Box 7, Folder 18, Document 29

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September, 1967

The Community Relaticns Commission, since February, 1967 has held 29
meetings and has heard from more than 350 private citizens and officials,
including the Superintendent of schools, City Director of parks and
Director of recreation, The Atlanta Housing Authority, and spokesman

for the Independent Food Dealerc, The President of the Atlanta branch of
NAACP, The President of the affiliate of the SCLC. These meetings have
been well reported in the press and have resulted in some changes which
were within the limits of auth®rity and resources of the officials.

We find, however, that many wrongs are beyond the legal and financial
limits of present public sclicies and it is the dilemmas created by
these limitations thst the following reports illustrate. For convenience,
they are divided inlo separate topics, but they illustrate the interplay
of each on the others and again and again point up that the unit of con-
cern is a human being.

Dilemmas in City Services: There is cantinuous call far more of all

services --- streets paved, sidewalks paved, trash picked up, garbage
collected, police assignec to street beats, houses inspected ------- 7
Trash and garbage collections -- the sanitary department is about 100

workers short. Why? Some say the salary scale, beginning at $276 or
»jJ00 a month is not a drawing card for a family man. Another difficulty
is that the pay period is two weeks, (the first check sometimes takes
longer to be processed) and a head of a family looking for work often
cannot afford to wait two or three weeks to pay rent, buy food, clothes,
bus tokens. He does better standing on the corner of Decatur street and
working by the day, doine the same job at the same rate of pay.
Irresponsible? Shiftless. But would we as citizens condone the sani-~
tary department paying hi- two weeks wages in advance? Another problem
for the sanitary department is that many have listened and heeded
lectures on self-respect and ambition and are not content to collect
trash as a permanent career.

Fringe benefits are not much inducement for city employment. The city
Civil service is not under social security, and under the city's plan

of benefits, not until an employee has worked for 10 years is his family
entitled to any pension provisions comparable to social security in case
of his death.

Another problem is the child labor laws, designed to prevent exploit-
ation of child labor, but there are jobs which 14 to 18 year olds might
like to do as a temporary measure which they are prohibited by law

from doing.

Streets: Priority is given by the Construction Department to thoro-
fares, but this little help to people who have few streets in their
neighborhoods that go through to those thorofares, particularly those
dependent on public transportation. How would you set priority ina
street construction program?

Sewers: The building boom of which we are all so proud has increased

the areas which are paved, which in turn has increased the need for
storm sewers to the point it is estimated that it would cost $30,000,000
to meet the needs. This is bad enough where cars drive though the water,
but, again where where there are many residents who do not have cars

and must walk to bus staps, where children must walk to school or rely
on public transportation, the problem is intensified. How should we
balance emergency and long-term systematic improvement?

Parks & Recreation: Atlanta spends about 6 per person per year on
parks and recreation, slightly lower than the Georgia State average.
Delton, Georgia and Statesboro, Georgia spend about ¥8, per person.
Parks and facilities of the city are used and enjoyed by residents of
Metropolitan Atlanta and beyond, who contribute nothing to their cost.
A well equipped community center, without the land, costs over $200,000
The Decatur-DeKalb YMCA in 1960 cost a total of 656,000 plus $50,000
for the land. for the past 2 summers, the city hus received additional
operating funds from O£0 and EQOA. In both cases, the appropriations
were not approved until June, and people were hired to start work on

Page 2 Dilemmas

faith, Those programs closed the end of August, with the opening of

Given funds to spend, the Parks and Recreation cepartment is confronted
with a choice of buying land, developing land already owned, or hiring
people ta staff the developments. For example, to have a softball league
of neighborhood teams in a community park, instead of 1 community team

as a part of a city league, requires more workers, either paid or volun-
teers, and in the areas that need valunteers most, there are fewer adults
with free time and energy to help. Same goes for Boy Scouts, Gray Y and
the rest. Do we plan for what we can pay for? Do we count on volunteers?
Bo we re-think the jobs and hire younger people, instigate training pro-
grams? Who would pay for those?

