Box 4, Folder 4, Document 17

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Box 4, Folder 4, Document 17

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‘COMMUNITY RELATIONS. COMMISSION. ?
MEMORIAL DRIVE ANNEX BLDG.

~ o 121 MEMORIAL DRIVE, S. W.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA 30303
522-4463

July 25, 1969

DR. AaUEL W “WILLIAMS, CHAIRMAN + eats

“VICE MAYOR SAM MASSELL, JR.,

EX-OFFICIO

-COMMISSION MEMBERS,

- WR. T. M. ALEXANDER, SR.
--"MR. R. BYRON ATTRIOGE
MRS. SARA BAKER
MISS HELEN BULLARD
MR, R. J. BUTLER
tft. MIME CHEATHAM
REP. JAMES E. DEAN
MR. ROBERT DO88S
REP. C. G. EZZARO
MR. L. L. GELLERSTEDT, JR.
MR. CHARLES HART
DR. ROSERT E. LEE
“= "MRS. F.W. PATTERSON
RABBI JACOS M. ROTHSCHILD.
MR. PAUL SHIELDS
MR. L. D. SIMON}
.-. MRS. MARY STEPHENS
DR. J. RANDOLPH TAYLOR
REV. J.-A. WILBORN

MR. WILLIAM MCGEE, EX-OFFICIO
ATLANTA YOUTH CONGRESS
'

MR. NAT WELCH

TO:

Mayor Allen and the Board of Aldermen

FROM: Community Relations Commission

. SUBJECT: Summary of Complaints from Town Hall

Meetings and Re commendations of the .
Commission .

The key role of the Community Relations Commission (CRC)
in the Mayor's Summer Program has been in holding Town
Hall meetings in the disadventaged ares of the City. The
Commission initially goes in to hear the complaints of

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

citizens and returns some thirty days later and reports on
actions taken by City Hall and other agencies. In many
cases, CRC has been able to report corrective action taken
~ by City Departments and other agencies (note Supplement
"A" for responses this week to complaints at Perry Homes).
Town Hall meetings have been held since March in the
following communities: Blair Village, Grant Park, Mechan-
' icsville, Perry Homes, University Homes and Edgewood-
; Kirkwood.




“oe . This report tabulates the frequency of complaints registered
-in the initial meetings. The frequency of complaints is not





ek 3 __ in itself conclusive evidence of the gravity of problems faced
“by Atlanta. °

The purpose of this memorandum is to make recommendations
E on problems the Commission has been unable to resolve.
Far and away the most frequent complaint received was the
need for more and better recreational facilities. Twenty-six
-complaints were received on this subject compared with
eight each on police and garbage service. Twenty-four
complaints on recreation dealt with the need for more swim-
ming pools, more play lots for tots, and programs for tecn-
agers. Two complaints had to do with lack of services by




Page 2
Summary of Complaints

Community Chest agencies in the disadvantaged areas. The Commission
would like to recommend four areas for improving this situation:

1, The Parks Department capital improvement budget of
, approximately $350,000 is grossly inadequate. This
-- sum can easily be expended to build one new park; but
this $350,000 has to be spread over 65 parks. For
example, a modern swimming pool costs approximately
sete rer Ser SP 20 O0Gs The City of Atlanta needs to give serious
consideration to a multi-million dollar bond issue for
.. improvement and expansion of its Parks system. It :
should be pointed out that the Parks Department is
operating 80 play lots of which 40 are staffed. These
are constructed and maintained principally from Federal
Poverty Funds. If these funds are reduced, this would
. throw an immediate and substantial burden on this City.

- “~-——2. Emphasis should be placed on expanding and improving
play lots for tots and ncighborhood parks in such com-
__. munities as Mechanicsville, Summerhill, Fulton Village,
- Blue Heaven, Bowen Homes, Perry Homes and Grant

____» Parkarea. Parks need to be in walking distance of
these citizens where possible; ghetto families have very
poor transportation. Improved transportation in disad-
vantaged areas will help broaden recreational opportu-

nities.

3. Better utilization must be made of school-playgrounds
"and facilities. ‘This requires more cooperation between
'. the Atlanta School Board and the Parks Department.
With the costs of construction and real estate spiraling,

. Atlanta has to make better use of school facilities for
_recreation.

4. The need is pressing for improved recreation in public
‘“~housing. The Atlanta Housing Authority can build recre-
* "ss ational buildings. The City should urge action here by
the Authority. The Board of Aldermen has offered to
pay 50% of the costs of operating recreational programs
in public housing if the Authority would do likewise.
Under Federal law, AHA can not do so. Therefore, the
City must accept its responsibility here in as muchas
' it has assumed responsibility in providieg other services
in public housing.

A major burden for improving recreation in the City rests with the Parks
Department. Churches have been remiss in developing recreational programs
Page 3

Summary of Complaints

and using their facilities for their neightborhoods. Community Chest agencies

need to step up their programs in disadvantaged areas and to guard against _

serving just the middle class. The Atlanta Children's and Youth Services

Council has done an outstanding job in coordinating and promoting volunteer

services and warrants continous support.

Complaints about the Atlanta Police Department were eight in number.......

seven dealing with the need for greater protection and quicker response and
---——one-about segregation in the department. Four suggestions were made by

citizens for improving police services:

a 1, More foot.patrolmen in areas of high crime,
2. Quicker switchboard answering at headquarters.
3. Complete desegration of the Police Department.

