Box 7, Folder 10, Document 33

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November 7, 1968

TO : Steering Committee
FROM : Local Coalition Task Force
SUBJECT: Report on the Organization and Hotablisnnent of
Local Urban Coalitions
In the national statement of goals, principles and commitments
adopted by the Emergency Convocation, the Steering Committee
called for the establishment of local urban coalitions through-
out the country. The Task Force on Local Boal itious has been
assigned the responsibility of overseeing developments and
progress of these local coalitions. |
At its meeting on October 17, the Task Force heard reports
from ne Local Coalition Division staff on its activities.
While most of the staff has been on board little more than
three months, visits have been made to all of the cities where
coalitions were reported to have been re some state of organiza-
tion or existence. In addition, the staff has been to 72 cities
where interest has been expressed by one element or another in
establishing a coalition. The staff reported the status of coali-
tions as follows:
a. Applying the tough new standards established by the
Task Force, one-third of the original coalitions (11 of
34) failed to meet the latina eel seeds

b, The remaining 23 coalitions are proceeding with staff

Report on the vgundeati oh ahd Establishment

of Local Urban Coalitions
assistance to organize task forces, develop programs
and engage in fund-raising.
Sixteen strong new coalitions, meeting Task Force
standards, have been established giving us a total
of 39.

Thirty-two additional priority cities have been

identified and are the focus of staff organizing

The staff is moving forward steadily establishing new coalitions
and strengthening those we already have. However, the staff is
encountering significant impediments to their organization efforts.
De There has been a clear and noticeable shift in national
public opinion. The sense of urgency concerning the urban crisis
which existed in 1967 and early 1968 has diminished. There is
greater reluctance to engage public and private resources at the
local level in a coalition movement, particularly at this time. A
quiet summer has contributed to this shift of ipinion, but so bac
has the political campaign.
2 There is occasional lack of support from the top leadership
necessary to form a coalition. While business, labor and mayors
in many communities are providing leadership and support, the
staff has been encountering reluctance by key individuals of one
or more of these elements to the establishment of coalitions in

some cities.

Report on the Organization and Establishment
of Local Urban Coalitions

The Seeeeniistinent of quality coalitions takes on special importance
Since the national credibility of the Urban Coalition in part will
be determined by the role, image and status of the local urban
coalitions. To be effective, local coalitions must have as their
active members the most influential and highly regarded leaders of

each of the various elements.

Despite the best efforts of the staff, it is not always possible

to engage the attention and support of these key individuals
without the direct, personal involvement of Steering Committee
members. Where national Steering Committee members have become
involved whether by a telephone call, letter, visit, or the
convening of a meeting, the organizing effort has moved far more
rapidly and has attracted key leaders.
For these reasons we wish to recommend with the denoet urgency
that the Steering Committee adopt a resolution calling on each
member to accept increased responsibility for the organization
of focal coalitions and when called upon to do so to be of
gegbevones in the following ways:
a. Advise the staff of key leaders in priority cities
who are known to Steering Committee meiieere and who could
be instrumental in the establishment of a coalition.

At the request of the staff, write or telephone

individuals urging their support of a coalition.

Report on the Organization and Establishment
of Local Urban Coalitions 4

Cc. Accept speaking engagements in local communities
on behalf of the organizing effort.

d. Advise the staff on general strategies to be follow├ęd
in particularly difficult situations. |

e. In public appearances and speaking engagements,
identify with the Urban Coalition and urge support

for the local coalition movement.

In order to help meet immediate organizing needs of the coalition,
Steering Committee members are requested to list on the attached
list the names of one or two key individuals in the cities who

are known to Steering Committee: members and: who could be instru-
mental in the establishment of a coalition. The staff will call on
these individuals to enlist their support and cooperation.

Steering Committee members may leave the attached form following

the meeting.


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