Police: Not enough police to prevent things from happening, too many
when things do happen. That's the opinion most often expressed at CAC
meetings. The success of officers assigned to the EOA Centers emphasizes
the repeated requests for "a beat policeman", a person "who will know’ us".
Presently Atlanta police are assigned to large areas, to patrol in cars,
which make the force more mobile. Charges of police brutality are taken
up by the Police Committee of the Board of Aldermen, who some claim will
"naturally" support the police. But isn't it natural for a department’
to support its own staff? And yet how does the public protect itself
against the mutual protection of members of a bureauracy?, whether it

be a police force, a school staff, a public housing staff or what? On
the other hand, how can a single police officer, etc., be reassured of
lack of reprisal if he raises questions? How do we get sympathy and
understanding, protection and fairness on both sides?

In all these cases, money may not cure all ills, but it seems necessary
to cure any. The CRC is scheduling a meeting with the Fulton County
legislative delegation to put before them the case of the need for add-
itional sources of revenue for the city's yeneral operating budget.


Dilemmas in Public Housing: Four facts immediately contribute to di-
lemmas in public housing,

1. The Atlanta Housing Authority must obtain enough from rents
to operate the projects. The City & U. S, Governments participate in
fihancing the building but there are no subsidies for operating the

2, Some rent must be paid by every tenant. Therefore those in
need, who have no income whatsoever, cannot be served by public housing,
under present policies.

3. Public housing is no resource for emergency housing, The
only such resource in Atlanta is the Salvation Army, which houses and
takes individuals for a brief time in extreme emergencies, but does
not house families together. Women and children under 12 go ta one
center, men to another.

4. Housing policies exclude some in greatest need for help,
such as families of prisoners, serving felony sentences and mothers
with illegitimate children under 1 year old.

Misconceptions about these on the part of the general public often
result in criticism of the Housing Authority Staff, who must operate
within these policies.

Other limiting policies are those requiring “security deposits" and a
month's rent in advance and charges for repairs. Since rent is based
on family income, increase in income means increase in rent. This is
particularly self-defeating when a new member of the family goes to
work and his added income, often sought to pay for education or other
improvements, results in rent increases, This reflects not the opinion
of the housing staff but a public policy.

Another policy, which is within the jurisdiction of the Atlanta Housing
Authority, is that of excluding from public housing families of prison
inmates and women with illegitimate children under one year old. [he
policy does not remove from the community the problems of illegitimacy

Page 3 D:.lemmas

or providing decent, sanitary housing for the persons involved. It
does reflect a realistic concern for public opinion about public

housing and what the community will stand for. If we do not agree

with such restrictions on public housing, then it is up to us, the
community to have them changed. But even with restrictions, in 1966
there was a back-log of 1500 applications for public housing in Atlanta.
As of September 25, 1967 in a11 Atlanta Housing Authority projects

there was a total of 17 vacancies( and these must be filled by the
proper size family for the size of the unit),

Dilemmas in Non-public Housing: In spite of code requirements and
inspections, in 1960, 163,405 (10% of all city housing units) were

in the slum category. In the first place, inspections are part of a
process. When inspectors find code violations, the owner is contacted
and given time (30 days? 60 days?) to make repairs. If not, the case

is reported ta the Better Housing Commission and the Housing Court.

The owner must make repairs with a stated time or pay a fine. What is
“reasonable time” te find a contractor, let the contract, make repairs?
What protection is there against an increase in rent when repairs are
made? What protection is there against eviction because of complaints?
If repairs are not made and rent is withheld, the renter can be evicted.
If repairs are not made and rent is paid, what protection does the renter
have? Move. "He can move" is the usual answer. There is a shortage of
low and middle cost housing for sale and for rent in the city, and those
available to Negroes are fewer than those available overall. It.costs
money to pay for moving. There are specialized restrictions on various
property. Some places won't take children, some places won't take un-
married women, some places won't take divorcees, and some places won't
take 9 children --- even for $90.00 a month. So if you have 3 rooms

for your 9 children for 990.00 a month, you're likely to stay there even
if they are cold and ratty. No steady job, no credit references, and

on welfare. Husband in jail. There's little choice for such families.

Race is an important factor still, no matter what the inccme. In one
part of town, apartments close to a Negro neighborhood were asked if
they would take Negroes as tenants, and none said yes.

