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Under these most adverse circumstances, I think our States and municipalities have done a better job of trying to face up to this problem that has the Federal Government. In the face of the great difficulties presented by the need for cooperative action among multiple political units, remarkable things have been accomplished. In the New York City area, a host of cooperative arrangements have been worked out that have made important contributions and hold the potential of further assistance. For example, the Port of New York Authority interconnects two States, New York and New Jersey, operating bridges, tunnels, airports, piers, and other facilities. The New York-New Jersey Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor is dealing with some of the difficult human problems of the port. The Metropolitan Rapid Transit Commission is studying the transit needs of the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area. The Interstate Sanitation Commission deals with problems of water pollution in New York Harbor and Long Island Sound.
In addition, State and local governments have been taking the politically unpopular step of facing up to the fact that these needs which are growing, cost money to meet. While State and local spending and gross debt rose almost fourfold, and State and local revenues threefold, from 1946 to 1958, Federal expenditures and taxes only roughly doubled, while the Federal debt rose 7 percent. The sheer growth of our population has forced pressures for additional expenditure on local and State government. Burgeoning new communities on the edges of our metropolitan areas demand new sets of public services.
In the face of these tremendous pressures, I think that in most instances our local governments and our States should be commended rather than criticized for the job they've been doing. Given the tax sources available to the States and localities, and given the complicating factor of interstate competition with tax sources, the States and the localities have certainly been more responsible in facing up to these increasing needs than has been the Federal Government.
I, of course, have only scratched the surface of the kinds of problems that the proposed Commission could usefully study. There is urgent need for the kind of commission proposed by the Senator from Pennsylvania. Before sensible proposals can be made, we must have greater awareness of the magnitude and complexity of the task we face in this field. In addition, we need greater insight into the ways in which a host of Federal agencies may be working at cross purposes and adding to our burden. And we need to come up with proposals for political reorganization-however difficult it may be at the local level. In brief, cooperation is needed from all levels of government.
One simple fact that we must face is that the job ahead is going to be tremendously expensive. The alternative to undertaking this responsibility is nothing short of chaos and strangulation. I, for one, have confidence in the future of America. I believe we must invest a great deal in assuring that our metropolitan areas are reconstructed on a sound basis. The return to the country on this investment will be economic and social health as well as a continuation of an expanding standard of living, not only in terms of money but in terms of human well-being.
The best first step we could take, in my judgment, would be favorable action on the proposed bill to create a Commission on Metropolitan Problems.
I thank you again, Mr. Chairman, for the opportunity to testify on the bill that I feel is so strongly needed.
Senator HUMPHREY. Thank you, Senator Willams.
when I was the editor of a magazine in New York, the Nation, I originated a series of articles on the States and they were written by many distinguished authors and the purpose of the articles was to bring out the indivdual characteristics of each State.
The article on New Jersey was written by a very distinguished writer named Edmund Wilson and he subtitled it, "New Jersey, Slave of Two Cities," and he brought out then–40 years ago-how much of New Jersey was dependent upon factors that originated in New York and Philadelphia. Certainly that situation has been intensified since that time.
I believe your State is an almost unique position in being a kind of future suburban State that lies between two great cities.
Now maybe Connecticut at some time will be in that same category, but I think your own State of New Jersey is perhaps more in need of this kind of study than any other State of the Union because it is so dominated by population concentrations that are just outside of the State and affect your State.
I think it is of great importance and I am delighted to hear that Rutgers is going into this problem thoroughly. I think it is worthy of the most extended study.
Senator Williams. I certainly appreciate your statement, Senator Gruening and your fundamental understanding of our problems up there. I was interested in your statement of many years ago that New Jersey is a slave, was it?
Senator GRUENING. A slave of two cities, New York and Philadelphia.
Senator WILLIAMS. A slave of two cities. You know, in a way that is true in a very practical sense. New Jersey does not have an income tax. Many of our people, you know, work in New York City or work in Philadelphia, Pa. Both have income taxes.
Our people go out there to work and have to pay taxes and if we had a tax they would get a credit for it, but we don't have a tax and this is another problem, taxation, that might well be considered by a study.
One other thing, I would like to ask you, when were you editor of the Nation?
Senator GRUENING. I was editor for two periods, 1920 to 1923, and again in 1932 for 1 year.
Senator WILLIAMS. I am interested because it happens that my wife has lived by the Nation for years and years, and I mentioned this weekend that you were formerly an editor and she said, “Oh, no,” but then she was a very little girl at that time.
Thank you very much.
Senator HUMPHREY. That was very fine testimony, Senator Williams. We express our thanks to you.
Our next witness is Mayor Frank P. Zeidler of Milwaukee, Wis.
STATEMENT OF HON. FRANK P. ZEIDLER, MAYOR, CITY OF
Mr. ZEIDLER. Senator, may I compliment you by commenting on the excellent speech you gave in Los Angeles. It indicated the training that one man has to go through to win the support of the people of a great city. The substance of your talk was most fascinating and it was indicated that you had a good comprehension, not only of the national problems, but of the problems of the mayors.
My name is Frank P. Zeidler. I am the mayor of the city of Milwaukee, Wis., which position I have occupied since 1918.
I have a statement I would like to read. Unfortunately, it is in pencil as I did not have time since my return to Milwaukee from Los Angeles to prepare mimeographed copies.
I desire to express my support of bill S. 1431 which calls for the establishment by the Federal Government of a commission on the metropolitan problems of the United States.
This committee and the Members of the Congress are no doubt quite familiar with the fact that there are serious problems of metropolitan growth throughout the United States.
One has but to read the daily press to see how these problems are featured in the news. The magazines of national circulation have found in the metropolitan problems a new source of interest for their readers and the publishers of books are presenting more and more volumes on urban and suburban life and culture.
