Box 12, Folder 27, Document 14

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Box 12, Folder 27, Document 14

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~;nen anr

a Bi I for o__L anta
(}..:do-'-0 c'\- ,\<tLC c
ATLA."\TA i:- Yir::,:;ily ~('rl:iin to receive a
subs ant ial s·• 1 io i;npro\·e a huge sect:ion of the cit\' u ,d ·r tl·e dcmnnstration cities
act, but it is ;0t cc:~·ta:;i at a l of having Urn
help of its two R-rub!ican congressmen.
Co gress· n,mec th bill last year. It is
Intend to strLi._~ at ' e roots of many of our
problems in the slums a..71 d in areas that are
not vet slums bu: soon may be. Selected
citiei across L1e nation \\ill be the firSt to
receive funds. under a "demonstration" concept; of course. ir the plan works well, other
cities presumably mig t follow suit.
· At1anta is pri\·ileged in that it almost certainly would be in the first list of cities, and
accordingly it already has made plans in a
3 000-acre area of southeast Atlanta. (That is
a~ area five tim-=s as large as our biggest
present urban rene·,..,-al area.)
Slum buildings ,rnuld be cleared. Others
would be renovated. :-:ew structures would
be built. A d most important, the plan goes
beyond traditic~al urb::in renewal in that it
ties together 2!'"'.'0:-:t all. the governmental
efforts that d;:-cc~ ~- affect a slum area.
Housin;:: irrr,rr .. ,·men alone is not the
answer. G-Dod r ,·air:: ar<l di3grace[ul schools,
for exampl~. 2,~ rr-' r1 combination likely to
break the "·cl~ 'n:- s1':'Tl pl'ople. Under the
demon<;tra6,'1 ci.' <; p1a:1 . bad schools in the
designated area of ···e city would be improved.
Employment tra:r:r :~ a!:d placement would
be furthered. 1:1 s::c.rt, th~ program addresses
itself to the w::s'e r2:1;:;~ of the slums' worst
problems-thc•e that , eventually, affect the
whole city.
Corgre:s. h:.·:irg pnssed the bill, now
must ft:rd i:. Or.e mis!1t assume that any
con'.!rE:~'rr,a:i. fre,m fr'} r tlanta area, at least,
wou!d !;1; ,,.i:,~::!'.g r:;rtl for any plan that
would strike at the:::,:; problern:, so prc-ssing
f0r P.t!;;r•a.

,.Y {O n. Tr~

'l..1. \..
But thm6s, 1l1ave changed for Atlanta in
Washington . Two Democratic congressmen
who helped put the demonsh·ation ci ties hill
through Con,,rcss have been r eplaced by two
Republican congressmen whose positions are
somewhat uncertain at this point.
Rep. Fletcher Thompson of the 5th Dis- \'
trict, who had our support against a so-so l
Democratic nominee, now says there is "a
strong probability" he will support legislation
to finance the program this year.
.,,1_ _:
·1 o
J., 0
As ;Well
I ( J / ,
·p. o;;·,.1 rn·c- JU> 11.~1:U:i,U"u ,ub 0
(~ 1/:1-1
city officia ls from eight Southeastern sla l.e:,
attended a conference here lo learn more
about the pro6 ram.
Bt\t we believe Allan la 's chances will he
~ood. It has demonstrated th;it it underst;inds
Even if a:~d \\'hen Congre% appropriates llv2 concept and that its officials have the
the multibillion-dollar fund President J ohn- technical knowledge to coordinate and adminson sec~s, cities will not sh;_1t·c equally. Some ister the program wisely.
won't get ;111ylhi:1:; at all.
Approval of the project would he a major
A city's chances will depend not so much asset to the city. The area is larger tha n all
on size as on its ability to cor-.vincc federal of- the urban renewal projects put togclhcr. In
That is good news. 11r. Thompson cannot
ficials it has the know-how and the wiliingncss it are concentrated many of the city's hardserve his constituency if he is against such
to carry out the purposes of the act.
core problems. And the federal government
legislation; he cannot serve it if he is only
TI1ose pu:-;ioses · are admirable. The dem- could pay as much as 90 per cent of the cost.
tolerant or permissive about such legislation;
onstration cities idea goes far beyond any
he can serve it only if he becomes a strong 1
We'll keep our fingers crossed and hope .
old urban renewal plan. Like urban renewal
advocate of solutions for city problems-and
it would be concerned with physical rchabili: that Congress comes through with adequate
not an advocate in generalities only.
. \ talion of an area . But unlike urban, funds.
it would concentrate on social reha;;ilitation of
Rep. Ben Blackburn of the 4th District,
thz people who live in tl1e slums.
on the other hand, speaks negatively of the
bill already approved and of the bill now to
The program thus would requi;e close co- '
fin ance it. He expresses his nega tivism in
ordination of health, education, welfare, recreterms of the pla n's being "a great theory ,"
ation and other social services. It would re' :.{-r- 1,1,7
"not a pure bouquet o[ roses without any
quire a coherent plan and competent admin,.-,
.il. t
thorns," and so on. But th,o general weight . istra tors .


