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Administering the Demonstration
Cities- Program in Atlanta
The draft prepared by several agencies in connection with
the Mayor's Director of Government Liaison outlines the goals
and steps by which Atlanta can participate in the recently
passed Model Cities or Demonstration Cities Act of 1966.
What this statement neglects to outline is the methodology
by which these goals and programs are to be accomplished. The
implementation of this plan is perhaps its most crucial component.
Plans there are in abundance. But the skillful execution of such
plans remains the key to effective action.
That Atlanta posses the fundamental resources it needs to
meet the requirements of the Demonstration Cities Plan is without
doubt. What is required is less the creation of new mechanisms
than the effective harnessing and, where necessary, the reorientation
of those which already ex
It is paramount that the essential thrust of the Demonstration
Cities Program should be kept in mind. It i entially desi
to make a social impact on a low-income neighborhood, bringing
together the tools of both physical and social planning agencies.
As such the coordination and implementation of the plan should
begin with this end in mind and, accordingly, build from this
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As such the plan calls for an agency which carries both the
capacity and means for integrating social and physical planning
functions. The only agency which is currently geared to meet 2
this need in terms:of action is the Economic Opportunity Atlanta
It.. EOA & Demonstration Cities:
On at least two’ bases, if not all three, the Economic
Opportunity Program is uniquely equipped to conduct the plan of
attack outlined in the draft statement.
The plan calls for Neighborhood Organization and Resident
Participation. In each of the target neighborhoods delineated
for the Demonstration Cities Program, EOA has developed well-
organized and functioning neighborhood groups. Most of these
have been actively involved in initiating planning activities
for the Demonstration Cities Program.
These neighborhood groups have made it possible for the first
real "grass roots" leadership to participate in planning community
life. Every aspect of the community is dealt with, from employ-
ment to education, housing to health, recreation and aging.
Secondly, the plan calls for the improvement of Health and
Welfare and the physical renewal of the area. In both instances
Lops neighborhood committees have organized to survey needs and
recommended programs. These neighborhood committees stand ready
to make their contribution.
Finally, as the Act is designed to bring about the
coordination of agencies in an all-out attack on the conditions
of poverty, the framework of the Neighborhood Service Center
program is such that a Technical Advisory Committee is pegatieen
to provide this added and much needed resource.
In review it ean be shown that the Neighborhood Service
Centers in the target, Demonstration Cities Area provide a ready
made well-organized forum for "grass roots seria a
mechanism for attack and a base on which additional program effort
can be laid.
Lilia Plan“ of Attack :
It is, however, not the contention of EOA that its present
structure is entirely sufficient to meet this task alone. Indeed,
were it not for the fact that many agencies have made their
services available from the outset would it be possible for EOA
to have reached its present stage of evolution. It realizes it is
far from the desired goal. But it is on the right road and hopes
this latest effort (Demonstration Cities) will reinforce its
role and future.
There are some areas of need which go beyond the present
structure and activities of the Neighborhood Service Centers. It
remains only to outline some of these to indicate the gaps which
should be closed with additional programs and personnel.
A. Present activities include:
1. Employment - job placement, counseling
referrals, training opportunities, etc.
Social Services - multi-purpose needs
- (health, family counseling, day care,
aging, ‘etc.) :
Education - community schools, adult
Housing - relocation assistance and
1. Economic infra-structures - businesses -
lending institutions, commerical establish-
Social infra-structures-community clubs,
recreation halls, etc.
3. Physical infra-structures-roads, parks, etc.
It is recommended that these centers which are located in
the Demonstration Cities Area should be merged into a Demonstration
Cities Planning Task Force. As such they would be funded through
the initial planning grant while providing services at the same
These centers would be administered by the Mayor's office
under a Demonstration Cities Project Officer who is responsible
to the Mayor. Although officially responsible to the Mayor,
these centers would continue to operate under the administrative
. procedures of the local CAA.
The local CAA, EOA, would provide at least one coordinator
from its office to that of the Mayor's Demonstration Cities
V. Evaluation: '
Under terms still unwritten an evaluation of the
Demonstration Cities Program, the Neighborhood Center Program
and the coordirmation of these activities would be undertaken by
a local educational institution. Hopefully, this negotiation
would lead to a greater, sustained involvement of the academic
community in urban problems,
“raeally, Atlanta University and Georgia State College
and/or Emory University could fulfill this need.