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September 05, 1974 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1974-09-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Page Fourteen
Levi's for Gals
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Kozachenko: A


Thursday, September 5, 1914


Councilwoman Kathy Koza-
chenko, clad in a white blazer
and faded bluejeans, took the
oath of office this April with a
raised fist. This gesture elicited
cheers of support from members
of the city's gay community who
had appeared en masse at the
City Council meeting to voice
support for their lesbian sister.
Demonstrating her "continu-
ing committment to struggle"
at subsequent council meetings,
Kozachenko silently remains
seated during the Pledge of Al-

ual preference as
issue, but rather
ment of her overall

a campaign
as a state-
political per-

"I THOUGHT it very import-
ant that the voters be aware of
my political philosophy as well
as my stand on particular is-
sues," she explains. "I am ac-
tively committed to the needs of
blacks, women, gays, and other
minority groups."
An advocate of a socialist
economy, Kozachenko con-
demns the "present political

'Although she still espouses a leftist view-
point, Kozachenko is not one to let rigid
adherence to ideology jeopardize a poten-
tial friendship or a political deal.'

legiance because "what it says
about liberty and justice is not
true in this country."
At 21, Kozachenko is the sec-
ond-youngest member of City
Council and, since April, the
sole representative of HRP on
the ten-member body.
ELECTED BY a razor-thin
margin from the student-domi-
nated Second Ward where her
only opposition came from a
liberal Democrat, she ran on a
platform that advocated com-
munity control of the police
force, implementation of an
HRP - sponsored rape program,
and increased funding of the
city's social services.
Kozachenko, who is the first
woman in the country ever
elected to city council after run-
ning openly as a lesbian, em-
phasized gay and feminist is-
sues in the early stages of her
Althoughdshe proclaimed her-
self a radical lesbian in his
first campaign leaflet, Koza-
chenko did not view her sex-
340-5. State/Upstairs
ICOMICS (New &r Used),
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system whi'ch supports capital-
ism over human beings and puts
real power in the hands of the
very few."
When she first joined HRP
three years ago, Kozachenko's
politics were closely aligned
with the "Chocolate Almond
Caucus," the most radical, ide-
ologically - oriented faction of
the party.
espouses a leftist viewpoint,
Kozachenko is not one to let
rigid adherence to ideology
jeopardize a potential friend-
ship or a political deal.
Acknowledging that as the on-
ly HRP member on council she
"obviously can't affect a whole
helluva lot," Kozachenkowrea-
lizes that compromising is oftenI
her only alternative.
This was evidenced in Koza-
chenko's recent "deal" with
Republican Mayor James Ste-
phenson . when she offered to
support the city millage -
which HRP had previously op-
posed because the party felt'
not enough city funds were al-
located to social services - if
$20,000 slated for city vehicles
was transferred to programs
for the youth and the aged.
ter debates that formerly char-
acterized the relationship be-
tween HRP and the Republicans
is now largely absent. Koza-
chenko's congenial, straightfor-
ward manner, which was of her
greatest assets during the cam-
paign, is also apparent in deal-
ings with her conservative col-
When a fellow HRP member
celebrated her birthday in the
council chambers prior to ,the

Monday night session, Koza-
chenko offered a piece of the
non-partisan birthday cake to
Republican C o u n c i m a n
John McCormick and Demo-
cratic Councilman Jamie Ken-
"They actually like me," she
says with an amused laugh.
ALTHOUGH HER main com-
mittment right now rests with
HRP, Kozachenko's long range
plans focus almost exclusively
on feminist concerns.
"I'm not looking forward to
a lengthy career in politics -
what I would really like to do is
start a radical feminist journal
somewhere," she says. "Al-
though I believe it is impera-
tive that women - especially
strong feminists - run for pub-
lic office, I still feel the need
for women to organize sepa-
Currently serving as chair-
person of the County Advisory
Committee on the Status of Wo-
men, Kozachenko cites the need
for sweeping changes in a so-
ciety where "women are treated
as ornaments."
"FEMINISM TO me means
revolution," she declares. "By
being a strong feminist and an
out-of-the-closet lesbian on coun-
cil, I hope to challenge some of
society's hard and fast stereo-
While on council, Kozachenko
hopes to do some speaking both
to school and community groups
about gayness and also "to
reach out to all the women who
normally take no interest in
Despite Kozachenko's limited
influence, she is one of the more
vocal members of council. She
consistently speaks out for in-
creased funding of the city's
social services and the need for
low-income housing.
ACTIVE IN politics since her
high school days in Plymouth,
Kozachenko is a former Demo-
crat. After moving to Ann Ar-
bor, however, she decided it
"was time to become involved
in something besides meaning-
less rhetoric."
Since joining HRP while a
sophomore at the University,
Kozachenko has been active in
a variety of political causes.
Her active support of the
United Farm Workers and their
grape and lettuce boycott earn-
ed her the endorsement of the
Chicano law students during her
LAST FALL, after three years
as a campaign coordniator, Ko-
zachenko decided it was time
to run for office herself.
"I wanted to do something
productive that had a potential
for reaching a lot of people,"
she says. "I also thought it es-
sential that a radical feminist
be on council because even left-
ist males sometimes tend to
ignore the concerns of women."
Eighty-one per cent of Ha-
waii's population live on the is-
land of Oahu. The island has a
density in excess of 1,100 per-
sons per square mile.