High rents for substandard housiny: This often turns out to be public
housing in that the rent money in many cases comes from welfare allot-—
ments, so that we the public are subsidizing the slums, The Department
of Family & Children Services, whose clients, many of these clients are,
cannot produce homes. The allotment for rent must come out of the total
family allotment, the maximum for which is 0154.00 in Georgia, regardless
of how many children there are. This is with no father at home. If he
is present, the family is not eligible for Aid ta dependant children, mo
matter how little he earns (unless he qualifies as physically disabled).
The Georgia legislature could enact lagislation to implement the Unemployed
Parent provisions of the federal law. This would use primarily federal
money but would require some additianal and county money. The State
Board of Family & Childrens Services, appointed by the Govenor, and the
legislature would have to authorize the program and appropriate the
money, which would permit men looking for work to stay at home with

their families.

The EGA has no money to pay moving costs and rent. Its resources are
limited to existing public housing and other housing for rent from
private owners.

Why are people allowed ta live in these substandard houses? Aren't the
landlords and the tenants both violating the law? Some of the worst

areas are in that sort of limbo between "planning" and "having something
done”. the planning may be for urban renewal, model neighborhood, etc,.,
but these are long involved processes, and meanwhile things are left pretty
much as they are, waiting, waiting and deteriorating.

For example, in one slum area which has been approved by the City Planning
Department and the Aldermanic Board for urban renewal, everybody is wait~
ing now for the next phase, for the U. S. Department of HUD to approve

the actual plans, appropriate the money, etc. -----~ Once this has been
done, tenant-residents will receive grants for their property. So it
appears to be to their advantage to wait. The Inspection Department
requires minimum compliance since most of the buildings will be bought

by the city and demolished. But UR office in the area says the earliest
possibly for the Urban Renewal program to begin to move people out of
ve ma: : ; oF y

es .

Ste : 4 3/2 Ww ie Serie iG

an me

Page 4 Dilemmas

these slums will be 6 months. So they face another winter, with
little heat, no hot waiter, leaks, utterly miserable living conditions.
If they move now, they do it on their own ------- and where are there
vacancies they can afford or where will they be accepted as tenants or
buyers (because of income, family, race, etc.) ?

Dilemmas in Evictions: Other families just a little higher in income

face rents higher than their incomes warrant for new, cheaply Constructed,
poorly maintained apartments, where eviction is an automatic process when
rents are not paid on time. Few of these units (many with hundreds of
families) have resident managers, and it is difficult to find someone to
whom to make complaints or pay back-rent. Substandard conditions and lack
of repairs are not legal grounds for withholding rent in Georgia. You
complain, and nothing happens except that you maybe given notice to leave.
The frustration of trying to deal with nameless, faceless landlords, often
just a street address, adds to the overall despair. It takes energy,
know-how, time and courage to pierce the anonymity of a corporation and
someone who can speak and is wiliing to speak, even toa listen.

Neighborhood Stabilization: In efferts for "neighborhood stabilization",
we are conironted with more dilemmas and paradoxes. By neighborhood
stabilization we mean achieving and maintaining a viable balance between
white and Negro residents. So this means if the neighborhood is all white
or all Negro, some moving should take place, but at a certain point (what
point?) the moving and selling should stop. How do Negroes get "started"
in 8 new neighborhood? What is the part of real estate dealeys? At what
point do we eicourege Negroes ta move in and what point do we discourage
them? What does it take to make whites stay? (Reassurance about schools,

as much as anything, we are told.) How do we relieve pressure on the
area now “in transition'?

It is evident that any area concerned cannot "save itself". I+ is also
evident that it cannot be “saved" by isolated, localized action. If any
area, and in this case, southwest Atlanta, is ta become and remain racial-
ly integrated, there must be choices of comparable housing values in other
areas available to Negroes, buyers and renters so they do nat all end up
in ane spot. There is no law requiring segregation but under present
practices, Negroes are not free to choose from the entire metro area as
whites are. They have trouvle finding a real estate agent to show them
property outside present Negro neighborhoods. The real estate agent has
trouble getting “white” property to show. The Negro buyer has trouble
getting financing of such property. Some predict that open occupancy
legislation for Atlanta would scare whites to move sutside of the city
linits even faster than they are now. What are the prospects of getting
Open occupancy legislatisn or practices in the metro area? What short

of national legislation will help Atlanta from being a Negro city
Surrounded by white suburbs? What would be tne results if it were?

