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Houston Breakthrough 1978-02
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Houston Breakthrough 1978-02 - Page 2. February 1978. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. September 30, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/2254/show/2231.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(February 1978). Houston Breakthrough 1978-02 - Page 2. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/2254/show/2231

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough 1978-02 - Page 2, February 1978, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed September 30, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/2254/show/2231.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Compound Item Description
Title Houston Breakthrough 1978-02
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date February 1978
Description Vol. 3 No. 1
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 25 page periodical
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
Original Item Location http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 2
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name femin_201109_537b.jpg
Transcript rtsy Slegel "1 will be the women's advocate and the advocate of all the people!9 Meet the Mayor By Dixie Lee Hawkins Campaigning to become "Houston's Next Great Mayor," Jim McConn promised to abolish the women's advocate position at City Hall. He kept that promise—in rather spectacular fashion. Whether he will also keep his promise to be "the women's advocate and the advocate of all the people" remains to be seen. McConn says he will. Others suspect his handling of the women's advocate situation is not overly encouraging for the future. Dr. Nikki Van Hightower came away from a post-election meeting with McConn with the impression that she would remain in his administration in some similar capacity, particularly since she was no longer an appointee of the previous mayor, but a city employee covered by civil service. Instead, on January- 6, McConn told the all-male Downtown Rotary Club that both the women's advocate position and Dr. Nikki Van Hightower would have no place in his ad- ministration-an announcement McConn had failed to make to Van Hightower. She was not officially notified of her dismissal until serveral hours after the rest of Houston had been informed. McConn's public revelation came in response to a series of questions from reporters during the luncheon panel session. "I have apologized to Dr. Van Hightower personally and publicly for the way that it came about," says McConn. (Dr. Van Hightower states that she has not received a personal apology from McConn.) "That was unfortunate, and I admit my error in doing it, but I have pledged to be very open and very honest and candid with the media. The question was asked and I really didn't see any way to dodge the question. I don't want to be dodging media questions." In an interview with Breakthrough, McConn adds he is not interested in a "dollar a year" volunteer for the position or a woman "loaned" by a company that pays her salary. Instead, the Mayor says the women's advocate post will be "absorbed" by other positions at City Hall. "We have two women executive assistants and an administrative aide who is a woman, and we're very hopeful that during our administration, throughout the various departments, we will have women at decision- and policy-making levels. I think this is a better approach to it than a single women's advocate, and let me try to explain why. "Without casting any ill light on Dr. Van Hightower, I think a single person trying to represent all of the women of Houston is going to fall short. I got a lot of feedback from a lot of women that, 'Dr. Van Hightower did not represent me.' I think that, of its natural traits, a person in that position tends to build their own position rather than to serve the needs of all of the women of Houston. "Women's needs are varied and different, depending on their own philosophies, depending on ethnic and some times religious backgrounds. So I think our approach to it makes more sense than a single women's advocate." McConn's approach appears to focus at least some attention on Executive Assistant Marsha Wayne, who holds a Master of Business Administration from Harvard and works for McConn's administration at a dollar a year. Wayne describes herself as a "liaison" with all women's groups and women in general, "not an advocate so much, but a sounding board." Wayne says part of her job is handling calls and requests that used to go to Van Hightower and briefing the Mayor on requests and issues involving women. Despite controversy over the women's advocate, McConn thinks he's been treated "very fairly" by women's groups, particularly feminists. "We've had some very serious, but I think sincere, objections to the Dr. Van Hightower matter, but that was expected. You know, as long as people are expressing their sincere belief, they have every right to do that, and I think that they've been very fair about it. I think that they have put out a challenge to Mayor McConn to 'Let's see if you're going to handle the women's problems of this city without a women's advocate.' I think we can." Q. How do you intend to do this, Mr. Mayor? A. With the inclusion of women at high positions in city government who can answer all of the women's problems, not just the feminist' problems-because if you were to take the city of Houston and say the population is divided 50-50 male and female, I suspect that among the females, it might be 50 percent feminist and 50 percent others. I don't want this office devoting all of its attention to half of the women. I don't think that's fair. Q. Did it seem to you, then, that the women's advocate position had become a feminist position? A. Yes, yes. Q. Was it controversial in symbolism, as opposed to substance? A. Yes, yes it was, in my opinion, and that's the reason it no longer exists. I don't think, for example, that a common, ordinary housewife who eiects to be a common ordinary housewife, and likes her position as a common, ordinary housewife, was at all represented by the women's advocate. I think she can be with our approach to it. Q. And the feminists? A. I think they can be, too. We don't intend to exclude feminists. They have their problems, and we want to hear what their problems are and try to address ourselves to them, but not to the exclusion of that other fifty percent, or whatever that percent is, of people who are not or do not want to be a member of the feminist movement, and there're a lot of women like that-a lot of them. Continued on page 20 HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH February 1978 Page 1