SINCE APRIL'S ELECTIONS, Kathy Kozachenko (HRP-Second Ward) has served as her
party's sole representative on City Council. Kozachenko, who terms herself a radical lesbian,
says she ran to bring a feminist perspective to local politics.
Ypsilanti HRP establise
ros, el ects 2 cand1idates

During a harsh, bleak win-
ter two years ago, members of
Ann Arbor's Human Rights Par-
ty (HRP) drove to Ypsilanti in
hopes of expanding their party's
base and possibly getting some
candidates elected - eventually.
In April, Ypsilanti's HRP, of-
ten characterized as a coalition
of "hippies and hillbillies,"
clearly established roots in the
city by electing two people to
HRP MEMBERS Harold Baize
(Third Ward) and Eric Jack-
son (Fourth Ward) constitute
the swing votes on the Ypsilanti
council since neither the Re-
publicans nor the Democrats
have the six vote majority need-
ed to pass a resolution.
In the spring of 1972, an
emerging inspired Ann Arbor
HRP was able to win two coun-
cil seats with the help of the
recently adopted 18-year-old
At the same time, the Ypsi-
lanti HRP scrambled to get its
candidates on the ballot and
suffered a sound defeat.
Last year, Ann Arbor5s HRP
ran candidates for both mayor
and council, but failed to cap-
ture any office and was greeted
by cries of "vote splitting" by
city Democrats, as Republicans
took the majority position on
AFTER LAST April's elec-
tion, Ann Arbor's HRP profess-
es to be optimistic although

they were only able to capture
one council seat - and this a
narrow victory against one of
the weaker Democratic candi-
Meanwhile, the Ypsilanti elec-
torate granted a surprising vic-
tory to two HRP candidates and
approved a five dollar mariju-
ana penalty nearly identical to
Ann Arbor's.
Jerry Gainer, an HRP spokes-
man and organizer in Ypsilanti,
believes that with this kind of
See related story on
Ann Arbor's HRP,
Community Section,
Page 3.
election results, the "myth"
about Ypsilanti being a "red-
neck town" will be shattered.
son agrees, "There's a big dif-
ference between a hillbilly and
a red-neck."
Gainer, who feels that vir-
tually all local radicals sup-
port HRP, comments "We have
to get more liberal elements."
Gainer attributes Ann Ar-
bor's HRP difficulties to "wir-
ring (leftist) factions." Another.
HRP spokesman claims, "We're
much more unified than Ann
lanti, unlike Ann Arbor, has no

- s
f '
t -
'" - ,

_... _....y i


research facilities, Gainer said
HRP "has more effect because
there are less people and less
economic diversity."
He also sees the party as a
"coalition of leftist ideas" and
"less structured" than Ann Ar-
bor's HRP.
Gainer said the Ypsilanti par-
ty platform "is not really stress-
ed, but assumed." However,
Ypsilanti HRP plans to work
on a party platform this sum-
HRP MEMBERS in Ypsilanti
also seem more open to com-
promise than their Ann Arbor
It'll be necessary to cooperate
to some extent with the Demo-
crats," says Baize. "We don't
want to be antagonistic so
they'll be more receptive to our
However, Baize leaves the fu-
ture open, commenting, "We
don't want to create a reaction-
ary climate, but that's always
an .option.
HRP offers a candidate in ev-
ery race, in Ypsilanti, HRP ran
no candidate in Ward Two be-
cause of lack of funds and not
wanting to "spread ourselves
too thin."
Next year, Ypsilanti's ..RP
sees it as "likely" that the
party will pick up two more
seats, possibly three. Vote split-
ting has not become an issue.
The party would like to change
the city's Housing Code and
amend the human rights ordi-
nance to include Southerners.
Gainer calls the Ypsilanti's
controversial pornography ordi-
nance "fascist" and Baize
wants to defeat the ordinance.
Ypsilanti's Third Ward, which
elected Baize, is predominantly
a student ward, similar to Ann
Arbor's Second . Ward. The
Fourth Ward, which elected
Jackson; is much like AnnAr-
bor's First Ward but appears
somewhat more diverse.

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