Box 15, Folder 1, Document 99

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November 2, 1967



While the long, hot summer of 1967 is now a part of the
past, concerned persons are attempting to pool their re-
sources and reorganize their thinking and values, hoping
to prevent the predicted long, hot summer of 1968 from
becoming a part of the future. To accomplish this monu-
mental task a new alliance between leaders in civil rights,
religion, business, labor and local governments was
formed. It is called The Urban Coalition, and some look
upon it as one of the last measures available to save our

On August 24, after clean-up crews in Newark and De-
troit had begun to clear their rubble-filled streets, Urban
Coalition leaders held what they termed an emergency
convocation. One thousand delegates attended the session
at the Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D. C., and they
represented all groups that have strong interests in the
survival of the cities.

In Washington (1) Heiskell talks with Lindsay; in Chicago,
Lincoln, Neb., Mayor Samuel Schwartzkopj and Saginaw, Mich.,
Negro Mayor Henry Marsh.



The Urban Coalition is co-chaired by Negro labor leader
A. Philip Randolph, president of the Brotherhood of Sleep-
ing Car Porters, and Andrew Heiskell, board chairman of
Time, Inc. At the emergency convocation they were joined
by rights leaders Roy Wilkins and Whitney Young Jr. The
business community was represented by Asa T. Spaulding,
president of North Carolina Mutual Insurance Co.: Gerald
L. Phillippe, board chairman of the General Electric Co.,
and Henry Ford II, board chairman of the Ford Motor Co.

Labor representatives included Walter Reuther of the
United Auto Workers; George Meany, AFL-CIO president,
and I. W. Abel, United Steelworkers president. From the
religious community were Rabbi Jacob P. Rudin, presi-
dent of the Synagogue Council of America; Archbishop
John F. Dearden of Detroit, and Dr. Arthur Fleming, presi-
dent of the National Council of Churches.

Local government was represented by the top men—the
mayors: Richard J. Daley of Chicago, Milton Graham of

Ajter session, Johnson joins chat with (l-r) Bishop James W.
Montgomery, Chancellor Norman Parker and Mayor Daley.



November 2, 1967

d « * Mi
Workshop panelists included such Negroes as Bourgeois (1) and
Mrs. Williams and Dr. Deton Brooks who aired views.

Urge Forming Local Coalitions To Solve Problems

Phoenix, John F. Collins of Boston and Joseph M. Barr of
Pittsburgh, president of the U. S. Conference of Mayors.

Keynote speaker at the session was New York Mayor
John V. Lindsay who told the 1,000 delegates that local
coalitions must be formed to help raise the standards of
housing, education, job training, welfare and raise the
employment rate. No time was wasted on isolating the
problems; everyone there knew quite well what problems
exist in cities. Also no time was wasted on deciding which
groups in the cities this new coalition program should
help. The answer was obvious: The same alienated, poor
people who had used molotov cocktails to destroy the busi-
ness establishments of unfair merchants and their own
rat infested homes in sub-standard buildings.

Convocation delegates left the one-day meet charged F

with the responsibility of returning to their urban com-
munities and establishing local coalitions between civil
rights, labor, business, religion and government. The na-
tional Urban Coalition promised help and advice when-


‘ ~ é il ve
Panelist Henry criticized city governments. John Cardinal Cody
congratulates Naftalin after speech.

ever needed. Urban Coalition headquarters in Washington,
D. C., said it does not plan to dictate how local groups
should be organized. Officials there said each urban area
has its own personality and it will be more practical for
each city to do its own mobilizing of forces. But the na-
tional group did offer one strong bit of advice to the local
coalitions: Poor people—Negroes, Puerto Ricans, White
Appalachians—should be included in local groups, along
with militants.

As part of the mobilizing of local groups, the national
Coalition sponsored a one-day meet last week at the Uni-
versity of Illinois’ Chicago Circle Campus. It was attended
by 250 persons representing areas that were attempting to
form their coalitions. There were representatives from 46
cities. Although they were from most parts of the country,
there were more Mid-Westerners than any other geo-
graphic group. Because of this the Washington office
plans to hold three other such meets to make sure every
urban area has a chance to benefit from the advice of

The opening general session of the Chicago meet was


November 2, 1967

Meaning Of America Is Urhan Issue, Publisher Says

presided over by JeTt-Esony Publisher John H. Johnson,
co-chairman of the national Coalition’s Task Force on
Communications and Public Support. He helped set the
tone for the day when he told the registrants: ‘We are
engaged here in creating a will that speaks not so much
to Negroes but to the fundamental issue of the meaning
of America. Whatever we do, we must not deceive our-
selves. The decision before us now is not a decision
about the Negro but a decision about America. It is not a
decision about civil rights but a decision about the future
of the city.”

Lindsay Randolph Spaulding Young

One of the main objectives of the Coalition is to or-
ganize a force strong enough to move, shake, push and
prod Congress into passing much needed legislation which
can alleviate some of the problems faced by cities. These
include retraining programs, the Model Cities plan and
adequate welfare financing without strict, inflexible rules
which prohibit funds going to those who need it most.

At the Chicago session registrants attended a series of
workshops which included panels composed of top-flight
Negroes in governmental agencies and social welfare
groups. They included Vernon Jordan of Atlanta, director
of the voter education project of the Southern Regional
Council; Melvin Mister of Washington, D. C., director of


the D. C. Redevelopment Land Agency; A. Donald Bour-
geois, general manager of the St. Louis Model Cities pro-
gram; Mrs. Frank Williams of Indianapolis, representing
the League of Women Voters Education Fund, and Clifton
W. Henry, a community services representative from the
U.S. Mayors Conference, Washington.

Henry said that up ‘til now there has been no will on
the part of cities to deal effectively with their problems.

One of the big questions is, “Will The Urban Coalition
be able to get cities to stop playing politics and start plan-
ning creative programs to help their ghetto residents be-
come a part of the predominant affluent society?” In
short, ‘Can America be saved?”

Ford Rustin Wheeler Wilkins

Different cities are handling the mobilization of local
coalition in different ways. Chicago, for example, is not
planning to make an effort for such action. Its mayor,
Richard J. Daley, said the city has always had such a coali-
tion between business, labor, religion, etc. Then Daley
ticked off a list of city agencies and commissions which he
said encompass all walks of the city’s life.

In Minneapolis, Minn., Mayor Arthur Naftalin admitted
to some failures in his city and said members of the mili-
tant Negro community should be consulted and asked to
take an active part in local coalition groups. “If we can’t
close the gap between young militants and the established
community, it will destroy us,” he warned.


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