Dilemmas in Jobs - Treini.g & Employment: Most discussions of urban
problems end with a statement to the erfect that "the important thing
is jobs". Jobs keep people busy. Jobs give people money. Jobs give
people stability. Jobs keep families together. Jobs give people a
stake in the community.

How does Atlanta Stand: In the first place, it must be clearly under-
stood that there are no new public programs designed primarily to put
people to work. The new programs ere designed either to train people
ar to give social services, sa individuals can care for children, take
jobs, etc., but once the training has been given and the social services
have been provided, the fact of whether there is a job is up to the
normal system of ongoing public and private programs which hire people.
Either private industry or ongoing public programs thust produce the
jobs. Many of the new public programs provide additional jobs, but
moze for professional or skilled persons than for the "jobless". EQOA
cannot produce jobs, except for those employed by "the program".

The Georgia State Employment Service cannot produce jobs. There is
much talk about “job development", about the need for lowering pro-
fessional standards, for giving on-the-job training, but the persons
who advocate such changes seldom adopt them themselves, and there are
few examples of success.

How realistic are our admonitions (usually to others) to make the job
fit the person who is looking for employment. One dilemma is that ell
the surveys and all comments by job counselors confirm the fact, that


Page 5 Dilemmas

the majority of thuse laokine for work are female, the majority of those
are Negro, either very young with no experience, or 30 or 40, with per-
haps @ high schocl diploma but no "marketable skills", On the other
hand, in spite of federal laws against discrininaticn based on sex, the
great majority of job orders are for males, males with experience and
males with skills. To what extent Negroes an Atlanta are denied jobe
because they ere Necrocs needs to be determined, but it is a fact that

8 higher percestege af these looking for jobs are Nejro, and that of
those persuns with johs, a higher percentage of whites have good jobs
(professicnal, “anagerial, etc.). Years of discripination because of
race have resulted in Negroes being less qualified according to standards
set by whites for whites. Jo we continue to apply quelifications which
exclude Neoroes (such as experience which they have been unable to get)
or do we hire "qualifiable" Negroes and give them a chance to qualify on
the job? The August list of vacancies for the City of Atlanta Personnel

department, for example, lists only 6 out of 29 categories which require
no experience,

Are there enough hobs to go around? Are there more people than jobs or
more jobs than people? The Georgia State Employment Officies in Metro
Atlanta as of July 31, 1967 had 649 job orders ("a slack season" a spokes-
man said). At the sane time, there were 11,324 "active applicants"

(5,874 female),

Negroes who are working earn less than whites. When the head of the
household. male cr female, makes a marginal salary, teenage children,

or yourger children, must go to work to provide for themselves and/or

to contricute te the family income. An increase in adult incomes might
ease the cc for teenage jobs. There are, for example, approximately
1000 families in one Atlanta public housing project being supported by
women who cai}) their families’ living at domestic service, for which the
average rats is (8.00 6 day with no prospect of promotion, no future, no
fringe benefits, lucky if social security is paid. Employment to a teen-
age member of such a family becomes a necessity unless somehow the family
income is increased. Men and women with families work for us, the public,
at full time, permanent jobs at the "poverty" level (e.g., maids at

Grady hospital at $1.08 an hour; male nursing assistants at $1.29 an
hour, increases within the last few years). further increases will re-
quire increased public funds. Whom do we encourage to take these jobs?
Whom should we encourage to take these jobs?

Dilemmas in Training: What about taining programs? Some cost; others

pay trainees. How closely does the vocational education program (as re-
flected in the new $9,000,000 Atlanta Trade School) reflect present and
future job markets? All courses there do not require high school education
but they require aptitude tests and fees, though small, and costs of
materials, small enough if you have it, but to a family with no margin,

it might as well be ,1000.

