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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Jo Ann Zimmerman papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1958-1995
Creator: Zimmerman, Jo Ann (1936- )
Extent: 9.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: IWA0351
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Elected to the Iowa House of Representatives in 1982 and in 1986, she became the first woman Lieutenant Governor of Iowa.

Alternate Extent Statement: 7 audiocassettes  [AC870-875, 884]
6 videocassettes [V265-V270]
Artifacts in boxes 24-27
Photographs in Box 23.

Access: The papers are open for research.

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

Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 493) were donated by Jo Ann Zimmerman in 1998.

Preferred Citation: Jo Ann Zimmerman papers, Iowa Women's Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5068
Curator: Kären Mason
Email: lib-women@uiowa.edu
Website: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/iwa

Jo Ann McIntosh Zimmerman, the first woman Lieutenant Governor of Iowa, was born on December 24, 1936, in a farmhouse in Van Buren Township of Van Buren County, Iowa. She was the oldest of three children born to Hazel and Russell McIntosh. The family lived on a subsistence farm, raising both produce and livestock.

As a teenager, Jo Ann McIntosh participated in 4-H activities, helped start the first Girl Scout troop in Keosauqua, played in the band, was active in drama, and worked as a soda fountain jerk in Keosauqua. She graduated in 1954 as valedictorian of her class from Keosauqua High School, as did her mother years before.

McIntosh entered the Broadlawns Hospital School of Nursing in Des Moines in 1954. She married Tom Zimmerman in 1956, and the couple had five children: Andy, Lisa, twins Don and Ron, and Beth. Despite family demands, Zimmerman completed her nursing degree in 1958 and in the same year became assistant head nurse of the maternity department at Broadlawns. By 1966, she was supervisor of the maternity department and in 1968 she became a maternity nursing instructor.

In the late 1960s she went back to school to earn a B.A. She moved through a series of jobs, teaching courses on marriage and family for the sociology department at Iowa State University, working as a health planner for the health policy corporation of Iowa, lobbying for health issues at the state legislature and serving on the Waukee Community School Board as Director, 1976-79, and as president, 1978-79. She also served on the Dallas County Democratic Central Committee.

In 1982, Zimmerman won the election to the Iowa House, where she was instrumental in securing passage of a bill to improve healthcare for indigent women, supported the clean air act , and was the lead sponsor of the living will act. In 1986, she ran for Lieutenant Governor of Iowa in an upset over Iowa City´s Art Small in the Democratic primary. She defeated Cedar Rapids Republican candidate Joan Lipsky by a margin of 436, 999 votes. She was the first woman in the state of Iowa to hold the position and only the second Democratic Lieutenant Governor in Iowa history to serve with a Republican governor.

As Lieutenant Governor, Zimmerman urged the removal of the figurehead Lieutenant Governor post, advocated alternative uses of agricultural products through research and development, government programs to assist the elderly, establishment of a statewide library system, improving the standardization of educational requirements and teacher training, increasing alternatives to healthcare for Iowans, and rights for women, including abortion rights and passage of the ERA.

Zimmerman ran for Governor of Iowa in 1989, attacking then-governor Terry Branstad for failing to meet with her even once in the four years of her tenure. Zimmerman withdrew her candidacy to avoid a floor fight at the Democratic convention, becoming the Lieutenant Governor candidate with Don Avenson, but the Avenson-Zimmerman team lost the election. During the 1980s farm crisis, the Zimmermans narrowly escaped losing their family farm to foreclosure.

Since then, Zimmerman has continued to advocate patients´, farmers´, and women´s rights, taking on many responsibilities for the 1992 ERA in Iowa campaign, serving as a public speaker and organizer, and continuing her work with the Democratic Party. She has also served on the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center Board of Directors, the Iowa Nurses Association Board, and has been involved in AFSCME, the FINE Educational Research Foundation and the nationwide Roundtable for Women Legislators. Her post-political career interests include education, healthcare, the elderly and human rights.

The Jo Ann Zimmerman papers date from 1958 to 1995 and measure 9 linear feet, with additional artifacts, audiocassettes and videocassettes. The papers are arranged in eight series: Biographical, Education, Nursing Career, Political Career, Political Campaigns, Post-Political Career, Photographs, and Artifacts.

The papers consist of personal and professional records from Zimmerman's nursing career, campaign and career memorabilia and brochures, as well as numerous speeches and several articles by Zimmerman. There are also newspaper clippings and correspondence from supporters and other political figures, such as former U.S. President William J. Clinton, Richard Gephardt, Thomas Harkin, and Minnette Doderer, and resource files on the issues Zimmerman supported: environmental concerns, the farm crisis, healthcare, hunger and prison issues, patient's, worker's and women's rights.

