"Focus" newsletter of the Gainesville Women for Equal Rights (December 1963 issue)


Material Information

"Focus" newsletter of the Gainesville Women for Equal Rights (December 1963 issue)
Series Title:
General Files, 1963-2001
Physical Description:
Gainesville Women for Equal Rights
Publication Date:
Physical Location:
Box: 1
Folder: FOCUS Newsletter. 1963-1969


Spatial Coverage:
North America -- United States of America -- Florida -- Alachua -- Gainesville

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
sobekcm - AA00005480_00001
System ID:

Full Text

Gainesville Women for Equal_ Rights ....._ ... D 19.6.3 .

M any faculty wives had for some Richer made its own signs, set up its
time lamented. the fact that th. .y had no own picket lines, and stands prepared to
organization such as the Student Group picket again should the Student Group
through which they could channel thiir find it necessary to resume picketing at
efforts in the struggle for equal rights, the College Inn.
Finally, some of them stopped lamenting A Name Change
and started phoning, Fifty women were In accordance with the expressed
invited to attend a meeting on Oct, 2Z.o~1)wishes of the members, the steering
The response to the phoning indicate committee has renamed the group the
at least two things. One, there. was Gainesville Women for Equal Rights.
great interest in such an organization This change was made so that the organ:;.-
and two, the worst possibi? night had zation could extend its base beyond :th:
been picked for the meeting. Despite University community and so that it could
the short notice and bad timing, however, integrate. The membership committee
over 15 women did manage t- attend, is now planning a series of coffees for
They quickly agrc-ed that a Faculty those town and University women who were
Wive's Group for Equal Rights should be not apprised of earlier meetings,
formed and a discussion of possible pro-
jects followed. A steering committee What Now?
was appointed and asked, among other The next general meeting will be held
things, to go over the many projects in February. By that time the canvas
which had been proposed and discussed committee should have completed its sur-
and to select those which the committee vey cn recreation and reported its findings
felt might, at the present, be most pro- through the newsletter. With these data
fitably undertaken, in hand we should be able to decide at the
next meeting what, if anything, we want to
The ru- Expandr do in the area of recreation.
The telephone staff was by this time now have a functioning membership
slightly augmented and for the second committee and are delighted that people
meeting an attempt was made to call the regarding te group.
are calling us regarding the group.
wives of the 200 faculty endorsers of the
Xnitiaterd by n sudent, the tutorial pro-
Student Group for Equal Rights. Over
Student G p fr eual R Or gram has already proven itself a success
80 women, approximately half of those and has been welcomed by the Negro
and has been welcomed by the Negro
who had been contacted, attended this
community, There are mor- students
second meeting on November 12,. It was int-re' ,,
Iant--I- w interested in thC p-ogry.m than tutors to
an encouraging. turnout.
an encouraging turnout accommodate them, and the number of
The meeting began with a panel di.s- a t n b o
Sm b w a interested students is constantly increas-
cussion of some of the practical problems
d -t l ing. We feel the program has tremendous
Negroes face in day-to-day living in .
aNgroes face in day-t y livig n potential and can, perhaps, be expanded
Gainesville. The panel included Mr c. C.
Gainesve Te in the areas of adult education, vocational
W, Banks, Mrs, Virdell Bowles, Miss
Wo Banks irs Virdll. Bowes, IVs education and a general enrichment pro-
Dolores Kairns and Mrs. Andrew Mivckle. ...

Committee Activity
For a begin-nrng program, the steering
committee recommended the formation cf
two groups: a canvass committee to sur-
vey the various areas of activity in
Gainesville and a picket committee to
form a picket line at the, Colloege 'nn ms a
gesture of support to the Student Group.
Both proposals were accepted by the rnem
bership and the additional recommenda-
tion made that the canvas committee be-
gin with the area :f recreation and educa-,
tion. The canvass committee has already
begun active work in the rer.-:eat:i.n .rea,.
(See the progress report which follow!.)
The picket committee under Mrs. Ed

gram. n e development ox rnese poten-
tials demands greater organization and a
staff of full time, trained and interested
people. We are happy to report that the
Women's Group has tentatively agr.icd to
take on this project and that Mrs. Audrey
Taylor is now working to coordinate an-.
expand the tutorial program.
We urge each of you to tell your friends
-about the formation of this group and to
give Mrs,. Dan Offord, membership chair-
man, the na Res of women you feel might
be interestIed. If at ail possible we w.ulid
like to invite these prospective members
tio the briefing coffees (Dec. 12, 17 & 19).
At the very least we want to put these
women on our mailing list.

December, 1963


The Bi-Racial Committee

The Committee has made clear their
belief that the Negro community deserves
better opportunity as citizens and they
have, therefore, made several requests
for voluntary action by certain groups:
namely, government agencies, motels : ..
and restauranta.
The Bi-Racial Committee has been
recently concerned with vocational educa-
tion. By talking with the director of vo-
cational education for the county they
found that there were facilities current-
ly available which were not being fully
utilized. The committee is attempting
to publicize the availability of these
In the belief that an exchange of honest
ideas and the pooling of sincere efforts
can lead to much better relations, the
Bi-Racial Committee is presently meet-
ing with concerned groups to get ideas on
what these groups believe Gainesville's
most pressing needs are and to get ad-
vice on how to proceed.
Members of the committee include:
Fred Alexander, Dr. H.J. Babers,
Charles Brooking, Dr. E.A. Cosby,
Tom Coward, Rev. W.M. Ferguson,
Mrs. Clara Gehan, Dashwood Hicks,
M.M. Parrish, Mrs. Gladys Smith,
Rev. William Shea, Chester Yeats and
Byron Winn, temporary chairman.

Student Group for Equal Rights

After almost 1200 hours of picketing
at the College Inn the students have
suspended picketing for an indefinite
time. The Management of the CI has
offered various excuses for continuing
their policy of segregation and have re-
cently indicated that they will not inte-
grate "under the coercion of picketing."
With the pressure off and negotiations
again in progress, it is hoped that the
management will respond by integrating
their service.
After careful preparation, a tutoring
program has begun under the direction
of Robert Larson. Sixteen tutors are
now meeting with their assigned students
and a new group of 24 will begin in Jan.
The program aims at encouraging Negro
high school students to develop their owr
initiative and abilities and, as the number
of interested students is increasing, mor<
tutors will be needed. This is planned
as a long range program and has the
support of individuals teaching in the high
schools as well as in the University.
(See the special report on the tutoring
Future plans for the Student Group
include an attempt to negotiate with the

management of the CI to effect integra-
tion of that restaurant; continuation of
the tutoring program; re-enforcement
of the picket lines being run by the
NAACP in Ocala; enlistment of more
faculty endorsers and maintenance of a
picketing force ready if needed in
January of 1964.

The Gainesville Council on Human
The Gainesville Council is a bi-racial
organization, active for the past eight
years, dedicated to the goal of improv-
ing human relations by ending discrimi-
nation based on race, religion, or na-
tional origin. They use discussion and
direct association as a means of bringing
about an atmosphere in which the present
drastic social changes can be accommo-
dated harmoniously and permanently.
As a part of the Southern Regional
Council, this Gainesville group offers its
services in gathering and disseminating
information, in providing resources for
discussions and forums, in promoting
any activity that will be educational.
They will sponsor a Community
Christmas Choir Festival and Carol
Sing from 3 to 5:30 P.M. Sunday,
December 15, at the Courthouse Square-
or if bad weather prevents having the
sing outdoors, it will be at Mt. Carmel
Babtist Church at 4th St. and 5th Av. NW.
Prospective members should contact
Mrs. Oliver H. Jones.


The NAACP Youth Group in Gainesville
is currently concentrating on a voter
registration :iiive. Some 3, 000 hand
bills urging people to register have been
printed and distributed in the Negro
community. Fosters have been placed
at strategic points stressing the impor-
tance of registering and voting. A
central headquarters will provide infor-
mation and transportation.
The group also is continuing their
support of the tutorial program.and the
NAACP is happy to announce that they
have now established an office open from
& a.m. until 5 p.m. For information on
the group or transportation to the Court-
S.house for registration, call FR 64395.

Six Groups Join Picketing at CI
The Student Group carried the main
burden of picketing at the CI. Six other
groups did picket, however, with their
own signs and lines: Liberal Forum,
Quakers, Unitarians, NAACP, Gainesville
Council on Human Relations and
Gainesville Women for Equal Rights.



December, 1963


Secial Re_gistration of Freeholders for the Bond Issue
Alma Bethea, supervisor of registration for Alachua County, opened her
books Monday, Dec. 9, for the registration of all freeholders who wish to vote
on the upcoming bond issue. Even though you have voted during the past year,
you must register again if you wish to vote in this special election. The books
will close Jan. 24. Only those who register during this period will be able to
vote on the $6, 000, 000 bond issue Feb. 11. A simple majority of voters registered
for this special election, NOT a majority of all registered voters, must approve
the bond issue. Your registration is important! Your vote may be vital.

A GENERAL PURGE of the Registered Voters of Alachua County
This is a county purge and does not deal with the bond issue. Postal
cards will be sent to all registered voters who have not voted during the past two
years. If the postal cards are returned, their names will remain on the list of
registered voters. If the postal cards are not returned, the names will be purged
from the list of registered voters. Deadline for return of these cards is 30 days
after the date the card is postmarked. If you HAVE voted during the past two years,
you should not receive a card. If you do receive one, check with the supervisor of
registration at once. If you have not voted in the past two years, return your card
promptly to Mrs. Bethea's office. J.ecturn of this c;rd will not entitle ~ou tqoote
on the bond issue. You must register separately for the special election for the
hnndis sue.

