Box 7, Folder 9, Document 17

Dublin Core

Text Item Type Metadata






Exiles’ From Government

National Urban Coalition

Special lo The New York Times

Some of the ablest innovators
and mechanics of the New
Frontier and Great Society are
to be found two blocks from
the White House in the offices
of the National Urban Coali-
tion. This private agency has
become the vehicle for the
special talents and persuasion
of John W. Gardner, the former
Secretary of Health, Education
and Welfare.

The kind of ferment. and ex-
citement that pervaded the
Government in the Kennedy Ad-
ministration and early part of
the Johnson Administration is
present to a degree within the
coalition, which occupies two
floors df an office building at
1819 H Street.

Many on Mr. Gardner's staff
of professionals are, in effect,
exiles from the Government
and have transferred their hope
for a better society from the
public to the private sector.

A Commitment Sought

They show less optimism
about the possibility of quick
change and less self. assurance
than was evident in Washing-
ton in the days before the big
city riots, But they are finding
America to be a little wiser
about its urban predicament
and are moving to achieve a
national commitment in that

The force that Mr. Gardner
has assembled in the last seven
months has two main ob-
jectives: To organize a massive
lobbying effort to obtain the

The New York Times
John W. Gardner

legislation that the coalition
considers essential for the cities
and to activate local leader-
ship, especially the business
community, through local affili-

Mr. Gardner said in an inter-
view that the coalition's annual
budget at the national level was
$3.5-million but that the over-
all cost, including that of 39 lo-
cal coalitions, would be about
$20-million. The money is pro-
vided by centributions from in-
dividuals, businesses and foun-

Three years ago President
Johnson described the adverse
forces faced by Negroes in the
slums as a “seamless web”

that would yield only to a total
attack. The coalition itself is
moving in several areas, if only
in small ways.

School Aid Disputed

For example, its education
division, headed by Dr. James
Kelly, an associate professor
at Columbia University, is sup-
porting with funds and re-
search a lawsuit that could
radically change the method by
which most states allocate
school funds, so as to give
inner-city schools a_ larger

The suit, brought by the
Detroit Board of Education
against the State of Michigan,
charges that the system of ap-
propriating the. same amount
per child in both rich and poor
districts is inherently unfair to
the slum child. The case, now
in a state court in Detroit,
is expected eventually to be
decided by the United States
Supreme Court.

Other “problem solving” proj-
ects are under way in the fields
of employment, education, hous-
ing, economic development of
the slums, legal services and
health—all under the general
heading of program develop-

The coalition was founded
by a group of private citizens
in August, 1967, after the
nation had been raked by
riots, It brought together busi-
ness, religious, labor and civil
rights leaders in an effort to
reorder national priorities in
the urban crisis.

Its stated objectives was to
bring about expanded Federal

efforts to provide jobs, an
adequate income, decent and
nondiscriminatory housing and
improved education for the

There was _ considerable
skepticism about what it could
accomplish, and for a time it
appeared that the coalition
would disappear for lack of
leadership, staffing and co-
ordination. Mr. Gardner be-
came its chairman the follow-
ing spring and has_ been
steadily building his staff.

“The staff was assembled
from two sources: persons who
had worked with Mr. Gardner
in government and those who
beat on the doors to get in,”
according to a coalition spokes-

The latest high-level official
to arrive is George A. Silver,
who had been deputy assistant
secretary for health and scien-
tific affairs in the Department
of Health, Education and Wel-
fare and who will head up a
health program for the coali-
tion. Dr. Silver was an idea
man for the Government (“it
would take several trucks to
haul away my unused memos,”
he says) and hopes to be the
same at the coalition.

Health Crisis Seen

In an interview amid packing
boxes in his new office, Dr.
Silver said there was a crisis
building in most communities
regarding health services, due
in part to a lack of understand-
ing among the classes of people
and professional groups in-
volved. He hopes to build
“communications bridges” be-
tween them.