The Biographical information series (1979-1991 and undated) consists of appointment books dating from 1979 to 1990, awards, curriculum vitae, early job and scholarship applications, and the transcript of an oral history interview with Zimmerman conducted by Suzanne Schenken. The interview is indexed; it focuses on Zimmerman's legislative career, but gives some attention to her nursing career as well.

The Education series (1958-1975) consists of Zimmerman's GRE scores, copies of her college transcripts, and school research papers.

The Nursing Career series (1970-1982) includes records of her work at Broadlawns and the Iowa Health Systems agency, including records of the Health Systems Agency's attempt to prevent her run for elected office. There are also research papers finished at Iowa Lutheran and records of her trip to Rome to visit nursing facilities in 1971.

The Political Career series (1983-1990) spans her service to the Iowa Democratic Party, tenure in the Iowa House of Representatives, service as Lieutenant Governor of Iowa, and three years on the Waukee School Board. The papers consist of correspondence with supporters and with other legislators and then-Governor of Iowa, Terry Branstad, as well as newspaper clippings, files on legislation supported or opposed by Zimmerman, committees on which she served, audits, speeches, trips overseas and conferences.

The Political Campaigns series (1982-1990) includes the ERA campaign of 1992, the Campaign for Governor in 1990, the campaign for Lieutenant Governor in 1986, and the campaign for the Iowa State Legislature starting in 1982. The files include strategic plans, lists of donors and volunteers, and financial and itinerary records for the campaigns as well as records of contact with the public, correspondence, newspaper clippings, publicity efforts and memorabilia. The records of the campaign for governor include county-by-county files that contain such information as itineraries, supporters, and local issues.

The Post-Political Career series (1991-1995) highlights a few of Zimmerman's activities since leaving office: there are files on AFSCME, the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Service, the Nurse's Advisory Committee with Tom Harkin, and the Roundtable for Women Legislators, as well as resource files indicating a continued concern for human rights, health issues, education and politics.

The Photographs series (approx. 1985-1990) chronicles Zimmerman's political career. Specific photographic clusters include the 1987 gubernatorial inauguration, campaign trail, 1986 truck trek and various fundraisers.

The Artifacts series comprises name tags, nameplates, a Rolodex, and pins from Zimmerman's political career and buttons, t-shirts, and promotional pens from her political campaigns.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: BIOGRAPHICAL
Series 2: EDUCATION
Series 3: NURSING CAREER
Series 4: POLITICAL CAREER
Series 5: POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS
Series 6: POST-POLITICAL CAREER
Series 7: PHOTOGRAPHS
Series 8: ARTIFACTS

