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Mr. WILKINS. Thank you very much.
Senator HARRIS. The committee will now be pleased to hear from the Honorable Herman Goldner, the mayor of St. Petersburg, Fla., Mr. Goldner is representing the U.S.conference of mayors.
(A biographical sketch of Mayor Goldner follows:)
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF HERMAN W. GOLDNER
Birth: November 12, 1916.
Member, Executive Committee, Community Relations Advisory Committee, Federal Community Relations Service.
Member, executive committee, U.S. conference of mayors.
Senator JAVITs. Mr. Chairman, I have to go to something else that takes me out at 11:30. I did want to leave a question for the record, for Mayor Goldner to answer in due course, and that is, what does he personally think about this matter from his own experience in testifying as a witness himself, as distinguished from his statement on behalf of the conference of mayors?
Senator HARRIS. We will certainly get that asked for the record. Thank you, Senator.
Mr. Mayor, you may proceed.
Mr. GOLDNER. I have a prepared statement I would like to submit for inclusion in the record.
Mr. HARRIS. Without objection, the entire statement will be made a part of the record at the conclusion of your remarks.
STATEMENT OF HERMAN W. GOLDNER, MAYOR OF ST. PETERSBURG, FLA., CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY RELATIONS, U.S. CONFERENCE OF MAYORS
Mr. GOLDNER. Having reviewed the testimony of the witnesses before this committee yesterday, and having listened with attention to the testimony of the witness here today, I think that I might be of greater use to this committee if I depart from that statement and address myself to what I consider to be the crystallization of the issues, as I have read that testimony.
Senator HARRIS. Good. The committee will certainly appreciate that.
Mr. GOLDNER. First of all, let me say my approach to this problem in my own thinking has been primarily that of a management point of view. And in evaluating it from a structural management aspect and from a long-haul position, I think the following comment may be
First of all, any structure, regardless of its theoretical soundness, can be made to work with good people. And in this particular instance, in addition to knowing the reputation of both Mr. Wilkins and the Attorney General—I have had the privilege of meeting and know
ing them personally-and I am sure that regardless of structure, these two gentlemen can make it work.
However, when you structure an organization, you try to arrive at a structure which goes beyond the individuals, and has some theoretical and practical soundness with regard to management channels and lines of authority.
I cannot help but feel that as I would not put my certified public accountant in my cashier's post in the operation of my business, neither would I put the Community Relations Service in the Justice Department.
In the operation of our problems within our own community, where we have an intergroup relations committee, we separate and keep them separate and apart from our police department and from our municipal court, nor do we have our police department as a part of our municipal judges office.
The problem as I look at it seems to be one of looking at the function of the Community Relations Service. And I think really we have to go beyond the technical language of title 10 of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and to agree, I think, that it is irrelevant at this time what the intent of the Congress was when they passed that act. I think our problem today and the problem of this committee is basically where and how this function can best be served—Justice, Commerce, or wherever. And I think the committee as well as the President, should be congratulated on this in-depth review of this problem. Obviously, in any urbanized community maintaining the theory and practice of democratic process requires the solution of intergroup problems.
But I don't believe they can be looked at in a traditional legalistic sense at all, and I don't think they are as much legal problems, although I am a lawyer, as they are sociological problems. And I don't think that conciliation or mediation can be looked at in the sense of solving a lawsuit, or, for that matter, as a preliminary to criminal prosecution.
Basically, as I look at the ultimate and growing function of the Community Relations Service, as it was and will be I am sure ably administered by the current administrator, as well as Governor Collins, its basic function to me is to thrust itself forward in the planning and coordination of programs within many departments that are associated in the areas of these problems with a view toward acquiring true equality of opportunity and equality of living for all of our people in the United States.
And only when we can acquire that goal can we really say we have true democratic process in our country,
As I look at it, the problem then becomes one, not only of the enforcement of the laws of the United States, the laws of the various States and the various communities involved, but basically addressing oneself toward the feeling of one person toward another and of groups toward each other.
The problem becomes one of merging and coordinating the programs of the current Housing and Urban Development Department, the Health, Education, and Welfare Department, the Labor Department, and many others, as well as the problem which is to my way of thinking the last problem down the line, the problem of actual legal enforcement.
It becomes one of planning and one of anticipation, not firefighting, because if this job is properly done, there are never going to be any fires.
I am very much afraid that if we address this problem purely from the standpoint of putting out the conflicts that arise in these areas, we are never going to achieve our ultimate goal.
And so I have serious doubts that a recognization such as advocated by plan No. 1 ultimately can achieve our total objective.
I think, as in so many cases, its fragmentation of objective and its limitation into traditional mediation, conciliation, or law enforcement, will detract from this overall function.
Now, the position I have just set forth is to a very large degree my personal thinking.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors, in an official executive committee session, has not taken a position as far as I have just expressed. Their position basically is one of concern, and they do not per se oppose or, for that matter, encourage the transfer of functions from Commerce.
I wish to make that very clear. The questions that I am raising are questions that have been in the minds of all of the people having to deal with local government that I have come across. And I must say that in reviewing the testimony before this committee by the Bureau of the Budget, I find factual misunderstanding, because it was not my understanding that the local bodies dealing with this problem had any connection whatsoever with law enforcement. And, by far, to my certain knowledge and I am chairman of the Community Relations Committee of the U.S. Conference of Mayors—those bodies on a local level, the level of our cities, are independent bodies, only a few of which even have regulatory powers, and are completely separate and apart from law enforcement. And I think basically that they can ultimately best serve their function by remaining separate and apart.
As a matter of fact, in Minneapolis, where the regulatory and advisory functions were coordinated, they have just recently separated them out and made them independent functions located in independent commissions.
So I think, gentlemen, that we ought to consider total objectives in this matter, and we should evaluate where we are going and where we want to go, and how best we can get there.
I think if I personally had the responsibility for answering that question, I could not conscientiously approve the transfer of the Community Relations function to Justice.
Senator HARRIS. Let me say that I think you have made a very excellent off-the-cuff statement to this committee, in addition to the prepared statement which has been made a part of the record.
At this time I would like to ask two questions, Mr. Mayor, on behalf of Senator Javits.
The first is this: While your testimony indicates that the Conference of Mayors has expressed great concern over this transfer, do I understand correctly that you, speaking personally, would oppose the transfer?
Mr. GOLDNER. Yes, sir. If I were called on to make this decision, or if I had any authority to vote on this in the U.S. Congress, I would vote in opposition.
Senator HARRIS. I would further like to ask on behalf of Senator Javits, who, as you know, has been part of these hearings to date, and unfortunately had to leave momentarily:
Do the members of the Conference differ in their views on this matter according to their geographic background, or do most, north and south, east and west, share this concern?
Mr. GOLDNER. I don't think there is a geographic differentiation of opinion in this regard. The approach to these problems by individuals in their individual solution often will vary by reason of their background and training and environment. But from the standpoint of organization and structure, and from the standpoint of the realization of the very serious nature of this problem, this is the concern of every mayor in the United States, whether it is southern, western, northern, or even New England.
Senator HARRIS. I want to commend you personally, as well as the U.S. Conference of Mayors, for your appearance
I think whether or not this plan becomes effective, we have sharpened the issues by your appearance, as well as the appearance of others who have opposed the plan. If the plan should become effective, I think we have performed a service by having you present, because we have secured some rather hard commitments in the record about how the plan would be administered, after it was effective.
So I do thank you.
Mr. GOLDNER. I think, if I may just a minute, sir, enlarge briefly on the last question that you asked, to perhaps make it a better rounded answer. Because we are
—when I used the term “we," I mean mayors, charged with the administration of local government-deeply concerned with this problem, and because of our varying individual backgrounds as to how we got concerned with this problem, I think I would ilke to make some observations that go into the approach.
First, sir, we are very much concerned with the fact that we feel very definitely this service is in support of local activity, and that it is an aid, if you will, to helping local general government solve these problems. We feel very strongly that these problems will never be solved by an administrative order or fiat originating in Washington, regardless of the merits of such an order or the soundness of the thing in writing.
