Elections Grassroots Strategies for Change (1984)

Excerpt from cover story:

When a million people march for peace, when an overwhelming majority of Americans favor equal rights for women, when most people cherish the environment — but still the government's policies put property rights over human rights, we need to rethink our strategy for change.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan won the presidency, capping a decade-long slide to the right in American politics. The Senate went Republican and the House, never a progressive stronghold, offered only a sanitized Democratic version of the policies of the president. In state after state, city after city, similar patterns were repeated. Not only was the White House out of reach, but local officials became less and less responsive, both in their own views and because they had fewer resources themselves with which to bargain. As the Right organized and as the economy moved into depression, pressure politics Sixties-style — marches, sit-ins, occupations, even door-to-door nitty-gritty organizing — lessened and produced fewer and fewer gains.

Therein lies a personal conversion. I got tired of losing.

Today, we need to unite protest politics and our organizing around specific issues with the single mechanism provided for Americans to choose who will make a great number of the social, economic, and political decisions affecting their lives. Elections, lobbying, and disciplined political organizing are not a complete recipe for progressive change, but these are skills and techniques we must master and use if we are serious about changing who controls this nation. We must not only begin to pressure the people in power, but become the people in power.

Table of Contents

Elections: Grassroots Strategies for Change

  • 9    GRASSROOTS STRATEGIES FOR CHANGE
    • An introduction, by Marc Miller
  • 12    POLITICS MAKES A DIFFERENCE
    • A call for a new movement, by Julian Bond
  • 15    THE SOUTH IN CONGRESS
    • Southern Exposure rates the South in Congress, by Bob Hall and Lorisa Seibel
  • 20    THE PARADOX OF REFORM
    • Black politics and the Democratic Party, by Manning Mara ble
  • 26    NARAL'S NEW WAY
    • Women in politics, by Valerie Rosenquist
  • 32    TEN YEARS IN OFFICE
    • Bennie Thompson of Bolton, Mississippi, by Frederic C. Cooper
  • 35    WORKER IN THE SENATE
    • Danny Corbett of the Communication Workers of America, by Gail Miller
  • 37    WOMAN IN THE SENATE
    • Sondra Lucht, NOW state president, by Kathleen Cullinan
  • 39    THE SCHOOL BOARD
    • Leon Crump of Cheraw, South Carolina, by Tema Okun
  • 41    PLANTING SEEDS
    • The Voter Education Project, by Bill Cutler
  • 46    542 CAMPAIGNS
    • The Southwest Voter Registration and Education Project, by Willie Velasquez
  • 49    SOUTH TEXAS POLITICS
    • Mexican-American voters take power in McAllen Texas, by Kenneth Bain and Paul Travis
  • 53    AN ALTERNATIVE VIEW
    • On voter registration, by Gary Delgado
  • 55    DRAWING THE LINES
    • A primer on reapportionment, by Brian Sherman
  • 60    PROGRESSIVE NETWORK/PROGRESSIVE GAINS
    • West Virginia coalition succeeds, by Kate Long
  • 67    ELECTING OUR OWN
    • The Florida Consumers Federation, by Andrew Banks
  • 70    THE LIMITS OF POWER
    • Dutch Morial, mayor of New Orleans, by Monte Piliawsky
  • 76    RICHARD ARRINGTON, JR.
    • Birmingham, from Bull Connor to a black mayor, by Kelly Dowe
  • 79    THE APPEAL OF THE NEW RIGHT
    • Jerry Falwell's High-Tech/Low-Road Approach, by Barry Hager
  • 86    AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
    • Lobbying for spouse abuse shelters in Virginia, by Maureen Morrissey and Linda Sawyers
  • 90    MIDWIFERY IN ARKANSAS
    • The delivery of a bill, by Arthur English and John Carroll
  • 94    PROUD DAYS
    • Henry Wallace's third party campaign for the presidency, by Pat Sullivan
  • 99    MONEY BUSINESS
    • PACs in the South, by Bill Horgan and Diane Kiesel
  • 105    HOW TO: CANVASS
    • How I got my start as a standup comedian, by Jay Hepner
  • 107    HOW TO: GO HIGH TECH
    • Campaigning with computers, by Phaye Poliakoff
  • 108    HOW TO: UNDERSTAND ELECTION LAW
    • Jerry A guide to tax and election laws, by Thomas Asher
  • 110    HOW TO: RATE THE RUNNERS
    • Yardsticks for measuring candidates and officials, by Linda Rocawich
  • 111    HOW TO: FIND THE ANSWERS
    • Tactical and strategic research, by Barry Greever
  • 114    RESOURCES
    • On elections and campaigns

Departments

  • 2    LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
    • Women for peace, Proud to be SEIU, Who's gay?
  • 3    SOUTHERN NEWS ROUNDUP
    • Gulf Coast opposes toxic incineration; Police spying; Grand jury selection reviewed; Montgomery police misconduct
  • 7    FACING SOUTH
    • Cora Tucker, by Calvin Miller
  • 8    VOICES OF OUR NEIGHBORS
    • South Africa preserves apartheid, by John Matisson
  • 120  VOICES FROM THE PAST
    • Reclaiming the New South, by Henry Wallace

Volume and Number: 
Vol. 12, No. 1

Since 1973 Southern Exposure has gained critical praise for its thorough investigations, unsentimental portraits of Southern life, and public interest reporting.