Students of the technical problems of local government are also publishing many articles in the technical journals on this subject of metropolitan growth. Whether these journals are devoted to political science or public administration or engineering or public works, it is almost impossible these days to pick up one of them and not find several articles on the problems of metropolitan development and expansion that affect a particular branch of governmental activity in which the journal may be interested.
Among the interesting matters which have been recently discussed in publications are the commuter problems of New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Chicago; the race problem in overcrowed Harlem; the juvenile gangs of the big cities; the smog problem; the water shortage affecting communities around the Nation; the impact of expressways on big cities; the cultural and social clashes between the central city and the suburbs; the problem of the civil defense of these areas; the almost universal problem of improved housing and urban redevelopment; the problem of proper representation of urban areas; the pollution problem; the attempts to form metropolitan governments in the cities of the Nation.
This history is a sample of the various types of problems that are now drawing public attention.
As a result of these problems, attempts of various kinds, including reorganization of local government, have been made to solve them, but the success of these attempts has been only spotty, and the struggle of governmental systems and special-interest groups to prevail in metropolitan areas has largely resulted in the frustration of efforts to bring order into a growing chaos.
Lately, State governments, under the prodding of central city governments and of leaders in political science in public administration, have formed boards and commissions to investigate the urban and metropolitan problems.
Certain charitable foundations are also interested in the problem and some independent agencies are working at this problem. Fifteen or sixteen Governors, according to my recollection, have made some mention of the urban and metropolitan problems in their messages to their State legislatures.
With all of this activity on these studies of the metropolitan problem, one is tempted to ask, “Why not another study, this time by the Federal Government ?
These are three compelling reasons why the Federal Government should pay attention to the metropolitan problem of growth:
The first reason is that the successful solution of this problem is vital to the health and to the defense of the Nation.
A second reason is that policies of the Federal Government are causing or compounding the problems.
A third reason is that the existing agencies of government working at the problems have not been very effective in bringing about equitable solutions of the various problems.
As to the first reason, I think it does not take too much to point out that jostling racial groups in our big cities, for example, is a matter of greater importance than just to the cities involved.
The problem of juvenile delinquency has certain aspects of national concern.
As another example, there is the problem of the defense of our great urban complexes, and this is certainly a matter of national importance.
On the second point I have made, that the policies of the Federal Government are causing or compounding urban problems, let me just cite two examples. One is the emphasis placed by the Federal Government on highway spending. This program is resulting in profound changes in transportation and living patterns in the cities.
The expressway system in uprooting hundreds of thousands of people from the cities and compelling them to start life anew elsewhere. It is changing the entire nature of urban living and is causing the decay of the downtowns and the dying of forms of public transportation and having a most serious effect on the cost of government and the effort of all levels of government to provide the funds for this program.
Another Federal program having a great effect on the metropolitan problem is the housing policy of low downpayments for houses.
This program has much merit to it, but unfortuantely the pressure on the buyer is such that he buys to the limit of his ability just to finance his home without realizing that the home cannot exist without governmental services to be paid for by taxes.
Under this housing policy, there has been a great housing boom, creation of many real estate subdivisions, a proliferation of imperfectly planned suburbs—and an increasing deficit of local governments who don't dare raise the needed amount of taxes to finance the true cost of government.
Perhaps the Federal housing program, more than any other factor, has been the cause of the growth of the suburbs and the fragmentation
of metropolitan areas. This fragmentation of metropolitan areas is a basic difficulty in the solution of the metropolitan problem.
On the third point I made about other levels of government being ineffective in the solution of metropolitan problems, there are many reasons why this is so.
The central cities cannot solve the problems, because under State law they are often weak and powerless. How is a central city such as Los Angeles going to solve its smog problem alone ?
How is the city of Philadelphia going to solve its commuter problem alone!
How is Cleveland going to solve its civil defense problem by itself!
How is Boston going to solve the difficulty of a too-dense population when it has nowhere to expand ?
How is Kansas City to solve its pollution problem in the Missouri River by itself?
How is Denver to solve its water problem in the confines of the city limits of Denver ?
Obviously, a central city cannot solve such problems by itself. One asks, “Why do not the cities and the suburbs and surrounding countryside solve their problems in cooperation ?"
Some problems are so solved, but not enough of them have been solved properly to put much hope or faith in voluntary cooperation as a means of solution of the metropolitan problems quickly enough to do any good.
The cities and suburbs have been struggling with this situation for years, and the net result is the almost indescribable fragmentation of local
government that plagues the United States. One must remember that there are many cultural, social, economic, and political differences that are between cities and suburbs and between suburbs and suburbs. Social status in many areas in the United States is often dependent upon the suburbs in which a person resides. This crude but powerful form of snobbery is a strange force militating against international cooperation.
At this juncture, one asks why the States cannot do something about the metropolitan problem. Lately there has been some State activity in the form of study commissions and in some cases of laws to help meet the metropolitan problem; but the general pattern is one of insufficiency.
Why is this so? As I see it, the States have sometimes lagged in their ability to meet the urban problem because they have legislatures which are overrepresentative of land and underrepresentative of people. There has not been much of an articulate voice of the urban areas in many State legislatures and so little has been done.
Another reason is that the suburbs have been more effective in the legislatures than the central cities. By playing on the rural and smalltown sympathies of State legislatures and masquerading as rural rather than urban people, the suburbs have been able to promote the fragmentation of government in the urban areas.
Fortunately, State legislatures are beginning to realize what has happened and see in some instances that they should provide for consolidated urban governments with sufficient power to act effectively. In looking at the metropolitan problem, one must attempt to conceive of what is the purpose and reason for metropolitan areas,