Meeting minutes for the Gainesville Women for Equal Rights, including special board meetings and annual meetings (Januar...


Material Information

Meeting minutes for the Gainesville Women for Equal Rights, including special board meetings and annual meetings (January 1968 - February 1969)
Series Title:
General Files, 1963-2001
Physical Description:
Gainesville Women for Equal Rights
Publication Date:
Physical Location:
Box: 1
Folder: General Meeting Minutes. 1968-1977


Spatial Coverage:
North America -- United States of America -- Florida -- Alachua -- Gainesville

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
sobekcm - AA00005481_00001
System ID:

Full Text


Saturday Jan. 5, 1968 9:30 A.M.

A special board meeting was called by the President at her home to
discuss the apparent tense situation in the city after Carol Thomas and
Jack Dawkins were denied bond. From this meeting, it was rumored that
policemen were riding around the town with shotguns and that they had been
instructed to shoot anyone who talked of an incendiary act. This state-
ment led to a meeting with Lt. Connerly who was called and consented to
meet with the board at 1:20 P.M.
Lt. Connerly stated that he knew of no such instructions, given to
policemen; however, shotguns are carried in police cars. It is regular
procedure, to carry dogs in some cars. After a lengthy discussion, the
members directed the President to ask Chief of Police Joiner to meet with
the board.
It was suggested that a party be given to raise money for a special
fund for bonds. This money will be kept separately from other GWER money
and used only for this specific purpose.

Monday Jan. 8, 1968 8:15P.M.

GWER board met with Police Chief Joiner to discuss police brutality
and discourtesies to Negroes in the city. Mr. Joiner stated that he was
not aware of such acts by his own men and that no instructions had been
given to them to shoot anyone who talked incendiary. He informed the mem-
bers that he would like for any discourtesies to be reported directly to
After the meeting with Chief Joiner, Mrs. Charles Farris read 13
resolutions drawn up by Mrs. Marshall Jones which would alleviate conditions
in the Negro community. These resolutions were discussed in general. The
board requested that some wordings be changed. Mesdames Farris, Zeman,
Washington and Conroy were appointed to revise and add to the original
Mrs. Hiers was directed to request the City Commissioners to call a
public meeting so that interested persons could meet and discuss the racial
situation in the city'
A telephone poll was made of board r,:;1:bers to see if they approved df
the proposals as rewritten by the committee. This proved favorable. The
poll also showed that members voted to have a party on JEn. 20, to raise
bail money and legal fees.

Friday Jan. 12, 1968

GWER board met with the City Commissioners in the home of Mrs. Keith
Legg. Eighteen proposals were presented and discussed. Mayor Murphy said
that he would be happy to have the proposals presented to the Commissioners
at their meeting on Monday night, Jan. 15, 1968 at 7:30 P.M. During his
remarks, he stated, "The meeting has: been informative. I hope we agree that
we can accomplish more through sessions such as this rather than through a
public meeting. We will see what can be done and will give a response to
the statements at the meeting on Monday night."
Commissioners attending were Messers: Turlington, T. Williams, C. Collier,
and Mayor Murphy.
It has been moved and seconded that the recommendations written by a
committee of the Board of Directors of the Gainesville Women for Equal Rights
be read at the City Commission meeting on Monday Jan. 15, 1968, and if full
coverage is not given by the press, then handbills will be produced and
distributed around town. This statement was prepared and accepted by the
Board of Directors and in the name of the Board of Directors of the GVWER.

Monday Jan. 15, 1968
The eighteen proposals were p j-sented to the City Commissioners by
Mrs. Richard Hiers. On Tuesday night, Jan. 16, 1968, Judge Adkins's home
was bombed. A telephone poll was made to get an approval of a statement
to the Gainesville Daily Sun regarding our regrets that Judge Adkins's home
had been bombed and to stress the urgent need to work on ghetto conditions.
The board was polled and the party was cancelled so that people would
not connect GWER's support with such malicious acts.

Respectfully submitted,
Ann McGhee, Recording Secretary


February 12, 1969
Shirley Conroy's

The meeting was called to order at 8:30 PM. Because the
secretary was absent, the reading of the minutes were dispensed with.
The Treasurer reported:
Old balance 261.07
Deposits 13.25
Current Balance 135.43

Sue Legg reported on the plans for the Annual meeting, noting that
the address given for the meeting room at Grace Prebyterian Church
in the last issue of Focus was incorrect. It was decided that the
telephone committee would call all members reminding them of the
meeting and informing them of the correct address. The members of
the board were asked to kwtg bring covered dishes. Committee
Chairmen were requested to bring a summary of their years work
together with recommendations for the following year. These were
to be in the hands of the President the Sunday before the meeting.

