Box 13, Folder 21, Document 71

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Box 13, Folder 21, Document 71

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July 31, 1967
Washington, D,C,


The tangible results of the urban riots in terms of death, injury,
and property damage are horrifying in themselves. The intangible damage in
terms of the riots' effects on men's minds may yet be even greater.

At this moment, millions of Americans are forming attitudes that
could mean disaster to our social structure: the home-owner who vows to shoot
the next suspicious character he sees in his HSiohborhosd: the businessman who
decides to get out of the: slums; the labor leader who dotenes to keep minorities
out; the insurance man who refuses to cover slum properties; the Negro or White
who goes out to take whatever he can get his hands on; the legislator who fails
to meet his public responsibilities,

These people and others are reversing a trend that, however slowly,
Was working to the benefit of our cities' disadvantaged minorities. Let them
realize that it is the citizen, in the end, who will keep our country united or will
divide it. It is government's duty to maintain law and order. But all must under-
stand that law and order is not an excuse for oppression. If law and order is to.
be accepted by the minorities, the majority must clearly and ROditively demon-
strate its belief that justice, social progress, and equality are rights of ehety
citizen. hit :

We, the undersigned, pledge ourselves to this purpose. We will
call upon ia leaders of all segments é society, city by city, to publicly commit

themselves to programs enabling the disadvantaged minorities to share in all of

the benefits of our society.

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This conference of leaders of business, labor, religions, education,
civil rights, and city government has formed an Urban Coalition to bring about a
sense of immediate urgency about the need for positive and progressive action
for our cities. d

Lawlessness and all its ingredients cannot be tolerated. Looting,
burning, and bottle throwitid are criminal acts and must be dealt with as such.

But let not a reaction to acts, committed by a small fraction of the
population of the country's ghettos, blind us to the absolute necessity of moving
dramatically and immediately to correct the desperate condition of our urban centers.

We call upon the Nation and the Congress to reorder our national
priorities, with a commitment of national resources equal to the dimensions of
the problems we face. The crisis requires a full new dimension in both the public
and private sectors, working together for jobs, housing, education, and the
other needs of our cities. ; | ; - .

This Coalition believes the Congress must move without delay on
urban programs. The country can wait no longer for model cities, antipoverty,
housing, education, and job training legislation, and a host of other matters
that have — too long denied the cities.

We call upon the Federal Government to develop an Emergency

Work and Reconstruction Program to provide new training pregrams and jobs
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for the unemployed.

The Coalition also believes that the private sector of America must
directly and vigorous: involve itself in the crisis of the cities by a commitment
to investment, job training and hiring, and all other things that are necessary to
the full enjoyment of the frée enterprise system, and also to its survival.

To carry this forward, the Coalition commits itself to proceed imme-
diately to promote "Barn a Learn Centers" in the cities of the country to provide
job training and jobs. The Coalition agrees these centers might well be the joint
venture of business, labor, and local government.

The Coalition believes the sickness of the cities, including civic
disorder within them, is the responsibility of the whole of America. Therefore,
it is the responsibility of every American to join in the creation of a new political,
de lst, economic and moral climate which will make possible the breaking up of
the vicious cycle of the ghetto.

The Coalition's commitment can be for no less and its determination

is for even more.
The Coalition‘ further commits itself to convene an Urban Coalition
Emergency Convocation in Washington near the end of August,

The Convocation will be attended by 1,000 leaders across the Nation

- of business, labor, religion, education, civil rights, and city government.


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