Manhattan Womens Political Caucus

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Text on Button manHaTTan Women's poLiTicaL caucus
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Black text on red image of apple inside of female symbol on white background.

Curl Text N.G. SLATER CORP., N.Y.C. 11 Union bug
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In 1971, as a response to the forming of the National Women’s Caucus, a united, multi-partisan group aimed at equal political representation for women in political offices and the championing of women’s issues in legislation, many cities and states began to form their own caucuses, including the Manhattan Women’s Caucus. The Manhattan Women’s Caucus met and elected council members in March, 1972. Under the banner of, “Make Policy, Not Coffee,” the group’s original aim was to fight for equal representation. They were urging for 50% of political delegate seats and an equal chance at appointed and elected offices. To this end, they trained women for running as delegates, as women lawyers within the group prepared a legal team in case of discrimination attempts. In addition to political equality, the group also took on women’s issues including abortion rights. One of the group’s founding members, Tanya Melich, a former Republican turned Independent, left the Republican party over women’s issues. She was later responsible for coining the phrase, “The Republican War against Women.” In 1973, after the historic Roe Vs. Wade Supreme Court ruling, the Manhattan Women’s Caucus joined up with New York Radical Feminists, The Feminist Coalition, and the NYC branch of the National Organization for Women to create a statewide “Women’s Lobby.” The group’s wishlist included: credit cards for women without reference to marital status, no-fault divorces, the designation of pregnancy and childbirth as a “temporary disability,” and removing restrictions on contraceptives.


Johnston, L. (1972, February 6). Women’s Caucus has new rallying cry: ‘Make policy, not coffee.’ New York Times.… Johnston, L. (1973, February 4). ‘Women’s lobby’ seeks new goals. The New York Times.… Melich, T. (n.d.). Tanya M. Melich Papers, 1956-2009. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives.

Catalog ID CA0787