Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America

Archives related to: Rashkov, Eli, 1920-1994.

titleEli and Esther Rashkov papers, 1954-1986 [Bulk 1975-1980]
repositoryUniversity of Washington Libraries
collection titleBoxes 1 and 2 contain personal papers of Eli and Esther Rashkov, including speeches, writings and subject files relating to various civic interests not associated with any of the organizations in which the Rashkovs participated. Among these subject files is material concerning the development of Seattle area parks and the use of Forward Thrust funds. Correspondence in these papers includes letters from Mark Tobey and Guy Anderson, as well as miscellaneous information regarding Eli Rashkov’s art collection.

Boxes 2-4 contain records from Choose an Effective City Council (CHECC); the bulk of this material dates from 1977-1979 and pertains to the struggle against the Westlake redevelopment project. Also included are correspondence with city council members and other local officials, reports and subject files pertaining to issues of Seattle urban development.

Boxes 4-8 contain the records of the Citizen’s Rate Advisory Committee, the bulk of which dates from 1976 to 1980. This series includes minutes, agenda, correspondence and organizational materials of the Committee. The “Meeting Packets” series contains agenda, minutes, and various writings that were sent to members of CRAC members as preparatory material for upcoming meetings. Speeches, writings, and reports include both materials prepared by the CRAC and its members as well as those of other institutions. Much of the material pertains to Seattle electric rate issues, but all material on general energy issues, such as nuclear power and the Washington Public Power Supply System are included in this subgroup as well.

Boxes 8 and 9 contain the records of the Wallingford Community Council (WCC). The bulk of these materials dates from 1973 to 1979 and consists of subject files about issues affecting the Wallingford district of Seattle. Two of the main issues documented in the papers are use and conservation of Lake Union shoreline areas and development of the Woodland Park Zoo. Both of these subject series contain materials of the WCC and those of various organizations with which the Council allied itself when working on these projects, such as the Lake Union Coalition.

Box 9 also contains materials of three other organizations. The records of Citizens Against the R. H. Thomson (CARHT) date from 1970 to 1979 and include materials of their campaigns against the Interstate 90 extension through Seattle and for the Gas Tax Initiative 384, as well as other information on transportation issues. The series does not contain any records of the group’s original struggle against the proposed R. H. Thomson Expressway. The 43rd Legislative District Democratic Organization records document in Eli Rashkov’s involvement in local elections. The Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound series includes materials from membership meetings and a small amount of writings, organizational materials and ephemera.

The accession does not contain any organizational records of Community Research Associates, but speeches, writings and testimony were prepared by the Rashkovs as part of CRA on behalf of other organizations and can be found in the CHECC and CRAC subgroups.

Major correspondents in this accession include Councilman Tim Hill, Councilwoman Phyllis Lamphere, Seattle City Light, Charles Royer, Benella Caminiti, Mark Tobey and Guy Anderson. Major subject areas represented in the papers include Seattle civic activism, Seattle urban development, Seattle parks, the downtown Seattle Westlake development project, Seattle City Light rate policies, the Washington Public Power Supply System, the Wallingford district of Seattle, Lake Union development and use policies, and the Woodland Park Zoo.

Biographical Note
Eli Rashkov (1920-1994) and his wife, Esther Rashkov, were community activists in the Seattle, Washington area who were concerned with urban development issues.

Both were heavily involved in the political reform group Choose an Effective City Council (CHECC) in the 1970s and early 1980s. Esther was president of CHECC from 1977 to 1980, and Eli served as president in the early 1980s. CHECC intervened in a number of Seattle municipal policy issues, including the Westlake development project of the late 1970s.

The Rashkovs were also involved in the Citizen’s Rate Advisory Committee, which formed in 1978 out of concerns about the 1979 Seattle City Light rate adjustment. The Committee grew to deal with other issues relating to both City Light and general energy concerns, such as the Washington Public Power Supply System and its nuclear power policies.

In the seventies the Rashkovs were also active members of the Wallingford Community Council (WCC) and each chaired various subcommittees. Eli Rashkov did significant work concerning Lake Union shoreline issues, chairing the WCC’s Lake Union Study Committee and serving as the Council’s representative on the Executive Committee of the Lake Union Coalition. Esther Rashkov was heavily involved in the issue of the Woodland Park Zoo development plans of the 1970s.

Both Rashkovs were also members of Citizens Against the R. H. Thomson (CARHT) – a group of concerned individuals that originally formed to stop the construction of the R. H. Thomson Expressway in Seattle. In the 1970s this group also struggled against the extension of Interstate 90 through Seattle and remained involved in other transportation issues.

Esther Rashkov was a member of the board of CARHT and Eli Rashkov served as vice-chair. Esther Rashkov was president of Community Research Associates, an organization that prepared research, reports, and court exhibits on behalf of other community activist organizations. Eli Rashkov was also a member of this organization, and both he and his wife compiled many reports and speeches that were presented on behalf of CHECC and the CRAC.

Eli Rashkov helped found the Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound in 1947. Both Eli and Esther served on the District Executive Committee and Eli edited the local flyer. He was also involved in the 43rd Legislative District Democratic Organization, which worked on local electoral campaigns.

Eli Rashkov was a pharmacist by trade and owned two drugstores in Seattle. Throughout his life he maintained an interest in local artists and collected the works of Mark Tobey, Guy Anderson, Morris Graves and others.

Eli Rashkov died of cancer on August 1, 1994.
extent9.69 cubic feet (10 boxes)
formatsBusiness Papers Correspondence Financial Records Legal Papers Personal Papers
accessOpen to all users.
record link
record source
finding aidIn the repository and on the repository's Web site.
acquisition informationDonated by Esther Rashkov on May 31, 1996.
updated02/07/2020 18:20:10