Box 7, Folder 10, Document 9

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Box 7, Folder 10, Document 9

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Statement by J. Irwin Mi ll er , President, Cummins Engine Company
and Membe r, Policy Council, Urban Coalition Action Council
before the Subcomi71itte e on Employme nt , Manpower and Poverty
CoITLrnittee on Labor and Publ ic Welfare
U.S. Se nate
April 23, 1969
Mr. Chai rman:
I appreciate the o pport unity to ap p ear wi th Mr. Gardner
on behalf of th e Urban Coali tion Ac t ion Council in support of
extension and adequate funding of t he Economic Opportu nity
I endorse Mr. Gardner's statement, particularly his
conclusions and proposed Congress i ona l action.
There are two points ma d e by Mr. Gardner to wh ich I wish
to call s pe cial at t e ntion.
The first conce rns the fact th a t
we -- business, l a bor , mayors, religion, minority and ci v ic
groups - - r e presen t a broad -b as e d n at ion a l coa l i tion of
norma ll y diverg en t i n t e rest s .
The Urban Co a l i tion Action
Council was fo rmed b e c a us e of our conce rn with the futur e of
t his incre a s ingl y ur baniz ed so ci ety, and th e l e gislation
ne e d e d to me e t t he challe nge s of such a soci e t y .
The Economic
Opportun i ty Ac t i s one of the l e g is la tive too ls mee ting thos e
chall e n ge s .
Notw ith stan ding our divers ity o f v i ews on many
issue s we r e co gn i ze t he rol e th e Eco nomic Opp o r t un ity Ac t h a s
play e d not only in mater ia l l y imp ro v in g , but in gi v ing
sub s tan r ~ to th e lives of ma n y of th e po o r a n d d i s advantage d
citi zens in our s o cie t y.
There shoul d b e no tho u gh t g i ve n to
cut t ing ba c k , re t renchi n g o r limiti ng the as si s t ance the
Fede r a l governmen t c a n p ro v i de through l eg i s l ati o n s uch a s
th is .
In s t ead, t he Fede r a l governmen t . sh o u l d be ge nu inely
concerned t o make cert ain th e f un ding i s e no ugh to d o the j ob
within r.easonab l e t i me.
2 -
Th e s eco nd po i nt I wi sh t o make , and a g a in one Mr . Ga rdne r
d eve loped i n hi s testimony, concerns the ro l e of com..rnun i ty
a c t ion in the overal l ant i poverty effort .
It seems t o me
essen t ial that t he Congress give full support i n t his problem
The poor and d i sadvantaged
t o l o cal community i nvo l vement.
are more concerned today than ever before in gaining an
effect i ve role in determining their own destiny.
They no
longer see themselves as helpless a n d powerless before the
u nyielding and unchanging institutiona l forces of our society.
They now h ave a dire ct and significant i mpa ct on these
i nstitutions.
Although not all view this impact in the same way ,
I p ersonally beli eve th at greater invo lvemen t by the
disadvantaged in social action programs is nec essary, and
that resul ts to date have been favorable.
concept should be encouraged.
Expansion o f this
There is also no question in
my mind but th at community action programs, fostered and
nurtured by community action agencies, wil l turn out to have
been th e forerunners of a much wider range of community
involvement by the poor.
For this we have the Economic
Opportuni ty Act largely to thank.
I j oin Mr. Gardner in urging Congress to continue its
support of this legislation by giving it not only the ex~ended
life it deserves, but the funds, i n the form of appropriations,
it needs to prosper.

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