Box 15, Folder 1, Document 113

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1819 H Street, N.W.
Washington, D. C. 20006

October, 1967


On August 24 in Washington, D. C., the Emergency Convocation
of The Urban Coalition issued an urgent appeal to all
concerned American citizens to join with the Coalition in
efforts to fashion a new political, social, economic, and
moral climate that will make possible the breaking of the
vicious cycle of the ghetto. Action at the community level

must now follow.

As leaders in your community, your commitment and ingenuity
are now called upon to muster the support and involvement of
your fellow citizens for a massive reordering of both
national and local priorities in the face of the unresolved

urban emergency.

The Urban Coalition looks to you to initiate formation of a
local coalition in your city or metropolitan area to work in
concert with the National Steering Committee in pursuit of

common objectives.


At the conclusion of the August Emergency Convocation, The
Urban Coalition adopted a comprehensive Statement of
Principles, Goals and Commitments. It is this document which
charts the course for our mutual efforts. (A copy of the

Statement is enclosed.)

You will note from the Statement that the Coalition has

identified seven specific areas of urban affairs calling for

action by the Coalition and the nation. Emergency Task Forces

have been created reflecting these problem areas. They are:
1. Emergency Task Force on Public Service Employment

2. Emergency Task Force on Private Employment and

3. Emergency Task Force on Educational Disparities

4. Emergency Task Force on Housing Reconstruction and

5. Emergency Task Force on Equal Housing Opportunities

6. Emergency Task Force on Communications and Public

7. Emergency Task Force on Local Coalitions

The Statement of Goals adopted by the Coalition makes clear
that the key to resolving these inter-related problems is a
massive emergency work program of at least one million new
public service-type jobs, developed and financed by the Federal

Government, including new training opportunities for the

unemployed and underemployed. The elements of such an

emergency work program are described in the Statement.

Such a program is a prerequisite to the restoration of
economic health to our cities and hope to the lives of
millions of urban Americans. The pervasive social and
economic costs of continued high levels of unemployment

and underemployment in our cities can spell further disaster
to our society. The alternative is to implement a crash,
national, employment program of the character The Urban

Coalition proposes.

The business of The Urban Coalition is to induce a complete
revision in the allocation of talent, time, money and
resources to meeting the basic needs of America's cities.
While special emphasis has been given in The Coalition's
Statement to the basic need for full employment, this is not
to minimize the urgent needs for new capital investment,
revitalized public education, substantial increases in the
housing supply, more and better urban services and facilities,
and enhanced equal opportunity in housing. The Statement adds
that the “next order of business...shall be the development

of a broad program of urban reconstruction...including the goal
of rehabilitation and construction of at least one million

housing units for lower-income families annually."

All sectors of American society have a role to play in accom-
plishing the goals The Urban Coalition has proposed. Awakening
those sectors to the emergency at hand and mobilizing them for
appropriate action is the immediate task. Essential to The
Urban Coalition's performing that task is the formation of
local coalitions which will first, pledge their support of the
Statement of Principles, Goals and Commitments, and second,
work in concert with the National Steering Committee, with all

resources available to them, to accomplish these goals.


As an initial target, the Steering Committee of The Urban
Coalition is responding to the requests of communities in at

least fifty major urban areas for assistance in the formation

of local coalitions by the end of November, 1967. As is the

case with the Steering Committee, these local organizing
committees will be made up of representatives from the community's
business, organized labor, religious, civil rights, educational,

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local government, and communications leadership. It is important
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that the sectors represented correspond with those represented

on the National Steering Committee so as to be broadly
representative of the life of the community. In some cases, it
may be that coalitions have already been formed around such issues
as jobs, schools or housing. These existing groups may wish to

identify with and work with The Urban Coalition.

Where a general, as contrasted to a single issue, coalition is

being formed, the first order of business for the organizing

wy committee is to round out representative participation on a
SA local Steering Committee. Secondly, the Steering Committee
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* 50 should develop a draft Statement of Principles, Goals, and
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\ very Commitments which endorses the national Statement and broadens
at jt to include major local concerns. In those cities where
U several single issue coalitions already exist, they may wish to
jointly create a steering committee to work with the National
Steering Committee.
oe It is strongly recommended that, where new coalitions are being
a i .
oe formed, the local organizing committee arrange for at least one
v °y staff person to work full time for the local coalition. It is
vs likely that this staff person could be borrowed from the staff

of one of the participating elements of the coalition. While
the National Steering Committee is not able to offer any financial
assistance to local organizing committees, it will provide other

assistance in preparing and convening local coalition activities.

In addition, the Steering Committee has accepted an offer by the

Pull National Institute of Public Affairs to furnish, where desired,

Vee r technical assistance to local organizing committees in program-

av? p

ming of local convocations and subsequent seminars and workshops

on urban affairs. The National Steering Committee will also

provide speakers, where needed and requested, in any or all of

the substantive areas under consideration by The Urban Coalition

Task Forces mentioned earlier.


With respect to newly-formed local coalitions, it is expected
that the local structure will include a steering committee and
task forces to deal with national urban legislation, expangion
of private employment, housing, education and public


Finally, it is contemplated that the local coalitions will
participate in and help shape the programs of The Urban Coalition
through a Council of Urban Coalitions. Each city should plan to
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designate two representatives to serve on this national Council.
At its first meeting to be held before the end of this year, the
Council will elect two representatives to serve on The National
Steering Committee and will continue to advise The National

Steering Committee on policies that are of national concern.

By definition, a coalition, whether it be single purpose or
otherwise, iS an association of constituencies for some agreed
purposes and not at all necessarily a formally organized, regulated
and structured entity. Local coalitions, whether single purpose
or otherwise, may, therefore, be associations of leadership from

\ already organized structures and sectors of communities. It is
not necessary, although in some cases it may be desirable, for a
local group to formally incorporate a local coalition. The
national Urban Coalition has not chosen to incorporate. In the
case of unincorporated local coalitions, funds may be channeled

through a separate fiscal agent such as a cooperating organization,

At this point it is appropriate to mention in connection with}

those local groups that choose to incorporate, that careful
attention should be given to weighing the advantages and
disadvantages of seeking tax exempt status under Section /

ee ners) of the Internal Revenue Code. Perhaps one of the most
important considerations in reaching a determination on. whether
to seek tax exempt status is the fact that organizations enjoying
such status are not in a position to attempt to influence the
decisions of legislative bodies. Given the potential importance
of this: fact ror any organization attempting to deal in a
comprehensive way with the range of urban problems, careful
deliberation of this subject is in order on the local level before
a decision is taken with respect to tax status. Members of the

steering committees of such tax exempt organizations may nonethe-

less make appeals for legislation if they are acting as individuals.

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