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Houston Breakthrough 1979-10
Page 9
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Houston Breakthrough 1979-10 - Page 9. October 1979. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. October 2, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/3084/show/3065.

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.

(October 1979). Houston Breakthrough 1979-10 - Page 9. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/3084/show/3065

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 1979-10 - Page 9, October 1979, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed October 2, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/3084/show/3065.

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 1979-10
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date October 1979
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 28 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 9
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_554ai.jpg
Transcript Members of the Harris County Democrats voted on endorsements for the upcoming city elections. "You dance with them what brung you!" This is Ross' second run for City Council. She made an impressive showing against Frank Mann in an at-large race two years ago, placing second among the five candidates. Now she's running for a seat in a new district, G. Candidate Ross has been "speaking to the issues" but the other day when she addressed the membership of Women in Action, a coalition of almost 50 community groups, she chose to share one of her battle cries with them - her "war of the words." Ross challenged the very language people have grown accustomed to hearing at City Hall over the last 142 years. On June 26, Ross spoke before the Mayor and City Council and proposed that all references in the City Charter (written in 1905) to the offices of council and council men be changed to councilmem- ber. She told the City Fathers the language was "outdated" and said it gave the implication that council positions were "for men only." "This is a disservice to the thousands of women who are taking active roles in society—not only in the home, but in schools, churches, social services, the business community and the election process." At the close of her statement she also proposed to volunteer her services, free of charge, to come to City Hall with a ladder and change the lettering over the council offices from councilmen to council members. Ross heard nothing from Council over the summer but recently picked up a copy of the "Charter Amendment Adopted at the August 11 Special Election." It called for "all references in this charter to councilmen, commissioner or alderman shall be construed to be references to council members." "I felt really good about that change," Ross said. Ross is one of 12 (four are women) seeking the District G seat, a silk stocking area that runs west from River Oaks to Memorial. It is a pretty conservative district. One of her opponents has been known to describe herself as "a lady, not a woman," when she speaks to groups in the area, particularly when speaking to men's groups. Her opponents include a progressive candidate, Jimmy Dunne, a former county coordinator for Common Cause; Christin Hartung, a former aide to County Judge Jon Lindsay; Betty Moore, owner of a nursery and primary school, and businessmen Don Hogan and Mike Kiszkiel. HCD almost endorsed Kisz- kiel, a Republican, because the screening committee felt "he was really a Democrat." Because of her good showing in the last race, Ross stands a pretty good chance to make the run-off. (See Questionnaire on District G.) Harris County Democrats and St. Rep. Lance Lalor The Harris County Democrats search out progressive candidates in their screening and endorsement meetings. Here's how their slate looks: District A—no endorsement District B-Ernest McGowen District C-Lance Lalor District D—no endorsement District E—no endorsement District F—no endorsement District G—no endorsement District H—Anne Wheeler and Dale Gorczynski District I-Ben Reyes At-large, position 1-Ginia Wright At-large, position 2-Eleanor Tinsley At-large, position 3-Olga Soliz At-large, position 4-Pat Ginther At-large, position 5-Judson Robinson To most progressive candidates, an HCD endorsement is the brass ring of politics. The membership rolls of the liberal organization usually double the night of endorsements, as candidates pack the meeting with family and friends who buy donkey cards and cast their votes. There are always the floor fights interrupted by all those heated debates on Robert's Rules of Order. That's what usually happens. That's what's expected. But this year the unexpected took place. Lance Lalor, the White Knight of Texas liberals, told the county liberals initially he didn't want their endorsement. It would hurt him in his district. Thanks, but no thanks. The group was outraged by his actions. They gave it to him anyway. Lalor, a former aide to Mayor Fred Hofheinz before serving in the Texas House, wants back into city politics. He's running in a field of 13 in the newly created District C, which includes Mon- trose-Fourth Ward (how liberal can you get?-They keep re-electing Ron Waters), the Rice University and Texas Medical Center areas, as well as the conservative enclaves of Meyerland, Post Oak Manor, and the West bury subdivisions. Breakthrough is in District C. Lalor's campaign literature which was passed out at the Harris County Democrats endorsement meeting contained a prominent quote from The Texas Observer. : "He can be counted upon to stand tall for the progressive cause." Lalor's liberal voting record is impeccable. One member of the screening committee described their mood after learning about Lalor's initial reluctance to accept HCD's endorsement: "Everybody was shocked, most said they were offended, but they were really angry. Lance would have been the unanimous choice." Instead, the committee took no action in the race until the membership meeting when Lalor was endorsed from the floor. An aide that evening said Lalor had changed his mind and would accept the endorsement. One observer said, "It looked like a set up job. In other words, if it looked like the group would be really put out, then his aide should get up and say he changed his mind. I feel we forced the endorsement on him." Another active HCD member who also served on the screening committee said Lalor made a bad political move. "Refusing the endorsement only succeeded in drawing more attention to it. This could hurt him with progressive voters," who point to Kathy Whitmire as an example of a political figure who takes all the endorsements and wins besides. Lalor also balked at the endorsement by the Gay Political Caucus this year. While Lalor is running against some conservatives and candidates with high name recognition-Geneva Kirk Brooks, head of Citizens against Pornography, Dean Goss of the dinner theatres and Barry DeBakey, son of the heart surgeon -his biggest fight will come from liberals like Morris Graves, once an aide to former U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, who almost won the HCD endorsement, and moderates like George Greanias, the Rice University professor, or John Shanahan, the smoothtalking businessman and Southwest Civic Club president, who sounds good on women's issues. "Vera Jackson, an active League of Women Voters member, really impressed our members," said Benegene Kring, chair of the HCWPC, but the Caucus endorsed Lalor based on his legislative record. (Please see Questionnaire responses for District C.) There is no doubt about it. Liberals are worried about what Lalor's up to. "Lance seems to be turning his back on those who put him in office," Pat Lane, an active member of HCD says. "Mickey (Leland) always said, 'You dance with them what brung you' and I believe that." Bob Hauge, a member of HCD's executive committee, calls Lalor "an astute politician." Astute enough, he says, "to realize that the endorsement from the HCD wouldn't help him in his race. If he felt that way, we shouldn't have endorsed him. "Secondly, if Lance is right, that speaks poorly of the HCD and the force they have to bear on an election in the southwest part of Houston. That's an indictment of HCD." Although Hauge says it is too early • to judge Lalor because he's been a good legislator and fought for many causes in the past, he admits he worries about politicians who get "weak-kneed" at election time. "Who's to say they wouldn't be weak-kneed later on in cases requiring a strong liberal stand. "It makes you suspect of a person's ability to withstand pressure ... if they're afraid of the liberal tag." It's The Gammage Syndrome. Former U.S. Rep. Bob Gammage is a classic example among Texas liberals of someone who tried to appeal to both conservatives and liberals. He lost his congressional re-election bid to Ron Paul, the arch- conservative candidate, mainly because he lost what Hauge calls the liberals' "emotional support," something progressive candidates acquire because they are outspoken and because they are seen as leading the charge. Gammage fostered and initiated various conservative issues once he got to Washington—one of them being a vain attempt to reinstate the House Un- American Activities committee. "That probably lost him as much support as any one thing he did, " said Hauge, who also serves on the state's Democratic executive committee. "Gammage taught every politician in this place a good lesson," Hauge said. "You can't desert your friends if you hope to survive." HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH OCTOBER 1979