Following is a sample of oth-
ers who have joined the staff:
M. Carl Holman, formerly depu-

ty staff director of the Unit-

ed States Commission on

Civil Rights, and now the co-

alition’s vice president for

program development.
Bryan Duff, who was on the

public affairs staff of the Na-

tional Aeronautics and Space

Administration and is now

vice president for communi-

Lowell Beck, who was on the

staff of the American Bar

Association and is executive

director of the Urban Coali-

tion Action Council, the co-
alition’s lobbying arm.

A visitor gets the feeling that
if Mr. Gardner were to leave,
the coalition might fall apart.
This is due in part to the fact
that he has the respect of lib-
erals because of his commit-
ment to Federal action, and of
conservatives because he is a
Republican with a wide follow-
ing in the business community.

The emphasis is on getting
business leaders and others
with “clout” in their communi-
ties involved. John Dean, a Ne-
gro who had been southeastern
director for community action
programs under the Office of
Economic Opportunity, is over-
seeing the formation of local
coalitions in the same area.

It is a slow, difficult task,
he acknowledged, but the first
step is to interest business and
other community leaders in
establishing a coalition. The
blacks, he said, are no longer
interested in meeting just with
the white liberals who mean
well but have little power.
“They want to meet with the
people who can get something
done,” he said.

Mr. Gardner believes the
greatest failure has been at the
community level, As Secretary
of Health,-Education and Wel-
fare, he was assured by his
own staff and other leaders in
some communities that there
would be no riots just before
the riots broke out. In some
cities white leaders still do not
know who the real Negro
leaders are.

Performance Varies

“We have talked a great
game of community leadership,
but we haven't lived up to it,”
he said. “The Federal Govern-
ment can only give the com-
munities the pieces [in grants

\and programs], and it is up to

them to put the pieces to-

The performance of the local
coalitions has varied widely.
Many are still in the formative

stage. The Minneapolis Coali-
tion is cited as the good ex-
ample. It has sponsored such
things as “Anti-Racism Weck”
for the education of suburban
whites. White leaders ventured
into the slums and were ex-
posed to such remarks as: “Did
you see what the honkies did?
They raised $5-million for the
Minneapolis Symphony.”

Stephen Keating, president of
Honeywell, Inc., and chairman
of the coalition, withstood out-
rage and insults in “confron-
tations between the powerless
and the powerful.”

But cities like Minneapolis,
New York and Detroit are ex-
ceptions. Some cities whose
Mayors are members of the
national steering committee—
Chicago, Pittsburgh and Phoe-
nix—did not even have coali-
tions as of last month.

Mayor Richard J. Daley of
Chicago has said his Demo-
cratic organization provides
the same service, and in cities
like Atlanta progressive leaders
who have traditionally met in
private and decided what is
best for the community are
reluctant to give up that pre-

Because of the coalition’s
emphasis on private initiative,
Mr. Gardner is hopeful of hav-
ing the cooperation of the in-
coming Nixon Administration.
Members of the steering com-
mittee are to meet soon with
the President-elect, and Mr.
Gardner already has held meet-
ings with several of Mr. Nixon’s

He is pleased with the list
of persons he has been told
Mr. Nixon is considering for
the Secretafies of Health, Edu-
cation and Welfare and Hous-
ing and Urban Development.

But there is skepticism within
the coalition about the use of
tax credits, which Mr. Nixon
has proposed in an effort to
enlist private enterprise in re-
building the slums and provid-
ing employment. Mr, Gardner
says the proposals must be
made more specific and studied
carefully before his organiza-
tion will decide on their merit,

NEW SYMBOL of Urban Coalition makes “U” and “C” the
links of a chain. Sandgren & Murtha, Inc., designed it.


New York Coalition Scoring
Its First Dramatic Gains in Slums


A grimy foundry in Harlem
changed ownership recently,
and with the transaction, all the
talk about giving Negroes a
“piece of the action” took a
small but profound step toward

The foundry, at 402 West
126th Street, was sold by its
two white owners, Frieda Bogo-
tod and Ernest Kruezer, to the
Harlem Commonwealth Coun-
cil, a Negro economic develop-
ment corporation.