We feel that to a degree this problem has been fragmented in its approach at the expense of fully appreciating the general nature of the problem. By this, I mean it is not purely a problem of prejudice. It is a problem of economics, it is a problem of education, it is a problem of job opportunity, as well as prejudice.
We feel that any approach to the ultimate solution of this problem, which we are all dedicated to solving, which forgets or subordinates the local responsibility in the solution of this problem, and not only local responsibility, but the realism that if it is not solved locally it cannot be solved any place else—would be a bad mistake.
We feel that any approach to this problem which fragments the ingredients of the problems by specialization, and which, because of its approach, precludes a total coordination of administration and understanding of the total problem, will not facilitate its total solution. If you apply these general principles, as I have tried to outline them, to a management structure, then of necessity the structure is not a line function, and the need of capsulizing the Community Relations Service, if you will, under a Cabinet officer here or a Cabinet officer there becomes secondary.
Basically, as we look at it, it is a staff function, it is a function of coordination and planning, it is a function of taking a generalist-and I use this in the generic sense, sir—with management ability and allowing him to coordinate and direct the functions of the various specialists involved. And I don't believe that looking at this problem from the standpoint of a line structure organizational view is overall conducive to effectively reaching the total problem.
Thank you very much.
(The statement referred to previously follows:) STATEMENT OF HERMAN W. GOLDNER, MAYOR OF ST. PETERSBURG, FLA., CHAIRMAN,
COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY RELATIONS, U.S. CONFERENCE OF MAYORS Mr. Chairman, my name is Herman Goldner; I am the mayor of St. Petersburg, Fla., and I am chairman of the Community Relations Committee of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Our interest as a conference in the matter before this subcommittee, Mr. Chairman, goes back to our annual meeting in Hawaii in 1963. At that time the late President John F. Kennedy appeared before our assembly to urge us, as he stated :
* * to identify community tensions before the crisis stage is reached, to improve cooperation and communication between the races with responsible leadership on both sides, to advise local officials and merchants and organizations as to what steps they can take and what problems they will face to insure prompt progress.”
As one means of implementing these goals he urged us to establish local community relations commissions on an official basis.
There was good precedent for what President Kennedy recommended. Following the disastrous racial riots and disturbances which swept the Nation during the early years of World War II, when so many newcomers were pouring into the major industrial centers, some six to eight cities took official action setting up such biracial commissions and provided them with a budget and professional staff. Detroit, Chicago, New York City, Buffalo, Cleveland, Toledo, and Cincinpati were among such cities. By 1960 there were 85 local official commissions in the cities over 30,000 in population of which there are roughly 600. By the spring of 1963, when the civil rights protest demonstrations reached such dimensions that President Kennedy undertook his national campaign to urge Federal legislation and greater local, State, and civic action to resolve these problems, there were 117 of our cities with such commissions.
Today, nearly 3 years later, the number of local governments who have acted affirmatively has more than doubled. Eighty percent of the cities over 100,000 in population have taken action. Some 265 of the 600 cities over 30,000 now have official local community relations commissions. A third of our Southern cities have acted and 70 cities have provided their local commissions with budget and professional staff. Twice that number now have at least part-time staff.
The number of local community relations commissions is continuing to grow and local financial commitment is keeping pace. Last year, for example, the total local tax expenditure for these commissions' efforts increased by 40 percent and now stands at nearly $4 million. (I might point out parenthetically that that figure is double what it is proposed be appropriated for the Federal Community Relations Service.)
I am proud to say that our national action as a conference has had a good deal to do with these developments. And I am personally proud that I was a sponsor with Mayor Jerome Cavanagh of Detroit of the resolution which was adopted at that 1963 conference committing the conference to a program designed to enlarge equal opportunity and affirmative action. (A copy of that resolution is attached to my statement.) Following this action you may be interested to know that the conference established its own Community Relations Service in November, 1963.