Liberals in Texas To Meet in Houston Houston A statewide meeting of liberal Texans will be held Saturday, November 6, in Houston, Chris Dixie, temporary chairman of the Texas Organization of Liberal Democrats, said in an Observer interview in Houston last week. It will be the constitutional convention of T.O.L.D., he said. The constitution, the name of the organization, and its officers are all open questions and will be decided by the persons who come to the meeting,he said. He stressed that anyone can come and anyone can leave at any time. “All persons who are interested in discussing organization and other policies in advance of the meeting should come in on the evening before, Friday, Nov. 5,” he said. The meeting place is the mezzanine floor of the Rice Hotel. The Saturday meeting will last from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a break for lunch. A draft constitution has been drawn up in preliminary meetings of T.O.L.D. members, Dixie said. “All the complaints I’ve heard about the constitutionit’s definitely nothing to be adopted. It’s a model, but that’s all,” he said. There will be, Dixie continued, “discussion of issues and a program for the organization. What area or areas should liberals in Texas emphasize in their positions and their activities?” Stretches of time will be alloted during the Saturday meeting for consideration of four areas, foreign policy; civil rights; the war on poverty and federal economic policy; and “how to make the state responsive to the people’s needs,” Dixie said. Panelists will make presentations and then there will be open discussion in each area, he said. “T.O.L.D. was originally organized as the fourth or liberal wing of the Democratic Coalition,” Dixie. said. “The first meeting was held in 1964, at which time T.O.L.D. endorsed candidates for state office for governor on down. Actually, T.O.L.D. met because labor and others had failed to endorse Don Yarborough. “After the election of 1964, the Democratic Coalition continued to flounder aroundthat’s what it all amounts toand liberals, meeting from time to time as T.O.L.D., decided pn an enlarged concept that T.O.L.D. should be a place in which all individuals can participate in having a voice and implementing a policy in Texas.” The Nov. 6 meeting was decided on at a meeting of about 25 people in Houston this fall, he said. “The invitation to the Nov. 6 meeting,” Dixie said, “is extended generally to persons who might belong to any leg of the coalition, but who consider themselves liberal Democrats. Not only is everyone invited, but the. draft of the constitution contains these principles: the open door, the right of dissent, and democratic procedures.” This issue’s “Observations” on page 15 discusses the Nov. 6 meeting in Houston. Dixie quoted from the draft constitution that “the cardinal principle shall be an open door policy, democratic procedures, and respect for conscience.” Anyone “can withdraw at any time,” he said. “That is the strength of the Harris County Democrats,” he said. “Nobody asks you who you are, and when you come in there, you participate fully, and if you don’t like the resolutions or candidates we endorse, you can go anywhere you wish. I don’t see how we can tolerate the principle that if T.O.L.D. votes one way, you’re bound by it and you’re a scoundrel if you go another way.” He said the question of the name of the organization is “open.” “As a matter of fact,” he said, “the drafting committee intended for the word ‘Democrats’ in the title of T.O.L.D. to be a little ‘d.’ ” Dixie said there will be no room for distinctions of race or religion at the meeting. “The people that can build a better Texascollege students, teachers, working people, professional people, housewivescan work together a lot better than they know and ought to try it,” he said. R.D. The Texas Observer OCT. 15, 1965 A Journal of Free Voices A Window to The South 25c THE WRECK OF THE HESPERUS Mostly by Henry W. Longfellow It was the schooner Democrat, That sailed the wintry sea; The skipper had taken some Texas folk, To bear him company. Wide were their eyes as a congressman’s, Their cheeks like the dawn of day, Their bosoms as white as old Jim Wright’s, Who ope’s with the dogwood of May. The skipper he stood beside the helm, His pipe was in his mouth, And he watched how the veering flaw did blow The smoke now West, now South. Then up and spoke the old Yarborough, Had sailed to the Spanish Main, “I pray thee, put into yonder port, For I fear a hurricane. “Last night, John had a genuine ring, Tonight a shiv I see!” The skipper he blew a whiff from his pipe, And a scornful laugh laughed he. Colder and colder blew the wind, A gale from Austin and East, Liberals fell hissing into the brine, And Shivercrats frothed like yeast. Down came the storm, and smote amain, Counties of new-found strength; They shuddered and paused, like frightened steers, Then leaped their cable’s length. “Come hither! come hither! my liberals, And do not tremble so; For I can weather the roughest gale That ever wind did blow.” He wrapped us warm in his seaman’s coat Against the stinging blast; He cut a rope from a broken spar, And bound us to the mast. “Oh father! I hear the church bells ring; Oh, say what may it be?” ” ‘Tis Madalyn Murray in Bexar County !” And he steered for the open sea. “0 father I see a gleaming light; 0 say, what may it be?” But the father answered never a word, Save THE GREAT SOCIETY. Lashed to the helm, and arms spread wide, With his face turned to the skies, While we shudder and scorn and plead by turns For a glance from his fixed eyes. MAE TUGGLE San Antonio
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