Box 5, Folder 9, Document 7

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Elmo Ellis, General Manager
Broadcast Sunday, December 22, 1968

Novelist Jan Struther once wrote: "A city is greater than its bricks and mortar; it
is greater than tower or palace, church or hall; a city's as great as the little people
that live there."

We agree with the sentiment expressed in these lines, but if we expect the little
people to prove their greatness, aren't we duty bound to ask ourselves, what kind of
living quarters are we providing for them?

Many families in Atlanta are living in decrepit apartments and rat-infested slum
housing. Their so-called homes are unfit for raising children. They lend themselves
more often to serving as breeding places for discontent, disease and crime.

While we have replaced some of these hovels and shacks, and expect to meet the Mayor's
quota of 16,800 replacement units by 1971, we aren't providing nearly enough low and
middle-income housing.

And we aren't subsidizing the building of such units in enough different places in
the city.

Clarence Coleman of the Housing Resources Committee of Atlanta headed a team that
studied this matter thoroughly. Its members concluded that (1) subsidized housing
must be fairly distributed through the city; and (2) the only politically feasible way
to do this is by a "package deal," which designates some ten areas located in various
sections, north, south, east and west, all of which are suitable for housing development.

The plan isn't new, but its never been given a vote of approval by the Board of
Aldermen, If they would say yes, housing development could move ahead in a way to make
1969 a banner year for Atlanta.

Our city has proved its ability to redesign our skyline with magnificent new office
buildings, hotels, luxury apartments and shopping complexes. This same kind of vision
and energetic leadership is sorely needed in the building of adequate subsidized housing,

Besides eradicating substandard dwellings and bringing new sunlight into thousands
of lives, such an enlightened effort on a massive, city-wide scale could nerhaps do more
than any other thing to promote social and economic stability and stimulate peaceful
progress throughout our community.

A great many business, professional and church leaders are solidly behind this program.
A number of our top civic organizations are enthusiastically supporting it.

What we need now is a resounding expression of approval from the vast majority of our
local citizens.

If we make it clear and convincing that we, the people of Atlanta, are behind this
package proposel--and we earnestly want to see subsidize housing distributed throughout
the city--then we will improve vastly the chances that our Housing Authority and our
Aldermen will hear and give this program the green light.

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