Box 22, Folder 2, Document 42

Dublin Core

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America and its communities are changing with unsettling rapidity.

Most of this change has been healthy; and most of the problems
it has caused tend to evoke their own solutions. This country - de-
spite its transitional strains and its freely-voiced complaints - has
an immense capacity for self-correction.

There is always a temptation - and a pressure - to over-react:
to give equal ear to every complaint, to chase off after every prob-
fem, and to wind up with a congeries of programs which may slow up
rather than accelerate the nation’s natural and long-run capacity for

J Evidence is accumulating that such has already happened in the
federal government's response to urban problems over the past twenty


These have been years of experimentation, imorovisation, and

probing. On balance, they have been constructive. But neither in

scale nor impact have they caught up with the dimensions and force of
the nation's urban trends and developing problems.
The time has come to move from experimentation over a wide front,
and in sometimes contrary directions, to an effort
a) which is aimed at selected problems of transcending importance
b) which is of a scale large enough to make a difference;
c) which is not dissipated by conflicting policies and adminis-
trative arrangements;
which offer powerful incentives to state, local and private
initiative, and thereby move toward a "steady state" of con-
tinuous problem-solving;

which begin to erase the public's skepticism -- its growing


feeling that public programs are not to-be taken seriously,

that more is promised than will ever be delivered.

The Task Force believes there are seven urban problems which

presently call for a national effort at scale -- problems which are

not self-correcting, at léast not within a suffetable length of time:
1) the segregation of race and income, and the separation of

ghettoed populations from the growth sectors of the. urban
the lack of provision for urban youth, especially educatior
and jobs.
the absence of an urban competence in the determination of
national economic policy.
the inadequacy of financial flows to and among urban com-
munities, and to the older, depressed areas in particular.
the extremely categorical approach to urban programming;
the over-centralization of detail; the multiplication of
required consents; and the disincentives to community
the meagre flow of talent into public service at state and
local levels.
the lack of provision for long-range programming, and for

continuous innovation and evaluation.

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