Box 16, Folder 9, Document 9

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EDITORIALS: Allen Showed Deep And Abiding Sense Of Responsibility

Cobb Countians who have held a dim regard
for Atlanta’s Mayor Ivan Allen for several
reasons, including a possible land grab across
the river into Cobb. did some second-guessing
last week and must have come to the conclu-
sion that ‘“‘Ivan ain't that Terrible.”

The forthright, scrappy, Atlanta-building
Mayor Allen proved his mettle twice in a row
against formidable foes and earned nationwide
recognition of his civic and political courage,

Ivan Allen demonstrated a deep and abiding
sense of responsibility that reflected the heri-

tage from Ivan Allen, Sr., a Whitfield County
lad who Came to Atlanta around the turn of the
century and built one of the city’s leading busi-
“nesses, became a civic and political leader,

and now has retired to an honored andrespect-
ed senior citizenship.

There were two phases of this ‘'Horatius at
the Bridge’’ stand by Ivan Allen, Jr. The first
came when the mayor met head-on the angry
challenge of a firefighters’ union associated
with the dreaded Jimmy Hoffa of the Team-
sters, an outfit that plays rough,

Allen and his City of Atlanta associates
banned from the Fire Department those who

would not work unless granted an immediate
pay raise which Allen was unable to give

_ legally, and the city began recruiting new

personnel to fill the gap.

Then, stalking impassively into the midst
of an excited crowd of Negroes incited by
Snick agents, Ivan Allen proved that bravery

and dauntless courage form the most effective
shield against danger. Into the teeth of the
mob, the Mayor threw back the challenge to
civic responsibility that must be met if first=
class citizenship is to be claimed. And he
won, The promoters of the riot, leaders of
Snick (SNCC), face serious charges and their
organization has been abandoned and repudi-
ated by calmer members of the Negro com-

Only one tte big fight needs to be won by
Mayor Allen for a clean sweep of the civic
honors, and in this one he is Somewhat stym-
ied by two obstinate forces--the contractors
on one hand and the carpenters’ union on the
other hand, He has no effective control over
either side--only peaceful persuasion and

sound argument.

For nearly four months Atlanta building has
been halted by the stubborn dispute, and such
projects as the new auditorium are peopled only
by lone and tired pickets. Meanwhile, the eco-
nomic-financial tight-money crisis has cut off
the arteries feeding new money into the build-
ing field, and carpenters who eventually may
go to Work under a new agreement possibly can
find that there will benowork after the current
projects are finished, simply because inflation
and tight-money have combined to cut off many
new jobs.

When and if the mayor wins this oneby caus-

ing work to be resumed, he indeed will have ©

rivaled the feat of mmaghity, Bobby Jones in effect-
ing a “‘grand slam.’

P, S. -- HOLD THE PRESSES! There was a
slight backset over the week-end, to the Ivan
Allen triumph in the racial unrest, when Ne-
gro rioting flared up in the Georgia Baptist
Hospital area on Boulevard,

This mob scene occurred in the heart of

the Great Atlanta Fire disaster section of

five decades ago, an area razed by flames.
The area was rebuilt into an apartment-domi-
nated residential region that in time passed
through the usual phases of decline and deca-
dence, until it became filled to overflowing
with the colored population pushed by Urban
Renewal and other factors, and now it rates
as a new ghetto or slum area,

Whether the Allen-brought peace will endure
remains to be determined, as calls go up for
fresh demonstrations,

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