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Houston Breakthrough 1980-07 - 1980-08
Page 18
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Houston Breakthrough 1980-07 - 1980-08 - Page 18. July 1980 - August 1980. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. October 22, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/286/show/273.

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 - Page 18. 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/273

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 - Page 18, July 1980 - August 1980, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed October 22, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/286/show/273.

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 Page 18
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_562ap.jpg
Transcript "The time has come to move beyond protest and to begin the work of taking power!" This challenge, first issued by environmental scientist Barry Commoner at a spring rally in Los Angeles, has become the battlecry for the ten-month old Citizens Party. The Party, now claiming more than 4,000 dues-paying members, openly ex- pouses "half-socialist" yet respectably populist politics. The immediate goal: to win presidential nominee Commoner and vice presidential candidate Ladonna Harris a place on the November ballot in 10 to 35 states and to garner at least five percent of the national vote. The five percent would qualify the Citizens Party for federal election funds, to meet expenses for future national, state and local campaigns. Unlike the one-shot independent candidacy of Rep. John Anderson, the Citizens Party aims for a genuine political party for the eighties and beyond. In brief, the Citizens Party advocates: Public control of the energy industries A swift halt to nuclear power A strong push for conservation and solar energy An immediate, sharp reversal in the rate of military spending Vigorous support for human rights at home and abroad A guaranteed job for everyone who wants to work Stable prices for the basic necessities (food, fuel, housing and medical care) Limitations of the political and economic influence of corporations. Here's a closer examination of these issues, drawn from the Citizens Party Platform. "The commanding heights of the American economy are occupied by giant corporations whose grip on the nation's economic and political life has brought our society to the verge of national crisis," according to the platform preamble. The Party aims for an economic democracy in which workers and consumers exercise democratic control over the economic decisions. Inflation is the most serious problem in America today, says the platform. It outlines some possible solutions. Instead of heavy national spending on "uneconomic military programs," the Citizens Party would reduce the military budget. "Many of the current and proposed defense expenditures." the Party says, "do nothing to improve the real defense capacity of the country, but instead insure profits for certain American corporations." The Party recommends imposing an immediate freeze on prices, profits, interest rates and rents and restructuring industries such as food, energy, housing, medical care and finance to fight inflation. The system of industry based on nonrenewable energy resources would give way to development and use of renewable energy resources. Credit and money expansion would be seriously cut back. With these measures, inflation could be halted and full employment achieved. The Party thinks that income maintenance could be preserved by a negative Jacqueline Neider is a freelance writer and student at Rice University. BY JACQUELMtE L. ft EIDER income tax and a progressive value added tax, replacing Social Security taxes. Key to Citizens Party anti-monoply, decentralist ideology is the control of "irresponsible [larger] corporations" which would be controlled by elected/ appointed directors, developed from cooperative, small business and community firm organization. The Citizens Party plans to supplant U.S. dependence on oil and nuclear energy with "solar, photovoltaic, geother- mal, wind turbine, low-head hydro and other sources of renewable energy." Commoner sees federal money developing energy sources and neighborhood cogen- erator plants and waste energy recapturing facilities. The photovoltaic cell industry, he says, is ready for the same sudden increase in technology and decrease in cost as the integrated-circuit industry (mother of the pocket calculator) has just experienced. Federal programs will promote recycling and increased use of alcohol and methane fuels. The Party intends to rebuild the national railroad system as well as vastly increase the number of bicycle trails. The Citizens Party opposes U.S. intervention in the internal affairs of other countries as well as economic exploitation of Third World countries. "Covert activities and espionage should be abolished," the platform states, and "the CIA and all other intelligence agencies must be rigorously overseen by Congress." Relations with Cuba and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam should be peaceful, and "the right of the State of Israel to exist is not only a fundamental prerequisite to lasting peace, but a matter of human justice." The Citizens Party condemns the taking of the hostages in Iran but believes "the assets of the Shah should be collected and returned to the people of Iran." Further, "the United States should freely acknowledge [their] involvement" in Iran. The Party calls for "a genuine peace, not merely the absence of war" in the world, and opposes "compulsory national service for both men and women." Deploring the "high-priced synthetic and chemically-adulterated foods" produced by profit-motivated corporate agribusinesses the Party favors "a coalition of farmers, workers and consumers, motivated by legitimate self-interest, to demand a major role in determining how our food is produced and who will control the land." Along these lines, the Party would establish a "national food and nutrition policy that includes comprehensive programs designed to meet interests of consumer nutrition, education and research rather than agribusiness." The Citizens Party supports the establishment of a national health service that stresses preventive care. "The United States desperately needs a comprehensive urban policy," the platform reads, and the Party supports "a national context for the presently random development of cities." Another goal is to improve the quality of public education and to challenge racism within the educational system. "The overwhelming majority of poor people prefer a job to welfare," and the Party would set policies "to increase cash grant levels to a federally-defined minimum standard higher than the present, inadequate poverty line." The Citizens Party wants "to create an open, non-sexist, non-racist society in which all people will be free to develop to their full potential." A third of the Party's platform consists of statements supporting civil rights. The Party seeks better distribution of quality child care facilities; it advocates federal funding for abortion; and it supports the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. It promises to pursue "the just and equitable redistribution of wealth and power in this country, insuring that the lives of Black Americans reflect this redistribution." In areas of high Hispanic concentration, the Party "supports bilingual, bicultural education, and the publication of government documents in both Spanish and English." The Party means to insure freedom of choice in sexual expression, to repeal laws "covering private sexual conduct between consenting adults," and to eliminate "biased attitudes against gay men and lesbians wftich occur in public programs, including public schools." The Citizens Party wants guarantees of full participation in the social, political and economic life for the disabled and elderly. The threat of overpopulation should be dealt with through availability and use of contraception, voluntary sterilization, and abortion; economic incentives for the small or childless family and "a re-education program" would emphasize "our moral obligations to future generations." Third parties do not have an impressive track record in this country, especially with increasingly restrictive federal election laws. Commoner points out that in the 1850s the Republicans replaced the Wu'gs in six years and he thinks the situation today is "closely parallel." He has remarked, "I know it's a long way from Lincoln to Ronnie Reagan," but some might add that it's a long way from Lincoln to Barry Commoner, the latter's obvious sincerity and formidable expertise notwithstanding. True, vast numbers of voters are disgusted with the presidential "choices" offered in Election Year 1980, and both Anderson and the Citizens Party are zooming in on that wide-spread apathy. But, as the Texas Observer (June 6, 1980) points out, "the presumably populist Citizens Party has painted itself into an even more limited corner than a mid- western Republican like John Anderson. Anderson may be able to sop up some Ripon Republicans or Texas Monthly Democrats, but the Citizens Party can't seem to expand beyond the ranks of bean-sprout liberals." The Party's $18.00 membership fee alone contributes to a certain elite ambience. Internal splits that developed during the founding convention in Cleveland last year resulted in an unfortunate walk-out by key minority group members. Such an action hardly enhances the credibility of a strong civil rights platform. The Party is counting on heavy support from some 50 million Americans who became eligible to vote since 1960 but who have never registered. of this seemingly hopeless mess? Specifically, what does the Citizens Party propose as a realistic alternative to the present socio-economic situation? LH: Let me say first, it's not hopeless. A mess, yes, but not a hopeless one. Human beings created it and human beings can certainly figure a way out. For one thing, we're proposing that the large corporations pay their fair share of taxes, to equalize the tax burden. There are different ways of "balancing the budget." Do you take away social programs or do you get new monies into the economy? Also, are you trading off necessary social programs for unnecessary expenditures on armaments? Spending large portions of the budget on more arms is a deadend. This doesn't produce on-going jobs for people. Once they're built, those weapons just sit out there in some national guard parking lot or some military base. Then, what about the plants that are closing down. Well, take the steel plants. Here are a few major corporations, they have a monopoly on the industry, and they have failed to modernize. So they can't compete with Germany and Japan, whose steel industries have modernized. Because their profits aren't high enough to compete with the importers, our big steel industry is closing down shops. Consequently, thousands of steel workers are out of jobs. And the situation is the same in the auto industry. There are some workers in Pennsylvania who have suggested that they would like to take over the steel plant there, modernize it, and compete. But they would have to do it with a large government loan. So we're suggesting that those plants—especially the auto and steel plants that are becoming obsolete—be refurbished as a major investment to produce solar, and other renewable, recyclable energies. You could produce alcohol tanks, you could make solar energy and make it cheaper and more available—there are many things we could do to get us off this treadmill of being so dependent on petroleum. We're not suggesting that the auto and steel industries be shut down entirely. But those companies have to be made competitive. You see, through government subsidies, big companies like U.S. Steel and Ford have a monopoly on the industries. Rather than let them produce something that's not sellable—like big cars, and that's what these corporations are set up to do—we transform them into producing things that are useful, and back them up with large government-guaranteed loans that allow a community effort. For instance, say a steel plant in St. Louis shuts down. This could be a disaster to that community, since employment there is so dependent on the plant. But we think the government can loan funds to run it, and to build the streets, schools, housing themselves when the industry pulls out. Some of these companies are going to leave the United States. Once they've gotten all the profit they can here, they're going to some other country to get the larger profit. And there's nothing wrong with profit, but they ought to feel some obligation to the community that helped build that company. The government should have said at one point, if a company is in the production end, it cannot be in the market end, or it can't be in the delivery end. You could have at least three different categories and also allow people ownership possibilities. Now, you have to be a multi-national corporation in order to own something that big, and these corporations have no loyalty to the community, no loyalty to a government anymore. They don't care if a whole community falls on its face, they don't have to feel any responsibility— those oil magnates really don't seem to 18 HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH