Box 18, Folder 22, Document 13

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Mayors Seek Coalition to Fight Crisis in Cities

By Robert E. Baker

Washington Post Staff Writer

Fight big-city mayors—led
by Republican John V. Lind-
say of New York and Demo-
erat Jerome P. Cavanagh of
Detroit—yesterday called for
a new coalition to fight the
erises in the cities.

The group, meeting here on
te eve of President Johnson’s
State of the Union message,
also defended present Federal
programs and said it would be
“catastrophic” if they were
cut back.

The coalition envisioned by
the mayors would consist of
business, labor unions and
leaders of the civil rights

The purpose is to develop a
mational consensus that will

_make the solutions to urban
problems a top national prior-

The catalyst for forming the
coalition is Urban America,
Ine., a non-profit organization

concerned with the quality of
life in cities, whose president,
Stephen R. Currier, had invit-
ed the mayors to yesterday's

the mayors told reporters
after the session that they had
talked about the problems of
their cities and how they have
attempted to handle them.
The next step, they said, is to
establish a list of priorities
for the coalition and to reach
agreement on common objec-

They stressed that they
were concerned with more
than Federal money. Currier
said they would solicit help
from “many other interests in
this country.”

Cited as city problems were
dwindling taxes, rising wel-
fare costs, housing deteriora-
tion, shortages of operating
revenue and _ trapsortation

Currier described the coali-|

“Ideas are
suasive,” he said.

But Detroit's Cavanagh
added that the coalition would
also have “political muscle.”

“Obviously, every mayor is
a political creature of sorts,”
he said.

Cavanagh said the Urban
America coalition effort
would differ in its emphasis
from the U.S. Conference of
Mayors and the National
League of Cities. He heads
both groups, which he charac-
terized as city lobbies. Urban
America, he said, will have a
broader base and will be “an
articulate voice on the nation-
al level.”

pretty per-

Cavanagh, who previously |’

had called on President John-
son to reconsider any planned
cuts in poverty, housing and
education programs, yesterday
took the occasion to support
the full $200-million funding
of the War on Poverty's com-

tion effort as an educational! munity action programs.

one that would project ideas.

New York's Lindsay put in|

a plug for “reasonable” fund-
ing of the Administration's
demonstration cities program
and said the Federal Govern-
ment should consider taking
over all welfare programs,

The action by the mayors
yesterday was significant for
two reasons. It further voiced
their support of antipoverty
programs, reportedly now in
jeopardy, which some of them
had initially opposed.

And the proposed coalition
may provide new spirit and
direction for the civil rights

Mayors attending the Urban
America session, in addition

to Cavanagh and Lindsa,

were Theodore R. McKeld'
Jr. of Baltimore; T. G. Cum
gan of Denver; Robert Kir
High of Miami; Henry \
Maier of Milwaukee; Jose)
M. Barr of Pittsburgh, a
Harold Tollefson of Tacon

Also attending were rep.
sentatives of Mayors Ivy
Allen Jr. of Atlanta, John |
Collins of Boston, Richard
Daley of Chicago, Richard ©
Lee of New Haven, James }
J. Tate of Philadelphia, Ter
Sechrunk of Portland, O}
and John, F. Shelley of £&
Francisco. .

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