Independent from Long Beach, California on March 11, 1966 · Page 24
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Independent from Long Beach, California · Page 24

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Long Beach, California
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Friday, March 11, 1966
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Page 24
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National Capital's Negro Slum Folk · ' ake Heart as Poverty War Advances tier Wa way sround, because ths people got nowhere to go, and because they Is scared. Out of tho eight people I tried to organize against this particular landlord, there wasn't three at ths next meeting 'cause they got scared." (tor's note-- This Is one tries of field reports by les Johnson on his no- vide inspection of the on Poverty. iHAYNES JOHNSON iVjASHINGTON -- Change crjrffis slowly for Washing- There Is, for example, more the neighborhood workers. emphasis here than elsewhere There are more than a hun- on direct community action, on p e r s o n a l involvement-demonstrations, b o y c o t t s , picketing. This may reflect in part the fact that Washington, the world's most political city, . , _ c has no local politics. Deprived top] poor. The big church of the political machinery dred in all, hired from the give 'em money? ranks of the poor. stiljcasts its shadow over the brkc row houses, and its bulletin board still bears a we.Kly message of hope and inspiration. "Lose Not Time," it iads today, "Always be Emloyed in Something Useful. And around the corner, Job W. Robinson still lives on the same block, sur- rouded by the same sights. Vjhat is new for Robinson andthe.oth.e'p 45,000 Negroes in (Washington's notorious available to their colleagues n other cities, the poverty to know how I'm going to help them. Am I going to Across the Anacostia River have to organize and bring it in Southeast Washington, for to the attention as a group, instance, the neighborhood workers are dealing with needs a job ain't nothing like such bread-and-butter prob- ·esidents. "You only can say you 'cause one man saying he 25 men saying It. That's the lems as the price of food and start of the block organiza soap. They are compiling lists tion which is very, very ne- of various brands from neigh- --·"··--·" " borhood stores of such goods as pork-and beans, shortening, flour, and sugar. They cessary. * * * * THEY MEET once a week, at night. There are no regu- Seqnd Precinct is the War on Pn«rty.. It is now a tangible pamof, ,th,eir neighborhood, wtipi for years has been bed : deihd° wn in crime, disease, unepploymerit and apathy. jifoss the street from the oldthurch is one of the pov- ertjj program's eight neigh- borjood centers. Within a few] blocks- are three other povirty offices, one for con- surer information services, anoher housing a credit union anqanother an employment offte. * t V ' * THE N E I G H B O R H O O D centrs are the heart of the disfict's war on poverty. Thv exist to bring the pro. grans to the people. The center^ house standard social welare and settlement house serices, community organizes and workers, and pro- grans to help newcomers he- core adjusted to the city. lie overall program has nan some impact, as Robinson and others will tell you, ma'y basic needs are still un- workers'at the grassroots level are trying to bring about change through direct, organized action. This emphasis dates back to the beginning of the program; from the start the philosophi are thinking of forming their lar meeting places. In the wn "buying club" for their summer they have met on parking lots. In tha winter hey gather in some one's AT THEIR last weekly home meeting, the workers and staff members discussed their range of problems is great organizing problems. As .one said, their block clubs "materialized like magic after their campaign began." They talked of efforts to cal base was the idea that find jobs, of drama classes "i"g *o tackle this - to °- witl Veil, now, it's a whole nicer," Robinson says. !nt "Ttey got 'em to clean up so the? don't throw it in the strfl like they used to. But the alley is still in terrible shaw. We still gets the rats." VashingLon's problems