The Louis S. Meyer papers reflect the varied consumer interests and activities Louis S. Meyer participated in from 1969-1986. His involvement in the consumer movement began as a successful businessman. With a degree in political science, he pursued a political life as a state campaign coordinator and became an expert in government and community interrelationships. With this latter expertise, Meyer became the consumer advisor and moderator for conferences held on the deregulation of the telecommunications industry.
This collection is organized into four series; 1) legislative and consumer issues, 2) organizational files of the conference of Consumer Organizations (COCO), 3) the relationship between COCO and the telecommunication industry, primarily with the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) and, 4) audio visual material.
The first series of the collection demonstrates Meyer's concern with various consumer and legislative issues, such as medical malpractice reports, health and nutrition pamphlets, transcribed lectures on children's television advertising, pamphlets on the national use of the metric system and the Universal Product Code for pricing. His interest in rural and utility legislation led to a close contact with Senator Lee Metcalf of Montana who pursued such legislative acts as the Family Farm Development Act, the National Electrical Energy Conservation Act and the Consumer Representation Plan of 1975-1976. This close contact is seen by the correspondence in the series with the Senator and the numerous Congressional Records found in the collection. In 1975, Meyer became an active member of COCO and later held numerous administrative positions with the organization.
The second series contain organizational files from COCO which includes annual and financial reports, memberships lists, and minutes from the Steering Committee from 1976-1985. In this series, there is extensive conference material the donor collected and filed in notebooks. The conference material has been removed from the notebooks and filed in folders and boxes according to its original order.
The third series contains the bulk of the collection and documents the important role COCO and Meyer played in advising AT&T on consumer/community relations during the deregulation of 1979-1986. This series is divided into five sub-series; 1) conferences on deregulation, 2) Joint Consumer Advisory Panel Meetings, 3) reports and transcribed lectures concerning telecommunications, 4) information from other telecommunications companies, 5) judicial information and government documents. Community impact conferences were held on deregulation throughout the United States in 1982-1983. Meyer monitored the conferences and compiled material from each of these conferences. This material has been kept intact and is largely made up of pamphlets, agendas and reports. COCO and AT&T organized a Joint Consumer Advisory Panel in 1975 which met on a regular basis until 1985. All correspondence, minutes and agendas have been placed in chronological order and maintained as Meyer had compiled it. The collection contains numerous reports and transcribed lectures on telecommunication legislation and deregulation from 1979-1986. The processor placed these within the third sub-series due to related content. COCO advised other telecommunication companies.
The fourth sub-series documents the advisory meetings between companies including ATTIX, NACAA, and API, Southern New England Telephone and PCC from 1980-1984. The agendas and minutes of these meetings are within this sub-series. The final sub-series contains various judicial and government documents. The judicial information describes court cases of Western Electric (1982) and the New England Telephone and Telegraph (1983). There are Federal Communication Commission hearings concerning different telecommunication topics such as customer equipment and services, AT&T regulation of domestic and interstate services, and the MTS and WATS structure inquiry. This sub-series also contains legislative acts and bills including the Communications Act of 1978, Telecommunications/ Deregulations Act of 1981 and 1982 with their respective amendments, the Disabled Act of 1982 and various unnamed bills H.R. 13015, H.R. 4102 and 4103, H.R. 5421 and H.R. 6121.
The fourth series is audio visual material and contains recordings of audio and video cassettes. The audio cassettes are 60- and 90- minute tapes of various speakers at the Food and Education Conference (1974), Erie Consumer Credit (1976), COCO Internship Conference (1976), Utility and Energy Conference (1976), the Legislative and Regulatory Process Workshops (1976), and the Consumer Protection Conference (1977). There are also recorded lectures by Meyer on subjects such as the future of rural America, the food industry and consumer protection. The video cassettes' are primarily concerned with the telecommunications industry. Some deal with public relations, others are recorded interviews, still others are speakers at a utility conference. A 30 minute 16mm film, produced by COCO, called "Keeping Up With Technology" is also found in this series.
Meyer, Louis S.