Box 12, Folder 27, Document 13

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sil £7 ALA a
tlanta’s Great. ‘Need

CITIES, we regret to state“ can expect little
er nothing from the states in which they

are located.

We live in an urban society and the great
problems and challenges are in our urban

areas. Here our people have congregated.

Hore are the opportunities for the young and


Alas, here also are the conditions which
breed erime and illnesses. lHere are the slums.

Cities do not have enough money to do the
{hings that need doing in order to make them
healthier and more pleasant places. These
things must be done. But the cities do not
have the resources to finance these civic
improvement programs, and the © states
couldn't care less.

The result has been a cutting of the ties

vhich once bound states and cities and a new
orientation of the cities to Washington.

Washington understands the problems of |

the cities. Washington is more responsive to

these needs than are the states. Washington |

also has the money.

In the last few years Atlanta would have
been lost without transfusions of’ federal
clearance and rebuilding programs. They
have been used to train the unskilled, and

to improve the quality of education in sub- |

These funds have gone into slum.

standard schools. They have gone into recre-|

ation areas in parts of town where the streets
furnished the only recreation. They have gone
to meet many pressing human needs.

Without this direct federal aid, Atlanta
would be in sorry shape.

Atlanta is counting on more {ederal aid to

get it over some big hump tomorrow. Por-
tions of the city ought to be rebuilt. We must
continue to train people for jobs and there
are other human needs which must be met,


THE PRESIDENT’S budget contains many
fiems to aid urban areas. But the President is
having a hard time mustering votes for his

Metropolitan Atlanta is represented by two
senators, and congressmen from the Fourth,
Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Ninth Districts.

This is a nice block of votes. We trust
these representatives understand Atlanta's
need for federal urban aid.

Of these congressmen, two especially rep:
resent Atlanta and we assume understand.
this problem and the needs of their constitu-

These are Fletcher Thompson of the Fifth
and Ben Blackburn of the Fourth. They are
Republicans and some might expect them to
vole against the administration for political


POLITICS is polities. But representing
their constituents is more important, The
needs of these two districts should outweigh
pressures to vole the party line,

af ie 2

Avlumto's "De amonstration

ALL OF ATLANTA will be allected tl of

$100 million “demonstration cities” proj-
ect announced Tuesday, which will encompass
3,000 acres, 10 per cent of the city's people
and 19 per cent of iis officially designated
“poverty houscholds.”

This is more than just a bigger version of
an urban renewal project; more than just

Physical improvement of a blighted area,

It envisions a combination of physical im-
provement and social services directed
toward betterment of the. people themselves.
Tt will involve not only housing but also em-
ployment, education, health and welfare ser-
vices. Emphasis will not be upon removing
people but improving their lot.

This all-encompassing nature is the unique
feature of the $1.2 billion demonstration cities
act which Congress approved as one of Presi-
dent Johnson’s most far-reaching proposals
for curing basic ills of American cities. Under
that federal act Atlanta is certain of 80 per
cent federal financing for this development,
wiih the city providing 20 per cent. And a
shifting and refinancing of some related pro-
grams may bring this ratio to 90-10.

Tn effect, in this endeavor Atlanta and its
federal partner will be tying together every
kind of available service of city, county,
stale and federal government,

The “demonstration” adjective means
what it says. If this kind of project is success-
ful, the idea probably will be extended.

Surely the need for big and fundamental
new approaches is evident at a time when
the inner cores of most big cities have the
kind of rot and human deprivation that leads
to a waste of children and possible turraoil.

Tt is a sad irony that the congressional
representatives of many of the areas most
needful of this kind of approach opposed the
program. There was a time when it seemed
that it had died, As usual, a chief threat was
the votes and the power of numerous back-
ward-looking Southern representatives in
Washington who were oblivious of the situa-
tions of their own cities.

But President Johnson mustered ihe votes ,

required and the program, several times on
the verge of death, survived. If it had not
been passed before the i9u6 elections put

more conservative and reactionary repre- ;

sentatives into Congress, it surely would have
been put aside for a Jong time io come.

So Atlanta (and other Georgia cilies, for
olhers also apparently will participate) have
had a lucky break in timing.

We are glad to sce this hopeful undertak-

ing moving ahead,

“A Te CO pee “5

hy Sign |

. APL. Lee. “fy

ayor Ivan Allen and other City dfficials
went to the people last Wednesday and Thurs sday
nights to explain the model neighborhaod pro-
posal for the areas south of the State Capitol,
Overflow crowds at Bryant Elementary School
and the Grant Park Presbyterian Church heard

_ the officials express their hopes that Atlanta

will become one of the ‘Demonstration Cities,’"

If Atlanta becomes a ‘'Demonstation City,”
the ared south of the Capitol, comprising some
3,000 acres and a tenth of the city’s population,
would be upgraded to stem the tide of deterio-
ration, or as one observer out it, “prevent the
area from turning into a vast slum,""

The officials did much to dispel the doubts
of the residents stemming from rumors that:
the area was to be cleared for motels, high-
rise apartments and parking lots, Such rumors,
it is said, caused some property owners not
to bother to repair their homes, The Mayor
told the audiences that he hoped not one family ©

| would have to be moved out of the neighborhood.

City officials stressed that the citizens will

| be consulted as plans are made and that their
needs will be considered first,

This is a healthy sign since so many times
decisions involving the people are made without
consulting the people the decision will affect.

We want so fervently to see Atlanta continue
to grow and to mature so that it will really
become Lovely Atlanta and we hope that more
such meetings are in the planning stages so
that our leaders can be in tune with their fol-
lowers, |

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