Sandy Nelson Defense Committee records, 1997

Overview of the Collection

Sandy Nelson Defense Committee
Sandy Nelson Defense Committee records
1997 (inclusive)
1 vertical file
Collection Number
6084 (Accession No. 6084-001)
Press release, meeting agenda, financial reports, and clippings related to the Sandy Nelson Defense Committee, which was formed to support Tacoma, Washington newspaper reporter Sandy Nelson in a Washington State Supreme Court case against her employer
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 2065431929
Fax: 2065431931
Access Restrictions

Open to all users.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

The Sandy Nelson Defense Committee was formed to support Tacoma News Tribune reporter Sandy Nelson, who sued the newspaper for demoting her after she participated in a gay rights initiative campaign. Nelson began working at the News Tribune in 1983 and was the newspaper's education reporter in 1990, when she began participating in off-hours work on a gay rights initiative that sought to prevent anti-gay discrimination in housing and employment in Tacoma. Because of her work on the initiative, Nelson was reassigned to a non-reporting job as a copy editor in 1991. The News Tribune reassigned Nelson in order to maintain its neutrality as a reporter of the news, arguing that a reporter's outside political activity compromised the newspaper's ability to independently and credibly gather and report the news.

Nelson's case against the News Tribune went before the Washington State Supreme Court in 1997. Nelson lost her case when the Court ruled that journalists are exempt from the Fair Campaign Practices Act, which prohibits employers from discriminating against employees who engage in off-duty political activities.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Press release, meeting agenda, and financial reports of the Sandy Nelson Defense Committee; photocopies of newspaper articles related to Nelson's case; and ephemera related to a talk given by Nelson at the University of Washington.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Creator's literary rights not transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

Jeremy Simer, 2001-03-26

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Discrimination in employment--Law and legislation--Washington (State)
  • Freedom of speech--Washington (State)
  • Reporters and reporting--Washington (State)
  • Women--Employment--Washington (State)

Personal Names

  • Nelson, Sandy¬†(Journalist)--Trials, litigation, etc

Corporate Names

  • Sandy Nelson Defense Committee--Archives

Form or Genre Terms

  • Records (Documents)

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Personal Papers/Corporate Records (University of Washington)