Box 15, Folder 1, Document 114

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The Emergency Convocation of The Urban Coalition has 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 priorities and programs in the

face of the urban emergency.

The national Steering Committee of The Urban Coalition is already at
work developing strategy and programs to achieve the goals it has set
for itself. But its focus is primarily on national decision makers and
national priorities and programs. This will not be enough. There

must be complementary action at the local level where ultimate responsi-

bility rests and where urban problems are most clearly perceived.

The Urban Coalition therefore 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 consideration and


action by the Coalition and the country. Emergency Task Forces have
been created reflecting these problem areas through which the substan-

tive efforts of the Coalition will be channeled. They are:

1. Emergency Task Force on Public Service Employment
2. Emergency Task Force on Private Employment

3. Emergency Task Force on Educational Disparities


. Emergency Task Force on Reconstruction Investment &
Urban Development


Emergency Task Force on Equal Housing Opportunities


Emergency Task Force on Communications

7. Emergency Task Force on Local Coalitions

The designated urban concern of each Task Force demands immediate atten-
tion and action. But while such a division of tasks is essential for
efficient organization of the Coalition's endeavors, the very real
functional inter-relationships between the major urban problems must

not be overlooked,

It is the position of The Coalition that given current urban American
conditions, 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 underem-
ployed, 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.
Equally important is the fact that in the absence of such a govern-
mentally-generated emergency work program even the most enlightened
and massive efforts to improve public education, housing, an: health
and welfare services will meet with failure. The pervasive social and

economic costs of continued high levels of unemployment and underemploy-

ment in our cities can spell sure disaster to our society. The alter-
native 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 employ-

ment, this is not to minimize the urgent needs for new capital invest
ment, revitalized public education, substantial increases in the
housing supply, more and better urban services and facilities, and
enhanced equal opportunity in housing. The Statement states 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 accomplishing
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 perform-

ing that task is the formation of local coalitions which, we hope,

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



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
November 15, 1967. In each of the fifty communities, a small organiz-
ing committee of local leaders is being called together. As is the

case with the Steering Committee, the local organizing committee will


be made up of representatives from the community's business, organized
labor, religious, civil rights, educational, local government, and
communications leadership. It is important that the sectors repre-
sented 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 groups may

wish to identify with and work with The Urban Coalition.

The local organizing committee and other existing coalition groups are
being invited to dcsignate representatives to attend a one-day Local
Urban Coalition Planning Session to be held on Tuesday, October 17

1967 in Chicago, Illinois. The plamming session, convened by the

national Steering Committee, will deal exclusively with organization
and programming of local coalitions. Further information will be

furnished to you shortly on the subject of the planning session.

In no event, however, should the organization of local coalitions be
deferred pending the Chicago planning session. Time is of the


Where a general, as contrasted to a single issue, coalition is being
formed the first order of business for the organizing committee is to
round out representative participation on a local Steering Committee.
Secondly, the Steering Committee should develop a draft Statement of
Principles, Goals, and Commitments which endorses the national State-
ment and broadens it to include major local concerns. Next, convening
of an emergency convocation of the local coalition to review and adopt
a Statement of Goals and develop plans for implementation might be
undertaken. This convocation, patterned after the national Emergency
Convocation held in August, should be called as soon as possible, hope-

fully, no later than mid-November. In those cities where several single

issue coalitions already exist, they may wish to jointly convene such a



It is strongly recommended that, both in the initial organizational
phase as well as the post-convocation phase,where new coalitions are
being formed,the local organizing committee arrange for at least one
staff person to work full time on the local coalition. It is expected
that this staff person could be borrowed from the staff of one of the

participating leaders.


The local convocation will serve to bring together the significant
community leadership and will serve both as an organizing device as
well as a vehicle for arousing and educating the community to the

urban emergency.

The convening of the convocation and the endorsement of a Statement of

Principles will have local and national significance to the extent

that the convocation enjoys the participation of the community's

leadership representing the same constituencies represented in the
organizing committee, This is an enterprise requiring as much citizen
support as possible so that community leadership involvement must be

broad and numerically substantial.

The convocation can be focused on the problems of a single city cr on
the problems of the metropolitan area in which it is located, which-
ever is feasible and appropriate. It is fully expected that the local
coalition and the convocation will involve representatives of majcr
employers and unions whether their constituents and/or functions are

in the city or the suburbs.

While the national Urban Coalition is not able to offer any financial
assistance to local organizing committees, it will provide che~
assistance in preparing and convening the local convocation. In this
regard, the October 17th planning conference in Chicago will offer

orientation and counsel on a range of factors pertinent to successful

local coalitions.

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

National Institute of Public Affairs to furnish, where desired, tech-
nical assistance to local organizing committees in programming of the
local convocation and subsequent siminars and workshops. 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.

A necessary outcome of the convocation is endorsement of a minimal
organizational structure to pursue the goals and commitments adopted.
With respect to newly-formed local coalitions, the local structure
should include a steering committee and a minimum of three task forces
to deal with legislation, expansion of private employment, and public
information, respectively. Beyond the substance of these three task
forces, local groups may set up other work groups. The national Urban
Coalition, however, is presently going through program development with
its other task forces and will be prepared to coordinate other local

task force action areas in the near future.

Finally, it is contemplated that the local coalitions will vartici-

pate in and help shape the programs of The Urban Coalition

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