  • Series 1: BIOGRAPHICAL
  • Box 1:
  • Appointment books - 1979-1982
  • Appointment books - 1985-1988
  • Awards - 1984-2012
  • Oral history interview - 1991
  • Vitae and scholarship applications
  • Series 2: EDUCATION
  • Box 1:
  • GRE scores
  • School research papers
  • Transcript copies - 1958-1975
  • Series 3: NURSING CAREER
  • Box 1:
  • Articles and presentations
  • Box 2:
  • Broadlawns: Polk county hospital - 1967-1970
  • Conference papers - 1975-1975
  • Correspondence - 1974-1989
  • Iowa health systems agency - 1978-1982
  • Rome - 1971
  • Series 4: POLITICAL CAREER
  • Sub-Series: Iowa Democratic Party
  • Box 2:
  • Brochure - 1987
  • Gephardt for president - 1987-1990
  • Healthcare legislation committee (3 folders) - 1987-1991
  • Steering committee - 1985-1986
  • Sub-Series: Iowa House of Representatives
  • Box 2:
  • Bills (notes) - 1984
  • Correspondence - 1974-1985
  • Healthcare for indigents - 1986
  • Human resources health subcommittee - 1982-1986
  • Iowa Hospital Association - 1984
  • Newsletters - 1983-1986
  • Box 3:
  • Newspaper clippings, miscellaneous - 1985
  • Right-to-die - 1984
  • Nurse legislators - 1983-1984
  • Political action committees - 1982-1984
  • Prison inmates viewing video, "Pieces"
  • PTA health education task force - 1980-1986
  • Audiocassette: Radio address by State Representative Jo Ann Zimmerman on latest session legislation [AC873] - 1983
  • Resource files: Handbook on legislative communication
  • Resource files: Health issues - 1982-1985
  • Resource files: Women in the workplace
  • Speeches - 1983
  • Sub-Series: Lieutenant Governor
  • Box 3:
  • Article galleys
  • Articles and prepared remarks
  • Auditor's reports
  • Brochures and programs - 1987-1990
  • CAWP forum for women legislators - 1987-1989
  • CAWP Conference literature
  • Videocassette: CAWP Conference speeches, San Diego, CA [VC270] - 1987
  • Correspondence: Clinton, Bill - 1987
  • Box 4:
  • Correspondence: Congratulatory letters - 1986-1987
  • General correspondence (2 folders) - 1986-1995
  • "Strategic points to introduce/propose ideas or intercede in the Iowa legislative process," memo
  • Correspondence: Women leaders - 1987-1990
  • Election results - 1986
  • Gender neutral insurance - 1989-1990
  • Inauguration day (2 folders) - 1986-1987
  • Videocassette: Inauguration day ceremony [VC269]
  • Keynote engagements - 1987-1988
  • National conference of lieutenant governors - 1989-1990
  • Newsletter - 1988
  • Newspaper clippings: Abortion - 1989
  • Newspaper clippings: Branstad, Terry - 1987-1989
  • Box 5:
  • Newspaper clippings: Foreclosure - 1987
  • Newspaper clippings: Governor's race - 1987-1989
  • Newspaper clippings: Healthcare - 1986-1989
  • Newspaper clippings: Inauguration - 1986
  • Newspaper clippings: Living will - 1987, 1990
  • Newspaper clippings: Miscellaneous - 1986-1989
  • Newspaper clippings: Nursing - 1988-1989
  • Newspaper clippings: Women's issues - 1988-1989
  • Nurse legislators - 1987-1989
  • Office personnel - 1988-1990
  • Resource files: Abortion - 1987-1991
  • Resource files: Area business magazine article - 1987
  • Resource files: Civil rights - 1988-1990
  • Resource files: Directories - 1987-1988
  • Resource files: Education - 1979-1993
  • Resource files: Equal rights amendment - 1991-1992
  • Resource files: Family centered childbirth education association - 1973
  • Resource files: Forgotten half conference - 1990
  • Resource files: Health issues - 1984-1990
  • Box 6:
  • Resource files: Iowa health systems agency (2 folders) - 1980
  • Resource files: Libraries - 1987
  • Resource files: Rural issues - 1990
  • Resource files: Wilder, Lawrence Douglas - 1990
  • Box 7:
  • Women's issues: Conference programs - 1986-1995
  • Women's issues: Correspondence and notes - 1987-1990
  • Women's issues: Study on women's status in Iowa's workforce - 1988
  • Roast - 1990
  • Shaping the workplace Conference literature - 1988
  • Videocassette: Shaping the workplace Interview, Inside the Rotunda talk show, November [VC266] - 1988
  • Speeches: AARP conference on the status of women (notes) - 1987
  • Speeches: Action against hunger and homelessness, undated (notes)
