Box 7, Folder 12, Document 12

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Box 7, Folder 12, Document 12

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N E WS
from
The Urban Coalition Action Council
.1819 H Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006
202-223-9500
August 14, 1969
(Tom Mathews)
FOR RELEASE FRIDAY AM, AUGUST 15, 1969
URBAN COALITION ACTION COUNCIL . STATES VIEWS ON
ADMINISTRATION'S WELFARE PROPOSALS
The following statement was issued on behalf of the Urban
Coalition Action Council today by John W. Gardner, Council
Chairman, following a meeting of the Council's Executive
Committee in Washington, D.C.:
Pi·esident Nixon has taken the initiative to reform
America's outmoded welfare system.
The Urban Coalition Action
Council welcomes this major departure and commends the President
for moving to correct the serious deficiencies of the current
system.
The President's proposals are significant on several
counts:
(a) They will provide assistance to .the millions of
working poor who are totally ignoreq by the present system .
. (b) They will provide income to unemployed parents who
are seeking work or training, thereby keeping families together.
(In most states today unemployed fathers have to desert their
families to make the fam~lies eligible for aid. )

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(c) They remove the powerful barrier to work which
is a gro~s defect of the present system, and introduce a
positive incentive for the individual to enter the job market.
(d) Though the leve-1 of support is modest, they take
the enormously important step of accepting federal responsibility
to place a floor under the income of those eligible for
assistance.
(e) They will provide national eligibility standards
for those receiving federal assistance under the new program.
We have strongly advocated such measure s and we will
_do all that we can to make them a . legislative reality.
If
that is to come about, all who are concerned for the n a tion's
future must work together to ensure that the best program we
can devise is finally written into law.
To assure the ultimate
success of the program; it must be strengthene d in eve ry way
possible during the public d e bate and the l e gislati v e de liberations to come .
He re are s ome o f th e wa ys i n whi c h streng t h eni n g
could be accomplished:
1.
The· Admi nistr ation p r op os a ls could be fur ther
s t rengthened by rais ing the leve l o f f unding i n order t o
inc r ease the level of minimum income, to a f ford r e lief f o r
tho se s t ates and municipa li ties which are being crushed by
the spiraling we l f are burde n and to include s ingle pers ons
and childless couples wh o are no t now covered.
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2.
The plan proposed by the Fresident exempts
mothers of pre-school chil~ren from the provision requiring
recipients of assistance to register for work and training.
This is a step forward over the present law and should be
retained.
But the plan could be strengthened f~rther if it
recognized that even mothers of children- over six might serve
the society best by staying home and doing a good · job of
bringing up their children.
It is a decision for the
mother, not the government, to make.
All evidence indicates
that the number of mothers who want .to wo r k.ex cee ds our capabil i ty
to . provide jobs and daycare facilities.
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3.
The Administration propos~ls · can be _effectively
stre ngthe ned by the fo rmula tion o f expl i ci t
fede r a l s tandards
governing wo rk r e f erral a nd wa g es to b e . p a i d , a nd b y provis ions
to assure that present welfare recipients do not e nd up with
a lower leve l of b e nef its th a n they pres ent ly _r ece ive.
4.
The proposal s could b e ma de more effec tive if t h ey
· were suppleme nted by a job c r eation program.
The r e is a dange r
tha t the new training opportunitie s prop os e d by the P resident
wi l l s i mp l y b e c ome a revolving doo r . throu gh whi c h potential
emplo yees pass without obtaining employment.
The Coalition
has l ong advo cated a p ub l ic s e rvi ce emp loymen t pro gram which
would solve the problem.
5.
Finally, the prorosal should assure that the food stamp
program only be phased out as cash payments approach the ·
minimum necessary to lif± a family out of poverty.
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The Urban Coalition Action Council look.s forward
to joining with other concerned citizens in the monumental
task we now face of winning the public and political support
necessary to assure enactment of constructive measures to
meet these problems.


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  1. http://allenarchive.iac.gatech.edu/originals/ahc_CAR_015_007_012_012.pdf

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