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Don Johnstone papers pertaining to the Albuquerque Citizens Committee

Identifier: MSS-883-BC

Scope and Content

The collection is first arranged chronologically, and then alphabetically by subject matter. Chronological materials span from 1951 to 1970. Materials include meeting and planning notes, platform statements, constitution, publicity, correspondence, and meeting minutes. The documents show the growth and progress of Albuquerque Citizens Committee through correspondence, newsletters, membership lists, public opinion surveys on various municipal affairs, newspaper clippings, campaign platforms, legal and legislative documents and a few photographs. Subject files illuminate important issues for the committee such as city government re-organization, the Rio Grande Sewer scandal and the water supply insufficiencies, the police and fire dept inadequacies, and the transition from the Tingley administration. The collection lightly touches on the historical anniversary of the city and the committee’s successful nomination of Albuquerque as an All American City in 1958. Subject files contain correspondence, ephemera, unpublished reports, newspaper clippings, as well as published reports, charters and newspaper scrapbooks on issues such as bonds, flood control and elections.


  • 1951-1970

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Biography / History

The Albuquerque Citizens Committee was launched in 1952 as a result of deep-seated recognition of the need for a permanent, non-partisan organization to seek out and encourage responsible citizens to serve as city commissioners and to give them the support needed to win elections." Representatives of more than 50 groups met at the citizen’s council to assist the City of Albuquerque in solving municipal problems. The group became Albuquerque Citizens Committee. Their platform was “concern for the quality of urban living," including the environment, human life (youth, prevention programs, security of people and property), economic opportunity/anti-poverty, high standards of competence in government, and “home rule" to enable the citizens of Albuquerque to make decisions without legislative permission, in matters affecting Albuquerque alone.

Albuquerque Citizens Committee successfully ran a slate of candidates for City Commission in 1954, winning 3 to 1 over the mainstream ticket. Don Johnstone, one of the founders of the Committee, played a pivotal role in the successful campaign of 1954. After the election, the Committee became a permanent organization through the adoption of a constitution. Johnstone served as secretary on the executive board of the committee. The committee dedicated itself to conducting studies of municipal problems, assisting the city in promoting city ordinances and state legislation, ascertaining public opinion on municipal affairs, and disseminating information on city affairs. Membership was comprised of geographically, ethnically, politically and economically diverse citizens of Albuquerque and was open to registered voters.

Source: Albuquerque Citizens Committee brochure (box 2, folder 18)


2 boxes (2 cu. ft.) plus 1 oversized folder


The collection documents the formation and functions of the civic, non-partisan Albuquerque Citizens Committee from 1952-1970. Their platform focused on “concern for the quality of urban living," including the environment, human life, economic opportunity/anti-poverty, and high standards of competence in government.

Related Material

Howard N. Rabinowitz Papers Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico Harry Kinney Papers Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico
Finding Aid of the Don Johnstone papers pertaining to the Albuquerque Citizens Committee, 1951-1970
Jordan Biro
© 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Finding aid is in English

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131