Box 15, Folder 1, Document 92

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The Urban Coalition / Federal Bar Building West / 1879 H Street. N.W. Washington, D. C. [| 20006

Steering Committee Co-chairmen: Andrew Heiskell / A. Philip Randolph

National Coordinators: John Feild [| Ron M. Linton
Telenhone 293-1530

October 12, 1967

Getting Off the Ground

The concern of the Urban Coalition, expressed so
strongly late last summer by public-spirited citizens
during an emergency post-riot convocation in Wash-
ington, is beginning to find rootholds where it counts
—in the front-line cities of America.

Mobilization of the nation’s public and private
resources for a vigorous attack on that urban hydra—
unemployment, slum housing and aimless, education
—is getting off the ground, Leaders in some fifty
cities will meet in Chicago next week to establish
local action groups that can enlist the resources and
energies of business, labor, religious, academic and
community organizations. In this city, a New York
Coalition has just started to translate the lofty policy
language of the national steering committee into local

High- ‘iidednsen: of course, will not be’ enough.
Hard-core unemployment will take hard-core solutions.
Lobbying of superhuman proportions will be required
in the business and labor communities to break down
traditional attitudes. — ‘

The Federal Government is in the forefront of action.
For this reason the first step of the local Coalition is
to discuss the inclusion of New York City in the pilot
program, recently announced by the President, to
engage the private sector in the attack on unemploy-
ment. But the true effectiveness of the Urban Coali-
tion, the New York Coalition and those to come in

‘other cities will be measured by more than simply
seeking increased assistance from Washington.

Municipalities with archaic laws and practices that
have effectively barred the poor and disadvantaged
from job and housing gains will have to be persuaded
to change their customs. Certain industries that have
blocked Negroes from full opportunities will have
to be re-educated. Certain unions which have denied
membership on racial grounds will have to reform
their practices.

By enlisting the community-action groups—the
spokesmen for the jobless and ill-housed—the New
York Coalition is getting to the core of center city’s

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