Elaine and Gene Lantz
Elaine & Gene Lantz

Lifetime Peacemaker Award:
Gene and Elaine

 

 

Elaine and Gene Lantz have been involved in peace and justice struggles since the war in Vietnam. They met in Dallas at a meeting of an anti-nuclear power group named Armadillo Coalition. Their first "date" was putting up posters for a protest in 1979.

Over the years together, they have touched virtually every progressive cause in North Texas.

In 1979, they established the Metroplex Citizens for Aid to Nicaragua. They soon joined it with the national organization, Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador. Elaine organized “brigadistas” to help with the coffee harvest during Ronald Reagan’s “Contra War.” Both Lantzes, on different brigades, went to Central America to pick coffee.

As it became more possible to work with labor unions, both Lantzes played parts in saving their union during a prolonged struggle that stretched from March, 1984 to July, 1985. After that successful battle, Elaine made major contributions as head of the union’s Women’s Committee while Gene went on to become the editor. Both Lantzes continued to carry out union assignments until the present day.

As the “Contra War” wore on, the Lantzes took responsibility for building a mighty data base of peace activists. It served the CISPES organization, the War Emergency Network, and, finally, became the communications basis for the nascent Dallas Peace Center.

Elaine and Gene started North Texas Jobs with Justice in 1990. The organization supported workers’ struggles, fought for health care for all, against “free trade” agreements that disregarded workers’ rights and the environment. Then and now, they work to inform, integrate, and strengthen progressive alliances among unions, civil rights organizations, church groups, peace activists, and other progressive people.

Although Elaine and Gene are retired from paid work today, they can still be counted on as Dallas area volunteers in the service of progress.

 

 

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