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October 22, 1982 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-10-22

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40

OPINION

Friday, October 22, 1982

The Michigan Daily

Jobs: Sure cure for an ailing

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Martha Griffiths, 72-year-old former
representative to U.S. Congress; came out
of retirement this year to run as state
Democratic candidate for lieutenant
governor on James Blanchard's ticket.
Griffiths spoke recently to Daily staff
writer Kent Redding about her reasons for
re-entering political life and her personal
objections to Republican candidate
Richard Headlee's stand on women 's
issues.

Daily: How can we avertsthe kind of budget
cuts we've seen at all state universities,
especially this last year?
Griffiths: If you got everyone a job, you could
have a tax program which would provide for
education.
Daily: We've seen the share of state funding
for the University of Michigan sharply drop
over the past decade. Do you think we can
reverse that trend right away?
Griffiths: We've just got to pass a jobs
program. We can solve a whale of a lot of
problems with that.
Things can change if all of us will help. If
business will help, if labor will help, if the aca-
demia will help, things can be changed. What
Blanchard stands for is cooperation. Of course,
Mr. Headlee is insulting everybody, is insulting
a new group of people every time he talks.
Daily: Headlee's come out in favor of a state
planning board to coordinate, to govern,
Michigan's educational institutions. Would you
be in favor of that?
Griffiths: It's not too bad an idea. But one of
the difficulties with anybody coming out
beforehand with such a program is that they
generally seem to be trying to get rid of the
blame for themselves.

Daily: What are the specifics of the Blan-
chard jobs program?
Griffiths: One of the things he seeks to do is
make work-fair work. What he would like to do
is put some people ongeneral assistance, on
ADC, to work. What it will really do is instill
work ethics. It gives the participants an oppor-
tunity to get a recommendation from an em-
ployer in case other jobs open up.
Another thing Blanchard would like to do is to
buy houses. Detroit is the largest owner of
houses of any city in America. We could buy
them for practically nothing, and put building
tradesmen to work making them standard. If
you could restore them, and put people to work
restoring them, you could build yourself a
tremendous tax base.
Another thing he would like to do is to find
those small industries which are attempting to
grow. Some are being run by geniuses, but
they're mathematical geniuses, they're com-
puter geniuses, they don't know about business.
If you bring in people who are attempting to
find areas for people of wealth to invest their
money and bring in people who know how to
run those businesses, you could make them
work, you could make them expand.
Daily: There's been some criticism directed
at Blanchard about his running onthe coattails

of big labor. How do you respond to those
charges?
Griffiths: Absolutely false. That's ridiculous:
Blanchard is a very well-informed man. His
degrees are in business.

Daily: Why did you decide to come out of
retirement for this race?
Griffiths: When Mr. Headlee decided that we
weren't human, I decided to join a campaign. I
am the woman who put the Equal Rights
Amendment through the Congress of the
United States. I feel that not only are women
humans, everybody else is. I think that people
should be given an equal chance to develop
their skills and do whatever they can to develop
this country. And I am particularly incensed
that in all these years the traditional housewife
has never really been represented. I think
there should be someone to speak for them.

6

Daily: What are you and your running mate's
plans for higher education?
Griffiths: First we must make sure that
every university has a full course offering. I
understand that the University of Michigan cut
out geography. I could practically cry about
that. It might be a great idea to cut if maybe
they weren't making anything teaching, or if
they didn't have any students, but it's
deplorable for education simply to hack.

Daily: Do you think that women's issues are
crucial in this campaign, given Headlee's
statements against feminist groups and such?
Griffiths: I think they're the hidden issue.,
It's very important to some women, and I think
women are voting together as they never have
before.
Dialogue is a weekly feature of the
Opinion Page.

Martha Griffiths, who went from retirement
to running for lieutenant governor, is pushing
for jobs in her election bid.

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Wasserman

Vol. XCIII, No. 38

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Belcher: What a dope

W HICH IS the greater -menace:
marijuana in the high schools or
Louis Belcher in City Hall?
It's hard to tell. They both stink.
Last week, in a shamelessly political
appeal to the city's conservative
elements, Belcher announced that he
would try to get the city's lenient pot
laws repealed. Donning the robes of
Protector of the City's Youth and
Morals, Belcher decried the corruption
the evil weed has been causing in the
city's high schools.
"I never did agree with the law,"
Belcher oozed last week, "and I never
did agree with the change in the city
charter."
But a telling detail in Belcher's sud-
den barrage of morality is the fact that
there has been no mention of restric-
ting marijuana use just among those
under 18. The talk of the high schools is
a sham: Belcher wants to get rid of
dope-not merely the high school
dopers. Belcher doesn't want to appeal
just to .overwrought parents; he wants
the votes of the folks who simply don't
like the damned weed.
Deep down, under that anachronistic
facade, Belcher might even realize
that a repeal of the city's pot law won't
greatly affect drug use by adults or
children. It will only make it less con-
venient. At most, such a repeal will
drive drug use more underground. The
greatest possible effect will be to instill
a greater disrespect for the construc-

