Box 7, Folder 10, Document 33

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Box 7, Folder 10, Document 33

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.November 7, 1968
Steering Committee
Local Coalition Task Force
Report on the Organization and Establishment 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 throughout the country.
The Task Force on Local Coalitions 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 the 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 in some state of organization 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:
Applying the tough new standards established by the
Task Force, one-third of the original coalitions (11 of
34) failed to meet the minimum criteria .
. b.
The remaining 23 coalitions are proceeding with staff
�Report on the Organization and Establishment
of Local Urban Coalitions

assistance to organize task forc~s, 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 sign~ficant impediments to their organization efforts.
There has been a clear and noticeable shift in national
pubiic 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
quie t summe r has contributed to thi s shift of ipinion, but so too
has the political c a mpaign.
There is occasi onal lack of support from the top leadership
,n ecessary to form a coalition.
Wh ile busi nes s , labo r and ma yor s
in many communities are providing leadership and support, the
staff has b een encountering reluctance by key individuals o f one
or more o f these e l e me nts to the establishment o f coalitions in
some cities.
�Report on the Organization and Establishment
of Local Urban Coalitions
The establishment of quality coalitions takes on special importance
since the national credibility of the Urban Coalition in part will
be determined by thi role, image and status of the local urban
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, itjs not always poss1ble
to engage the attention and support of these key individuals
without the direct, personal involvement of Steering Committee
Where· national Steering Commit tee 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 utmost urgency
that the Steering Committee adopt a resolution calling on each
member to accept increased responsibility for the organization
of local coalitions and when called upon to do so to be of _
assistance in the following ways:
Advise the staff of key leaders in priority cities
who are known to Steering Committee members 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 ~oalition.
�Report on the Organization and Establishment
of Local Urban Coalitions
Accept speaking engagements in local communities
on behalf of the organizing effort.
Advise the staff on general strategies to be followed
in particularly difficult situations.
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 name s of one or two key individuals in the cities who
are known to Steering Committee· members and who could be instrumental in the establishment of a coalition.
The staff will call on
the se individuals to enlist their support and cooperation.
Steering Committee members may leave the attached form following
the meeting.

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