Bette Graham White
public relations consultant and former
candidate, has formally filed as a candidate for mayor of
Houston. "I propose
to lead city government, not be swept
along by events,"
says White, "Houston needs leadership,
White is a founder of The Fourth Ward
Clinic and an organizer of The Hunger
Project. She has a master's degree in
theology and religious education.
Her three-point platform includes:
1) efficient city management, 2) a responsible spending program to address
tax pressures and 3) accountability.
Judith McCandless Rooney has been appointed Associate Curator of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Rooney had been a staff member at
the Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute,
Pittsburgh since 1976, most recently as
Assistant Curator of Painting and Sculpture.
Rooney will coordinate the Museum's forthcoming handbook of its permanent collection and will have curatorial
responsibilities in her fields of interest,
nineteenth and twentieth century art.
I Ralph Waite , star of
I the TV series, The
Waltons, has donated $25,000 towards
a facility for the
Houston Area Women's Center, to be
named for his late
sister, Joan Waite
funds for the facility will be raised by the
Joan Waite Hanlon Houston Area Women's Center Foundation, of which Waite
is the founding member (see story p. 17).
Shere Hite , author
I of The Hite Report,
is suing the McMillan
I for allegedly with-
! holding about
$780,000 in royal-
| ties on her book.
Hite charges that in
1975, when she
m signed her agreement
with McMillan, she was induced to sign
a limitation clause holding her earnings
to $25,000 a year, supposedly for tax
She says although the book has since
earned over $875,000, she has received
only $75,000 plus the $25,000 advance.
She received nothing from the $800,000
paperback rights sale in 1977 although
her agreement entitled her to $400,000.
Hite used no agent or attorney to
negotiate the McMillan agreement. She
said she was not told she would earn
no interest on funds held under the
Hite says it will take 32 years to get
the royalties owed her now, and the
book is still selling well worldwide.
She says McMillan has not put her money
in escrow and is profiting from using it.
Hite wants the limitation clause voided
and her earnings now held, plus interest,
plus the profits McMillan has made on
her money and a million dollars in
punitive damages, saying the company
"willfully, wantonly, and maliciously
violated its obligations and duties" to her
by using her money.
McMillan has no comment. Irwin
Karp, counsel for the Authors League of
America, says changes in tax laws made
the limitation clause useless well before
the agreement was made.
In an interview, Hite said, "It's a tax-
free, interest-free, eternal loan. Here I
am—me—who had to borrow money from
my editor's doorman to write the book,
propping up this stupid company."
| Jane Fonda , fresh
from her campaign
against the nuclear
power industry, has
chosen her next issue: the pay and
of the millions of
female clerical workers throughout the
The presence of the actress at a secretaries' rally in San Francisco drew a
crowd of 7,000 and her new film, a
comedy to be called Nine to Five, will
undoubtedly reach millions with its
low-key message calling secretaries and
clerical workers to arms.
Up to now, few companies have had
to worry much about discontent among
office workers. But in recent months
there have been unmistakable stirrings
in this traditionally unorganized and
docile work force. The signs of the new
militancy include the following: l)or-
ganization by the Teamsters Union of
1,900 clerical workers at the University
of Chicago, and 2)moves by the Communications Workers of America to organize female clerical workers through
existing organizations of working women.
The union is also planning to raise the
issue of equal pay for comparable work in
1980 contract negotiations with the Bell
system. An attempt will be made to bring
pay in traditionally female clerical jobs
into line with salaries for male janitors
The issues for clerical workers are the
same as those that have always prompted
employees to band together, with salaries
heading the list of grievances. The average
pay for all clerical workers is $8,128 a
year, only slightly above the current
poverty threshold of $6,800 for a non-
farm family of four. A worker with two
children earning $130 a week is eligible
for food stamps, although entry-level
salaries for clerks, receptionists and typists in most industries are below this
level. "We feel that a full-time worker
should make more than a subsistence
wage," says Ellen Cassidy, staff director of a Boston organization called
9 to 5.
Women clerical workers are also concerned about the lack of opportunities
for promotion and the galling nonprofessional demands of some male bosses.