Some training programs are specifically for young peaple. The Neigh-
borhood Youth Corps gives “training jobs" both in and omt of school,
but the record of post-NYC employment quantity-wise is nat impressive.
From October '66 through July '67, of 620 out-of-school NYC trainees
in Atlanta, 98 were placed in fWflltime jobs {most of which were train-
ing releted). Often the job pays little more than the "training" did
(v1.50 an hour). Furthermore, the training allowance does not count
on family income, etc., whereas “earned income" does. (A side effect
of training allowances, which give self-respect and dignity and inde-
pendence to the young, is the resentment on the partof some adult worker
such as custodians and cooks at seeing an NYC trainee "earn" about as
much as they are paid straight wages. This could destroy rather than
strengthen a family.)

Again, the vocational education department nor the NYC can produce
permanent jobs. How realistic is the training? What about the
family? Shoulc all young people be encouraged to work? Should all
mothers be encouraged to work?

The MDTA programs also have suffered from lack af jobs into which
trainees could move. Here race plus sex has compounded the problem
again, with most jobs calling for males with experience, and skills
still uncommon among Negroes. As of August, 1967, the Atlanta office
GSES had no MOTA training programs to which applicants could bs asaigned.


Page 6 Dilenmas


The new $4,570,793 Atianta Concentrated Employment Program (ACEP)

is another canectunaes for training, restricted to low-income areas
af the city. The first group of 252 beyan August 14, 1967. It is
expected to enroll 10U ever, 2 weeks for a training period of 6 ~ 16
weeks. To be eligible you must live in one of the 5 areas (Price,
Pittsburg, Summerhill-Mechanicsville, Nash-Washington, or West-End),
be 16 or older and presently "below the poverty level", 98% of the
farst 200 are females. The living allowance for a head of ‘household
is $35.00 to 056.0U a week and for a non-head of household, 20,00 a
week, Like other training programs it includes pre-vocatianal,
orientation, and other supporting social services. It is designed to
train for existing or new jobs, but it cannot guarantee a job or
produce one,

Dilemmas in Education: School buildings in one part of town converted
to special pregrams as the school population moves out. School build~
ings in other parts of town with double enrollment as the school pop-
ulation moves-in. tffect on schools of zoning changes -- apartments
bring many new children for school. Cumbersome and lengthy process of
bond issues to finance new buildings. Pre-kindergarten "headstert"
programs with low pupil-teacher ratio feeding pupils into schools with
large classes and double sessions. Double session, which” means z school
‘ day, doing away with lunch for. children to whom lunch is the best meal
of the day and for many a free meal. >. day for some 8th graders in
high school (those credits do.not figues. an graduation requirements),
but 13 and 14 year olds can't work -- it's against the law in many in-
stances. (When school opened in August more than 7000 pupils, all of
whom.are Negro, were on what is Soe described as "double: session",

dith school day-cut in he Lf nee does a lst ees: énd grader, /th
grader, 8th grader, 11th grader-do the rest of the day? There's no
room at school to stay. There is likely to be little room at home’ and
even less likely to be an adult at home to supervise, to chauffeur, to
“play, to guide, to help with studies, .to encourage, to listen,

. ee

These are some af the Dilemmas of the City. We cannot hold a welfare
worker responsible for inadequate housing of welfare clients when we
limit her resources to $154.00 a month. We cannot hold a public housing
‘manager responsible for keeping tenants who cannot pay even minimum

rent when we do not give him public money to operate on. We cannot hold
training supervisors responsible for lack of jobs.

Agreed we need new innovative programs, but programs that spend more
money, not.less and programs that provide actual economic opportunity,
1.e., jobs. A few basic misconceptions stand in the way of innovative
“programs. One misconception is that our current social services, even
with the additional "new programs" are adequate. A second misconception
is that when "even more money” has not solved the problems, that "money
is not the answer", More money may not insure successes, but there .is
little likelihood of success without it. The most effective uses of
publie money may be debated but the needs are enormous, widespread and
urgent and can be met only by massive, similtaneous programs. -

Teachers, doctors, dentist, recreation workers, planners and the like
spend money. If we are to have. enough of the kinds of services they
“provide, we must be prepared to spend more money, much more. Some of
this will create jobs but that is not the prime purpose nor the crit-
erion of success of ‘social service paogeens or training programs.