  • Speeches: Agriculture and rural issues - 1987-1989
  • Speeches: All-university student leadership planning committee - 1988
  • Speeches: American Business Women's Association - 1993
  • Speeches: Charting a course toward excellence in education (notes) - 1987
  • Speeches: Conference of Iowa sociologists (notes) - 1988
  • Speeches: Democratic party state convention - 1986
  • Speeches: Forgotten half conference - 1990
  • Speeches: Freedoms we cherish - 1990
  • Speeches: Healthcare - 1987-1991
  • Speeches: Highway safety - 1988
  • Speeches: ICCC honor society meeting, undated (notes)
  • Speeches: I.O.W.A. - 1988
  • Speeches: JTPA conference - 1987
  • Speeches: Kantorei gala benefit concert remarks - 1990
  • Speeches: Living outside the lines, undated (notes)
  • Speeches: Looking to the future - 1987
  • Speeches: Making connections (on her visit to Taiwan) - 1988
  • Speeches: Martin Luther King Day, undated
  • Speeches: Older Iowans - 1989
  • Speeches: Opening remarks, 73rd general assembly - 1989
  • Speeches: Outlines, quotes and notes - 1974-1990
  • Speeches: Political responsibility of nurses, undated
  • Box 8:
  • Speeches: Report card on Iowa, 73rd general assembly - 1990
  • Speeches: Soviet peace walk speech - 1988
  • Speeches: Special Olympics program at Nollen Plaza - 1989
  • Speeches: State fair - 1987
  • Speeches: State of the state speech to the Senate - 1990
  • Speeches: Taking risks, undated
  • Speeches: Women in elected/appointive positions (notes) - 1988
  • Speeches: Workplace - 2000, 1988
  • State legislature - 1987-1990
  • Trip to Taiwan - 1988
  • Sub-Series: Waukee school board
  • Box 8:
  • Waukee school board - 1976-1978
  • Series 5: POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS
  • Sub-Series: ERA Iowa
  • Box 8:
  • Bylaws/articles - 1991-1992
  • Brochures/fliers - 1992
  • Correspondence (2 folders) - 1991-1994
  • Fundraising - 1992
  • Information and answers packet - 1992
  • Meeting minutes and reports - 1991-1992
  • Box 9:
  • Miscellaneous notes - 1991-1992
  • Newsletters - 1991-1992
  • Newspaper clippings (2 folders) - 1980-1993
  • Opponents - 1991-1992
  • Press releases - 1992
  • Resource file - 1980-1993
  • Speeches and literature - 1992
  • Strategic study - 1992
  • Strategy - 1991-1992
  • Survey - 1992
  • Treasurer's reports - 1992-1993
  • Volunteers - 1989-1992
  • Sub-Series: Governor, general
  • Box 9:
  • Addresses - 1989-1990
  • Box 10:
  • Analysis - 1989
  • Announcement of candidacy - 1990
  • Auction items - 1990
  • Avenson-Zimmerman (2 folders) - 1990
  • Brochures and appeals - 1988-1990
  • Committee to elect Jo Ann Zimmerman - 1988
  • Contributions - 1987-1990
  • Correspondence - 1987-1990
  • Democratic campaign manual - 1988
  • Box 11:
  • Donor lists (8 folders) - 1986-1999
  • Finances: Bank account passbooks - 1986-1990
  • Box 12:
  • Finances: Check registers (2 folders) - 1986-1990
  • Finances: Disclosure reports (3 folders) - 1986-1990
  • Box 13:
  • Finances: Receipts and bills (4 folders) - 1988-1990
  • Finances: Tax returns - 1986-1989
  • Franklin, Bonnie, reception - 1990
  • Videocassette: Interview Inside the Rotunda talk show, June [VC268] - 1989
  • Videocassette: Interview Iowa's Agenda talk show, March [VC265] - 1989
  • Newspaper clippings, September '89, March '90 - 19,891,990
  • Publicity - 1989-1990
  • University of Iowa Democrats - 1989
  • Wilder, Doug, inaugural trip - 1990
  • Women's committee - 1990
  • Sub-Series: Governor, Resource files
  • Box 13:
  • Adair
  • Adams
  • Allamakee
  • Appanoose
  • Box 14:
  • Audubon
  • Benton
  • Blackhawk
  • Boone
  • Bremer
  • Buchanen
  • Butler
  • Calhoun
  • Carroll
  • Cass
  • Cedar
  • Cerro Gordo
  • Cherokee
  • Chickasaw
  • Clarke
  • Clay
  • Clayton
  • Clinton
  • Crawford
  • Dallas
  • Box 15:
  • Davis
  • Decatur
  • Delaware
  • Des Moines
  • Dickinson
  • Dubuque
  • Emmet
  • Fayette
  • Floyd
  • Franklin
  • Fremont
  • Greene
  • Grundy
  • Guthrie
  • Hamilton
  • Hancock
  • Hardin
  • Harrison
  • Henry
  • Howard
  • Humboldt
  • Ida
  • Iowa
  • Jackson
  • Jasper
  • Jefferson
  • Box 16:
  • Johnson
  • Jones
  • Keokuk
  • Kossuth
  • Lee
  • Linn
  • Louisa
  • Lucas
