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land-speculation and sub-division, as well as those deeper yearnings to feel and express superiority to one’s fellows through them. The Mexican-American community, on the contrary, likes rooted continuity and urbanity in the old sense. Even when they can afford to join the trek to the suburbs, they don’t necessarily do so. The Spanish term for downtown is “el centro”the center of things. In Rio de Janeiro and Caracas, slums are built on hillsides, while the wealthy inhabit the center; in the U.S., the city’s center today contains the slums. So in a sense, C.O.P.S. opposition to suburban development is another aspect of the old intercultural conflict in progress since the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo and before. But it would be a mistake to think that C.O.P.S. and the issues it raises divide San Antonio along strictly ethnic lines. Numbers of Mexican-Americans have exploited prosperity by joining the anglo rush to the suburbs. Indeed, some are among the ranks of developer-speculators themselves. While many anglos living in sections of the city that were stable and pleasant fifteen years ago now find themselves “inside the loop” and exposed to changeszoning decisions, freeway construction, property revaluations, neglect of capital improvementsthat if not checked will soon diminish the quality of their lives and the value of their investment. Some of these anglos are already members of C.O.P.S. It would also be a mistake to see in San Antonio any parallel to the situation in Crystal City, where a dozen years ago chicanos took over city hall and the school district in the name of an almost irredentist political party, which is to this day such a thorn in the flesh of Texas’ Democratic party conservatives that the governor screams “Reds!” every time he thinks about it. Crystal City remains a small town in a rural, agricultural mileu; San Antonio is an urban, industrial city. Political affiliation is almost irrelevant to what C.O.P.S. is and does. Plus, there are few blacks in Crystal City; a significant number of C.O.P.S. members are black people. Nevertheless, as the struggle heats up, charges of ethnic favoritism may be hurled at C.O.P.S., as well as the cry of “Reds!” A lot of land-speculation money and the future of the city is at stake. Attempted seduction At the moment, C.O.P.S. is on the rise. It has achieved effective dominance at City Hall. It has secured many of its immediate neighborhood capital improvements goals. It enjoys a large and growing *Prof. Ian McHarg and other students of cityplanning have shown that in the absence of geophysical restraint, U.S. cities always develop in the direction from whence comes the prevailing wind. membershipfrom thirty contributing organizations to thirty-eight in the last nine monthsand the financial and moral backing of the Catholic Archdiocese and a number of Protestant principalities, too.* The opposition will eventually get its act together, recover from its speechless chagrin, and move to accomplish one of the two things it must do if the status quo ante is to be regained: neutralize or seduce. Recently, Dr. Robert West, chairman of the board of Tesoro Petroleum and charter member of the San Antonio establishment, offered to underwrite one $10,000-a-year seat on the prestigious San Antonio Economic Development Foundation for C.O.P.S.-backer Archbishop Francis J. Furey. “This city needs political stability,” said West, suggesting that a C.O.P.S. seat on the SAEDF might calm the waters. Some, such as Ed Chambers, executive director of the Industrial Areas foundation, which trains C.O.P.S. leaders, views the offer as an initial, rather crude attempt at seduction, though it focused on the wrong man, since the archbishop neither is for sale nor has direct involvement in C.O.P.S. councils. Other observers think the move was intended to cut off C.O.P.S. at the pocketbook by persuading the prelate to withdraw church support from the organization in exchange for alleged ecclesiastic input into major community economic decisionmaking. Whatever it was, the ploy failed. When reporters asked for his reaction, his excellency declared that he had had no personal communication from Dr. West at all, and knew of the offer only through the newspapers. It is unlikely that this rebuff will put an end to all such overtures. The next ones will just be more subtle. Neutralization, too, has been attempted at least once, also rather crudely and with ignominious failure. In late summer, city manager Sam Granata was dismissed by the council for reasons never made public \(Granata denied the council permission to state the reasons Following his dismissal, former Mayor Becker and others vowed to circulate a set of recall petitions aimed at Mayor Cockrell and city council members Henry Cisneros, Glenn Hartman, the Rev. Claude Black, and Al Rohde. Becker said his group was *In 1974,’ the year of its birth, C.O.P.S. got $10,000 from the National Campaign for Human Development, an arm of the National Council of Catholic Bishops. In 1975, it got $45,000 from the same source, plus amounts varying from $1,000 to $5,000 from the United Methodist Church, the regional Presbyterian Synod, the United Church ,of Christ, and the Episcopalian Diocese. This year, the N.C.H.D. raised its support to $70,000. C.O.P.S. itself raised $30,000 at its July 6th picnic. only using the kind of dirty tactics C.O.P.S, had introduced. The cavalry appeared from an unexpected direction. Henry “The Fox” Munoz, leader of the 30,000-member AFL-CIO union of state, county, and municipal employees, announced he was starting a recall petition of his own, directed at removal of the remaining council members: Phil Pyndus, Bob Billa, Dr. D. Ford Nielsen, and Richard Teniente. Munoz said his union members plus their compadres and comadres numbered sufficient signatures to put such petitions on the ballot. The developer group did not want to see their friends as well as their enemies swept out of office; all talk of recall petitions subsided and was heard no more. A no -lose situation The next major test of strength for C.O.P.S. will come next January, when a referendum will be offered the voters, asking their approval of a plan to change the mode of election of city council members from nine at-large to ten districted, plus mayor at-large. This proposed change is the council’s response to a Voting Rights Act complaint lodged against the city by the U.S. Justice Department last April. The complaint charged that the 1972 annexations of territory had diluted Mexican-American and black voting strength. The city’s choice was to get right with Justice or sue. The Greater San Antonio Builders’ Association opposes the redistricting plan, though they don’t say exactly why. C.O.P.S. favors it. A look at the map shows why. Of the ten proposed 74,000-voter districts, C.O.P.S. is certain to control numbers one through six, and may achieve voting majorities in two district plan is approved, C.O.P.S. friends will constitute a majority of the new council. It’s kind of a no-lose situation for C.O.P.S. If the change fails of adoption, the present council will continue, and C.O.P.S. is not slighted by it. In any case, C.O.P.S. will continue to “ignore the contests and deal with the winners.” Best of all, from C.O.P.S.’ viewpoint, the election will constitute an open struggle between itself and the old power structure, which thrives best when its motives and activities are not subjected to full scrutiny and discussion. C.O.P.S. leaders are counting on the referendum campaign to bring into the open all kinds of facts that the old powers would prefer to keep quiet. Home truths and plenty of them will be the January menu. If the old power-wielders choose to make No Growth an issue, as seems quite likely, November 26, 1976 9