1400 Washington AveAlbanyNY
1400 Washington AveAlbanyNY

Committee For Progressive Legislation Records


PDF Version


The Committee for Progressive Legislation records document the efforts of the group in bringing attention to issues important to many New Yorkers, especially abortion, family planning, welfare rights, and the attack on separation of church and state.


Committee For Progressive Legislation
Date Coverage:
1.2 cubic ft. (about 1.2 boxes)

The Committee for Progressive Legislation began when Kay Dingle, a wife and mother living in Delmar, New York, took the initiative to create a religious liberal voice that would bring attention to social issues important to many New Yorkers. She organized a group of Unitarian women to discuss ways in which they could be effective in supporting or opposing state legislation. They would raise a religious liberal voice in politics by enlisting other members of the Albany and Schenectady First Unitarian Universalist Societies and working together with other organizations interested in dealing with social problems. That group of women became the Committee for Progressive Legislation.

In 1969, the organization became widely known for lobbying in favor of the repeal of New York State's abortion law, which dated back to the early nineteenth century. The group's main concerns were abortion, welfare rights, and the attack on separation of church and state. As time passed however they discovered that trying to tackle several issues at once was difficult and they began to concentrate mainly on the repeal of New York State's abortion law and state funds for family planning clinics.

Members of the Committee for Progressive Legislation donated their time telephoning legislators, designing posters, and conducting research to support their stance on social issues. Political workshops were held training members and other volunteers to be effective lobbyists as well as in dealing with disadvantaged communities. Lobbying sessions were also held in which members learned about legislative bills and how to find legislative allies.

After the amendment of New York's abortion law in April 1970 the group focused on family planning issues. In their correspondence to legislators, members advocated state sponsored family planning clinics. They also lobbied the state to pay abortion fees for low-income women.

In 1977 as membership and commitment to the issues dwindled the group elected to disband.

This collection contains the papers of the Committee for Progressive Legislation from 1950-1993. It follows the group from its origins as the project of a member of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Albany. The collection documents the organization's activity in lobbying the New York State Legislature for various social issues, but shows their main interests were repealing the New York State abortion law and advocating family planning. Included in the collection are administrative files, records of the group's legislative interests, and research of social issues.

Documentation on family planning matters as well as other social welfare issues is abundant in the collection. The numerous news clippings on abortion rights and family planning articles as well as the correspondence between chairperson Kay Dingle and New York State legislators is a strong point of the collection. The legislative correspondence gives an idea of the lobbying methods of the Committee for Progressive Legislation as well as their stance on specific bills.

The collection does not give any specific information on the personal lives of the committee members or the effect that their passionate involvement in the organization had on their family lives. One letter does imply that a group member resigned due to pressure from her husband, but not much additional information is available. Founding member Kay Dingle's last correspondence with the organization was from her Arizona home on May 10, 1993. This letter can be found in Series 2: Issue Files.

This collection has no series.

All items in this manuscript group were donated to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, by Loren Broc of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany in October 2001.

Processed by: Kenyetta Russell

Collection record created by: This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on

Published: 2018-03-06 01:13:15 -0500

Encoded in EAD by Kenyetta Russell, 2003

Archival materials can be view in-person during business hours in our reading room, located on the top floor of the Science Library on the Uptown Campus.

We can also deliver digital scans for remote research for a fee.

Access to this record group is unrestricted.

Copyright Statement

The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Committee For Progressive Legislation Records, 1950-1993. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as [shortened name]).

Contents of Collection

Quantity: 0.55 cubic ft. (about 0.55 boxes)

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

This series includes information on the Committee for Progressive Legislation's first administrative year, including the proposal for organization within the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany. The series contains organizational bulletins beginning in 1969. The bulletins contain information for members and other interested parties in relation to lobbying events and meetings. Their newsletter bulletins inform their followers of what issues they were currently working on as well as what their direction for the following month would be. This series also contains several membership lists, photographs of group members at events, as well as financial records. Unfortunately the financial documents are very scarce, however they do reveal administrative personnel problems. Also in this series is a sparse but informative file of the group's meeting minutes. The minutes reveal the anticipated future of the organization over the years. Much of the correspondence between Committee for Progressive Legislature members consists of offering solutions to the various organizational disagreements and problems. The decisions reached by Chairperson Kay Dingle are documented, along with other membership information, in the organization's newsletters.