At meetings during National Secretaries
Week in April, secretaries complained of
employers who, among other things,
asked them to clean their dentures and
to sew up their trousers—while the latter
were still on.
One of the most innovative attempts
to reach clerical workers has been organized by a national network of 13 organizations, loosely affiliated as the National
Association of Working Women, with a
total membership of only about 8,000.
But they have been able to challenge
a number of carefully chosen employers
on such issues as equal pay and promotions, partly by petitioning federal and
state authorities to enforce existing equal
Representatives of the women's groups
concede, however, that there are limits
to what can be accomplished without the
legal right to bargain and to win an enforceable contract, as in union contracts.
Maria de Lourdes Pintassilgo has been
asked by Portugal's president to form a
government and become Portugal's first
woman prime minister and the second
A chemical engineer by profession,
Pintassilgo is Portugal's ambassador to the
United Nations Educational, Scientific
and Cultural Organization. She has
served as Portugal's minister of social
affairs and studied women's affairs for
the government. She has been active at
the top level of international Roman
Pintassilgo will not be forming a government as a party leader. Her task is to
form an interim government to prepare
for autumn elections.
The only remaining
of Judy Chicago 's
art work, The Dinner Party, after its
premiere at the San
&^rNw*i&^*i2 °f Modern Art
1 (SFMMA), has been
cancelled. A terse
press release from
the University of Rochester's Memorial
Art Gallery (June 20) cited "conflicts of
policy concerning programming and fund-
raising by the artist and problems of
financing the exhibition after cost estimates had increased dramatically over
The Dinner Party, a multimedia collaboration of 200 women to Chicago's
designs, broke records at the SFMMA
where it opened in March. Over 10,000
people attended the opening weekend.
90,000 saw it during the three-month
exhibit. The Museum took in over
$58,000, recouping all its costs for the
show, an unusual phenomenon even for
the most prestigious shows.
Henry Hopkins, director of SFMMA
said it was "bizarre that it is not going
on to other museums." He has been
active since the Seattle and Rochester
cancellations trying to set up another
exhibition; "there is some hope Brooklyn
Museum will take it," he said. Brooklyn
Museum director Michael Botwinick said
last week, "We are interested. We just
found out the show was available, and
a quiet, small, hopeful examination of
the prospects is going on."
The Dinner Party had been scheduled
in Seattle for late July through September, but was cancelled, according to
Charles Cowles, curator of modern art
at the Modern Art Pavillion of the Seattle
Art Museum, because of lack of space.
The Rochester cancellation was an
unexpected blow, said Diane Gelon,
Chicago's project coordinator. "We had
had an informal written agreement for
more than a year. Some costs were increasing, because of inflation, but everything seemed to be working out."
Rochester's Memorial Art Gallery's
acting director Bruce Chambers said,
"True, we were just details apart, but
I basically felt we would never get together. There was no point in resuming
talks." According to Chambers, Rochester has just announced the cancellation
there, and letters expressing disappointment are beginning to come in.
Marleah Drexler Mac-
Dougal a fiber artist
I D.C, has moved her
studio to 11685
I Alief Road, No. 7 in
j Houston. MacDougal
has worked in the
J Textile Department
I of the Smithsonian
j Institution and studied feltmaking in
Turkey, Afghanistan and India. She has
a master's degree in textiles and related
arts and has taught in two California
Professionally Yours Executive Search
Consultants, the first firm in Houston
to specialize in placing professional
women, have opened new offices at
2640 Fountainview, announced owner
UTeG Barter Associates is a group of
people joining together to fight inflation by exchanging services and merchandise.
Members exchange their professional
services, trades, or talents. Annual membership ($50) gives immediate access to
services rendered by UTeG members up
to that amount. A member who normally
charges $25 per hour and works two
hours on another member's request will
be credited $50. No money changes
hands. Merchants receive full retail value
for merchandise bartered to members.
Each month, UTeG will send out an
updated list of members and their professions or trades. Work vouchers will be
supplied for transactions. Members also
receive a monthly statement of credits
For information call T. J. Kay at
729-5972 or write UTeG Associates,
10913 Chimney Rock, Houston, Tx.
Send information for this column to
Newsmakers, Houston Breakthrough,
P. O. Box 88072, Houston, TX 77004.