Glenna Balch Papers
An Inventory of the Collection
Glenna Balch is a South Austin resident active in addressing quality of life concerns in Austin, Texas. She served as the Zilker Neighborhood Association representative to the Austin Neighborhood Council, the campaign treasurer in Save Austin's Neighborhoods and Environment (SANE)- A People's PAC, secretary and chair of United South Austin, and as a member of the executive committee of the Zilker Neighborhood Association.
Austin Neighborhoods Council (ANC) was organized in 1973 to be the city wide umbrella organization to support neighborhood interests. Austin has a wide variety of neighborhood and other organizations committed to preserving the quality of life in their particular area. The ANC's motto is "Strength Through Unity" and reflects the successful collaboration that has been fostered between a wide range of separate associations. For 35 years the ANC has participated at all levels of government, and many ANC officers have gone on to serve at the City Council and on numerous Boards and Commission helping to shape public policy as it effects our neighborhoods.
Save Austin's Neighborhoods and Environment - the People's PAC (SANE) was founded in June of 1984 by a group of Austin, Texas citizens who had been active with neighborhood, energy, environmental, housing, civil rights and union issues. The group Save Austin Neighborhoods and Environment merged with the People's PAC in late 1984 and adopted the name Save Austin's Neighborhood and Environment - the People's PAC. The citizen's lobby was formed because individually most voters can't make the large contributions to political campaigns that other well-financed special interest groups make or get the attention of elected officials. As an organized group of voters SANE felt they could influence on candidates and be listened to by elected officials. SANE was concerned with issues such as protection of air and water quality, sensible growth, property tax reform, protecting and extending affordable housing, cancellation of STNP, neighborhood integrity, single member districts, and the enforcement of civil rights ordinances. SANE also hosted candidate forums for the membership to examine the candidates firsthand and published a voter's guide.
United South Austin (USA) was an umbrella group organized in 1982 whose membership was open to neighborhood and business associations, civic clubs and other community groups based in the area south of the Colorado River and which work on matters of community, business and neighborhood concern. USA had its roots in the South First Street Coordinating committee and was made up of representatives from local groups including the South First Corridor Business Association, the Bouldin Creek Neighborhood Association, the South Austin Advisory Board of the Multipurpose Center, the South Austin Neighborhood Council and the Becker Community ACORN group. The organization formed because it was felt that "South Austin has historically been ignored at City Hall" and they were "tired of the overloaded and broken down sewage treatment plants, absence of parkland, incompatible development, undesirable land uses and South Austin's 'step-child' status to Austin." James Pinedo, the organizer, wanted to work on problems that went beyond the boundaries of individual neighborhoods. The group grew to include such organizations as Cooper Lane Neighborhood Association, Dawson Area Neighborhood Association, Manchaca Estates Neighborhood Association, Nuckols Crossing Neighborhood Association, South River City Citizens, Southwest Austin Neighborhood Association, Travis Heights Improvement Association, Zilker Neighborhood Association, Montopolis Neighborhood Association, among others.
The Zilker Neighborhood Association (ZNA) was established in 1981 with the mission of protecting the character of the neighborhood and enhancing the quality of life for all of the residents. The ZNA is a volunteer organization that works to ensure appropriate code enforcement, resolve traffic safety issues, maintain our historic and cultural resources, protect our environment and ensure that the neighborhood's interests are heard at City Hall.
The collection is primarily composed of the records of four organizations Balch was involved with that were focused on the quality of life concerns of the citizens in Austin, Texas. The records include financial and administrative records, meeting agendas and minutes, membership records, newsletters, correspondence, mailings and flyers, resolutions, position papers, and newspaper clippings that span the years 1980 through 1995. The collection provides insight into some of the reactions of citizens to growth in Austin during the 1980s.
Approximately half of the collection consists of the records documenting Balch's work with the Zilker Neighborhood Association (ZNA) from 1980 through 1991. The Administrative Files subseries includes the organization's bylaws, correspondence, general notifications, meeting minutes, membership lists and planning documents. The Neighborhood Planning and Concerns subseries consists of materials pertaining to the various zoning and planning issues that the organization concerned themselves with to ensure that the neighborhood's interests were represented at City Hall. During the 1980s the group was especially concerned with development in their area and passed resolutions opposing requests for zoning changes and/or registered for "interested party" status with the City of Austin Planning Department regarding the site plan approval process of building projects such as 1518 Barton Springs Road, 2001 La Casa, 2001 La Casa, Campanile Del Mar, The Cloisters, Lost Canyon Condominiums, Talisman Condominiums, Xalapeno Charlie's Restaurant and One Texas Center. The files concerning these real estate developments contain meeting notes, official correspondence with the City of Austin and the developers, newspaper clippings, maps and planning commission documentation. The Printed Materials subseries includes newspapers clippings about the neighborhood. In addition, meeting agendas and brief stories about the organization's activities can be found in Z News, the ZNA newsletter.
Balch was also a member of the Austin Neighborhoods Council (ANC) as a representative of the Zilker Neighborhood Association. Included in the ANC records are membership lists, bylaws, meeting notes and minutes, newsletters and resolutions and position papers from the 1980s. Notable among the ANC records are correspondence, newspaper clippings, legal papers and public notices concerning the litigation against the City of Austin over the operation of its sewage treatment plants. ANC and other citizen organization charged the improperly treated sewage was resulting in the pollution of the Colorado River.
Also documented within the collection are the activities of Save Austin's Neighborhoods and Environment (SANE) - the People's PAC. The records include documents related to the organization, including financial and administrative records, membership records, correspondence, flyers and mailings, meeting minutes and resolutions and position papers. Balch was appointed campaign treasurer and the Sworn Statements of Contributions and Expenditures filed with the Secretary of State for 1985 and 1986 are included.
Blanch was also a member and officer in United South Austin (USA). Included in the collection are membership lists, bylaws, meeting notes and minutes, newsletters and resolutions and position papers from the 1980s for the organization. The two issues of concern to USA best represented in the collection are the opposition to plan to locate the Salvation Army Social Service Center at 3815 South Congress and the suit brought by United South Austin and the Austin Neighborhoods Council (among others) against the City of Austin for violating limitations and other standards in discharging treated, partially treated and raw sewage into the Colorado River.
In addition to the records of the above organizations the collection contains a limited amount of records pertaining to the Austin Forum, the Pay Equity Task Force, River City Coordinating Council and the Town Lake Park Alliance.
A 1944 Deed of Trust for a piece of property in Austin, Texas and a 1952 plat map of South Lund Park could not be readily connected to any of the above organizations and were added to the Assorted Oversize Materials series.
Restrictions on Access
Open to all users.
Restrictions on Use
Glenna Balch Papers (AR.2007.001). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/1988/003
Donation Date: 2007
Original folder headings were preserved when they existed; additional explanations were added in parenthesis if needed. Loose materials were arranged by material type.
Photocopies of the checks originally filed with the Sworn Statements of Contributions and Expenditures were removed from the collection and destroyed because of the presence of bank account numbers. The contribution amount information is preserved in the documents filed with the Secretary of State.
Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults/2010.
Detailed Description of the Collection