The other misconception is that social services and training guarantee
jobs and income, and/or guarantee access to capitol.- -You can have -
everybody healthy, all the babies in a day care center, the would-be.
workers traied, but unless there is a productive job available, none:
-of this brings in family income. Anti-poverty programs: today train
some people. They take care of some children. They take some to the
hospital, t& the employment office. But they do not produce jobs -
(nor-+do they produce houses). They do not produce the opportunity
to make a man, a woman, ° ‘a young person self=supporting,’ unless he is
fortunate enough to be hired as a staff member of ane of the "programs".
They can ready him to- take advantage of the opportunity, . but. until
the Sqmmunity provides ces he will have to waits There were an ‘Atlanta
Fon. eee : ARS ; Sn sin oe Ap ets roe
5 oe fe nes f

Page 7 Dilemmas

during the month uf July more than 11,000 waiting, registered for jobs
with the Employment Services.

Sself-helping is not the same as self-generating. Self-help programs
require something to start with, something to help. A credit union is
not much help if each member needs to borrow £50.00 and can hardly put

in $9.00 (if you work by the day and miss two days and don't have money
for rent and food, borrowing from a loan shark at high interest and
"Service" charges may not be good business, but what is the alternative?)
A civic association with no members who own property or have any margin
of income cannot come up with "seed money", loans or fees for technical
assistance. Indeed it is hard for them to produce the minimum amount to
get the help necessary to apply for grants, etd.

Training, counsel, sympathy, recreation, social services all have their
places but in our money economy, nene of these is a substitute for money.
Indeed a minimum income is necessary to take advantage even of "free"
services. As has been said, one has to have a boot before he can have a
boot strap. Dazens of people with no bocts still comes out no boot straps.
Zero multiplied by "infinity" is still zero.

Another notion which is misleading is thet the problems can be “taken one
at a time". Chances are a child growing up in a good house in a good
neighborhood will go to a good school and get a good job; chances are a
poor house in a poor neighborhood will go to a poor school and get a

poor job. Hause, school, neighborhood, family conditions, health are all
parts of a wholes, and the whole is a human being.


‘The decisions which resuit in school and houses and jobs, or no schools
and no houses and no jobs are matters of public policy. The fact that
the decisions are complex and difficult does not alter the fact that they
must be made, and that we are all helping to make them, like it or not.
The democratic process is still the same. The burden of responsible
citizenship is not likely to become lighter.


Detailed Reports of the meetings which have pointed up these dilemmas
provide an interesting Diary of Atlanta. These, and other information
such as questions and answers on Housing are available from the CRC

The record from February, 1968 through August, 1967, is:

Neighborhood Meetings Number Approx Attendance App. Spoke
11 1000 250
Special CRE "Hearings"
at City Hall 1 650 100
Special CRC Meetings 4 60
Regular CRC Meetings i 250 Vistors 30
299 1. 1960 380

Approximately 800 requests have been processed through the office.
Detailed minutes. of all meetings and 10 Neighborhood Profiles have been
widely circulated, plus special reports such as Dixie Hills, Housing, etc.

The Community Relations Commission of the City af Atlanta, appointed
by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen, meets the 4th Friday of each month,
at 1:30 P.M., in Committee Room #2, City Hall. The public is invited
and citizens are urged to bring to the attention of the Commission
matters pertaining to its functions and duties, which outlined in the
Ordinance, include:

"To foster mutual understanding, tolerance, and respect among all
economic, social religious, and ethnic groups in the City.

To help make it possible for each citizen, regardless of race,
color, ereed, religion, national origin or ancestry, to develop
his talents: and abilities without limitation.

To aid in permitting the City of Atlanta to benefit from the full-
est realization of its human resources.

To investigate, discourage and seek to prevent discriminatory
practices against any individual because of race, color, creed,
religion, national origin or ancestry.

Jo attempt to act as conciliator in controversies involving
human relations."

In between meetings, individuals and groups are invited to visit or
telephone the Commission office (522-4463, Ext 433) to report matters
of interest and to obtain information and assistance on specific sub-

Community Relations Commission
1203 City Hall Non = Profit
68 Mitchell Street, Sw . Organization
Atlanta, Georgia 30303 U. S. Postage
Atlanta, Georgia
Permit No./1l

Mr. R. Earl Landers
Adm. Asst. to Mayor
66 Mitchell St., sw
Atlanta, Ga. 30303

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