are penaps no greater than those of Jos Angeles, or New York or Chicago, but they do have an jdded dimension. community a c t i o n and involvement is the way to bring about genuine change. James G. Banks, the soft- spoken executive director of the United Planning Organization of the National Capital Area, the anti-|pverty agency, looks, at his problems in a large perspective. To him, the quick poverty programs that achieve swift results in one specific area, such as Head Start, are fine. But they are not the final answer. "Our basic objective," he said in. an interview, "is to lelp people who are poor, to 5ive them a feeling of confi dence and hope. * * * * "THAT IS why we've concentrated on community organization. * * * * THE PROCESS.is slow and frustrating.. The people'in- volved are apathetic; they are often afraid to s p e a k out. Even so, block clubs are be- for young people, of a credi union, of high rents, o demonstrations, picketing am In the Second Precinct thi and so are the range of pro test topics. Of all the prob lems, the greatest and mos visible is housing. The neigh borhood workers are begin LKI t»c». CtiSI., Frt,, HIT. II, mi INDEPENDENT--Pago A-23 ' Looking back on his own efforts, and at the poverty program as he knows it, the v/onderful. It's the b e s l i chance the poor man has had to voice his needs, to speak out, and slowly but surelyi worker said: they are speaking up." "The poverty program is 1 £,,,,,,,,, lm Tlw w.^,^^ ,,,, lie emphasis upon the land- ord-tenant relationships. "What we'd like to see Is more housing and knock off the slum landlords that's|| iharging these high prices," he worker went on, "and the only thing you can do is or- janize your people to fight he Man. It's a dangerous situation, a very dangerous sit uation 'causa the slum land- ord here--I won't call him y name--that I'm dealing with, he lets people get back n the rent, you understand-let's "em get maybe two months back and they give lim half the money and then if something breaks down in the house they can't squawk about it or he'll take house away, you understand and they ain't got nowhere to go. He's got "em in a squeeze.! * + * * ! "I THINK they got to have some new legislation all lha JUST LIKE ' WHOLESALE NEW// Smith-Corona Electric Adding Machines tJCTS -- MULT/PLIES $ 43 50 COMPARE OUR PRICES! ADDS -- SUBTRACTS -- MULT/PLIES WAS 86.50 NOW 68.50 *WITH TRADE . . ·II WOMIII Ct»m» 111 ll» THAN II Tim OLD BRAND NEW TYPEWRITERS " AND $35.95 USED TYPEWRITERS F R O M M9.00 TYPEWRITER CITY' 244 E. Broadway Fri. Till 8; Sat. Till 5 HE 7-0586 I EASY TERMS -- BANKAMERICARD ing created in the slums and the poor are learning the techniques of applying pres sure to solve their own prob lems. An indication of the degree of success can be seen in the increasing a t t a c k s on the mass rallies. An announce ment was made about a workshop on "n on-violent" techniques, and of a group called ACCESS (Action Co ordinating Committee to End Segregation in the Suburbs). One neighborhood worker, a Negro who has lived in the Second Precinct for the last 30 years, and who was a gambler before he was hired by the poverty program, was induced to talk about his day. * * * + "WELL, IT goes like this," he said. "I knock on doors and go to pool rooms and barber shops--anywhere people congregate in the neigh- wrhood. They started me out up in the embassy area, up around 16th, but I found there wasn't too much poverty. "Houses was good strut ture of the buildings was good, the.lawns was good, so they moved me to here. Years ago I hung out in this neighborhood, .so I knowed most of the people. I I K E EVERYTHING else comected with the city, Ihe poverty program operates in a g'are of publicity. The. pro- gran is -expected j t o be a mojel because it is'the Capital). ' Ivcn in a "I knocked on doors anc ntroduced myself and tol em of the programs. I played t by ear, because in the program, the current Issue of blocks I worked was very Nation's Business magazine, for instance, carries an article citing Washington as one of the places where the war on poverty "seems dan suspicious p e o p l e . Sometimes I could get them to talk, and sometimes bring 'cm gerously close to becoming a were obvious: housing and I t limited survey sucji as this, a reporter irnme- diaely notices clear differ- ernes in the tone of Washing|on's poverty program and tha) of other cities. One ob- vinis manifestation is an air of sensitivity and t e n s i o n abmt the way the program hee is conducted. J.n outsider finds it diffi- cul to w a l k into one of Wellington's p o v e r t y out- pois and talk with the workers as he can in other cities He must first be OKd by "djWntown." He cannot al- "terj"a meeting without prior clarance. war on business." jobs. At the same t i m e , other militant critics on the other side contend that the p r o gram is too timid. To them, the program should be more revolutionary, the a t t a c k broader, the issues w i d e r . Poverty officials are learning to take the criticism in t r ide. "We're considered anti-business, anti-labor, anti- mblic s c h o o l , anti-every- hing," says Banks. * * t * IN OTHER words, here as elsewhere, the poverty pro;ram represents a threat. The IOWEVER, once the pro tecive covering has been peiptralcd, it becomes clear thi Washington has a pro grJn that is as dynamic a thegrassroots level as any in tlieconntry. The biggest needs, he said, "HALF THE people never leard of the war on poverty. They didn't know what I was talking about and the people's so suspicious, they been promised so much, they want Parker Due at Press Fete Despite Illness LOS ANGELES (CNS) -Chief of Police William H. Parker will attend the Greater Los Angeles Press Club's annual "Headliner of the Year Award" dinner in his more it succeeds in helping honor at the Biltmore Hotel, the poor, the more opposition it will generate from those who feel the pressure. At this point, however, no one in the p r o g r a m claims to have passed a miracle or achieved a final breakthrough. A picture of how the pro gram works at its most basic level can be gained by travel- March 30. There were fears the banquet would have to be postponed after Parker's hospitalization because of a "temporary cardiac incapicity," but a press spokesman confirmed the chief will attend. He is expected to be away from his office from one to three ing the streets with one of months, however. insured savings ACCOUNTS OPENED tf I He IHh »r ANY MONTH E A R N I r . m t r i « Isl. Save more and earn more with the First Federal where your-savings are insured to SI 0.GOO.00. A Certificate o* Insurance protecting your savings against los by the federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation, oif instrumentality of the United States Government, 'is printed in the inside cover of our passbooks. Jt e x plains now each savings account is insured. FIRST F E D E R AL SAVINGS EARNINGS PAID 4 TIMES A YEAR Or** Until r. M. Fridays FIRST and PINE 135 E. OCEAN AVE. P H O N E HEmlock 7-1211 . At Ovr X«K EnirM« Deposits made »fter the 10th of th« month will eim from tho date of deposit Shop at Barker Bros.... five graciously and scnre f too! B. 66, Special sale of damask lounge chairs Save over $40 each for one week only Wi *«y TO sliop «t Barker's , vinient charge Account plant months to pay W * J* A. Biscuit button tufted lounge chair with attached pillow back, tailored kick pleated valance, reversible foam seat cushion. Choose gold, beige, celadon green or olive tone- on-tone damask. B. Ladies' high back lounge chair ts designed for beauty and comfort with kick pleated valance and reversible foam seat cushion. In gold, beige, brown or celadon green tone-on-tone damask. 55. vaL 99.50 66. vaL 109.50 Galloway's "Splendor" wool pile broadtoom installed over rubber-coated pad! 44 sq.yd. reg. 12.40 A magnificent broadloora with a random-sheared, 3-Jevel texture. Permanently mothproofed ... and a doable laminated jote back locks in tofts for extra wear! See it in fifteen dramatic colors. Shop tt home . . . eaB number fisted below to see carpet sample* in borne. BARKER RROS 1 TWO LONG BEACH STORES DOWNTOWN STORE · Broadway at Locust · 436-9251 SHOP MONDAY AND FRIDAY, 10:00 to 9 P.M.; Other days, 10:00 to 5:30 LOS ALTOS CENTER · Stearns at Bellflower · 596-1661 SHOP MONDAY, THURSDAY AND F R I D A Y , 10:00 to 9 P.M.; Other days, 10:00 to 5:30

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