We've Made Our Budget! (Judy McIntosh)
From the President's Desk (Elaine Vik)
Baltimore Leader's Visit
Report from Voters Service Chairman (Fran McLeod)
Another Opportunity - Let's Talk Government and League
Presenting... The Hardworking Membership Gals
General Meeting - Tuesday - November 26
Thirty-four Members of the Honolulu LWV Are Missing!!
Application for Membership in the LWV of the U.S.
Baltimore Leader's Visit
On a sultry day in mid-July, 100 of Baltimore's busiest people boarded a bus for the nation's capital to testify to the Maryland Congressional delegation, "on behalf of the American city and the people who live in it". The move was without precedent. The impact was tremendous.
The gathering of these people in the same place - especially on a bus - was in itself extraordinary. Most of the corporate leaders of Baltimore participated - chief executive officers of the city's utilities, department stores, banks, insurance companies and manufacturing corporations. Also included were the presidents of Baltimore's five major institutions of higher learning, the present and past mayors, key Chamber of Commerce executives, union and civil rights leaders and a bishop or two.
Waiting to receive them in Washington was the entire Maryland Congressional delegation: Democratic Senators Daniel B. Brewster and Joseph D. Tydings and the state's eight Representatives. Theodore R. McKeldin, chairman of the Baltimore Urban Coalition, later said of the meeting, "I have been Mayor (of Baltimore) twice and Governor twice. But never before have I seen a group like this together."
McKeldin made the opening remarks: "Every knowledgeable urban expert recommends a national reordering of priorities that recognizes the problems of the cities as our nation's number one domestic problem. The need for jobs, better education, decent low-cost housing and substantially increased social services to the residents of our inner cities has been acknowledged by our nation's enlightened leadership. There are measures pending before Congress today which provide funds to meet, at least in part, these needs. We want to demonstrate to the Maryland Congressional delegation that the business-community, local government, religion, education, labor and civil rights groups are united in asking for support of these programs."
McKeldin was followed by the man most responsible for the gathering: James Rouse, builder of the new city of Columbia and a member of the Policy Committee of the national Action Council. "As a nation we have been struggling for so long with the problems of the city that it is difficult for us to be stirred to a sense of crisis," Rouse began. "We have come to look upon the city as a burden to be shouldered -not as a victory to be won. And that is precisely why we are here; to shake up our state of mind about the city; to stir a new spirit; to raise new hopes; to mobilize new determination - about making our cities fit places in which to live, grow a family, run a business - and to unfold for all our people the opportunity to share in the fruits of this fantastic civilization. We hope that by getting up from behind the telephones and dictating machines..... we may make more real for you the depth of our concern and the height of our hopes about the American city."
Action Council Chairman, John W. Gardner, then made a few remarks. Finally, each member of the Baltimore delegation rose, introduced himself and made brief statements in support of federal aid for urban programs.
What impact did the visit have? It fired the enthusiasm of both the Members of Congress and the Baltimore leaders.
The Maryland Congressmen responded with full support for the group's objectives - though Many warned against expecting too much during the current session of Congress. Republican Re. Charles McC. Mathias said later; "We have lots of people beat on us, Who are anti-city, antipoverty - just anti. When you have a distinguished group like this support urban programs, it strengthens your backbone in dealing with the anti-people. We can say, "Look, these are not just people looking for handouts."
Many of the corporate executives had had grave reservations or even fears about making the trip. None wanted to be part of any "demonstration". But the reception they received from the Congressmen seemed to turn their anxiety into pride of accomplishment, and their conversation on the trip home turned to ideas for follow-up programs. "Everyone's commitment deepened, and we won a few converts," said Mcgeldin. •
From the Urban Coalition Action Report - September 1968
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