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. ‘r . . el, 0 I’ . . V IF e ,11:111 V . up Rev. D. L. Ellison. for it. The movement’s over. We don’t see ourselves as a movement.” “We’re talking about negotiation. In order to negotiate you’ve got to have something to bring to the table yourself. You’re negotiating with a power person, and you’ve got to have some power. You’ve got to have something that equals power. We don’t have a lot of money, we’ve got people.” ACT was a part of the statewide IAF voter registration drive that signed up 104,000 new people to vote. ACT registered about 7,500 people in 23 Fort Worth precincts, Ellison said. “When you register hundreds of thousands of folk around the state of Texas, you are again bringing something to the table that speaks of power,” Ellison said. “And I don’t care if you’re a Republican or a Democrat or an Independent. If you want to go back in office, you can’t keep ignoring those kinds of numbers.” Konecny acknowledged that the “business people” may turn out as many voters in the November election. She said a victory for ACT would mean “that our precincts vote at a higher rate” than usual. “We don’t just have an election in Fort Worth in November,” she said. “We have an election in Fort Worth in April.” Those city elections will be a much more crucial test of ACT’s political muscle than how Tarrant County votes in the Presidential race. In some of the areas of the state most affected by unemployment and poverty, the Presidential candidates did not always seem to be addressing central issues. Ellison said, “Who cares about the rhetoric about the deficit in areas like that? What they want to know is, when can I go to work? When can I start providing for my family?” There is no hesitation about the one issue that would catch fire in the ACT community: jobs programs. “We want to know what they’re going to do about the issue of jobs, the issue of unemployment, the issue of full employment,” Konecny said. One of the projects Ellison and Konecny are most proud of is the group’s work in the Polytechnic area of Fort Worth the declining neighborhood on the city’s near east side. “We’ve been instrumental in bringing together a group of really diverse interests, people who have an interest in the Polytechnic area everybody from citizens to members of the college [Texas Wesleyan is in the area], educators, etcetera and develop a plan for the revitalization of the Polytechnic area,” Konecny said. Ellison said it was an ACT press conference about a year ago that raised the issue of what was to be done in the neighborhood. “And [because] an attitude of those of us who live here changed, things changed in Poly [the Polytechnic area],” he said. “In order to negotiate, you’ve got to have some thing to bring to the table yourself.” CTIVISTS AND city officials in Fort Worth tend to refer to ACT as “a growing organization” or “still a building organization.” There is a sense that the development has been slow so far. But Ruth Ann McKinney, an assistant city manager, says the task is not an easy one for ACT. “Fort Worth doesn’t have a history of strong participation from grassroots organizations,” she says. As to whether things have “turned around” in the Polytechnic area, she says, “We’re not to that point yet.” Vernell Stearns, another assistant city manager, says ACT is “a force to be reckoned with” but that other groups deserve credit too for the progress in Polytechnic. ACT’s contribution, he says, is that it “promoted a more comprehensive approach” one that involved wider citizen participation. Mayor Bob Bolen’s office tends to see ACT as a player in the government’s efforts to revitalize the southeast quadrant of the city. With typical pluck, Ellison tends to turn the equation around. The mayor is “in very close relation with ACT,” he says, and “he’s part of what we’re doing in Poly.” The ACT philosophy, Ellison says, is to take a “this is what we expect you to do” attitude to politicians. “We keep building our numbers,” he says, “so we can hold them accountable.” Good books in every field JENKINS PUBLISHING CO. The Pemberton Press John H. Jenkins, Publisher Box 2085 ;Austin 78768 JJJJ -7.1 etc/Wed -a 2600 E. 7th St. Austin, Texas 447-4701 carnes _al carbon cabrito Observer Bequests Austin attorney Vivian Mahlab has agreed to consult with those interested in including the Observer in their estate planning. For further information, contact Vivian Mahlab, attorney-at-law, P.C., at 617 Blanco, Austin, Texas 78703, or call 512-477-1700. HEALTHY LUNCH SUNDAY BRUNCH … AND SANDWICHES, CHILI, TACOS, CHALUPAS, AND RESTAURANT BAKED DESSERTS. JUSTIN’S ICE CREAM AND FRESH YOGHURT. SOUP AND SALAD BAR. 11:30 AM UNTIL 5:00 PM MONDAY THRU SUNDAY. 224-4515 THE GREENHOUSE ABOVE THE KANGAROO COURT DOWNTOWN RIVERWALK 314 NORTH PRESA SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS Pho to by Alic ia Da n ie l THE TEXAS OBSERVER 7