Austin History Center

Austin Lesbian/Gay Political Caucus Records

An Inventory of the Collection

Collection Summary

Creator: Austin Lesbian / Gay Political Caucus
Title: Austin Lesbian / Gay Political Caucus Records
Dates: 1978-2003
Dates (Bulk): 1978-1990
Abstract: Formed in 1979, the Austin Lesbian/Gay Political Caucus unites and organizes Austin Area lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgendered citizens and supporters in political action against all forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender expression. The meeting minutes, financial records, correspondence, newspaper clippings, distributed information and issue/subject files in the collection document the activities of the organization from 1978 to 2003.
Accession Number: AR.Z.018
Quantity: 1.2 linear feet (4 boxes)
Location: Archives stacks
Language: Majority of the collection is in English
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library,
810 Guadalupe, PO Box 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Administrative History

The Austin Lesbian/Gay Political Caucus (ALGPC) was formed in 1978 to organize Austin, Texas 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. In the late 1970s local political activists in the gay and lesbian community organized to protest Anita Bryant and the referendum that would have banned the hiring of homosexuals in California public schools and were encouraged by the response of the Austin gay and lesbian community. In the winter of 1978 it was decided that it was an opportune time to organize a political caucus that would focus political action on issues related to discrimination. Steve Thomas and Janna Zumbrun were elected temporary co-chairs of the ALGPC steering committee and the first organizational meeting was held on February 28, 1979, at the Zilker Club House in Austin, Texas. Fifty people signed up as members and on May 20, 1979, the first official steering committee of Janna Zumbrun and Steve Thomas as co-chairs; Donna Johnson as chair of the finance committee; Scotty Scott as chair of political action committee; Ed Scarbrough as recorder; Ginny Cleaver as chair of the program committee; and Arnie Fleischman as chair of legislative relation, were elected.

The organization was asked for its first endorsement in the spring of 1980 by Guy Herman, a candidate for Justice of the Peace in Travis County Precinct 5. Herman's success led to requests from other candidates for political office in Austin and Travis County. In addition to their annual candidate forums and endorsements, the organization also brought lawsuits against various businesses based on discrimination; protested the inaccurate portrayal of gay men by a CBS news report; conducted surveys for housing rights; and worked to establish basic human rights and emotional support for AIDS patients.

Today the mission statement of the Austin Lesbian/Gay Political caucus is listed as "to unite and organize Austin area lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgendered citizens and our friends and supporter in political action against all forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender expression. ALGPC shall also work in coalition to combat other forms of discrimination, including but not limited to gender, race or ethnicity, age, religion, disability or economic condition."

Source: Out Austin - ALGPC ( accessed 7 June 2017).

Scope and Contents

The Austin Lesbian/Gay Political Caucus records document the political, social and emotional struggles for human rights within the Austin, Texas LGBTQ community during the 1980s through the early 2000s. Steering committee meeting agenda and minutes, financial records, membership lists, proposals and resolutions, correspondence, bylaws, press releases, and LGBTQ-related issue files with reports and clippings make up the majority of the collection, with the bulk of the materials dating from the 1980s.

The Steering Committee series (1978-1994) consists of agendas, minutes, issues survey, financial documents, membership rosters, bylaws, and proposals and resolutions. The meeting minutes for both the steering committee and the general member meetings provide insight into the internal workings of the organization as well as the local and national issues ALGPC was most concerned about such as the Fair Housing Ordinance, Domestic Partner Legislation, the "gay census project," voter registration, political endorsements and having LGBT representation on City of Austin boards and commissions. Also included are responses to an ALGPC Issue Survey that the organization distributed in 1990 to their members to ask their "feelings" about the types of issues in which ALGPC should be involved. In addition, the evolution of the organization's bylaws is evident by the various versions of the document.

The Correspondence series (1979-1999) is split equally into correspondence received and sent. The received correspondence consists of letters from politicians responding to inquiries regarding their positions on political matters of concern to ALGPC such as AIDS funding and thank you letters for endorsements including Ann Richards, Charles Urdy, Jim Hightower, Roger Duncan; letters from individuals from other cities looking for advice to start LGBT alliance organizations; responses from the Austin Human Relations Commissions regarding cases of discrimination filed by the ALGPC; examples of anti-gay letters; and form letters from a variety of human rights organizations asking for support. Sent correspondence includes copies of the organization's form letters soliciting membership, invitations to fundraising events and thank you letters to volunteers and other supporters of the LGBT community; invitations to politician to participate in ALGPC endorsement process and letters informing them that the general membership of ALBPC voted to endorse their candidacy; letters sent to politicians in support of, or in opposition to, their political stance on such issues as AIDS, House Bill 2138, allowing the American Family Association present to City Council and the City of Austin's human resources policy on "domestic partners"; letters sent to CBS complaining of bias in their documentary "Gay Power - Gay Politics" in their portrayal of the "gay lifestyle" and to local theaters calling for a boycott of the film "Cruising"; letters to the Human Relations Commissions regarding discrimination complaints; letters to City of Austin council members recommending applicants to various City boards and commission

