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Democratic Activist Women's Network, District 1 records

Identifier: IWA0602

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Scope and Contents

The DAWN District 1 records date from 1981 to 2009 and measure 2.5 linear feet. The records are arranged in five series: Administrative records, Candidates, Publicity, Photographs, and 2018 Accession.

The Administrative records series comprises official documents of DAWN District 1 and dates from 1986-2009. This series includes DAWN brochures, organizational by-laws, professional contacts, correspondence, donor records, financial information, mailing lists, meeting agendas and minutes, member lists, phone messages and notes, documents relating to the organization's structure and legal status, and volunteer information.

The Candidates sub-series contains information about the candidates selected by DAWN and dates from 1989-2008. This series includes the candidate application packet, campaign brochures featuring DAWN-endorsed candidates, records of the candidate recommendation committee, documents from the Center for the American Woman and Politics (CAWP) Forum for women legislators, district maps, and information regarding women in elected positions.

The Publicity series encompasses public relations, the media, and community events and dates from 1981-2009. This series includes documents from the annual meeting, advertisements for community events, literature from a media workshop, DAWN newsletters, newspaper clippings, a directory of members of the Professional Women's Network, and records from the statewide town meeting. The newspaper clippings have been subdivided according to topic: clippings relating to abortion, clippings about DAWN-endorsed candidates, miscellaneous clippings, and clippings of prospective DAWN members and candidates.

The Photographs series includes snapshots of DAWN District 1 members from 1992-1993 at district meetings.

The 2018 Accession series is comprised of a member's DAWN binder with documents relating to adminstration, member correspondence, a DAWN button, meeting notes, and other related papers.


  • Creation: 1981-2009


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to the University of Iowa.

However, copyright status for some collection materials may be unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility and potential liability based on copyright infringement for any use rests exclusively and solely with the user. Users must properly acknowledge the Iowa Women’s Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, as the source of the material. For further information, visit

Biographical / Historical

After the November election in 1992, a group of politically concerned women met in Boone, Iowa to discuss the status of women in elected positions in the state of Iowa. This group concluded that, although women constituted fifty-two percent of the population in Iowa, eighty-two percent of Iowa state senators and eighty-four percent of Iowa state representatives were men. Furthermore, at the time, Iowa had never had a female governor, Speaker of the House, majority leader in the Senate or House, or Congressperson. A related concern was the Republican dominance of Iowa politics and its perceived impact on equal representation.

The Democratic Activist Women's Network (DAWN) was created for the purpose of recruiting, educating, supporting and helping to elect Democratic women to public office in Iowa at the local and state levels. The organization was modeled after EMILY's List, establishing networks for candidate selection and endorsement through the provision of financial and moral support. In particular, DAWN actively recruits candidates to run for office and funnels member donations to them, as well as providing campaign volunteers, advice, and woman-specific campaign training.

Candidates endorsed since the organization's inception include Elaine Baxter, Bonnie Campbell, Minnette Dodorer, Sandra Glenn, Patty Judge, Robbie Fye Leach, Anne Pederson, Linda Santi, and Kathy Walter. DAWN is structured to correspond to the five Iowa Congressional districts, with local chapters in each district. In 1993, former Iowa Senator Beverly Hannon became chair of the newly created District 1 chapter. In 1996, Hannon resigned her position and membership, due to disagreements among members over candidate positions on abortion and reproductive rights. DAWN continues to recruit and endorse Democratic women candidates today.


2.50 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Organization created to recruit, educate, and elect Democratic women to public office in Iowa.

Method of Acquisition

The records (donor no. 119) were donated by Beverly Hannon in 2000 and subsequent years and by (donor no. 704) Barbara Boatwright in 2010.

Related Materials

The Jo Ann Zimmerman papers (IWA): contain DAWN records

Beverly Hannon papers (IWA): contain DAWN records

Emily Broeckling, 2003; Rosemary Riess, 2012; Heidi Stofer, 2018.
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Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)