Box 7, Folder 19, Document 16

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The first neighborhood hearing of the Community Relations Commission of the city

of Atlanta was held March 14, 1967 at 8:00 pom. at the Wesley Avenue School.

Me. Hamilton Douglas, Jr. presided, Other Commission members present were Mrs.

Mary Stephens, Chairman, Mr, C. G. Ezzard, Mr. M. O. Ryan and Mrs. Sara Baker.

Mr. Douglas told the group the committee was very grateful to be at the meeting,
and to feel free to tell them what was on their minds, He told them how the
Commission was established and why. He asked individuals desiring to speak to
sign a card. The following is what the individuals had to report to the


MR. CHARLES TURNER, 1567 Paxton Street, Mr. Turner stated that he was happy to
have the committee in the neighborhood. He was concerned with trying to get low
rent houses. He said most of the people in the community were wage earners, that
they had few professionals, He said they had been promised this, they even made
a survey and made plans, but since then they have built a new school, put up a
warehouse, and built a park. The apartments in the area are sub-standard. He

would like for the Commission to help get low’ rent housing in this area.

MR. JAMES DEAN, 17 East Lake Drive, Mr. Dean said that he has been living in the

NE. area for 9 months, and was buying a house on East Lake Drive. He told the

committee he had 10 things that he would like to bring before them.

1. Whet are some of the real concrete powere of the Commission,

Mr. Douglas answered by saying the Commission was forned ta find out the
problems that exist in the city and make recommendations to the Mayor and
Board of Aldermen, because, he stated, they are going to correct the things
that are wronge He said the problems that will be heard tonight has a
relationship to various parts of the city, for example, police service,
and poor service will be heard from, ‘from all the areas, The committee
will take the problems back to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen, and the
different departments, The Commission does not have the power to do what
needs to be done, but will recommend what it think needs to be done, He
stressed the fact that since the Commission has come this far in its

program, he believes it will be able to help correct some of the wrong.


2. We-need more parking signs on East Lake Drive
He stated there has been several accidents in front of his house because of
no parking signs.

3. There is a need in the East Leke area for enforeement of Health Laws.
General sanitation is bad, He stated the sanitation department was coming
around 2 or 3 times a week, now sometimes they do not come around at all
during the week.

4, There is a need for proper street lightning on Memorial Drive, East Lake,
and Boulevard.

5. There is a need for Enforcement of the Housing Code,

6. Better sewer conditions are needed, he said when it rains, it seems like a

7. Flood. .

7. There are no sidewalks on Boulevard and East Lake,

8. Education. East Lake Elementary is overcrowded. The first of February the
school went on double sessions; He said the parents were only notified one
week in advance of the double session, this was unfar because the parents
did not have time to make the adjustments, Example, a child changing from
going to school in the morning and start on the afternoon session, the problem
of getting someone to look after him in the mornings because the parents have
to work, There is no P,T,A, in the school, During the 1965-66 term there
were only 42 Negroes in the school with a capacity of 625, Now there are

900 students with the increase af Negroes moving into the neighborhood,

9, The stores in the area are very unsanitary. . The vegetables and meats are
of a very low grade,

10, fRezoining. The area is in a transitional period from whites to Negroes.
Now they want to rezone it for business. In his area, Carter St. and

East Lake Drive,

Mz, Ryan complimented Mr. Dean on his remarks, Then he asked why there is no
P.T.A. in the school. Mr, Dean said because the students are 80 to 90 % Negro
and the parents do not want to meet together, He said the principal is retiring,
but this should not have anything to do with the PeTeA.s Mr. Ezzard asked Mr,
Dean wnat did he do. He said he was student at Atlanta University School of
Social Work. Mr, Ezzard suggested to him that he come to the Commission and

see what he could do to help, He said he would,

the responsibility of the parents and not the teachers or principal to start
a P.T.A. The teachers and principals are suppose to cooperate with them after

it is established,



He also brought up Sonne Two years ago there was no liquor stores from
Moreland Avenue to Decatur, Now that the Negroes are moving in, there is a
store cn almost every corner. He said as far as crime is concerned it is

going to get worse and all these liquor stores are contributing to it. He

said who ever is permitting all these stores licenses should not be permitted

to do so. Mrs. Stephens stated there has been a lot of changes in the permitting
of licenses. It is now out of the hands of the Board of Aldermen, Mr. Long
said he would like to know who to see about the matter and he would follow
through. He said they would go to court if that was necessary to halt the
number of stores that were being permitted to open.

