MS 524 - Central Toledo Action Committee
|Title||MS 524 - Central Toledo Action Committee|
The records of the Central Toledo Action Committee (CTAC) date from 1971 to 1973, with some pertinent supplementary material dating several years prior to and several years following the existence of the Committee. The history of this inner city pressure group consists of approximately 3 1/2 linear feet of meeting agendas and minutes, correspondence, subject files, annual and statistical reports, legal proceedings, printed materials, newsclippings, and photographs and audio recording tapes.
The records of the Central Toledo Action Committee were donated to the Center for Archival Collections in May 1988, through the cooperation of Diane Pribor, past Board Member of CTAC, and Ann Bowers, University Archivist and Assistant Director of the Center for Archival Collections. Literary and property rights have been dedicated to the public and duplication is permitted for the purposes of preservation and scholarly research. The records are available for patron use in their original form. The register was prepared by Mallory J. H. Maury, Graduate Assistant, History Department, Bowling Green State University, in November, 1989, and revised by Marilyn Levinson, Curator of Manuscripts in March 1992.
The Central Toledo Action Committee organized in late October, 1971, "for the purpose of working together to solve community problems." Under the financial auspices of the Roman Catholic Dioceses of Toledo, CTAC was formed by a coalition of several geographically specific inner-city action groups, through the directional efforts of three Jesuit organizers. The Committee was granted a two year funding by the Bishop's office, with the understanding that monies be found elsewhere for subsequent years of operation.
Though bound together in form and function, CTAC and its component groups nevertheless acted independently of each other, depending upon the action to be taken. All groups, to varying extents, shared the 355 West Bancroft Street office in Toledo. Membership in CTAC was informal; involvement in the activities of the group(s) was the only membership criterion.
The primary concerns of CTAC were twofold. Immediate objectives were the improvement of deplorable housing conditions, educational facilities, and other neighborhood specific problems, such as traffic patterns and quality and quantity of parks. The removal of abandoned, dangerous structures from the inner-city landscape became paramount in the group's ultimate goals of stopping the deterioration of neighborhoods and reversing the spiral of decline. Of equal importance were the organizers' intentions of engendering within the inner city residents a realization of their own power and ability to organize for their collective good.
The people themselves were of diverse socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds. While the Old West End was a fairly integrated community, in fact, fearful of real estate efforts at racial steering--a process which would destroy the integrated character of the community--the east end was inhabited largely by Polish, German, and Mexican Americans, with only a few Black newcomers, and the heart of the city was overwhelmingly Black. The population of the area approximated 50,000, half of which were renters. Sixty-percent of the area's population was black, and mostly low income, while twenty percent of the white population, living primarily in the Old West End, was middle and upper income. Leadership of CTAC was predominately white middle class, but the Black community represented itself in board positions and in key areas of involvement. Women were in the overwhelming majority, both in higher levels of organization and in membership.
Of considerable noteworthiness is CTAC's struggle with opposition by city hall, which culminated in the passage of Administrative Regulation 15, municipal legislation which effectively barred CTAC from confronting paid public officials at their offices, and the subsequent lawsuit brought by CTAC against the city. Another proposed piece of legislation, the Anti-Demonstration Ordinance, was never passed due to substantial opposition by many groups and organizations around Toledo, including labor unions and the ACLU. Following the suit, from which CTAC gained only limited victory (it was dropped immediately following the preliminary hearing, after it was learned that a full trial could not commence for at least another year), the group's community support eroded until, only five months later, the Board decided upon disbandment. Funding already had been obtained for its third year of operations through the Washington D.C. based Campaign for Human Development. Within days of notification of the $22,000 grant, CTAC Board Members notified their benefactor that the program was no longer operational. In the first weeks of November, 1973, the pressure group folded.
|Scope and Content|
The records of the Central Toledo Action Committee date generally from October 1971 to November 1973, with some pertinent material dating several years prior to and following the existence of the Committee; together they document the history of a diverse group of inner-city residents bound together by the need to improve living conditions. The efforts of the external pressure group are predominantly preserved in meeting agendas, correspondence, subject records, printed materials, newsclippings and photographs, which together provide several avenues of research.
Taken as a whole, the records of the Central Toledo Action Committee provide an excellent overview of the organization's functioning within the city of Toledo in general, and with the contemporary city administration. The meeting agendas, correspondence, subject/issue records, and printed materials clearly document the activities and concerns of the group. These also demonstrate the relationships CTAC had with city officials.
While CTAC was a coalition of a handful of geographically-specific action groups, the collection is primarily representative of the activities of the Old West End Action Committee, along with those of the coalition, CTAC. This is primarily due to the source of the materials, Diane Pribor, who was both a board member of CTAC, and Chairman of the Old West End Action Committee. A shortcoming of the collection, therefore, is the absence of the records of the other action groups; most of these committees only are mentioned on several occasions within the collection.
