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1970 PROGRAM PLAN
COMMUNITY RELATIONS COMMISSION
SECTION I - LEGISLATION
The Community Relations Commission has been operating for
almost three years under the initial ordinance creating the Commis-
sion. The Commission has been able in many cases to implement suc-
cessfully its duties and functions "to foster mutual understanding,
tolerance, and respect among all economic, social, religious, and
ethnic groups in the Gity." The Board of Aldermen also charged
the Commission with the responsibility "to investigate, discourage
and seek to prevent discriminatory practices against any individ-
ual because a dees, color, creed, religion, national origin or
ancestry." Here the Commission has found that the only tool it
has is that of persuasion. In light of the nature of the dis-
criminatory practices still existing in Atlanta, the Commission
-has found this tool to be inadequate. To do the job the Commis-
sion believes must be done in eliminating discriminatory practices,
local legislative action is needed in the following areas:
Program Plan 1970°
1. Public Accommodations. Although the 1964 Civil
Rights Act has been an effective tool in elimi-
nating discrimination in most businesses serving
the public, the law is applicable only to firms
engaged in interstate commerce. Some Atlanta
businesses not in interstate commerce, enti ate
trailer. parks, skating rinks, health spas and
barber shops,discriminate because of race.” “
In the opinion of the Commission, it is unjust for
this small number of businesses to enjoy the pros-
perity of this great City while the vast majority
of businesses are abiding by the letter and spirit
of bie Federal law. The Federal remedial process
is slow, cumbersome and expensive. A local public
accommodations ordinance with Lsvssichk powers
through the municipal courts of Atlanta is needed.
Contract Compliance. In 1967 the Board of Alder-
men enacted Ordinance #31-41.1 making it necessary
for firms contracting with the City to have a non-
discriminatory hiring policy. -Each supplier
certifies he does not discriminate but nothing else
is done to enforce the ordinance. The ordinance
contains no investigatory or enforcement powers.
In 1969, the budget of the City of Atlanta was
$207,000,000. The full implementation of this
ordinance would be an important lever in ending
employment discrimination in Atlanta.
Program Plan 1970
3. Fair Employment. The 1964 Civil Rights Act
covers firms with 25 or more employees. This
leaves thousands of Atlanta citizens without
fair enplioyment protection. Furthermore, the
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's
backlog of cases in the Southeast is proof net
more action is needed on a local level. Other
Southern cities such as Miami and Nashville a
have found their local fair*‘employment ordi-
nances to be biighiiy useful in conbekiing dis-
crimination. The Commission believes that
Atlanta needs an ordinance with enforcement
powers to cover firms with ten or more employees.
In order to enforce effectively erdtnences on public accommo-
dations, contract compliance and fair employment the Commission.
needs subpoena, cease and desist, and other powers which may be
necessary to implement these ordinances.
The Commission recomnends that the number of Commission
members be increased from 20 to 22, with the additional two
positions Keine designated for young persons age 22 or under.
The Commission asks that the terms for these two youth positions
be rotated yearly for increased youth involvement. The youth
Commissioners are to have full voting rights and powers. They are
to serve on an equal basis with the other Commission members.
Program Plan 1970 -
SECTION II - TOWN HALL MEETINGS
Immediately after its creation three years ago, CRC insti-
tuted a series of Town Hall meetings in disadvantaged areas. These
meetings gave citizens an opportunity to express their grievances
and City Hall a chance to take remedial action. CRC benefited
from this program because it gave the Commission a direct involve-
ment with the people in their neighborhoods. The “citizens bene-
fited because they had a areeeE line to City Hall.
Concurrently the office of Community Development Coordinator
was created to deal with City services in disadvantaged areas.
Although the CRC has had an effective working relationship with
Johnny Robinson's office, duplication of effort exists. CRC's
main goals are to improve human relations and to eliminate discrim-
ination. The Town Hall meetings deal primarily with improving City
services. The Commission recommends that the staff of the Community
Development Coordinator be expanded with more City coordinators being
placed in disadvantaged areas on a year round basis and that the
Community Development Coordinator's office assume the responsibility
for the Town Hall meeting program.
SECTION III ~- PUBLIC HEARINGS
The Ordinance creating the Community Relations Commission
states in Sec. 18.104.22.168:
"Pursuant to the named functions and duties of the
Community Relations Commission, it is empowered to
hold hearings and take the testimony of any person
under oath. The Commission, after the completion
of any hearing, shall make a report in writing to
the Mayor setting forth the facts found by it and
its recommendations. At any hearing before the
‘Commission a witness shall have the right to be
advised Sy counsel present during such hearings."
Program Plan 1970 ©
The Commission has made very little use of this section of
its charter. In an effort to get to the root cause of discrimi-
nation, CRC will institute public hearings in such areas: as
public accommodations, employment discrimination, school segre-
gation, housing discrimination and other vital areas affecting
' improved human relations in Atlanta.
SECTION IV - EMPLOYMENT
1. Starting in September CRC will undertake a systematic
study bg minority employment and promotion in each City Hall
depardnant, the Atlanta Housing Authority, and non-professional
positions in the Atlanta School System. Upon completion of this
suuay; | the Commission will make a public report of its findings
‘2. Jobs Creation-Atlanta, a joint project of the Equal Employ-
ment Opportunity Commission and CRC, has been refunded for another
year. Maurice Mitchell has been employed to direct this project
during 1969-70. During the last 12 months CRC has worked with 25
companies on their hiring and recruiting practices of minority
persons. The plan for the forthcoming year is to continue working
with these 25 firms and to add 15 new companies.