Newspaper clippings, press releases and fliers in the Press Releases and Publicity series (1978-2002) highlight the activities of ALGPC. The newspaper clippings document the politicians endorsed by ALGPC, as well as political/social issues that affected the LGBTQ community such as sodomy law, Anita Bryant's opposition to anti-discrimination ordinance, and immigration laws. The press releases and fliers advertise events, endorsed candidates as well as promote awareness about social issues of importance to the ALGPC. Also included is a City of Austin proclamation for National Coming Out Day in 1997.

The Projects and Community Issues series (1980-2003) highlights some of the project and issues ALGPC was most concerned about and active in combating such as AIDS, candidate endorsements, employment discrimination policy at the Austin Independent School District, City of Austin domestic partner benefits, Fair Housing Ordinance, and voter registration. Newspaper and magazine articles, informational pamphlets and bulletins, correspondence, reports and questionnaires make up the majority of the series.

Lastly, the Other Civil Rights/LGBTQ Organizations series (1981-1995) contains administrative records, fliers, press releases and clippings of organization with whom ALGPC worked with or had similar interests. Citizens for a United Austin was an organization formed in the early 1980s to defeat the discrimination ordinance proposed by the Austin Citizens for Decency. Included are press releases, fliers and newspaper clippings from the organization. Austinites for a Responsive Government was an organization working to change the political process to obtain a voice in the decision making process on issues of concern to the LGBTQ community and materials include fliers, meeting minutes, correspondence, and membership lists.


Collection is arranged into five series:

  • Steering Committee
  • Correspondence
  • Press Releases and Publicity
  • Projects and Community Issues
  • Other Civil Rights/LGBT Organizations


Access Restrictions

Open to all users

Use Restrictions

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.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Fitzsimmons, Gary.
Johnson, Donna.
Maxey, Glen.
Prevost, Marvin E..
Scott, Scotty.
Thomas, Steve.
Zumbrun, Janna.
Subjects (Organizations)
Austinites for Responsive Government (Tex.).
Citizens for a United Austin (Tex.).
Austin Lesbian/Gay Political Caucus (Tex.).
Austin Citizens for Decency (Tex.).
Democratic Party (Tex.).
Austin (Tex.). City Council.
AIDS (Disease)--Prevention.
Discrimination in housing--Texas--Austin--Law and legislation.
Discrimination in employment--Texas--Austin.
Gay rights--Texas--Austin.
Human rights--Texas--Austin.
Municipal government--Texas--Austin.
Ordinances, Municipal--Texas--Austin.
Political participation.
Pressure groups.
Voter registration--Texas--Austin.
Austin (Tex.)--Social conditions.
Austin (Tex.)--Politics and government.
Document Types
Administrative records.
Financial records.
Membership lists.
Project files.

Related Material

General Collection

  • A 305.90664 GA Eric Jason Ganther, From Closet to Crusade: The Struggle for Lesbian-Gay Civil Rights in Austin, Texas, 1970-1982. 1990.
  • A 363.5109764 AU Austin Fair Housing Survey. 1981.
  • A 352.09764 AU76OH 1981 Ordinance No. 81: An Ordinance Amending Ordinance No. 770825-F, Known as the Fair Housing Ordinance of the City of Austin. 1981.
  • A 352.09764 Au76oh 1980 Ordinance No. 800522-J: An Ordinance Amending Ordinance Number 770825-F, Known as the Fair Housing Ordinance of the City of Austin. 1980.
  • A 352.09764 AU76OH 1977 Ordinance No. 770825-F: An Ordinance Declaring the Policy of the City to be in Furtherance of the Right of Each Individual to Provide a Dwelling for Such a Person. 1977.
  • A 352.09764 AU76OH 1977 Ordinance No. 770825-F: An Ordinance Declaring the Policy of the City to be in Furtherance of the Right of Each Individual to Provide a Dwelling for Such a Person. 1977.


