Scope and arrangement
The NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign records are arranged in five series:
- 1974-19874 boxes
This series documents roughly the first decade of the Campaign's existence. Its compiler is unknown. It consists of internal and external correspondence, press releases, flyers, notes and photographs. Most of the topics covered within it can be found in other series as well; see notes in the box list for references to other portions of the collection. Topics that receive significant coverage include transit fares and MTA finances, MTA management, crime and police issues, and safety issues, particularly the fire hazards of PVC piping in subway tunnels. The papers also document the origins of the MTA's Office of the Inspector General. The Campaign's earliest press releases and correspondence, dating from shortly after the Campaign's founding in 1979, are in box 2, folder 4. Papers in this series dating from before the founding of the Campaign are of unknown origin.
- 1989-19952 boxes
This series gathers outgoing Campaign correspondence, press releases and public hearing testimony in chronological sequence. All the material is duplicated elsewhere in the collection within specific topics. These papers were kept in loose-leaf binders. The time period it covers included several important anti-fare hike and service cut campaigns, particularly those in 1991 and 1994-1995. The earliest files (1989-1991) were divided topically in the binder into issues and fundraising, but the remainder had no topical headings. This series is useful mainly as a window on to the daily activity of the Campaign during the early 1990s and reveals the extent to which multiple issues and projects were handled simultaneously.
- 1985-1994 and undated5 boxes
These papers came from the office of Martin Brennan, the Organizing Director for NYPIRG in the late 1980s and early 1990s. They consist of correspondence, press releases, flyers, MTA literature and reports, and notes. Major Straphangers Campaign-related subjects documented include Federal funding for the MTA (the Intermodal Surface Transportation Act of 1991, or ISTEA), advertising in the subway, MTA issues such as Board appointees, public communication, and the Fare Deal proposal of 1992, and Straphangers Campaign internal correspondence and strategy. The series also documents several non-Straphangers Campaign NYPIRG projects. These include campaign finance, NYPIRG campus activities and student training, and New York state election district profiles. More information on most if not all of the subjects in this series can be found in other series; see notes in the box list for references.
- 1962-1991 and undated7.5 boxes
These files were compiled by Joseph Rappaport, who was the Coordinator of the Straphangers Campaign from the early-1980s until the late 1990s. They consist of correspondence, press releases, flyers, public hearing testimony, occasional clippings, MTA literature and reports, notes and photographs. The largest portion of the series covers various issues regarding the subway system: lines and stations, the Straphangers Campaign State of the Subways surveys, subway announcements, free speech in the system, newsstands in stations (including photographs), automatic fare collection, and other subjects. There is also documentation of several MTA bus issues, as well as a set of "complaint letters" (letters sent by citizens to the MTA (some with responses), with copies sent to the Campaign; more such letters are in Series III and subseries V.D). Three Straphangers Campaign protest events from the mid-1980s are covered, as are the minutes from several years' worth of Campaign meetings. The earliest papers in this series, dating from 1962 and 1963, are correspondence between Charles Treuhold and the MTA regarding the planned Second Avenue subway line. It is not known how these letters came to be in the Rappaport Files.
- 1969-200735.5 boxes and electronic records