Behind the sale lies an impor-
tant part of the story of what
the New York Urban Coalition
is all about; for it was with the
help of the coalition—a group
of some 160 business, labor and
community leaders who believe
life in New York's slums can
be improved by private effort—
that the deal was accomplished.

The story of the coalition
also lies in the help it gave to
a Negro man who wanted to
open a shoe store in Harlem.

And it lies in the dedicated
activities of the city’s street
academies, which seek to sal-
vage high school dropouts from
lives of ignorance and degrada-

Not An ‘Illusion’

It even lies in a little vacant
lot on 118th Street and Park
Avenue, which in a few months
will become the first of dozens
of miniparks created with coa-
lition aid.

“We're not under the illusion
that the private sector can turn
the city around,” said Saul
Wallen, the president of the
New York Urban Coalition, as
he reviewed its first-year ac-
complishments. “But we can
have an impact.”

Except for the trumpeting of
its slogan — “Give a damn”
—the coalition has operated
quietly during the year, possi-
bly because it did not seek

publicity for its first tentative
steps and avoided controversial
areas until this week.

But on Monday the coalition
purchased newspaper adver-
tisements strongly backing
school decentralization under
the headline: “If it works in
Scarsdale, it can work in
Ocean Hill.” The text of the
advertisement included a de-
centralization resolution ap-
proved by the group’s board
of directors after some vigorous
private debate.

Officials of the United Feder-
ation of Teachers said yester-
day that the union was pre-
paring a statement “rebutting
some distortions’ in the ad-

A Dramatic Step

The sale of the Acme Foun-
dry to the Harlem Common-
wealth Council is, perhaps, the
most dramatic tangible step
the coalition has yet made
toward changing things in the
depressed black and Puerto
Rican communities.

The Harlem Commonwealth
Council was organized 18
months ago by Roy Innis, now
the national director of the
Congress of Racial Equality and
a firm believer in black eco-
nomic development. Mr, Innis
is also a member of the New
York Urban Coalition, which is
the local arm of the National
Urban Coalition.

His simultaneous role in both
groups made it natural for the
Urban Coalition and the Harlem
Commonwealth Council to co-
operate, and when Miss Bogo-
rod and Mr. Kruezer informed
the coalition they wanted to sell
their foundry, the wheels were
quickly set in motion.

The price the foundry owners
had set was $45,000 pius about
$70.000 in cash on hand, ac-
counts receivable and inven-

The coalition marshaled the
needed assistance to complete
the deal. Allen Herzig of Kid-
der, Peabody & Co., the invest-
ment banking firm, did a finan-
cial analysis of the foundry.
Stuart Goldman, a Wall Street
lawyer, handled the legal work
involved in the purchase.

The Abex Corporation, a
manufacturer of control equip-
ment and the owner of several
foundries, agreed to provide
technical aid and arranged for
the new president of the
foundry, Rozendo Beasley, to
attend a training course given
by the American Foundrymen’s

Loans Are Granted

Through the efforts of the
coalition, the Morgan Guaranty
Trust Company lent the Har-
lem Commonwealth Council
$50,000. The coalition’s Venture
Corporation—one of two eco-
nomic development corpora-
tions it has established to help
black and Puerto Rican business
enterprises—put up $20,000,
and the Episcopal Diocese of
New York provided a loan of
another $20,000.

Under its new ownership, the
foundry employs 27 persons
and does a gross business of
$500,000 a year.

But Negro ownership of the
plant, while an important step,
is just the first, according to
Mr. Beasley, a dynamic, mus-
tached 33-year-old business ad-
ministration graduate of Michi-
gan State University.

When the foundry has paid
off its $95,000 debt, he ex-
plained, the Harlem Common-
wealth Council plans to sell
shares to Harlem residents at a
price they can afford to pay.

“Our aim is economic devel-
opment,” he said, “spreading
the equity within the com-
munity. That’s what we're
shooting for.”


