Box 7, Folder 18, Document 4

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41 Exchange Place, S.E., Atlanta, Ga. 30303
Employment on Merit Program TELEPHONE 523-6629

Southeastern Regional Office

1818 S, Main St. 12 June 1967

High Point, N. C.

Atlanta Community Relations Program
City Hall
Atlanta, Georgia

Irving Kaler

Ladies and Gentlemen:

May we direct your attention to the
attached "Cities, Jobs & Houses", with special reference
to the marked passage. American Friends Service Com-
mittee (AFSC) programs are concerned with the elimination
of these practices which hurt or mar the individual,
offend his dignity or deprive him of the opportunity to
achieve his God-given potential.

In Atlanta AFSC has recently added a
new dimension to its Employment on Merit program, now
in its sixth year of operation--a Fair Housing or Open
Occupancy program, Experience demonstrates that in
increasing instances compliance with the Equal Employ-
ment Opportunity mandates of Title VII, Civil Rights
Act of 1964, is blocked by discriminatory practices.
Adequately qualified Negroes are offered jobs by manage-
ment only to discover that they can not accept them
because of inaccessibility to the job site,

This situation is exacerbated as
business and industry move away from established centers
into and beyond the suburbs, following peripheral and
express highways where public transportation is either
non-existant or wholly inadequate. White employees have
the option of following their jobs to residential areas
closer to the new locations. This option is denied Negro
employees and applicants, however well qualified. The
result is either a tedious commute from the ghetto to the
job site or a search for a job for which he may be less
qualified or over qualified, but to which he has rea-
sonable access from his home.


ADRURY. Hatori Chatimah 8 ChARRNCE E, Pickett, Bxéesitire Séerénery Emeritut’ @ COLIN WW. BELL, Exocaiive Seeretars

Secretary of Labor Willard Wirtz
recently observed that the rate of Negro unemployment
will rise as business and industry move away from former
locations to new situations inaccessible to Negroes
unless and until equal opportunity of residence is avail-
able to all employees alike. Simply stated, unequal
access to job sites hampers and in increasing instances
defeats egual employment opportunity.

We are aware that limitations imposed
upon the Atlanta Community Relations Commission by po-
litical boundaries restrict fair housing ordinances which
the Commission might recommend to the corporate limits
of the City of Atlanta. We are also aware that other
urgencies such as sewage disposal, air pollution and
rapid transit, to mention only a few conspicuous in-
stances, must eventually be dealt with as Metropolitan
Area problems.

However, a beginning must be made
somewhere by an enlightened and progressive community.
We question whether Atlanta can afford to sit idly by
awaiting possible future federal legislation while the
housing dilemma intensifies with each passing month.

Requests presented to Atlanta for
fair housing legislation have been parried with the trite
argument that such legislation will only accelerate
"flight to suburbia". This is an easy answer and may have
some element of fact. But at least such an ordinance
would tend to stabilize residential areas in transition
within the city limits, by encouraging city-wide disper-
sal of minority families seeking suitable and decent
homes within their means. .

An open occupancy ordinance would in
addition, recognize the rights of first class citizenship
for all Atlantans alike, irrespective of race or religion,

by permitting every family to live in a neighborhood of its
choice and compatible with its means and finances.

We encourage further persuasion on the
part of the Commission directed toward the enactment of a
fair housing ordinance as a necessary concomitant of the
"Forward Atlanta" movement.

Respectfully yours,

gee Cen Norma Cl

Noyes Collinson Xernona Clayton
Program Director : Housing Director


cc: Mayor Ivan Allen, Jr.
Cecil Alexander
Dr. Benjamin Mays
.Dr. Sanford Atwood

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