--—4, - Improved street lighting in areas of high crime. This has .
sharply reduced crime in some American cities. . we

_ If Atlanta is to cope with its rising crime rate, citizens must share this
responsibility with the Police Department. The Atlanta Police Department
must be givenadequate funds for operations, salaries, training and research,
Atlanta citizens have a strong responsibility to report crimes and to serve as
witnesses where needed,

__.._.Garbage service also ranked second in number of complaints. The Commission
"received six complaints on the quality and frequency of garbage colléction and
--~---t=wo complaints on garbage being strewn over premises. The Commission held
a special meeting in June with the Director of the Public Works Department and
the Director of the Sanitary Service to inform them of these facts and to make
recommendations. The Public Works Committee of the Board of Aldermen
needs to take further steps to mechanize garbage collection and to increase the
“—-————pay-of ‘sanitary workers and to elevate the dignity ofthe job. Citizens need to.
show more appreciation for the men who perform this important public service.

~A serious complaint heard at Town Hall meetings during the spring dealt with
the failure of the City to remove junk cars. The responsibility for removing
junk cars on private property rests with the Sanitary Department and on streets
with the Police Department. In the last few weeks both departments have moved
forward with aggressive programs for coping with this nagging problem.

Other complaints received by the Commission are listed below in the frequency
in which received:

7? complaints......on sewers and drainage--5 on flooded streets and
2 on dirty sewers and smelly crecks. .

5 complaints...... lack of jobs for youth.

.
Page 4

Summary of Complaints

5 complaints...

5 complaints ae

“-“““4- complaints...

4 complaints..

3 complaints..

3 complaints..

3 complaints..

2 complaints..

2 complaints a

2.complaints..

.. Comprehensive Health--3 on services offered-and
2 alleging discriminatory hiring practices,

.. Model Cities--lack of knowledge of program,
inadequate community representation, objections
to home purchase and repair programs, and
community contractors not getting a chance to bid.

.. repair of and the need for better street lighting.

..need for new streets ond nS paving of existing
streets.

-. rats. are

..City of Atlanta--2 on the lack of coordination of
City Departments and 1 on the lack of Te SPOb aera e,
to complaints of citizens,

.. Atlanta Housing Authority--2 on the condition of
housing and 1] on high rents.

.. Stray dogs,

.. Urban Renewal--the desire of citizens for information,
and representation on urban renewal committees,

.. Economic Opportunity Atlanta

The Community Relations Commission itself was not above criticism. One
. complaint was registered on the lack of youth representation on the Commission
and another on the inability of the Commission to respont to complaints.

: XN
l :; SUPPLEMENT "A"!

The sctioweap meeting in the Northwest Perry Homes area was held on
July 22: "The CRC was able to report the faliswtne positive actions on
Ssphstethes registered by the citizens:

1, ‘Transportation--the CRC met with Mr. William Maynard,
President of the Atlanta Transit Company, to encourage
the extension of the Perry Boulevard Bus to Hollywood Road,
‘This would enable the residents of Perry Homes to have bus
Cae serena to the K-Mart and sevevel large grocery stores.
in the Bankhead Highway area. The Atlanta Transit Company

agreed to make this extension on a three month trial basis.



New bus schedules were handed out to residents of Perry

Homés at the CRC meeting.
-“@, Reeréation:

a. Through the efforts of the Atlanta Youth Senne, the

Butler Street YMCA and Community Chest a recreation

program for is iiaudes at Northwest Perry ticyaep us been

developed. This program will provide recreation four

he :
nights a week during the remainder of the summer.

b. Mr. Persells reported that the Atlanta Housing

2

Authority will begin surveying for the construction of a

new recreation building within the next few weeks.
*~ Page 2 ; — = ;
Stipplement "A"

3, Consumer Services: ; Te. aS
a. CRC reported that Mr. Alterman, of Big Apple Food
Stores, has ited to build a new euneumatket in the area
' ~providing a minimum of three suitable acres can be zene
an __ Mr. Welch surveyed the area with a large shopping center
developer who promised a best effort to develop a shopping
‘_center for the Perry Homes Area.
b. Mr. Lindskoog met with Mr. Sates, of Yates & Milton
biswe Stores, to request that a phawiadtet be placed in their.
“sag Store in Perry Homes. Mr, Lindskoog plans tc work ae Oe é
further on this issue
4, Arta nts Housing Authority:
a. In eeeponse to the résidents request, new railings will be
placed on apreiered stairways.
“Ae b. Mr. Persells reported that ope rations are now under way
to eliminate the maggots that have ieeewle a serious problem
- in one. Section of the housing project.

“5. Proctor Creek--citizens were pleased with the report that

the City is presently doing extensive work to eliminate the

»
we o
odor of Proctor Creek.
Community Relations Commission

Percent of Total

Total Complaints 87
Parks 26 30%
Police 8 9%
Sanitation 8 9%
Sewers, etc. 7 8%
Employment 5 6%
Health 5 6%
Model Cities 5 6%

Cities Services

Percent of Total

(July) * Total Complaints : 708
Parks 32 5%
Police Ios: 19% .
Sanitation 267 38%
Sewers, etc. 59 8%
Employment No Figures Available
Health + 19 3%
Model Cities No Figures Available

* Other Prominent Complaints
Housing Code 36
Traffic Engineering 40

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