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is chairman of the Joint Committee on Washington Metropolitan Problems and has been a tremendous force here for the good of the District of Columbia.
I understand that Mr. Frederick Gutheim, staff director, Joint Committee on Washington Metropolitan Problems, has a statement for the committee.
Mr. GUTHEIM. Senator, I have a statement that I will submit for the record for Senator Bible.
Senator HUMPHREY. Thank you.
STATEMENT OF HON. ALAN BIBLE, U.S. SENATOR FROM THE
STATE OF NEVADA
Mr. BIBLE. Senator Humphrey, my appearance here this morning will be very brief. I endorse S. 1431 providing for the creation of a metropolitan problems study commission. My comments on this bill derive chiefly from my experience during the last 2 years as Chairman of the Joint Committee on Washington Metropolitan Problems. The work of this committee, described in its final report and some 18 additional committee documents, anticipates many of the activities of the proposed study commission. The principal difference is found in the unique responsibilities of Congress for the government of the District of Columbia under article I, section 8 of the Constitution.
I hope the proposed commission will travel widely, listen carefully, and look closely at the real problems being created by the extraordinary metropolitan growth that is taking place. The pressure of population against such limited resources as water; the transportation problem of the movement of people and goods within metropolitan areas; the problem of suburban housing, and of urban redevelopment and public housing—these are already critical difficulties. They are obvious areas of Federal activity and concern. They raise questions of the need for some more effective coordination than we now have, coordination both among such programs at the Federal level, and between the work of the Federal Government, the States, and local governments.
In your consideration of this bill, I ask you to reflect on the composition of the proposed commission. I suggest that a smaller body would be more effective. I also incline toward the simple form of a select committee of the Senate rather than a mixed body of congressional, executive, and local government representatives.
My principal objective is to secure a smaller, more streamlined body that is likely to be able to travel widely and work to a tight schedule. But I recognize that the proposed commission may be able to organize itself into subcommittees and work in other ways to accomplish these purposes.
At the beginning of our work on the problems of the Washington metropolitan area, we surveyed similar studies in other cities. Most of them dealt with purely organizational problems. By contrast, we decided upon a form of study which in a few selected areas of considerable urgency went into problems in considerable depth. When we knew what was required in the way of powers, organization, and money to meet these problems on a metropolitan area basis, we had the essential framework for our organizational recommendations. That procedure worked very well, and I commend it to your attention.
In our survey we also found that while metropolitan regional surveys had been made in some 80 cities, action on their recommendations had been taken in only 4 cities. The Washington study aimed at practical results. Today it is not sitting on the shelf, but is being acted upon in Congress and in the metropolitan area by local governments.
It is section 3, paragraph (4) of S. 1431 that strikes me as the most fruitful part of the proposed study. Given the present lack of coordination among Federal agencies engaged in such programs as highways, housing, urban redevelopment, and airports, the demand for Federal aid is inexhaustible. Much assistance of this sort is inevitably wasted as the benefits of individual projects cancel out each other. The needed planning and coordination must be local as well as Federal.
I do not propose to anticipate the findings of this much-needed survey, but I would express some skepticism that the right answer will be one that creates any new executive department for the Federal Government. Rather I would hope that as the result of your study, some greater unification of policy, rooted in the deeper understanding of these new problems of our great cities, will be the result of your work.
STATEMENT OF FREDERICK GUTHEIM, STAFF DIRECTOR, JOINT
COMMITTEE ON WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN PROBLEMS
Senator HUMPHREY. Do you have a statement of your own, Mr. Gutheim ?
Mr. GUTHEIM. No, sir; but I would be glad to answer any questions based on the experience of the committee.
Senator HUMPHREY. May I just ask this one question?
Mr. GUTHEIM. I do, very much. I feel that the experience we have had both in the city of Washington here and the experience I have had in other cities of the United States as a consultant, illustrates very clearly the need for some better framework of Federal policy in the matter of metropolitan growth than we now have.
Cities everywhere are victimized by the lack of such a general policy and by the influence which is exercised by individual Federal departments and programs in such fields as highways, housing, redevelopment, without any corresponding vehicle for coordination.
Senator HUMPHREY. Thank you very much for your comments. We know that you have a great background in urban affairs and I say most respectfully to you that if you examine the bill S. 1431 carefully and have any suggestions or modifications that you think would be appropriate Ī, as chairman of the subcommittee, would welcome your advice and comments which you may wish to submit in writing to
Mr. GUTHEIM. The one observation I have by the way of amendment is contained in Senator Bible's statement, a preference for a Select Senate Committee as opposed to the mixed commission of the type the bill provides.
Senator HUMPHREY. Thank you.
Mayor Richardson Dilworth is with us and Mayor Dilworth is also vice president of the Conference of Mayors. STATEMENT OF HON. RICHARDSON DILWORTH, MAYOR, CITY OF
Senator HUMPHREY. Mayor Dilworth, it is a pleasure to see you again and welcome you before this subcommittee.
Mr. DILWORTH. We have filed a statement on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Mayors which includes the resolution adopted by the conference at its recent meeting.
Senator HUMPHREY. We will file the statement. (The statement referred to follows:)
STATEMENT OF HON. RICHARDSON DILWORTH, MAYOR, CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, ON
BEHALF OF THE U.S. CONFERENCE OF MAYORS I appreciate the opportunity to testify before you on the bill introduced by our senior Senator from Pennsylvania and my predecessor as mayor of Philadelphia, Joseph Clark.