As a corollary objective, he

said, the Harlem Common-
wealth Council hopes to prove
that Negro businessmen can run
an enterprise so successfully
that investment will be at-
tracted to other black-operated
_"A lot of financial institu-
tions say there are no busi-
nesses in ghettos worth invest-
ing in,” Mr. Beasley said. “We
want to prove that is wrong. A
lot of financial institutions say
there isn’t enough black mana-
gerial talent available in the
ghetto. We want to prove this
wrong, too,

“Our main function is to get
in there and make dough.”

Cooperation between the Har-
lem Commonwealth Council and
the New York Urban Coalition
has also led to the establish-
ment of a shoe store under
Negro ownership at Lenox Av-
enue and 134th Street. The
Tru-Fit Stride Rite store, which
is owned by Al Jackson, opened
in September.

Mr. Jackson, who had been
the manager of a Miles shoe
store in Harlem, was chosen
from among eight possible
owners whose names were sub-
mitted to the Green Shoe Com-
pany by the Harlem Common-
wealth Council. The Green
Shoe Company put up about 90
per cent of the needed invest-
ment, Mr. Jackson the rest.

The New York Urban Coa-
lition helped Mr. Jackson refur-
bish the store, provided legal
assistance in the preparation of
his tax and insurance papers
and is providing managerial
and technical assistance through
its Development Corporation.

Companies Back Academies

Another aspect of the New
York Urban Coalition’s work is
evident at a street academy at
259 West 64th Street, where 30
youngsters who have dropped
out of high school are getting
an education.

The first street academies
were established by the New
York Urban League several
years ago to deal with the
problem created by the grow-

ing number of high school

Recently the New York Urban
Coalition moved in, convinced
businesses to invest in the edu-
cation of high school dropouts,
and won pledges from 15 com-
panies of $50,000 a year each
to support a street academy.
Twenty-three are now in opera-
tion or soon to be opened.

‘Beautiful Communication’

Among the companies re-
cruited by the coalition to sup-
port street academies are Mc-
Graw-Hill, American Airlines,
Pan Am, Internationa] Business
Machines, Time Inc., Celanese
Corporation, Sinclair Oil Com-
pany, Union Carbide, First Na-
tional City Bank, Chase Man-
hattan Bank, Burlington Mills
and American Express.

At the McGraw Hill Street
Academy on West 64th Street,
five teachers work with 30
youngsters. McGraw-Hill found
the site for the academy, pro-
vides teaching material, puts up
the money that is needed to
trun the school and conducts
regular conferences with mem-
bers of the academy staff to
discuss the work being done
there and to sound out the
teachers on how educational
materials and textbooks can be

“We've become, in a sense,
a laboratory for them,” David
Rathbun, a 26-year-old teacher
at the academy, said of Mc-
Graw-Hill. “There’s a very
healthy, beautiful kind of com-

At 118th Street and Park
Avenue, a small lot lies vacant.
Next to it stands an abandoned
five-story building slated for
demolition. In a few months, it
is hoped, the site will be trans-
formed into a minipark.

Again, the New York Urben
Coalition has been the catalyz-
ing agent behind the project.
Last summer the Amalgamated
Clothing Workers of America
gave the coalition $40,000 for
the construction of miniparks.

The coalition turned about
$27,000 of ihis money over to
the Upper Park Avenue Com-

munity Association, which has
been working on a neighbor-
hood rehabilitation program.
The community association
bought the lot and commis-
sioned plans for the minipark.
It is expected to be completed
in early spring.

These are a few of the coa-
lition’s activities. There are
others. In the South Bronx, the
New York Urban Coalition has
given the United Bronx Parents,
Inc., $50,000 to conduct a
training program, now in
progress, on school decentrali-
zation. After serious internal
debate, the coalition strongly
endorsed the program.

News Jobs Filled

Last summer, with coalition
financial help, 20 Negro and
Puerto Rican young people at-
tended a course in radio and
television journalism at the Co-
lumbia University Graduate
School of Journalism. All have
been placed in news jobs.

