Page images

sive community cleanup by individuals, they organized companies to go into the lines of business in which they were engaged in the cleanup-painting, decorating, repairing, carpentry, and the like.

Have you had any experience with that, Mayor Walsh, and can you give us any help on that aspect of our bill?

Mayor Walsh. From my experience with the poverty program, Senator, I am not dedicated to the concept that there must be meaningful participation of the people that you are trying to help.

I think that programs can best be run by people who are used to assuming responsibility, who are used to making decisions and who are used to acting on the basis of well-thought-out decisions.

So, I would always have some hesitancy and I did in the poverty program, of letting the disadvantaged, for instance, run the program without strong guidance and direction from the Government.

If this could be done, I think with the direction of the Governmentand I think this is needed because it is only at this level and in this way that you are going to get people who have experience and have the expertise in running these programs and are used to making the hard and tough judgments that are necessary.

So, I would support it provided it did have this type of builtin sa feguard.

Senator Javits. Mr. Mayor, I think we have not pinpointed precisely for you what we have in mind.

Vhat the bill calls for is a preference where there are brought into existence such privately owned service companies if those service companies have some ownership among the poor themselves or the hardcore unemployed themselves.

It does not mean it has to be exclusively owned by the poor nor does it mean it has to be managed by the poor or hard-core unemployed.

The bill provides for technical services to be given through development companies in order to stimulate such service companies. The idea is to encourage entrepreneurship in this field and to encourage people to go into business for themselves.

I feel I must emphasize the word "encourage.”

There is no mandate that that is the only way it should be done and that was the basis upon which I gave that.

Mayor Walsh. This is similar to what we are attempting to do in the field of housing. We have the Syracuse Housing Development Corp. which has been drawn up and it does provide for participation from those who are going to be helped.

I think it is good as long as they don't overwhelm the organization. They will contribute a great deal to the direction and I am sure it will be a give and take proposition.

I thing this would be well as long as it is not completely managed by those whom you are trying to help.

Senator Javits. Would you say in ghetto areas that entrepreneurship represents a good factor in morale and for dealing with the general economic depression which generally surround such a community?

Mayor Walsh. I think there is no doubt about the effect it would have upon those living in those areas. If they would see businesses being developed by people of their own nationality and race, I think it would have a very helpful effect.

There is no reason why it could not be done. Many of the services we need so desperately now we cannot get. A window washing company could be set up and various types of services of that nature could be set set up that would give well-paying jobs to people.

There is no reason why they couldn't be run and managed by the poor with proper advice from people who have some expertise in that.

Senator Javits. I am certainly gratified to get that from you because that is what we have in mind.

Another innovative aspect of the bill is in relation to what we call an economic community corporation; that is an effort to bring the business community effectively into this area, in addition to what is being done by the Urban Coalition and the National Alliance of Busmessmen, headed by Henry Ford, through a national corporation, nonprofit, which would give technical assistance and advice and actually go out and solicit a helping hand from American business.

If it could develop the necessary capital and even provide some seed money, it would be institutionalizing on a corporate basis the part of American business in the effort.

Would you think well of that idea?

Mayor WALSH. Yes; again, it is similar to the same housing program that I talked about where they are going out in business raising the seed money to provide this and I think it is a very hopeful sign.

I think if any sign of hope has come out of disorders and the disturbances that we have had in the last couple of years, it is finally the recognition by business and industry and the power structure that they are their brother's keeper and I think this is the one hopeful sign that is coming out.

Many of them do recognize that they have a responsibility to those who are less privileged than themselves.

Senator JAVITs. We speak on a very somber morning after the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I think our situation is quite sensitive and hanging in the balance and this is a uniquely important morning in his memory to speak of constructive efforts of building and reconciliation of the type we are speaking of, and I am sure you agree with me, Mr. Mayor.

Lastly, in our bill we give a choice of either tax credits as an inducement to employ the hard-core unemployed or compensation out of the on-the-job training program of the difference between the employee's actual earnings and his economic value to the employer.

We give that option to business to take either course.

Does the Conference of Mayors have any policy on that question, Mr. Mayor?

Mayor Walsi. I would have to ask Mr. Gunther to speak to that. Mr. GUNTHER. Yes, Senator.

In January of this year and maybe before, but I know that in January we repeated it. We did endorse a whole series of incentives, many of which are in here including those to get the private sector in.

We have taken the position with the private sector in talking with them about it "You tell us what you need."

The mayors keep saying that to the corporation executives. “Don't ask us how to do it. You are the geniuses in this country. You won World War II, now win this one for us. We will help you in the Congress, in the city and State legislatures."

They have said what they want and we have been supporting them.

Senator Javits. Do you think the conference would think well of the idea of making it optional for individual employers so that they could take either route, either the tax benefit route or the route of actually being paid through the manpower program?

Mr. GUNTHER. From our discussions with the business community, I think you would find that would be more acceptable to them to have the option.

Probably some of them would object to the grants and they would find less objection in the corporate boards to the tax-incentive system.

Senator Javits. And others might take a different view. Mayor Walsh. Yes, there are all kinds of ways. Senator Javits. Thank you very much, Mr. Mayor, and thank you, Mr. Gunther, for your patience in allowing us to get in some additional questions on this specific point.

The hearing will now stand adjourned, subject to the call of the Chair.

(Whereupon, at 11:55 a.m., the subcommittee hearing was adjourned, subject to call.)




Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met at 10 a.m., pursuant to recess, in room 1202, New Senate Office Building, Senator Joseph S. Clark (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.

Present: Senators Clark (presiding), Randolph, Pell, Javits, Prouty, and Murphy, members of the subcommittee; Yarborough, and Williams of New Jersey, members of the full committee.

Committee staff present : Stewart E. McClure, chief clerk; William C. Smith, counsel to the subcommittee; Michael W. Kirst, professional staff member; Eugene Mittelman, minority counsel; Robert E. Patricelli, minority counsel to the subcommittee; and Peter C. Benedict, minority labor counsel.

Senator CLARK. The subcommittee will be in session.

I have a very brief opening statement. We continue our hearings today on the Emergency Employment and Training Act of 1968 and National Manpower Act of 1968 which is Senator Javits' and Senator Prouty's substitute for the Emergency Act.

Today is a special occasion. We have as our witnesses Rev. Ralph Abernathy and the leadership of the Poor People's Campaign which began its activities here in Washington yesterday.

I would like to welcome you, Reverend Abernathy, as representing and perpetuating the ideals of social, economic, and political democracy for which the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., lived and died.

I welcome also your colleagues. I suggest that at this point you introduce them to the members of the subcommittee.



Reverend ABERNATHY. Thank you very kindly, Senator Clark, and members of this distinguished committee.

I would like to introduce my associates. To my left is the Reverend Andrew Young who is the executive vice president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Then the Reverend Bernard Scott Lee, who is my special assistant.

Mrs. Lares Tresjan, from the State of New York, representing the Puerto Rican community. To my immediate right, Mrs. Alberta Scott, of Baltimore, Md.

Mrs. Martha Grass, representing the American Indians.
Mr. Victor Charlo, representing American Indians, also.
Mrs. Phyllis Robinson, from the Welfare Rights Movement.

Senator Clark. Thank you very much, Dr. Abernathy. I would like to welcome all of you ladies and gentlemen here today. We are happy, indeed, to have the opportunity to hear your testimony.

I want also to say, as one Senator and the chairman of this subcommittee which concerns itself primarily with the problems of poverty, manpower, employment, and related problems, which are very critical today in our country, that we are very happy to welcome representatives of the poor people to Washington.

The goals which you are seeking from your representatives in this country are goals which should be sought by every American citizen namely, equal opportunity for all Americans, jobs for more than 112 million Americans who today are unemployed, better jobs that pay a living wage for the more than 8 million Americans who work but do not make a decent living wage, better education, adequate housing, and more food so that those 121/2 million Americans who go to bed hungry will be able to have the three square meals a day which most of their fellow Americans take for granted.

While, Reverend Abernathy, we want you to feel free to discuss any subjects that you believe are relevant to your march here on Washington, I will direct your particular attention to four pieces of legislation over which the subcommittee has jurisdiction.

The first is the Emergency Employment Act of 1968 which would create in a 4-year period 2,400,000 jobs for the hard-core unemployed, one-half of them in the private sector of the economy, the other half in the public sector.

Then there is an area which is central but not entirely peripheral to your interest and this is the Juvenile Delinquency Amendment of 1968 which the subcommittee reported unanimously to the full committee.

Also the equal employment opportunity legislation which was passed out of the full labor committee and sent to the floor last week.

That will be a very controversial bill when it reaches the floor. There is a good deal of opposition to it. We would like to know your views as to whether this legislation is necessary or desirable.

Finally, the amendment to the Manpower Development and Training Act by which we would hope to train personnel for the jobs we believe are available.

Senator Prouty.

Senator PROUTY. Mr. Abernathy, it is a pleasure to have you appear before our subcommittee this morning. I think you are aware that I supported programs for proposed legislation to eliminate hardships caused by poverty long before the so-called war on poverty was officially launched in 1964.

Needless to say, here in 1968, I am not satisfied with our progress, although I am convinced that progress has been made. We hope to step it up in the future.

I am very glad to see you and your associates this morning, and I will listen to your statement with interest.

Senator CLARK. Senator Javits.

Senator Javits. Reverend Abernathy and associates, it is the right of Americans to be heard by Congress and seek redress for their grievances.

« PreviousContinue »