  • The Agenda
  • Austin Pride
  • The Texas Triangle: The Lesbian and Gay News Weekly of Austin
  • Gay Austin, 1976-1979
  • Connections, 1979-1983
  • Austin Lambda Newsletter, 1979-1989
  • Affirmation: United Methodists for Lesbian, Gay & Bisexual Concerns, Inc., 1992-1993
  • aGLIFF: Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival, 1989-2013
  • ALGPC Austin Lesbian/Gay Political Caucus, 1989-1990
  • ALLGO Pasa!, 1999
  • Austin Lesbian Organization, 1975
  • Austin Lesbian-Gay Political Caucus Newsletter, 1979-1994
  • Dimensions, 1989-1992
  • Entre Amigos / Among Friends Update, 1997
  • Gay Academic Union Newsletter, 1975-1976
  • Goodbye to All That, 1975-1978
  • Integrity / Austin News: Gay and Lesbian Episcopalians & Their Friends, 1986
  • The Left Hand(filed under Austin Lesbians Speak Out), 1987-1990
  • Lesbian / Gay Rights Lobby of Texas Quarterly Newsletter, 1988
  • Lobby Report, The, 1989-1990
  • Lone Star Lesbians, 1977-1978
  • Our Time Has Come: A Lesbian Feminist Publication, 1978

Austin Files

  • AF Biography - Glen Maxey
  • AF Biography - Janna Zumbrun
  • AF Subject - Austin Lesbian/Gay Political Caucus H2030 (5)
  • AF Subject - Austin Lesbian Feminist Organization H2030 (1)
  • AF Subject - Citizens for a United Austin H4500 (13)
  • AF Subject - LGBT People H2030
  • AF Subject - Housing - Fair Housing Ordinance H4500 (11)

Archives & Manuscripts

Separated Material


  • ASA Update (AIDS Services of Austin) - 1990 July
  • Austin Lesbian/Gay Political Caucus Newsletter - various issues 1979-2003
  • ALGPC News Bulletin - 1980 May
  • Project Transitions, Inc. Update - 1990 June
  • Texas Women's Political Times - 1985 Spring
  • Austin NOW Times - 1990 July/August
  • Texas Mobilizer - 1983 July
  • Austin Women's Center - 1985 Spring
  • Austin Lambda Newsletter - various issues 1982-1984

Various fliers for Austin organizations and events transferred to AF Subject Files.

Telephone bills, bank statements, receipts, and newsletter galleys deaccessioned.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Austin Lesbian/Gay Political Caucus Records (AR.Z.018). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/1990/043

Donation Date: 1990, 2016

Processing Information

Original donation arranged by Tim Wilder in 1991. Additions integrated, finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults in 2017.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Steering Committee, 1978-1994

Box Folder
1 1 Agendas, 1979-1989
2 Minutes, 1978-1988
3 Minutes, 1978-1981
3 Minutes, 1982-1988
4 Issues survey, 1990
5 Monthly receipts and expenditures, 1980-1989
6 Fundraiser receipts and expenditures, 1980-1989
7 Secretary of State reports, 1986
8 Membership, volunteers, pledges, 1980-1986, 1994
9 Appointments and elections, 1982-1989
10 Proposals and resolutions, 1982, 1989
11 Calendars and timeline,
Box Folder
2 7 Bylaws, 1982-1996

Correspondence, 1979-1989

Box Folder
1 12-19 Received, 1980-1989, undated
Box Folder
2 1-4 Received, 1986-1989
5-6 Sent, 1979-1989

Press Releases and Publicity, 1978-2002

Box Folder
3 1 Clippings, 1978-1985
Box Folder
4 2 Clippings, 1994-2002
Box Folder
3 4 Press releases and fliers, 1979-1989
Box Folder
4 1 Press releases and fliers, 1996-2002
6 National Coming Out Day proclamation, 1997

Projects and Community Issues, 1980-2003

Box Folder
2 8 AIDS, 1981-1990
9 Austin City Council candidate questionnaires, 1982-1987
Box Folder
4 3 Austin City Council candidate endorsement ballots and questionnaires, 2002, undated
5 Austin Independent School District non-discrimination employment policy, 1997-2003
4 City of Austin domestic partner benefits, 1996
Box Folder
2 10 Fair Housing Ordinance, 1981
15 Republican Party, 1980
11 Voter registration, 1981-1988

Other Civil Rights/LGBTQ Organizations, 1981-1995

Box Folder
2 12 Citizens for a United Austin, 1981-1982
13 Austinites for a Responsive Government/Political Action Committee, 1981-1987
14 Democratic Party, 1978-1984
Box Folder
3 2 Assorted newsletters and fliers, 1978-1995, undated