MR. JAMES CROWLEY, 50 Mason Avenue, N, W., Mr. Crowley is concerned with
recreation, he said it is very poor in the area, In the past 10 years the

area has grown tremendously, and recreation facilities have not been added

to ascomodate them, There is a small"jumped up park" in back of the school,
Wesley Ave., but it is not adequate. It was put up to keep the Negroes out

of Chandler Park, The part is not properly supervised. More trained super=
visors are needed. (look into the facilities of Walker, and Besser Brandon
parks, ) Mc. Howard Long of the Recreation Department was sent to the meeting
by Miss Carmichael, he said he would take the complaints back to Miss Carmichael

and Mr. Delius.

MR. A WATSON, 187 Wesley Ave., Mr. Watson stated the need for a better lightning
system. He said there is night school from 6:30 until 10:30 and the area around
the school is so dark some people are afraid to come out. He asked the Commission
to help get lights on baseball and football fields, he said if these areas are
lighted, crime will go down (Mr. Douglas said if he had not studied a map for

half an hour before coming, he would not have been able to find the school.)

Mz. Watson said it is even worse when there is a heavy rain, Also Foote and
Second Streets are not paved, this:is also bad when it rains. He said no lights
have been added since the area was lighted up in the beginning. He also mentioned
old houses that should be torn down, he-gave an example of a fire downstairs

in one of the schools, and the fire wagon could not get in because of the houses.

MRS, ELIZABETH GIFFORD, 1565 Boulevard Drive (Left before her turn)

MR. DELMAR R, YODER, 1800 Memorial Drive, Edgewood Neighborhnod Service Center,

Mc, Yoder stated that he was speaking as a professional and was working with

the people in the area, He said the Commission needed to deal with Public


Relations of minority groups, and he said Miss Bullard could lead it. This

group would let the people know about the good things going on in the neigh
borhoods, He said that crime, and filth always get a place on the front page,
but the good things are overlooked, He stated there are many good families in
this area, |

He said that Bert School was started sometimes ago and seems like it will never
be finished, Others schools have been finished that were started after this one,
He was concerned with white abandonment of areas when Negroes start to move in,
He said it should be someway to get people to stop moving, He was alos concerned
about getting low rent housinge He said the Commission should try to influence
the Urban Renewal to help with this. He stated that the city has built a new
stadium and other nice things of this nature, but we need something for the
people of areas like Buttermilk Bottom, etc. He said the City Wide Service
Agencies are not providing services. He gave the Metro Atlanta YMCA as an
example. He said the Atlanta and Dekalb Government work against each other.

When something is brought up one say it is the responsibility of the other.

He said he was glad Mr, Long of the Recreation Department was present, but

Miss Carmichael and Mr. Delius already know of the problems that exist.

MR. HENRY W. BROOKS, 1312 Dupont Avenue, S. E.

Mz. Brooks said when he moved 7 years ago it was a very nice neighborhood,
now it is junked up with one thing and then another, The City was suppose
to check on this. On Wylie Street refrigerators are dumped. The people are

ruining the neighborhood by using it as a junk yard.

MRS, LOUISE WHITE, 220 Hutchins Street, Mrs, White is a civic worker, She
said she live in the heart of Edgewood. Agrees with Mr. Brooks about the
junk yards, Said the civic group cannot do a thing about it. She gave an
example of a car being dumped on LaFrance Street, the police put a ticket
on ite Now people are taking parts off it, soon it will be a pile of junk.
She wes aleo concerned about sanitation, said people are dumping their
garbage out in the back yard, she asked that people should please be made
to get and use garbage cans. She said there are housed with 3 rooms and
people with 11 and 12 children are living in them. They are called one
way houses, because they have cne way in and one way out. She said they
wantec some places built for these people to live with a parking space

and somewnere for the children to play, and definitely no one ways because

they are hazards.


There is a need for a red light at the corner of Whiteford Avenue and
LaFrance Street, other signs should be used also. Example (Slow-Children


10. M&S. RUTH FLEMISTER, 29 Daniel Street, S. E., Mrs. Flemister had her 16
year old daughter with her. She said she was operated on by Grady
Hospital when she was 15 months old. She is now handicapped. Grady
will not give her a card because they say her husband makes too much
money, she said he is a common laborer and has 3 children to support
She said she tae; tabiah to other places to have her daughter treated,

but they will not because Grady will not sign for it.

hs MRS. GEORGIA USHE, 2170 Boulevard Drive, Mrs, Ushe was concerned with
Sanitation, she said a lot of the stores carried a terrible odor,and
they keep a lot of old boxes out in front. Also teenage boys hanging
around outside beer stores and breaking in people houses. A light is
needed at Ruckeford Street and Boulevard Avenue. There has been

several accidents at this site.

