Box 7, Folder 10, Document 9

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Statement by J. Irwin Miller, President, Cummins Engine Company
and Member, Policy Council, Urban Coalition Action Council
before the Subcommittee on Employment, Manpower and Poverty
Committee on Labor and Public Welfare
U.S. Senate
April 23, 1969
Mr. Chairman:

I appreciate the opportunity to appear with Mr. Gardner
on behalf of the Urban Coalition Action Council in support of
extension and adequate funding of the Economic Opportunity
Act. I endorse Mr. Gardner's statement, particularly his
conclusions and proposed Congressional action.

There are two points made by Mr. Gardner to which I wish
to call special attention. The first concerns the fact that
we -- business, labor, mayors, religion, minority and civic
groups -- represent a broad-based national coalition of
normally divergent interests. The Urban Coalition Action
Council was formed because of our concern with the future of
this increasingly urbanized society, and the legislation
needed to meet the challenges of such a society. The Economic
Opportunity Act is one of the legislative tools meeting those
challenges. Notwithstanding our diversity of views on many
issues we recognize the role the Economic Opportunity Act has
played not only in materially improving, but in giving
substances to the lives of many of the poor and disadvantaged
citizens in our society. There should be no thought given to
cutting back, retrenching or limiting the assistance the
Federal government can provide through legislation such as

this. Instead, the Federal government. should be genuinely

concerned to make certain the funding is enough to do the job

within reasonable time.
The second point I wish to make, and again one Mr. Gardner
developed in his testimony, concerns the role of community
action in the overall antipoverty effort. It seems to me
essential that the Congress give full support in this problem
to local community involvement. The poor and disadvantaged
are more concerned eda than ever before in gaining an
effective role in determining their own destiny. They no
longer see themselves as helpless and powerless before the
unyielding and unchanging institutional forces of our society.
They now have a direct and significant impact on these
institutions. Although not all view this impact in the same way,
I personally believe that greater involvement by the
disadvantaged in social action programs is necessary, and
that results to date have been favorable. Expansion of this
concept should be encouraged. There is also no question in
my mind but that community action programs, fostered and
nurtured by community action agamicbes’, will turn out to have
been the forerunners of a much wider range of community
involvement by the poor. For this we have the Economic
Opportunity Act largely to thank.

I join Mr. Gardner in urging Congress to continue its
support of this legislation by giving it not only the extended
life it deserves, but the funds, in the form of appropriations,

it needs to prosper.
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