The position papers in this series give an in-depth view of why the group decided to promote their views on specific social concerns. The series also contains several reports, two of which are based on interviews with representatives of the New York State Department of Health in 1969 the first official year of the organization's existence.



1 1Bulletins1969-1978, Undated


1 2Correspondence, Ann Brandon1969-1971


1 3Correspondence, L.E. Hoogstoel1972-1977, Undated


1 4Drama1969-1970, Undated


1 5Financial Documents1969-1987


1 6Minutes1969-1978, Undated


1 7Newsletters1969-1972


1 8Newsletters1973-1978, Undated


1 9Newsletter Bulletins1969-1978, Undated


1 10Organizational Planning1969-1970, Undated


1 11Organizational Structure1969-1978, Undated


1 12PhotographsUndated


1 13Position Papers1971-1978, Undated


1 14Publicity1969-1970, Undated


1 15Reports1969, Undated


1 16SpeechesUndated


1 17SubscriptionsUndated


2 1Financial Ledger1969-1977, Undated


2 2Committee for Progressive Legislation ButtonsUndated
Quantity: 0.40 cubic ft. (about 0.40 boxes)

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

This series contains numerous news clippings on various social issues. Although typical citizens of Albany, clergymen, and politicians all offer opinions in the news clippings, the files concentrate mostly on the views and actions of politicians and clergymen.

Correspondence in this series includes efforts by Kay Dingle to enlist supporters for the organization including a letter written in 1950. The letter was written in support of the Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Albany Medical Center Hospital who expressed his concern about women using any new abortion law as a method of family planning. This early letter gives insight into Mrs. Dingle's plans for the Committee for Progressive Legislation. Other correspondence includes differing views on abortion and family planning. The numerous news clippings illustrate points of view about family planning and population control during the 1970s in Albany, New York.

This series also contains information on the Social Welfare subcommittee with-in the Committee For Progressive Legislation. This file provides subcommittee minutes as well as analyses on urban conditions of poor families.



1 18Abortion, News Clippings1969-1971


1 19Abortion, News Clippings1971-1978


1 20Abortion, News ClippingsUndated


1 21Abortion Reform Subcommittee1969-1970, Undated


1 22Associated Groups1975-1978, Undated


1 23Criminal Justice1969-1971


1 24Fact Sheets1970-1977, Undated


1 25Family Planning, Correspondence1950-1970 September


1 26Family Planning, Correspondence1970 October-1978, Undated


1 27Family Planning, News Clippings1969-1970


1 28Family Planning, News Clippings1971


1 29Family Planning, News ClippingsUndated


1 30Family Planning Services1970-1971, Undated


1 31Pamphlets and Brochures1971, Undated


1 32Social Welfare, News Clippings1969-1978, Undated


1 33Social Welfare Subcommittee, Situation Analyses1969, Undated


1 34Social Welfare Subcommittee, Minutes1969-1970, Undated

Arranged alphabetically by subject

This series consists of legislative correspondence, information on legislative bills as well as lobbying efforts. The strong point of this series is the sizeable amount of correspondence to legislators. These letters demonstrate the nature of relationships between legislators and lobbying groups. An alliance with Mary Anne Krupsak, an assemblywoman from the 104th district of Albany-Schenectady and Montgomery counties, seemed especially important to the Committee for Progressive Legislation. Also present in this series is information about the committee's lobbying techniques as well as in-depth information on the New York State legislative process.



1 35Correspondence, Legislative1960-1970, Undated


1 36Correspondence, Legislative1971-1978, Undated


1 37Correspondence, Lobbying1966-1969, Undated


1 38Legislative Bills1968-1976, Undated


1 39Legislative CommitteeUndated


1 40Legislative Hearing Statements1969-1970


1 41Legislative Reform1974-1975


1 42Lobbying1967-1973


1 43Lobbying1978, Undated


1 44Lobbyist Organizations1968-1970


1 45Statements for Legislators1967-1971


1 46State of New York, Interviews and Analyses1969-1970, Undated