While the agendas for meetings, both within the group and with outside individuals, particularly city officials, are numerous, and indicate the general business attended to, actual minutes are few and scattered. For this matter, the correspondence provides a better indication of the actual action taken by the group. These, together with the numerous printed materials in the forms of press releases and general circulars, present for the researcher both the obstacles CTAC worked to overcome and its statements of intent. In-depth knowledge of issues can be obtained from subject records, which include such topics as schools, urban renewal, traffic patterns, open spaces, real estate and banking practices, and a court case brought by CTAC against the city of Toledo. Numerous reports by CTAC regarding housing conditions and firetrap status, give important scope to the most pressing and yet most controversial issues of relevance to the group.
A grasp for the larger, social and even political issues can be obtained in other subject records, which add considerably to the historical context for the Committee's existence. These include topics on maintaining the integrity of integrated neighborhoods, national and local organizations promoting the same, Model Cities Program studies, and a 1970 Census and Description of Toledo Housing Patterns. Reports in the form of Toledo City School Budgets, and subject records containing numerous Health and Building Codes, both municipal and state, provide a means to assess policies in force at the time of CTAC's activities.
Particularly useful to following the overall chronology of CTAC's actions, and to discovering general perceptions of the group, is the rich collection of newspaper and periodical clippings. As a body of information the clippings are for the most part accessible in the collection independently of other materials. In maintaining the original order of the collection, however, clippings having relevance to specific issues, filed in specific subject records, have been kept with that subject. For this matter, with some few exceptions, those newsclippings are not duplicated in the chronologically arranged newsclipping folders. Similarly, correspondence pertaining to specific subject records have stayed with the subject, while the majority of correspondence has been arranged chronologically on its own.
While there exists in the collection information on the funding of CTAC; there are no financial records available, with the exception of two banking deposit slips; these are of limited use to the researcher interested in this aspect of the agency's history.
Of supplemental value to the researcher is the inclusion of three hours of audio recording, an oral interview with Diane Pribor conducted in November 1989. The interview is indexed, allowing accessibility by topic, and includes an interview history to aid the researcher in placing the value of the interview into perspective. While some relationships are made more clear by the interview, the interview's chief value may lie in its contribution to understanding the philosophy of the organizational methods of the group, particularly the commitment to empowering the people.
Following the interview, additional materials were presented to the interviewer to be added to the CTAC Collection. These materials were of the same format as the original collection. Of particular importance was the addition of newspaper clippings for a period lacking in the original donation. This supplemented the existing media record by nearly twenty-five percent. These, together with additional correspondence, serve to clarify some matters otherwise taken up in the oral interview.
CODES: MUNICIPAL AND STATE; HEALTH AND BUILDING
OLD WEST END CONSERVATION PROJECT
WORKABLE PROGRAM FOR COMMUNITY IMPROVEMENT
RELATIONS BETWEEN THE MODEL CITIES ORGANIZATION AND OTHERS WHOSE PROGRAMS AFFECT THE TOLEDO MODEL NEIGHBORHOOD
FAIR HOUSING ISSUES
NEIGHBORHOODS; RELATED NATIONAL EXPERIENCES
NEIGHBORHOOD PHILOSOPHY: INTEGRATION AND COMMUNITY
APARTMENT/REAL ESTATE SURVEYS
CTAC; ORGANIZING, FUNDING, INCORPORATION
CTAC: VARIOUS LISTS-INDIVIDUALS
A & P MARKET
REAL ESTATE AGENCIES, BANKS, AND RACIAL STEERING
DEVELOPMENT CONCERNS: URBAN RENEWAL AND REHABILITATION
NEW SCHOOL NOW COMMITTEE
TOLEDO AREA COUNCIL OF CHURCHES
OLD WEST END ASSOCIATION
JUDGE ANDY DEVINE/HOUSING COURT
CITY OF TOLEDO-NUISANCE ABATEMENTS
2446-48 HOLLYWOOD/HEALTH ESCROW
SLUM HOUSING: SPECIFIC ADDRESSES
ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATION 15
DAN MCCARTHY-"MAKING WAVES IN TOLEDO."
NOTES ON PARKER STABBING
WILLIAM M. JENKINS AND PROPERTY-2405 GLENWOOD
MODEL CITIES PROJECT - EVALUATION REPORT
TOLEDO CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT REPORTS
CTAC ANNUAL REPORTS
CTAC IN HOUSE REPORTS
CTAC IN-HOUSE REPORTS - INSPECTION
CTAC - LISTING OF FIRES - PUBLIC HOUSING LIST
AUDIO RECORDING CASSETTE TAPES