Equal Rights

Women in Broadcasting

Television changed dramatically in the 1970s. Although there were minority and women reporters, all the prime time anchors were white men. Then along came Mary Jo West. West co-anchored the news at KOOL-TV with Bill Close.

"I remember The Phoenix Gazette at the time, the headline said, "Anchorette Debuts" and I wanted to be more than an anchorette. I wanted to do stories with substance and to show that women don't detract from the news but can add perhaps even something special that men could not."
Mary Jo West, Broadcast Journalist

During the 1970s, more women than ever before entered the workforce and were elected into government. Margaret Hance became Phoenix's first female mayor and Sandra Day O'Connor, the first female majority leader of the Arizona State Senate.
Read the transcript.

Arizonan Cesar Chavez

Women were not the only Arizonans fighting for equality in the '70s. Blacks, American Indians and Hispanics all called for fairer pay, opportunities in the workplace, and equal treatment in the schools. Two civil right organizations - Chicanos Por La Causa and Barrio Youth Project - were founded in Phoenix in the early part of decade.

Arizonan Cesar Chavez became a national figure leading fasts and strikes, boycotts and marches,calling better pay and working conditions for farm workers.

"And I looked around and I saw common, ordinary working people with families and children. I saw farm workers there, politicians there, students there from ASU. I saw professional people there. Cesar Chavez being in this hall brought all of us together for a common cause of social justice and fairness ... "
Christine Marin, then a student at Arizona State University, recounting a Chavez speech at the Santa Rita Center in Phoenix.

Arizonans elected the state's first Hispanic governor in 1974 with the slogan, "A Choice for Change."
Read the transcript.