tive purposes of the law.
But weighty matters of public policy
aren't on Belcher's mind. What's on his
mind are votes, and he figures he-can
garner quite a few of them by playing
the marijuana card to the hilt.
In a way, his logic is correct. The
number of students voting in city elec-
tions has declined dramatically since
the late sixties and early seventies,
when the city's liberal pot laws were
passed. The influence of the city's
permanent residents-who are usually
regarded as far more conservative
than the students-in city elections h
been much greater in recent years
than it was in the past. Belcher is bet-
ting that that influence will be suf-
ficient to both pass his proposal and re-
elect him in April.
Thankfully, Belcher has a long way
to go before his plan succeeds. One of
the first hurdles will be the City Coun-
cil, which must vote to put Belcher's
lunacy on the April ballot. Belcher has
been vague about when he will bring
the matter up-goodness knows, since
politics, not principles, are on his
mind, he may only be saying he wants
the law repealed for effect.
What if worst comes to worst and the
council puts the issue on the ballot?
Who knows, maybe Belcher's proposal
will backfire. Maybe students will be
so enraged that they will flock to the
polls and prevent Belcher's antiquated
idea from becoming an outrageous
reality.

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LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
16
A look back at GEO negotiations

0

To the Daily:
Joseph Graves has done the
graduate student assistants on
this campus a great disservice in'
his letter ("Why to vote against
GEO's contract," Daily, Oct. 15)
by linking the substance of the
tentative GEO contract with the
process by which it was
negotiated.
There isn't any GSA, and cer-
tainly any bargaining team
member, who didn't want a bet-
ter contract than the one now un-
der consideration. To argue,
however, that it was the process
of bargaining and the personal
attributes of the individuals on
the bargaining team which led to
the particular weaknesses of the
contract detracts from the
critical recognition that the real
opponent is not the bargaining
team. It is the University ad-
ministration.
Graves would have you believe
that with a greater commitment
to the priorities of the union
membership (outlined in the sur-
vey of issues taken last spring)
- A fn rJm ~ . nf rr~n 4L. f

order to avoid bargaining at all.
In addition, Graves again and
again accuses the bargaining
team of closed-door bargaining in
smoke-filled rooms. I wonder
why he does this since the record
on the bargaining process stands
for itself:
" We insisted that bargaining
sessions be open to the public in
order to allow members to obser-
ve the team at work. The Univer-
sity refused, a right they have by
law;
" Team meetings were open
and were attended by interested
rank and file members;
* We reported to the elected
union steering committee at each
of its meetings;
* We invited Graves himself,
who had lost his election bid for
bargaining team member, to at-
tend team meetings and to par-
ticipate in bargaining with the
University unilaterally extending
membership of our team. This
action raised the wrath of many
rank and file members who had
opposed his election. Graves did

ticipate in bargaining.
* The University did not
"pressure" us into agreeing to
conclude negotiations during the
summer. They simply threatened
to withdraw all that we had
achieved if we negotiated until
September. It was our judgment
at the time that the University
was not kidding and that, in the
possible absence of a strongly
organized and militant member-
ship at the start of the school
year, we would make the most
gains for the union by concluding
negotiations when we felt we had
gone as far as we could go. At that
point it would be up to the mem-
bership to send a positive or
negative message to the Univer-
sity. That is the process we are
going through now.
I am very concerned about the
amount of time and energy that

Graves has spent deflecting from
the substance of the
provisions-and the likelihood of
getting a better contract-to
issues which are simply not real.
There are, in fact, as many
reasons to vote for the contract as
there are reasons to vote against
it, but they are substantive and
strategic reasons, not rhetorical
ones. I urge all members to go to
the library, where the contract is
on reserve, and read through the
provisions very carefully.
If you decide to vote no, lend
your help and support to your
union, because it is only with a
strong and united membership
that we will gain a better con-
tract.
-Linda Kaboolian,
GEO bargaining
team member
October 21

0
I

Liberty,

drugs,

and

politics

To the Daily:

medication.

AF

A

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