l . . .
of what he has said so far is negative.
This week Atl2nta subm itted its ambitious .
. \ ....., -· / ,
. ·r~'i ; J
proposal for a 3,000-acre demonstrati,, n area
Race enters in, of course, in some of the
Co:1grcssm:m ii'lctchcr Thom,)s~;i of Atl
ta is '
nr..south of I-20 and cast of West Whitehall. In
judgments being made. This plan, like other
. : s,10\ ·1~g signs that he is morl! inte:·ested
it are in per cent of the city's " pove~ty housefederal programs , must be administered withm
t"i address111g
. the needs 0 1r. 11 .ts constituents
holds,. ~6
cent of its slum housing, 20 per
out r acial bias. In Congress, r acism already
wn 1D clcavmg to a fixed set of politic.'.11
cent or _its 1!11tcratcs, 25 per cc;:t of its juvehas been obvious in some of the efforts made
nile delinquency and a hi"h mortal itv rale
against the plan. We wonder sometimes
Sixty per cer.t of its r es1dc;ts are Negro and
whether that is not always the main considHe has indicated that he may SU'F'Ort the
40 per cent white.
eration with many who oppose such legislat mod ' ! e·L
· bill ' and we like his exp!Jnation.
'I:' .
Competition for dcmenstration city funds
will be fi erce. Just last Wednesday, some 500 ' ' , As ? Republican, Rep. Ti1ompso;1 s;1id he
That makes no sense.
11,1_s d1splcnscd by certain parts of ti ~ l .
Jatwn "B
h.: cg1s"This means a lot to Atlanta," Rep.
' . u. un,i! such lime as I ha\·e
Thompson said.
,_,, a em;it tve r mu-t t":i ·c a
r t'me,mpro.1ch .. . I'll , be d·1 r1·,e'd 1·• I'rca rs _1c apThat is about it.
m rromcr to
irow somc-ti1in6 out the door jrst ~ "'
I didn't propose it. ,.
• uccause
L:ist year Co:1gress appro\·cd in p:·inciplc
the President's ci,'monslration cit:e;;" plan.
It is noble in purp,1sc and \l'ide in scope, but
so far it has only ;; pinch-penny budget.
u~ ea.I,,s a
1 · ·,
, •
e- -,- I /(_.
most comn
• I·ch ens1vc
!mprovcmen• pro,:;ram
ever attempted.

The_proposed model area consists
acres m southeast Atlant B
of 3,Cuv
city's ~argcst urban rcnew:I a;e;o143.215.248.55 15:52, 29 December 2017 (EST)\:; t~e
compnses only 675 acres.
n '
, And not only would slum dwell inrrs be
c1eared otlie b '!di
renovated an d new
·ho · ' b · r lll nrrs
usmg u!lt, but a complete ranrre of
. l
scrviccs would
be. provided tl1e ' rcsraents
. ' soc1am
area : educa t10n and vocational • . .
' ::ammg,
health care, counsclinrr T11e m
' d 1
o· '
, 0 C c1'1e
gram_ is people-oriented.
• s proRcp. Thompson is wise not t . . ' •
plan just bec,1usc it is not
f o I ~Ject ,he
iet~~-)We i1ope his pcrspcctiti~,.~J~t b: s~~·;;~
" ,mrn
, " co1.g~essm:m
rem:ll'ked thnt
mc:ms a lo. to Atbnta " IL 1 '
li~an ~~ll~i;u!l~c~~.~rn, .
fl:?shman Re-pubmdeecl. If modcl-c'L f ,. • _ .
nc1"' l or rng Fourth Disthe c't
. r,y u.. a:; \ 1 ere approved for . trict. l\'ir· Bl·1ckb
urn alas t~ l.k lik
b 1' Y ace,o:·~11;g to pbns already submitted ~·ho cta11:t sec the ros'cs
th·e tfJOm:. ~u~ 1~~
Y ocal orf1c1n,s, 1\tbcta could begin tile
1ay ;i ,e a second look.

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