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Houston Breakthrough 1980-07 - 1980-08
Pages 16 and 17
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Houston Breakthrough 1980-07 - 1980-08 - Pages 16 and 17. July 1980 - August 1980. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. April 20, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/286/show/272.

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.

(July 1980 - August 1980). Houston Breakthrough 1980-07 - 1980-08 - Pages 16 and 17. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/286/show/272

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 1980-07 - 1980-08 - Pages 16 and 17, July 1980 - August 1980, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed April 20, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/286/show/272.

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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Title Houston Breakthrough 1980-07 - 1980-08
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date July 1980 - August 1980
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 33 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 Pages 16 and 17
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_562ao.jpg
Transcript A NEW PARTY People's needs versus corporate demands .BY VICTORIA SMIT H La Donna Harris is running as the vice-presidential candidate on the Citizens Party ticket with presidential aspirant Barry Commoner. La Donna Harris is a Comanche Indian and national president of Americans for Indian Opportunity. Her husband, former US Senator Fred Harris of Oklahoma, once ran as the populist candidate for president. This year LaDonna Harris is running as a vice-presidential candidate on the Citizens Party ticket with presidential aspirant Barry Commoner. Her support for the Citizens Party stems from her observation that the two established parties aren't addressing human needs. ". . . I just wonder how some people can come to see it—the need for change, and the ways to effect necessary changes—and other people can't." She sees an imminent danger in the corporate control in our economy because "multi-national corporations . . . have no loyalty to a community, no loyalty to a government . . ."In this country, decisions about economic policy are made so that large corporations may continue to "enjoy a 200 percent annual increase in Victoria Smith is a freelance writer and former co-editor of Space City News. 16 profits, while the smaller companies are going under, and people are getting laid off," she says. Harris regards the Citizens Party as "a chance to help build toward a [new] permanent party," one that is not merely a splinter group of the established party system, but rather one that is effectual and concerned with addressing the current problems faced by individuals in this society. Harris was in Houston recently for an organizational meeting, and Victoria Smith interviewed her. Also present was photographer David Crossley, who joins the interview toward the end. Victoria Smith: You've been active in Democratic Party politics for some time now, but not as a candidate yourself. How did you become the Citizens Party's vice presidential candidate? LaDonna Harris: I had been following the party's activities since it was first formed, but rather from a distance. In fact, Americans for Indian Opportunity was advised that the Citizens Party might be an alter native for minority people, like Indian people, and that we should take a look at it. So, I had been saying that Dr. Commoner was my candidate all along, and then a few months ago, he called me and said, "Would you be interested in running as my vice presidential candidate on the Citizens Party ticket?" I thought about it for several days, talked it over with Fred, and decided it was the right thing to do. I think one of the reasons I was chosen is that having a minority woman as a national candidate lays some important groundwork. It's like with blacks. When the public becomes accustomed to seeing blacks running for public office, and winning, it becomes an acceptable thing. I think the Citizens Party will make a major contribution here for minority women. What we hope to do in the Citizens Party is to offer a real, legitimate alternative to the two major existing parties, perhaps even replacing one of them. Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are speaking to the central economic issue of the day—that is, corporate control of our economy. As you know, Fred ran in 1976 as a populist candidate, and tried to get the debate going on these issues within the Democratic Party. Some Democrats picked up on bits and pieces of Fred's position, but basically, he was a little ahead of his time. But we think the time has come to establish a third party—a new party—so people have a genuine option when they step into the voting booth. The immediate goal of the Citizens Party is to get on the ballots in 10 states and get five percent of the total vote in the general election in November. We're working toward qualifying in 35 states, to insure that five percent. Then we can get some funds from the Federal Election Committee and be recognized as a permanent party. And we'll be working throughout the eighties to get our candidates elected in local, state and national races. VS: Where do you think your support lies among the electorate? LH: While we're counting on a broad HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH base of support, the people we're really appealing to are those who aren't participating, who may not even vote, since they're so disillusioned with what the two main parties have to offer. You know, some two-thirds of the 75 million Americans who became eligible to vote since 1960 have never even registered! People are angry, dissatisfied, and that's a large part of the apathy we're seeing in Election Year 1980. The polls are indicating that people think "none of the above" are appropriate. The people may not know the answers, but I think they know that the solutions the major candidates are offering are not the solutions needed for this day and time, the decade of the eighties. We've got to come up with some new ideas! VS: I know the Citizens Party has quite a few new ideas, but first, can you give us an outline of the party's analysis of American society today? LH: Of course, we're strong environmentalists—no more building or contin- JULY/AUGUST uation of nuclear plants. We want immediate development of solar and other renewable energy sources. We are firm on the economic issues, and this is key to our analysis—corporate control of the economy leads to political control. Economic decisions—what we produce, how we produce it, what kind of. cars we build, where we drill for oil— these decisions are not being made in the national interest. They're being made in the immediate interests of the big corporations, to increase their profits. These corporations indirectly, as it were, make certain decisions that directly affect our lives, like the decision to import foreign oil. I mean "indirectly" in the sense that corporate heads are certainly not sitting down and plotting ways to ruin the economy! But their decisions have nonetheless resulted in all sorts of demoralizing economic problems. Of course, we, the taxpayers, don't get to vote on crucial decisions—like whether Chrysler will build gas guzzlers— but we end up footing the bill. Now the government is doing away with all our social programs, all the social service programs, they're all just going out the window, because the economy is in bad shape and that's the first place you cut. And yet, we're still giving tax benefits to the big corporations, we're giving big loans to Chrysler. So, the Citizens Party is saying, for instance, an oil company cannot have horizontal integration, where it can be in control from the oil well pump to the car, because that means it has control of every aspect of the entire petroleum industry and our whole energy system. And not only do these corporations have control over the petroleum industry, they have it over uranium, over copper, they have a monopoly on the nuclear power end of economy, too. All this has a very direct effect on our day-to-day lives—we're all dependent on these companies for the energy that is supposed to run the economy. So not only do we pay tremendous prices for fuel, to heat our houses and run our cars, but we pay rising prices at the market because the food industry, to bring those grapefruits and garbanzos to the market, has to pay the same high fuel costs. And there are people now who are having to trade off medicines for fuel or even food. You practically have to decide whether you're going to feed yourself or your car! It's especially difficult for people on fixed incomes. And yet the major candidates aren't addressing human misery, they're talking about balancing the budget, which will take care of only about two percent of inflation. Instead of making some relatively small cuts in defense spending, they're doing away with all the programs which have subsidized some people's lives, giving them some of the services they need and deserve as American citizens. No one active in the established parties, not even Kennedy, seems willing to tackle the key question: Shall we govern the instruments of production in America in our interest—the national interest- or in the interest of the people who happen to own the capital and make the profits? VS: What do you propose to get us out 17