The Minimum Housing Code
The City Plan Bo ar d hopes to wrap up work on the Minimum Housing
Ordinance and have it in the City Commission's hands by mid-January. Though the
Plan Board's official hearings on the subject are over, the proposed ordinance will
come up for discussion in its final fcrm then and will go before the City Commission
soon afterwards.
The ordinance as now proposed calls for the establishment of a housing board
whick would be responsible for making a study of the housing needs of the community,
including present housing conditions and means of improving housing for low income
families. This would be a permanent board and a continuing study and reports
would be presented at least once a year to the City Commission.
The proposed housing code would require the improvement of facilities
classified as substandard or, where improvement is not feasible, the demolition
of these facilities. It would also make it impossible to build any future houses which
do not -meet minimum standards. There is no step which could mean more to the
low income groups in Gainesville!
There is sure to be a great deal of opposition to the Minimum Housing Ordinance.
It is-most important that those who do favor the code make their support known.
Plan to attend the City Commission meeting when this comes up and register your
support publicly for this vitally needed ordinance.

The Civic Action Association
The C ivic Action Association of Greater Gainesville is a bi-partisan group
dedicated to better government. Formed in 1960 when city manager Robert Layton
was dismissed, the group saw dramatic growth when the question of rebates to
developers arose. They sponsored Byron Winn as their first candidate for the
City Commission and last spring saw two additional candidates whom they had en-
dorsed and actively supported win seats -- Al Sutherland and Ed Tuflington. This
represented a basic change in the governmental activity of Gainesville.
The CAA has long pushed for the East Gainesville sewer project, adequate
planning and zoning, a minimum housing code, development of additional recreational
facilities and acquisition of new facilities, a priority list accompanying any bond
issue. They have opposed rebates to developers, secret meetings and government
which favors the few.
With a membership of some 200 citizens, this group has been responsible for
many of Gainesville's outstanding steps forward during the past two years arid they
have been instrumental in bringing before the general public the problems which
our city faces.
In January the CAA will ask all n.nncunced candidates for the City Commission
to address their group and to answer questions from the floor. All interested
citizens will be welcome and it should be an infcrmative and exciting session. Plan
to attend If you want a voice on the candidate Ihe CAA endorses, join the group
($2.00 regular, $5.00 sustaining) at the meeting..

!*' G 'J ui

PaGE 3

December, 1963

The Bond Issue

The City Commission has approved the ordinance calling for a special
election on the $6, 000, 000 bond issue FEBRUARY 11. Five questions will
appear on the ballot for the approval of Gainesville property owners:

1. The East Gainesville Sewer Project $1, 300,000
2. Municipal Services Buildings & Facilities 2, 000, 000
This includes two fire stations, a city
hall, library expansion and public works
3. Streets and Sidewalks 2, 000,000
4. Recreational Facilities and Parks 450, 000
5. Storm Drainage Work 250, 000

As citizens of Gainesville we are naturally interested in all of these projects.
From the point of view of Focus, however, two are particularly pertinent to the
welfare of the Negro community: the East Gainesville Sewer Project and the
Recreational Facilities and Parks project.
As many of you may know, drainage problems in parts of East Gainesville
are so acute that the area has been declared a health hazard to the whole city.
In rainy weather the overflow from septic tanks can sometimes be found floating
in open ditches along the streets. Obviously sewers must be provided for the
welfare of the entire city.
As for recreation and parks the need is obvious. It is particularly acute
in the Negro community where bcth parents often v/nrk. Children should be able
to spend their time after school, net on the streets, but in parks and recreation
centers where they have the opportunity to take part in healthful and constructive
We urge you to register for the special election on the bond issue and
to vote FOR these needed projects on February 11.


President Johnson fears the Civil Rights Bill will not pass the Senate at all
next year if it gets to the Senate later than February 1. In an attempt to get
the bill through the House and to the Senate by that date, House leaders are circulatir
a petition to discharge fie bill F:-n-f Rules Committee and bring the Civil Rights
bill to the house floor. President Johnson has ordered full White House support
for the petition. This petition needs Southern support to succeed. Rep.. Claude
Pepper has signed it; Rep. Dante F cell has indicated he is considering signing.
Write to Rep. Billy MVatthews, House Office Building, Washington, D.C., and
ask him to sign the petition to discharge so that the house may consider the
Civil Rights Bill in January.

The temporary steering committee of the Gainesville Women for Equal
Rights includes Mrs. Sam Banks, Mrs. Stephen Conroy, Mrs. Austin Creel,
Mrs. Charles Farris, Mrs. Selden Henry, Mrs. Richard Hiers, Mrs. Marshall
Jones, Mrs. Andrew R. Mickle, Mrs. D,R. Offord, Mrs. Ed Richer and Mrs.
W. Jape Taylor. If you want more information on the group, feel free to contact
any of these women.
If you wish to take part in the activities of the organization, please
return the interest blank below.to Mrs. Sondra Offord, 2045 NW 14th Avenue, City.