  • Lyon
  • Madison
  • Mahaska
  • Marion
  • Marshall
  • Mills
  • Mitchell
  • Monona
  • Monroe
  • Box 17:
  • Montgomery
  • Muscatine
  • O'Brien
  • Osceola
  • Page
  • Palo Alto
  • Plymouth
  • Pocahontas
  • Polk: Donation Pledge Cards
  • Polk: Supporters (3 folders)
  • Pottawattamie
  • Poweshiek
  • Ringold
  • Sac
  • Box 18:
  • Scott (2 folders)
  • Shelby
  • Sioux
  • Story
  • Tama
  • Taylor
  • Union
  • Van Buren
  • Wapello
  • Warren
  • Washington
  • Wayne
  • Webster
  • Winnebago
  • Winneshiek
  • Worth
  • Woodbury
  • Wright
  • "Democratic Party: America's Team" - 1989
  • General - 1971-1990
  • Harkin campaign strategy - 1989
  • Box 19:
  • Iowa Nurses' Association - 1985
  • Iowa presidential debates - 1985
  • Presidential candidate Joseph Biden - 1987
  • Women's groups - 1989-1990
  • Sub-Series: Governor, Speeches
  • Box 19:
  • Undated
  • Audiocassette: Address to Iowa Democrats at Gene Mullin dinner with fellow gubernatorial candidates, September 24 [AC872] - 1989
  • Strategic plan for the nineties - 1988-1990
  • Sub-Series: Iowa state legislature
  • Box 19:
  • Committee to elect Jo Ann Zimmerman - 1982-1983
  • Contacts and meetings - 1982
  • Expense book - 1981-1984
  • Finance disclosure reports - 1982-1986
  • Newspaper clippings - 1982-1985, 1990
  • Audiocassette: Radio spot for re-election of Representative Jo Ann Zimmerman [AC874]
  • Strategy - 1978-1984
  • Sub-Series: Lieutenant governor
  • Box 20:
  • Audiocassette: Radio ad spot [AC875]
  • Videocassette: Television ad spot, [VC267]
  • Campaign materials - 1986
  • Correspondence - 1986-1990
  • Audiocassettes: Debate with Joan Lipsky [AC870-AC871] - 1986
  • Debate notes - 1986
  • Federal quarterly taxes - 1986
  • Financial Contributions - 1986
  • Financial Disclosure documents - 1986
  • History of campaign - 1982-1987
  • Inaugural - 1987
  • Interview transcript - 1986
  • Iowa Woman article - 1986
  • Itinerary (2 folders) - 1986
  • Box 21:
  • Newspaper clippings - 1982-1987
  • Postcard mailing list - 1986
  • Strategic plans - 1982-1990
  • Polk county volunteers - 1986
  • Volunteers - 1989
  • Volunteers (2 folders) - 1990
  • Series 6: POST-POLITICAL CAREER
  • Box 21:
  • Correspondence - 1993-1995
  • Des Moines pastoral counseling board - 1991-1992
  • Democratic activist women's network - 1993
  • ERA - 1992
  • FINE educational research foundation - 1992
  • Iowa Nurses' Association - 1992
  • Newspaper clippings - 1993
  • Nurses' Advisory Committee - 1992
  • Box 22:
  • Democratic party resource files - 1993
  • Education resource files - 1995
  • Elder Americans resource files - 1991
  • Health resource files - 1993
  • Human rights resource files - 1993
  • Roundtable for women legislators - 1992
  • Speech honoring Minnette Dodorer - 1992
  • Series 7: PHOTOGRAPHS
  • Box 23:
  • AARP - 1985
  • Bloomfield - 1987
  • Campaigning: Governor - 1990
  • Campaigning: Lieutenant Governor - 1986
  • Council Bluffs - 1987
  • ERA committee - 1992
  • Filing for Lieutenant Governor - 1986
  • Inauguration - 1987
  • Iowa State fair - 1989
  • Jester Park - 1986
  • Lieutenant Governor's conference - 1988
  • Miscellaneous (8 folders) - 1974-1996
  • Mississippi valley girl scouts dinner - 1988
  • Montauk - 1990
  • On the road - 1990
  • Red baron fundraiser - 1988
  • Seminar/fundraiser for Senator Bob Kerry - 1988
  • Truck trek - 1986
  • Yamanashi prefecture, Japanese guests - 1990
  • Series 8: ARTIFACTS
  • Box 24:
  • Miscellaneous campaign buttons
  • Nameplate
  • 10 Nametags
  • Pins: ERA - 1992
  • Pins: Federation of Iowa women's clubs
  • Pins: Iowa representative
  • Pins: National conference of lieutenant governors (3)
  • Pins: Operation lifesaver
  • Pins: S-3
  • Pins: Work 2000 - 2000
  • 4 promotional pens
  • Box 25:
  • Rolodex
  • Box 26:
  • Jo Ann Zimmerman ceramic servers (2)
  • Box 27:
  • ERA bumper sticker
  • Lieutenant governor campaign napkins (2)
  • Lieutenant governor campaign t-shirts (2)
  • Nameplate from Iowa House of Representatives

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.


Geographic Names:
United States -- Iowa -- Des Moines
United States -- Iowa

Browse:
Women, Politics and the Law