Box 3, Folder 14, Document 75

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Box 3, Folder 14, Document 75

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Race Relations Commission
Organizes; Gets Challenge
. Atlanta's new Community Relations Commission, created to
help problems of racial
strife, was officially organized
Wednesday and urged to "get
out there to the danger spots
as quickly as possible. "
The challenge came 'from T.
M. Alexander, a member of the
commission, set up recently by
the Atlanta aldermanic board.
. Alexander's comments came
after the 20- member commission had been sworn in and
was having its first business
Alexander and several other
members expressed the hope
that the commission could move
1swiftly to head off potential
1trouble in areas similar to Boule! vard and Summerhill where ra. cial incidents erupted in Sep' tember.
Division of t he commission
1lnto small groups which could

move into these potentially ex, plosive areas "and hear the

, people" was suggested by Alexander.
Vice Mayor Sam Massell J r.
declared that with formation of
the commission "no longer will
official concern about community relations come about only as
· result of crisis and emergency."
Organization of the commission,
said Massell, assures that racial
problems will "now rightfully
take their place in City Hall
as a day-to-day responsibility.
The commission, headed by
attorney Irving Kaler as chairman, will operate initially on a
$30,000 a year budget. Thls includes some $12,000 to $15,000
for an executive director.
Much of the commission's
first meeting was taken up with
discussion of the type of person
needed for the executive direc
tor's job .
-The Rev. Sam Williams head
of the commission's scr~ening
committee, said some 17 applications for the job have already
been received.
Massell 11rged the commission
to hold "mass meetings" in Atlanta neighborhoods in order to
"catalog grievances" of the citizens.
He also suggested that the
commission pursue an application for an Office of Economic
Opportunity grant in the amount
of $130,000 to establish a "fair
housing center" as an adjunct
Mayor Ivan ~Hen's camp~i_gn
for more housmg opportumties
for the lower econoIIDc bracket.
John G. Feild, director of the
Community Relations Service of
the U.S. Conference of Mayors,
told the commission members
that they would have to decide
themselves what role they wish
to play in the city's racial relations.
Feild said they must decide
"whether you're going to do it
yourselves or see that it gets
The Rev. Mr. Williams was
named first vice chairm;m of
the commission; Helen Bullard,
second vice chairman, and Mrs.
Fred Patterson, secretary.

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