The coalition has committed
$150,000 for four housing proj-
ects that needed money to go
ahead with their construction
plans. It has provided $20,000
to the East Harlem Skills
Training Center, which is con-
ducting a training program in
the printing trades for at least
200 Negroes and Puerto Ricans.
The coalition has obtained, in
conjunction with the National
Alliance of Businessmen,
pledges of 19,000 jobs for hard-
core unemployed, and already
has filled 9,000 jobs.

The National Urban Coalition
was formed in August, 1967, by
a group of private citizens who
were convinced that private
business, labor and community
leaders could make a significant
contribution to improving life
in the nation’s slums.

John Gardner, the former
Secretary of Health, Education
and Welfare, heads the national
organization, and Mayor Lind-
say and Andrew Heiskell,
chairman of Time Inc., are co-
chairmen of its steering com-

(cont. back page)



Slow, Substantial Gains

The New York Urban Coa-
lition was organized last Oc-
tober with Christian A. Herter
Jr., vice president of the Mobil
Oil Corporation, as its chair-
man, and Mr. Wallen, a labor
mediator, as its president.

At first, progress was slow.
It still does not come at break-
neck speed, but Mr. Wallen
attributes this to the organiza-
tion’s “democratic character”
and to the complexity of the
problems it confronts.

Yet there have been some
substantial gains in this first
year—both of a tangible and an
intangible nature, Mr. Wallen

“One of the major accom-

plishments,” he said as he sat

the other day in his 35th-floor:

office at coalition headquarters,
60 East 42d Street, “is main-
taining a continuing dialogue
between blacks and Puerto
Ricans, business and labor. We
don’t have anything like that
anywhere else in the city.

“And we've built an organi-
zation and conducted a public-
relations campaign that articu-
lated the concern of the white
establishment about ghetto

“A year ago, when the coa-
lition was founded, it was an
idea. Now we're starting to

The coalition, which has 48
full-time clerical and profes-
sional employes and about 100
volunteer workers, raised $4-

million in a fund drive this
year. It hopes to raise between
$6-million and $10-million next
year, Mr. Wallen said.

A third of its income has
been earmarked for Mayor
Lindsay’s summer program. But
short-term racial peace is not
the main objective of the New
York Urban Coalition.

“T can’t say we can take any
credit for keeping the summer
cool,” Mr. Wallen said. “As a
matter of fact, that isn’t even
our purpose.

“We hope to involve the pri-
vate sector in some of the basic
problems of preventing urban
blight, and that’s going to
transcend the summer. It’s a
long-term, long-pull propo-

Businessmen Are Urged to Join
‘Frontal Assault’ on Cities’ I Ils

Special to The New York Times

The nation’s urban problems
are too great to yield to “hap-
hazard and limited solutions”;
they require a “frontal assault
that will not work without busi-
ness participation,” Andrew
Heiskell, chairman of Time
Inc., said in a speech tonight.

Businessmen, Mr. Heiskell
said, must find ways to intensify
fy their interest, broaden their
perspectives and enlarge their
commitment to the nation and
its people.

Businessmen, he said, can no
longer afford to be specialists.

“Our society, which is now
largely urban,” he declared,
“will not continue to function
if those of us in the private
sector do not become public
men as well.”

Mr. Heiskell is chairman of
Urban America, Inc., and co-

The Urban

chairman of the Urban Coali-
tion, an organization of busi-
ness, labor, civic and civil
rights leaders formed to help
find solutions to the problems
of the cities.

Mr. Heiskell was the speaker
at an alumni dinner of the Uni-
versity of Pennsylvania’s Whar-
ton School of Finance and
Commerce, held at the Bellevue-
Stratford Hotel. He was
awarded the Wharton Gold
Medal, presented annually since
1950, for “personal contribu-
tion to the progress of Ameri-
can business.”

Mr. Heiskell told the group
that perhaps the single most
important thing corporations
could do was to encourage the
young men who work for them
“to find out about the problems
of the community and to be-
come as expert at some aspect”
of them as they are at produc-
tion or marketing processes.

1819 H Street, N.W. © Washington, D. C. 20006

public items show