) consists of the general office files, financial records, campaign messaging and marketing materials (text and audio/visual), and newspaper clippings of the political action committee Citizens for a United Austin. Of interest are the audio recordings of paid political announcements by City Council members Charles Urdy and Roger Duncan, County Commissioner Jimmy Snell, Constable Margaret Gomez, Monsignor Lonnie Reyes, and Wilhelmina F. Delco encouraging people to get out to vote and to vote against the proposed ordinance. Also included in this series are the administrative files, correspondence, event flyers, newsletters and distributed information of the Austin Lesbian and Gay Political Caucus; memorandum, correspondence, meeting minutes, and reports concerning the Austin Fair Housing Ordinance being discussed by the City of Austin Human Relations Commission; as well as a limited amount of flyers and fact sheets about an assortment of other Austin lesbian and gay organizations.
The Community Mobilization and Protests series (1975-1986)includes AIDS Awareness Week press releases, event flyers, correspondence, planning materials and the City of Austin Proclamation proclaiming the week of April 1-8, 1984 AIDS Awareness Week. Also included in this series are correspondence, newspaper clippings and legal documents pertaining to the protests and legal action against the Austin American-Statesman and the Driskill Hotel Cabaret disco for violating the City of Austin ordinance prohibiting discrimination or segregation in places of public accommodation.
The Gay/Lesbian Subject Files series (1978-1986) contains reports, news clippings, event flyers and distributed information about AIDS, the Citizens Against Pornography, Gay/Lesbian events and anti-gay politicians. The Printed Materials series (1975-1981) includes a sampling of gay/lesbian community newspapers and newsletters as well as newspaper clippings about gay and lesbian issues.
Open to all users
The Austin History Center (AHC) is the owner of the physical materials in the AHC collections and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the AHC before any publication use. The AHC does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.
Janna Zumbrun Papers (AR.2000.023). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/2000/065
Donation Date: 2000
Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults/2010.
This collection was well organized and in most cases folder headings already existed. Original order and folder headings were maintained, notations were added in parenthesis if original folders headings were unclear.