12. Mx. Joseph Finch, 1628 Foote Street, Apt. 7, Mr. Finch expressed the
need for more recreational facilities. He said a YMCA should be

organized so the teenagers will have something to do,

13. MRS. LAURA W. NUNNALY, 1286 Fair Street, S. W. (left)

14. MRS. F. W. ARNOLD, ST Raymond Street, S. W. (left)

15, REV. OE, MYLES, 1361 Dupont Ave. S. E., Rev. Myles said he was happy
vo be at the meeting, that every body had touched on about everything
he wanted to say but he would make a few remarks. He was concerned with
what did it mean when people spoke of low-rent housing? He said he was
asked to move from several different places because he was making too
much money to remain. But during these times he was sick and in the
hospital and could not work for quite a while. He said he is paying
taxes in Fulton and Dekalb counties. At the Dupont and Whitefore Ave.
schools, children are very destructive, something should be done aboutit.
He expressed a need for more Police protection. He commented on Mr.
Long's remarks about the Liquor stores, and said the thing to do about
them is ta boycott. He stated that some of these responsibilities lie


at the people door.



im fa

PROF. JOHN DAVIS GAITHER, 1560 Foote St., N.E., Mr, Gaither stated he

was happy to be at the meating. He said if we stayed until the midnight
hour, the same problems would continue to come up. He commented on some
of the problems. Lightning Atlanta was suppose to be one of the most
lighted areas in the world, it is in certain parts, Ex. Peachtree Street.
But, other areas are badly in need of light. Atlanta-Dekalb When you

go to Atlanta to try and get something done, they tell you its in the
jurisdiction of Dekalb County, and when you go to Dekalb, they send you
to Atlanta. Police Protection there is one policeman on foot and when
he goes to one area of his beat, people are doing what they want to on
the other end, and vice versa. House Construction You can tell where a
Negro live because of the way the house is constructed. Low-rent housing
He said houses should be built up to present day standards.

Mrs. Baker asked him when he referred to low rent housing, did he mean
sub-civisions or government projects. He said the kind that are in the
Thomasville area. Mrs. Baker said those houses are bought and not rented
Prof. Gaither told the committee ta take what has been said and take it

seriously, because the Edgewood-Kirkwood area is on the move.

- The question of what type of houses the people are trying to get was re=

introduced. It was decided that houses that comply with the Housing
Code Enforcement. It was pointed out that some of the houses the people

were talking about were built before the housing code was in effect.

Mr. Douglas explained that the problems would be turned over to the

proper departments.

% was suggested that a specific resolution be prepared by the people of

the neighborhood of the things that are wrong.

Mr. Long said these things had been reported 10 years ago and nothing has
been done about them, Mr. Douglas replied by saying that this Commission
hes been established to try and help the people communicate with City Hall

and see that these problems are solved.

MR. JAMES COSBY, 1424 LaFrance St., N.E., Mr. Cosby stated that he was
having trouble with Real Estate Companies. He was concerned about
Educational programs. He said somebody should be hired to teach the

people in the underpriviledge areas how to live.


18. Mrs. Charity Hill, 1514 Foote St., Mrs. Hill's concern was with lights,
and street paving. She referred to Foote St., and Mason Avenue. She
complained of the dust, she said gravel was put on the street but it

only made things worse.

19. MR, J. A. MCLAIN, 2079 Delano Dr., NE. , Mr. McLain was concerned with
rezoining of the Kirkwood area, Houses that had For Sale signs in front
of them now have signs of rezoining for commercial use. He stated that
we are trying to keap communities from going slum, but how can we when
city hall is passing these laws. Mr. Doutlas stated he would get the
city attorney to drqw up a list of what the city of Atlanta is responsible
for, He stated that except for court house functions, most of the thnigs
are concerned with the city of Atlanta.

Mr. McLain said there should be enforcement of the various Codes, sanitary, |

housing, etc. He said the Federal Appraisal System should =belooked into,

Mr. Douglas thanked the people for staying and suggested that the committes
conduct a tour of the community and see some of the things the people are

talking about.

Mrs. Baker told the group the Commission would get a list of what Atlanta

and DEKALB county is responsible for.

Mr. Long thanked the committee for coming and said the community has been

making some progress but that they still had a long way to go;

The meeting was adjourned at 10:15 p.m.

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