Keyword
in
Collection
Date
to
Download Folder

0 items

Houston Breakthrough 1978-02
Page 5
Citation
MLA
APA
Chicago/Turabian
Houston Breakthrough 1978-02 - Page 5. 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/2234.

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 5. 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/2234

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 5, 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/2234.

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.

URL
Embed Image
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 5
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_537e.jpg
Transcript 4Tm pleased that the mayor let us women come in here and do the fob that we can do, and there is no more restriction put on us than men. There's no difference. We were fust hired to do a fob...He doesn't give us any more orders, and he's not hovering over us to see if we >e going to goof or not. He just seems to trust us to do the fob we need to do. I can truthfully say that I have seen nothing in his attitude that makes him feel any differently toward those of us who are women/' This statement by Fleda Coats, a newly appointed administrative assistant to the Mayor, seems representative of the attitudes of executive assistants Florence Neumeyer and Marsha Wayne, as well. Neumeyer said she had ''equal pay and equal treatment." Her salary is $30,000, Coats earns $25,000 and Wayne has agreed to work for $1 a year.* All three women bring strong business backgrounds to their office-real estate (Neumeyer), construction (Coats) and corporate management (Wayne). They gave gracious and confident interviews. Yet they were wary of publicity and two of them voiced anxiety about the tape recorder. "I see tape recorders and I go ape. I see cameras and I go ape. I guess Fm fust not geared to publicity for some reason or another," Fleda Coats said. These women are not accustomed to being in the public eye, and they seemed to feel that their positions on various issues-particularly women's issues-were irrelevant to the performance of their jobs. They seemed reluctant to express opinions or take stands. Two of them have been active in conservative political campaigns, and the third (Wayne) describes herself as "apolitical/* Only one (Neumeyer) has had any contact with womens organizations through her work with the Republican Women's Clubs. What power they do have is access to information and access to the mayor. McConn says his doors will be open. If specific programs are presented to his assistants, they will be obliged to evaluate and present them to him. Now that the womens advocate office is history, Houston women and those employed by the city should contact Marsha Wayne, as one of her duties will be acting liaison with women and women s groups. In fairness to these three women, it should be noted that each has been in her position for only a-few weeks, and they all said they were still trying to find out all the things they didn't know-departments, personnel, board members, and the myriad interconnections. "Now, if you come back in three months or six months, I may be screaming my head off, but I can tell you more/* said Coats - Diana Potts three women in the mayor's office Whothey are-how they seetheir role. Interviews by Diana Potts fleda coats Whenever a disgruntled citizen calls the mayor's office to file a complaint, the person she is most likely to talk to is Fleda Coats, administrative assistant to Mayor McConn. "You'd be surprised," explained Coats, "at the number of people who, instead of going through the various departments, would rather call the mayor. When they do, it's my job to try to get back to these people, let them know that we're trying to help them, and then go to the proper departments, tell them these people need help, and then see that it gets done. And, of course, in a lot of instances it gets done very slowly. But we try." Coats seems like a person to whom diplomacy comes naturally. She has a casual, unaffected conversational style, and it is easy to imagine her calming irate citizens and convincing them that she is on their side and doing everything she can to help. It's the good old girl school of politics, and she's very skillful and direct. "The reason I wanted to start out helping is because I know so many people in Houston, and they're good people, and it's sort of a pleasure to be able to help them out. Just yesterday a lady called, and she had had sewage in her house for five days. You know, when it rains and everything just starts...Well, that woman was just nearly crazy. Now bear in mind, this might get old to me. I've only been here for a month. But it sure does give you a good pleasure, when you know some poor soul who's been mopping for five days, and you can keep on and try to get her some help^J like my job." Coats was born in Arkansas and has lived in Houston for 25 years. She spent the WWII years in Oklahoma City, but from the way she talks about Houston, you would think she had been here all her life. Much of her business background is in construction, her husband's business interest. She was the office manager of an architectural firm for a Florence Neumeyer is an executive assistant to the mayor, and her biggest job during the next two years will be serving as liaison with the Houston Independent School District. She will also be the liaison with other school districts and with intergovernmental bodies, which means she will be helping to coordinate and research any city project involving county, state, or federal collaboration. She will also be working closely with the Houston-Galveston Area Council, an organization of about 13 surrounding counties. Any one of these duties will require a tremendous amount of work, and taken together the responsibility seems staggering. Before coming to the mayor's office, Neumeyer's professional background was in real estate. She is a native Hou- stonian and a licensed realtor. Aside from her business interests, she has devoted time to church, school and political activities. "I have worked for Congressman Archer. I have worked for Senator John Tower. I have worked for the school board elections. I could just go on and on, but those would be the ones that are well-known." When asked if her real estate background would have any practical value in her present position or a direct effect on her job, she replied, "I don't think it will have any direct effect, except that I am used to dealing with contracts and people." The first major HISD project that Neumeyer will be working on is the proposed criminal justice/police science magnet school. Although during his campaign McConn described the school as a "pre-academy" for the Houston Police Academy, Neumeyer visualizes the school *Mayor McConn told Breakthrough (see page 1) that he was not interested in a "dollar a year" volunteer to fill a position similar to that held by Dr. Nikki Van Hightower. Wayne will act as a liaison with women and women s groups. Page 4 February 1978 HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH as "a good training ground for those who wish to go into criminology in any phase. It could lead into a number of careers, whether it's being a police officer, to going into law, to working perhaps in the business or administrative end of it." Neumeyer expects the magnet school tproject to be non-controversial. "This looks like a project that will come about, and it seems to be very well accepted by the community. That's one that we have great hopes for." However, since McConn has spoken of the school as a possible solution to the problem of minority recruitment on the Houston police force, there are a few questions that come to mind. Q: Don't you think that 14 or 15 is sort of an early age to be deciding to turn towards police work? Don't you think that's a decision that requires a mature judgement? A: I can put the question back to you again. Do you think that's too young for a person to decide that they want to do something in the medical field or the performing and visual arts or engineering? Continued on page 19 number of years and she has also been active in several political campaigns. "I worked for Mayor Welch all of the years that he ran, and I worked in Mr. < McConn's council race, some Congressional races, the Lt. Governor's race back when Wayne Connelly was running, and for some legislators. I've watched through the years what good people in office do for a city. Witness, we've got Houston, because we've got some real good, qualified people in that office. You can take cities that start out like Houston, and they're for all practical purposes bankrupt, and they have very high unemployment, whereas Houston was handled by competent men and this is what has resulted. It's a good city. It's made my living for all of these years and I'm real proud of it and I'll tell you I am." Given the right race, Fleda Coats could probably win some votes herself, Continued on page 19 florenee neumeyer