3. The Commission will work for the elimination of discrim-
ination in Atlanta labor unions, trade associations, and profes-~-
4, CRC will continue its efforts with an ad hoc committee
. to make a study of anticipated job openings in Atlanta during the
next five years and how vocational and other training can be
geared to meet these needs.
' Program Plan 1970
5. CRC will consider having another workshop on minority
economic development in mid-winter.
SECTION V -- EDUCATION
~ 1. CRC will work with the new school board to improve the
quality of education for minorities and the disadvantaged and to
2. The CRC plans to work with the Atlanta School System and
the City Planning Department in determining how locations for new
schools can assist in solving the desegregation problem.
3. The Commission will make personal calls on each college
president in Atlanta to urge his institution to accelerate student
and faculty recruitment across racial lines.
SECTION VI - POLICE-COMMUNITY RELATIONS
1. The Commission will work with the Police Department and the
Urban Laboratory in developing training programs in police-community
relations for senior officers, patrolment and new recruits. Efforts
will be made to utilize outstanding sociologists, criminologists,
psychologists, psychiatrists, law enforcement officers and consultants
in Atlanta and elsewhere.
2. The CRC will offer its services to the Police Department in
initiating more training in human relations for the police/community
3. CRC will monitor Municipal Courts and make recommendations
to judges on how human relations can be improved.
Page 7 ‘
. Program Plan 1970
SECTION VII - HOUSING
1. In the last nine years 22 Atlanta schools have gone. from
all white to virtually all Negro. The City of Atlanta Planning:
Department eevinavee that in 1967 and 1968 490 City blocks changed
from white to non-white.
After identifing one or two target ares for transition
the Commission will seek to marshall total community support.....
businesses, churches, the Atlanta School Board, human cblattous
organizations, real estate brokers, and the press.....to stablize
these areas. The Commission will seek to develop ways and Poe
to report and halt block-busting.
2. The CRC plans to send out teams of black and white sback
members to various apartment buildings and housing developments
' and ask for housing. In doing so discriminatory practices will
be identified and dealt with.
3. The Commission will contact The Advertising Council and
the Department of Housing and Urban Development to find out the
availability of public service TV spots, ads and car-cards. The
staff will then urge local media to use these public service ads
4, CRC will continue to participate actively as a member of
the Metropolitan Atlanta Housing Conference which seeks to further
“open housing and the dispersal of low-income housing to all quad-
rants of the City and suburbs.
5. There is a tremendous need in Atlanta for a centralized
agency which lists available housing at all income levels. CRC
plans to talk to representatives of the American Friends Service
Program Plan 1970 -
Committee, Metropolitan Fair Housing Conference and the Mayor's
Housing Resources Committee to see if such a function can be
SECTION VIII - PUBLIC INFORMATION
1. CRC will strive to further its public information role
by working closely with all news media and having members and staff
speak to church and civic groups. It is the wish of" the staff
ies involve more intensively Commission members in public speaking
The staff will make personal calls on television stations
and service clubs offering a list of panelists and speakers who
reflect a wide range of experience and view points in the human
' relations field.
2. Special effort will be made to concentrate on the human
relations education of witte and blue collar workers in Atlanta.
‘The staff will prepare two or three stories for the 25 largest
company house organs in the City. Personal calls will be made by
the staff at high cooperate levels to urge the use of these mate-
SECTION IX - INTER-AGENCY COOPERATION
1. The Commission will invite all Atlanta professional
organizations concerned with the human relations to a one day
meeting at City Hall in December so each organization can outline
its program fia for 1970. |
2. Throughout the year the staff will concentrate on improving
communications with other human relations organizations..... working
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directly with them and through the Atlanta Chapter of the National
Association of Inter-Group Relations Officials (NAIRO).
SECTION X - WORKSHOPS IN HUMAN RELATIONS
1. In mid-1970 the CRC staff plans to repeat several sessions
' of the Workshop in Human Relations for new City Hall employees.
2. As a follow up to the Workshops in Human Relations, CRC plans
an on-going program on human relation for City of Atlanta personnel.
Each department will be asked to designate a person through which the
Commission can work.
CRC's foremost function is to identify and eliminate discrim-
SECTION XI ~ REACTION TO CRISIS
ination in Atlanta. If this job is done, civil disorders will be
minimized. However a master plan needs te be developed outlining
what CRC should do in event of a racial crisis. For example:
1. The operation of Rumor Control.
2. The organization of "Interfaith Mobilization",
a group of Atlanta ministers trained to act as
observers and reporters at hospitals and police
35 The identification of a list of community leaders
who can be called on for specific assignments.
SECTION XII - RESEARCH
The Board of Aldermen charged the Commission with several
responsibilities including....."To make studies, and to have
Program Plan 1970.
_studies made, in the field of human relations, and to prepare
and disseminate reports of such studies." Due to lack of staff,
the Commission has not adequately discharged this responsibility..
The Commission requires a full time staff member to initiate
specific studies in the field of human relations in 1970. This
staff member will work closely with the Community Council, the
Urban Laboratory, and colleges and universities to avoid duplica-
tion of efforts. iad
Program Plan 1970
SECTION XII - HIPPIES
CRC will endeavor to serve as a communications link between
the growing hippie community and the City of Atlanta. CRC plans
to hold periodic meetings in the near Northside neighborhood with
residents, business proprioritors and landlords and to make
recommendations to City officials.