Box 10, Folder 11, Document 44

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September 30, 1966

Mr. Jo H. Calhoun

Special Assistant for Community Develovment
Economic Opportunity Atlanta, Incorporated
101 Marietta Street, N. W.

Sixth Floor

Atlanta, Georgia 30303

Dear Mr. Calhoun:

Thank you for your letter of Sevtember 26. I am pleased
to know that Mr. Sweat has been in commumication with you
concerning the visit made to his office by the officers of the
two groups Which we organized in the Boulevard NE section.

As you requested, following is a list of complaints which
were presented to Mr. Sweat by these citizens:

They exoressed frustration over discrimination which
they have experienced and which they continue to ex-
perience. As one man put it, "we just don't have

the onvportunities that the white man has." They stated
that the lack of opportunities anvlied equally in ed-
ucation, employment, housing, and in receiving the
services of the City. They conplained that there had
been discrimination in Housing Code enforcement:

"Negro vroperty-owmers ere forced to keep their pro-
perties in a better state of revair than white property-
owners in the Boulevard area." They complained that
the amount of rent they paid was too high for the tybe
accommodation whicn they had.

More svec their complaints might be categorized in

the following

1. The complete absence of any publicly~sponsored
recreational facilities in their community. They ex-
pressed that one of the most needed facilities in their
community was a youth center. This center should be

near the scene of the riots as vossible.
velopment for the center must be dictated by
£ the youth in that area.

2. They were quite concerned because of inadquate
services from the Sanitary Devartment. Trucks from the
Sanitary Department come to the area only once a week --
sometimes on Wednesday, sometimes on Friday. Garbage
and trash are allowed to pile uo. The trucks, they
said, need to come through the area two or three times
a week on a regular basis. It appeared from their
conversation that it might be necessary to force the
owners of large apartment buildings to vrovide recep-
tacles for both garbage and trash. They told Mr. Sweat
that the Sanitary Engineers do not fulfill their duties
in picking up garbage wnich they scatter as they col-
lect the waste out of garbage canse

3e A major point of the discussion concerned hous-
ing conditions. A few of the housing problems are:

ae General deterioration.

be Building infested with rats and roaches.

c. inadequate maintenance and care for the
public vortions of the buildings, such
as the halls and other commonly-shared

d.- Inadequate exits from the building.

ee Inadequete accommodations.

Time and again, they reiterated the fact tha
their rent was too high. (I might note here that since
their visit to Mr. Sweat's office, some of the res-
idents have received notices that their rent is being
increased. In some cases, the increase is in excess of
ten ($10.00) dollars a month. I am gravely concerned

about this matter.)

4. They complained about the manner in which
some of the policemen performed their duties in handl-~
ing the crowds on eeu te Sunday » and Monday nights.
They pointed out thet tasre were ins vances of volice

brutality both on the streets and at the police ste-
tion. They also reported that a number of innocent
parties were arrested during this melee. Furtzermore,
they said, in some instances the Caucasian policemen
éaiied the people names which were most disvleasing.
They were distrubed by the fact that they have not
received sufficient protection by law enforcensent
officials. The murder of the Vorner youth and the
shootings of the other youth are avt examples of this
matter, and there are many others.

5. This committee of citizens revorted to Mr.
Sweat that the manner in which the ambulance attend-
ants exercised their + esponsibility on the Saturday
afternoon when the shooting took place was infuri-

ating. They maintained that the ambulance by~passed
the two Negro victims, and picked up a policeman

who had been injured leter. In their opinion, this
incident was a continuetion of an old established
pattern of discrimination: The Negro lies on the
streets unattended while the "white" man is treated.
They want this matter fully investigated, and they
want some concrete actions taken to eliminate future
occurrences of a Similar naturee

6. From what they said, it was obvious that
the Georgia Baptist Hosvital is an object or frus-
tration to them. Why, they wanted to know, was it
that Georgia Baptist did not receive the two youth
who were shot, as they did the policeman? (They |
are not interested in the fact that Georgia Baptist
Hospital is a private institution. Evidently,
Georgia Baptist has an exceedingly poor image in
the community.)


fe Traffic control, esvecially on the east-
west streets, was reported as a problem. Large
trucks utilize the narrow residential streets be-
tween Boulevard and Glen Iris. Also, there is a
problem with the speeding drivers of automobiles
on these same streets, as well as on Boulevard.

8. One
they reported was tne lack of opportunities
obtain a decent job and earn a decent Wase. They
asked for paying training oositions for desirable
jobs. They are tired of being maids, janitors,
porters, and laborers. Income seems to be a pro-
blem for nearly everyone in that community.

9. Most of all, the veovle on Boulevard want
to be somebody. They are tired of living in a
society whieh denies them an opportunity to be some-



body. They are sick of formal leaders in their
community and in City government who do not either
know or care about the conditions under which they
live. They want the City and their formal leaders
to listen to their problems and to bring about a

rapid cnange

Basically, these are their comblaints at tuis time.

Let me express my appreciation to you for the manner in
which you have cooperated with us in working with these pro-
plemse iI 'very mucn appreciate the support which you gave me
personally during a very trying deriod two weeks ago. Thank

you very much.

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