Advertising and Marketing
a full-service advertising agency since 1960
Helen Moore Barthelme Odell Pauline Moore
1110 Lovett Blvd., Suite 100 Houston, Texas 77006 713/521-9214
n. 1. A woman-owned business specializing
in quality graphics and printing. 2. A large
red brick house in the heart of Montrose.
- adj. Having many and varied features.
- v. Producing design, illustration, camera
work, printing and, bindery. - adv. 1. To increase the client's business manifold. 2. To
satisfy the client.
House of Coleman
901 West Alabama -Houston 77006 • (713 > 523-2521
U. S. REP. MICKEY LELAND (left) chairs the first Town Hall Meeting of
the Black/Hispanic Coalition. Other steering committee members (1 to r):
ALFREDO DUNN, JOYCE MILLER, and U.S. REP. JOHN CONYERS.
by Shirley Kowitz
It was an historic meeting. Blacks and
Hispanics met Saturday, May 5 on the
Texas Southern University campus at a
Town Hall Meeting to "bury the hatchet''
between the nation's two largest minority
groups and to form a potentially powerful political force that will improve conditions for both groups.
"We've been half-stepping. Blacks and
Hispanics have been fighting each other
for the crumbs and our people continue
to starve," U.S. Representative Mickey
Leland (D-Houston) told the audience.
The newly-formed Black/Hispanic
Democratic Coalition attracted over 300
community leaders to the all-day meeting.
"We have done something that no one
has ventured to do in the Democratic
Party by uniting two strong forces.
The first step," Leland explained, "is to
work to resolve some of our problems,
to discuss substantive issues that affect
blacks, Hispanics and all poor people
and to get grass roots support for the
The grass root support in Houston is
here if the responses from the audience
are indicative of the community at large.
Christia Adair, an 85-year-old former
executive secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of
Colored People (NAACP) during some of
the toughest years in the city's racial
history, received a standing ovation
with her statement, "I have scars on my
brain, my heart and my hands from
working for our rights. If we get together
we will no longer be a minority, we will
be a majority."
Another woman, Kathleen Rawls, said
that coalition was not a new idea. "There
were murmurings about coalition in the
60's. We must realize that brown is close
to black and it makes little difference
whether we are from the ghetto or the
"We must recognize that Hispanics
and blacks together can control this
country," State Representative Ben
Reyes of Houston said.
"Hispanics and blacks are becoming
sophisticated about how economics,
government, and the system works,"
Alfredo Duran, chair of the Florida
Democratic Party, said, "We will no
longer challenge each other."
"There's nothing like an idea whose
time has come," quoted Representative
Ron Dellums, one of the organizers of
the coalition. Dellums, from California,
gave an impassioned speech that received
a standing ovation and many cries of
"Right on" from the enthusiastic audience.
Dellums emphasized that the town hall
meetings are crucial to counteract a
current right wing analysis of America's
problems that is sweeping the country.
"What I call a Proposition 13 (California tax relief plan) mentality is being
heralded as the solution to America's
problems," Dellums said. "It says the
solution to problems lies in the government withdrawing from its obligations to
help the millions of underprivileged and
Congressional representatives believe
this is what the people want, Dellums said.
Against that background, the town meeting will express "the flip side of Proposition 13," Dellums continued.
"We need to get the attention of the
media and say, hey, human misery still
exists. We are in this together. Oppression
and unemployment know no color. This
is the time to transcend petty differences
and self-interest and see the need of the
To bring home his point, Dellums then
related an example of the importance of
public opinion in this country. He told of
a recent meeting he had attended between Soviet delegates and U.S. Representatives.
According to Dellums, the Soviets sat
on one side of the table stating strong
opinions. On the opposite side, U.S.
Representatives sat hedging their statements and saying, in effect, that they
could not get too far ahead of public
opinion because it was most important to
them to get re-elected.
"Re-election is more important to
99.9 percent of the congressmen than
matters of principal or human life on this
planet," Dellums said.
The focal point of the coalition is
the 1980 Democratic Primary, added
Rep. Leland. "Jimmy Carter has failed
to fulfill numerous promises and this time
we will make certain that Carter meets
Although a carefully structured agenda
had been prepared by members of the
steering committee, Representative Leland, who serves as co-chair of the committee, abandoned the agenda before the
morning session had ended. The many
members of the audience who came forward to speak made it evident that this
would be a town meeting in the best
tradition of America. The people had
come to be heard. They had come to tell
their representatives of their concerns.
Politicians are not leaders, he emphasized; they follow public opinion. That
is why town meetings are needed to
heighten the level of awareness in the