The housing committee expressed concern over the apparent lack of
planning in public housing. Several Curtis Newsome duplexes in the
Northeast have been purchased by the housing authority for $14,000.00
It was reported that they were selling new 6 years ago for $7,000.00.
The $14,000. does include converting them into 5 bedroom units,

Jean Chalmers moved and Ann McGhee seconded that the GWER give
Savannah Williams $10.00 to help with her expenses attending a
Welfare Rights Union Meeting in Mississippi. The motion did not
carry. Instead private donations were collected from various
members to a total amount of $20.00.

It was reported that Rosa Williams had been nominated Citizen 6f the
Year. Joan Henry moved and Jane Hie*s seconded that a letter be
sent to the Gainesville Sun in support of Rosa 's nomination. Carried*

PUblio Accomodations Ordinance. Ed Jomnson of the Sun, a member of
the Human Relations Advosory Board will support a drive to open
laundromats to all. Ivey, Chariman of the Board will support* CCC
will not support because it does not want to get involved in civil
rights* SpU Legg moved, Jean Chalmers seconded a motion to ask
membership for permission to assist with testing laundrmats in the
City. carried unanimous.

Education. A general discussion was held on desegregation of county
schools. It was reported that Talbot is not go8ng to do much about
integration and that Earl Johnson, NA4CP lawyer, will accept Talbots
plan. Marilyn Lister presented a summary of racial breakdown in the
county of faculty: 19 negro in white schools, 49 whites in negro
schools. Sue Legg read student breakdown as of last May. Very few
had significant integration, some had none. Joan Henry reported on
the court case reviewed yearly before Judge Carswell, She phoned
Earl Johnson for an appointment to discuss the case with us. The
date was set for Feb. 20th at the home of Jean Chalmers at 8:00 PM

Board Meeting Feb 12, 1969

Shirly Conroy reported that the Sun had said Earl Johnson would go
along with School Board.
Marilyn Lidter reported that LHS would be Jr High. and vocations
school. Talbor told LHS faculty he would like it to be o voc, j Jr. H.
Faculty would like it to be Jr. High School.. The following points
we recommended for discussion with Earl Johnson.
Conroy Insist on good plan for 1972 9.500 are bused, 12,400 are not.
McGhee Talbot is asking for */4 black at new schools.
Henry, Hiers Ask suit to be dropped & return to HEW plan which is better.
Adams a pool .f black teachers was formed in Marioun county which
displaced many back teachers.
Chalmers team teachers are considered for Littlewood
Cowacd More than one teacher on faculty must be balck.
Cook Fear of teachers having no security under white principals. Talbot
says 51%- 49% teacher integration. Talbot sayd no Principals
forced to take either race. Not true, Rosenburg at Littlewood,
Palmer at Sidney Lanier and Parrymore at J.J. Finley do not want
negro teachers. Talbot and Samuels,-a member of the schoolboard,
assured faculty integration for 69/70
Legg- rotate principals every few years
Conroy Suggest to Johnson that we draw up a program. Get information
Cpok Principals must be appointed la 8 weeks before school opens and
teachers 6 weeks.
General LHS as vocations school Not right place
Not built for it
Not wanted by the parents.
Caffey Voc/Jr.HS deliqueats mixed with young 7 to 9 graders.
Hawthorme and Archer Elem. receive no state funds because of
student ratio,
McGhee- Prfers middle school 5 9, good for LHS
Legg- No vocational school until we can have the best.
General Faculty, Administration and pupils could be integrated with
with security built in. Job security methods must be investigated.

The president presented a request from Katie Bowers to give money for
interns from FSU. It was denied.

The meeting was adjourned, to the best of my knowledge.

Respectfully trying,

Jean Chalmers for Ethelda Caffey

J. x 6?


The annual meeting of Gainesville Women for Equal Rights, Inc.
was held on February 26, 1969 at 8:00 p.m. at Grace Presbyterian Church,
Gainesville, Florida.

The meeting was called to order by the president, Mrs. Shirley Conroy.
It was decided that we would dispense with the reading of the Minutes of
the previous meeting.

The Treasurer's report given by Marie Adams for the period of
February 1968 to February 1969 showed total expenditures for the year
of $352.59 and total receipts of $461.57, leaving a balance of $108.98
in the treasury. A copy of the treasurer's report is attached to and
mad a part of these Minutes.

The following announcements were noted:

1. Members were urged to attend a meeting at 1:00 p.m., March 1,
1969, at the Alachua County Court House regarding local legislation and
the Alachua County Hospital.
2. On Tuesday, March 4, 1969, a delegation will again go to Tallahassee
to testify before the Committee on Health and Welfare regarding the welfare
revisions for the state of Florida.

3. Several guests from the Women's Liberation Group were present
and requested GWER support of a liberalized abortion bill which they
planned to present to the state legislature

Shirley Conroy, retiring president, then presented the President's
report which stated in essence:

1. The majority of the 18 recommendations that GWE1 had presented
to the City Commissioners in Spring 1968 had been acted upon, but the
most significant recommendations had not been enacted.
2. GWER found no specific incident to dramatize its aims last
spring and probably will not find one this year.
3. The most active committee during the past year was the Welfare
Committee headed by Jean Chalmers who worked to study revision of
Chapter 409 of the Florida State Code for the first time in 30 years.
This group prepared a position paper and presented it to both the
Appropriations Committee and the Welfare Committee at Tallahassee and
was asked to return as the Health and Welfare Committee went over the
bill line by line. They are still in the process of doing this, and
will continue to attend committee hearings until the examination of
the bill is completed.

4. Continuing concerns for the coming year will involve (1) welfare
and (2) education.

Annual Meeting
2/26/69 (continued)

The next item of business was the election of officers.

slate of officers, as proposed by the

Vice President:
Recording Secretary:
Correspond. Secretary:
Delegate to CAAB:
Alternate Delegate:
Board Members at Large:

Nominating Committee:


The meeting was then turned over

The following

Niminating Committee was unanimously

David (Jean) Chalmers
Keith (Sue) Legg
Gene (Jeri) Aldridge
Clifton (Catherine) Taylor
Andrew (Catherine) Mickle
J. J. (Bobbie) Zeman
Thomas (Donna) Coward
Fletcher (Nancy) Baldwin
Eugene (Ruth) Brown
Barbara Bryant
Cora Roberson, Chairman
G. I. (Altamese) Cook
James (Valerie) Woodard

to the new president, Jean

Chalmers, who presented the proposed budget for the year 1969-1970.
It was as follows:


Focus publication
President's Fund
Misc. Fund

TOTAL $508.00

Sue Legg moved the budget be adopted as proposed, and it was passed

Shirley Conroy moved that GWVE cooperate with other organizations
in Gainesville to again request the City Commission to enact a Public
Accommodations Ordinance. After discussion of how GWEP would go about
doing this, including participating ourselves in testing various
laundromats in the area, the motion was adopted.

President Chalmers asked the members to support a letter which had
been written by the Board of GWER to the Gainesville Sun in connection with
the dispute regarding Alachua General Hospital and the desire of some
doctors to form a private corporation to operate the indigent clinic.
The board felt the clinic was built with federal and state funds and wanted
it to reamin under the control of the Health Department, keeping Alachua
General Hospital as a public facility. After lengthy discussion of various
aspects of the controversy, the membership unanimously supported the action
taken by GWE:7 board members.

President Chalmers outlined the committee structure for the coming
year as follows:

1. Housing Committee Will attend all Housing Authority meetings,
investigate large slum landlords, pursue the possibility of a
heating ordinance; act as watchdog committee on FHA.

Annual Meeting
2/26/69 (continued)

2. Job Committee Will meet with Mr. Prescott at State Employment
Office every few months to find out what he is doing and "breathe
down his neck;" also will keep track of how programs such as
Manpower are operating.

3. Community Affairs Committee administer GWER Court Observer
program; push for public accommodations ordinance; investigate
operations of police and sheriff and county jail. *

4. Welfare Committee Must see 409 bill passage through and see
that it is funded properly. Important to watch selection of
new head of county welfare; should assist in formation of
Welfare Rights Organization (Savannah Williams is now state
president) and to investigate the Federal Commodity Food

5. Education Committee will have perhaps bip7est job this year
as case approaches Federal District Court and the Alachua
County school board presents it's plan for the desegregation
of Alachua County schools.

The Education Committee then presented the school board's
desegregation plan in detail, and the following motion was unanimously
adopted by the membership: That GWER will work with Earl Johnson (NAACP
lawyer) in developing a brief for presentation in Judge Carswell's court
in Tallahassee, in opposition to the plan presented by the Alachua County
School Board. It was pointed out that if Carswell accepts the school
board's plan, this decision can be appealed to a higher court, and that
attempt will definitely be made.

It was announced as the meeting closed that several GWER members
would appear on Channel 5 (WUFT) on Sunday, March 2, 1969 from 5:00 to
6:00 p.m. on a panel discussing GWER and the issued in which we are
interested and involved.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

r" /' tV66Z'
Jeri L. Aldridge
Recording Secretary