Texas Governor's Office of Community Leadership and Volunteer Services:
An Inventory of Records at the Texas State Archives, 1975-1991 (bulk 1987-1990)
Governor Dolph Briscoe established the Texas Center for Volunteer Action during the mid-1970s through executive order DB 22. It is unclear whether or not it, or a similar office, existed prior to Briscoe's tenure. Briscoe's order was repealed and replaced by Governor Clements' executive order WPC 8 in August of 1979. Clements called the center the Governor's Office for Volunteer Services. The office had the following functions and responsibilities: to support, encourage, and assist volunteer efforts in the state; to develop pubic awareness of its ability to solve problems through volunteer action; to develop and expand the use of volunteers within state agencies and institutions to lessen the burdens of government; to facilitate the sharing of resources, ideas, and information on volunteerism within and between public and private agencies; to work with local communities to determine their needs and to mobilize local resources to meet those needs; and to promote public policies that enhance voluntary action. The First Lady of Texas was to be the official spokesperson for the office and worked closely with the office to achieve its intended purposes. The office also ran the Texas Volunteer Council and was divided into several subsections, namely the Runaway Hotline, Pierre the Texas Pelican, the Beautify Texas Council, Texas Volunteers for Immunization Action, Texas Women's Employment and Education, and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (for Indochinese refugees).
The Office of Community Leadership (OCL) was created under Governor Mark White as an umbrella organization for a variety of programs already existing within the Office of the Governor. Programs that came under the auspices of the OCL included Volunteer Services, Governor's Commission for Women, Citizens Assistance Program, Texas Crime Victim Clearinghouse, Runaway Hotline, Governor's Juvenile Justice Education Project, Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU), and Communities in Schools. By 1986, the office had become known as the Governor's Office on Community Leadership/Volunteer Services and it administered the Runaway Hotline and the Governor's Commission for Women. During the late 1980s, under Governor Clements, the Office had the following functions and responsibilities: to support, encourage, and assist volunteer efforts on the state; to promote volunteer efforts at the national level as a affiliate of the National Assembly of State Offices of Volunteerism (NASOV); to give greater public recognition and visibility to volunteer efforts and to develop public knowledge of its ability to solve problems; to develop and expand the use of volunteers within state agencies and institutions to lessen the burden of government; to facilitate the sharing of resources, ideas, and information on volunteerism within and between the public and private sector; to work with local communities to determine their needs and to mobilize local resources; to promote policies and practices which encourage and enhance volunteerism; to serve as a liaison between the Governor's Office and various individuals and organizations within the public and private sector; to monitor state and federal legislation affecting volunteers and women; to maintain a close association with and between all Texas Volunteer Action Centers (22 centers serving as a clearinghouse for volunteers in communities); to publish a quarterly newsletter which gathers and disseminates information on volunteer programs and activities of the Women's Commission; to serve as a co-sponsor of the Texas Volunteer Conference (including the presentation of the Governor's awards for Outstanding Volunteer Service) along with other state agencies and non-profit organizations; and to award Certificates of Appreciation to worthy volunteers upon request from local groups.
The Governor's Commission for Women was established by executive order in 1967 under then Governor John Connally for the purpose of identifying, researching, and developing strategies and projects that increase the awareness of key issues affecting Texas women. Governor Dolph Briscoe established the Texas Commission on the Status of Women on August 17, 1977 by executive order DB 32, and then issued DB 32A (1978) and DB 32B (1979?) to expand it from 15 to 19, and finally to 21 members. Governor Mark White established the fourth Governor's Commission for Women on April 13, 1983 by executive order MW-4. The order stated that the purpose of the commission was to promote state policies that would provide equal opportunities for and aid in the advancement of women. Duties of White's commission included finding and recommending qualified women for appointive office; addressing issues affecting women such as education, domestic violence, and women's health; and recognizing women's accomplishments and contributions to Texas. In 1983 White appointed 29 women to the commission for a two-year term.
Governors William P. Clements and Ann Richards continued the commission. Governor Clements, through executive order WPC 87-1 on March 27, 1987, charged the commission with promoting the goal of achieving equal legal, economic, political, educational, and social opportunity and advancement of women. The Commission established four subcommittees to address these issues (Hall of Fame, Economic Development, Program, and Sponsorship), sponsored essay contests for fifth grade students across the state, and sponsored economic development conferences for women. Governor Richards, with AWR 91-13, charged the 29-member commission in November 1991 with developing strategies to improve the mental, physical, and emotional health of women in Texas; focusing attention on special needs of women and families relating to health and safety; supporting research activities that seek to incorporate needs of women in the long-range planning process for Texas; participating with other established task forces and policy groups; securing recognition of citizens' accomplishments and contributions to Texas; maintaining a clearinghouse of information on the status of women; monitoring federal and state legislation relating to issues affecting women; and establishing a State Agency Council to assist the commission in fulfilling its charge. The commission made written reports to the governor and met quarterly.
The Texas Women's Hall of Fame is a project of the Governor's Commission for Women that recognizes community leadership by women who have made lasting contributions in the following categories: Arts, Business/Professional, Civic/Volunteer/Family, Education, Government, Health/Environment, Physical Fitness/Recreation. Nominees must be native or current residents of Texas. Former nominees to the Hall of Fame may be re-nominated, but inducted members are ineligible for re-nomination. Nominees must have been active within the state during the past five years in the category for which they are nominated. Since 1984, 96 Texas women have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, based on their level of achievement and their contributions, which have been deemed to have a significant impact upon the lives of Texans.
During the period covered by these records, the Women's Commission was under the administrative oversight of the Office of Community Leadership and Volunteer Services. The Governor appointed the agency's commissioners and oversaw the commission's goals. Appointees represented different areas of the state, possessed leadership qualities, and demonstrated community involvement. Some commission projects were handled through sub-committees focusing on women's health issues, communications, special events, and fund raising. The Commission remained active under Governor George W. Bush.
Correspondence, conference materials, printed material, memorandums, publications, newsletters, press releases, reports, and nominations, 1975-1991 (bulk 1987-1990), appear to constitute the files of Ann Wallace, Director of the Governor's Office of Community Leadership and Volunteer Services and Executive Director of the Governor's Commission for Women. The majority of the records concern the assorted conferences and contests sponsored by these two offices, printed materials from various associated public and private organizations, and nominations of Texas citizens for various state and federal women's and volunteerism awards.
The records also contain several files on the related Texas Women's Alliance, the Texas United Way Campaigns, the Governor's Task Force on Welfare, and the Women's Bureau of the United States Department of Labor.
To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to delineate series, to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.
Restrictions on Access
Restrictions on Use
(Identify the item), Records, Texas Governor's Office of Community Leadership and Volunteer Services. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession number: 2000/134
These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Texas Governor's Office on March 27, 2000.
Nancy Enneking, March 2000
Detailed Description of the Collection