I am here not only in my capacity as mayor of Philadelphia but as vice president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. At this time I would like to introduce into the record of these hearings a resolution on the pending question which was adopted by the 1959 Annual Conference of the U.S. Conference of Mayors at its meeting in Los Angeles on July 15, 1959.
“METROPOLITAN AREA PROBLEMS
“Whereas well over 100 million Americans now live in cities and suburbs classified as standard metropolitan areas,
"Whereas it is anticipated that the population of the metropolitan areas will continue to grow,
“Whereas in many instances the metropolitan area population lives in two or more States forming vast metropolitan regions,
"Whereas these and related developments in growth and expansion have created pressing economic, social, and political problems, and
"Whereas there has been no official Government-sponsored national study of these problems: Now, therefore, be it
"Resolved by the U.S. Conference of Mayors
"1. That the Metropolitan Areas Committee of the conference continue to explore ways in which the conference can and should assist in the examination and study of metropolitan area problems, and
“2. That the Congress be, and it is hereby urged to give its prompt approval to the Clark-Granahan proposal create a Federal Commission to study and report on problems and solutions of metropolitan area problems."
All of us working in government know that there are two basic reasons for setting up a study. One is to duck making some hard decisions about problems that demand unpopular, costly or difficult solutions. This type of study reminds me of the definition of a committee: "A group of people who individually can't do anything getting together to decide collectively that nothing can be done."
The other type of study-and this is the kind called for in the Clark bill — is the kind that is needed when decisions have been so long deferred that a condition of chaos has been created and before sound decisions can be made some order must be established before a wise course of action can be determined.
Over and above the necessary task of bringing together all of the existing data in the field of metropolitan problems and marshaling it in understandable terms for the executive and legislative branches of our Federal, State and municipal governments there is an even greater task to be performed by the study commission called for in the Clark bill. This is to perform a basic educational job among the people of America as to a set of circumstances existing in America today, of which most people seem to be unaware, or at least pretend they are unaware.
The major fact to be established, and constantly reiterated is that in this second half of the 20th century ours is an overwhelmingly urban civilization.
Today two-thirds of our people live in cities or in the urban complexes which surround them. Of the 15 milion increase in our population since World War II more than 90 percent has occurred in the great urban centers. Within the next decade we can anticipate that 80 percent of our people will be living in cities or city centered metropolitan areas.
At the same time, our structure of government, even our national thinking, clings to 19th century concepts which were valid when we were a predominately agricultural Nation. Our State legislatures are rurally dominated, and our State and national constitutional system is inherently structured to maintain a decentralized, agriculturally motivated society.
But the fact of the matter is that today the frontier of our civilization lies in our great cities. It is here that most people live, it is here that our demo craic way of life is being tested under conditions of great tension and stress; here is the arsenal of the cold war, both psychological and material. Our civilization as we know it, and as we want it to be, will survive to the extent that our cities are enabled to cope with problems so complex as to be almost beyond solution.
But the problems of our cities can be solved. The cities themselves have taken giant steps in the path of progress. Corruption bas been largely eliminated. Businesslike procedures have been established. Professional and technical personnel has been attracted. Local taxes have been raised 40 percent in the past decade. Giant undertakings have been begun to revitalize, restore and rebuild the heart of our cities. Financial resources have been strained to the utmost.
The cities are not coming to you hat in hand. They are merely asking you to recognize that our national survival depends on your recognition of the Federal responsibility in these matters.
Basically, what are the problems which lie beyond our powers to control and contain the decisions which must be made ?
One, of course, is the limits to our sovereignty and jurisdiction. Our metro politan areas are economic, cultural, and governmental entities which spill across the city, county and even State lines. Roughly the areas of common interest are the areas to which an automobile can conveniently go and return in a day's time.
Another is the limitation on our local taxing power. Today roughly 75 percent of the tax dollar goes to the Federal Government, another 15 percent to the States and the last thin dime goes to our municipalities. Yet it is in our cities that shattering effects of our population explosion are taking place. Nationally we are aware of our foreign problems, our farm problems, our defense problems. But how aware is the Nation of our city problem? The answer lies in the fact that the White House could veto an urban renewal bill which cost $400 million a year at the same time we are spending $8 billion annually for foreign aid and agricultural programs. Do not misunderstand, I think foreign aid and agricultural programs are vital and necessary. I think the urban renewal program is just as vital and necessary.
There are some who say we will cut back on national taxes and return the money to you so that you can do the job at the local level. I say to you that in our present complex society this will never happen. The national interest in defense, in foreign aid, and other national problems is so paramount that the Federal Government must retain its individual and corporate income taxes, which are the only taxes which would be of any significant help to us.
Moreover, the municipalities are creatures of our States, and if you turned these programs back, they would revert to the States. And the States just wouldn't pick them up. First, because the States are rurally dominated and second, because of the fierce competition for industry among the States, which curbs them from engaging in expensive improvement programs because to finance them would place them in an unfavorable tax position.
This metropolitan study commission is needed because this Nation needs a national policy toward its urban areas. We are justly concerned with developing a national defense policy, a national farm policy, a national fiscal policy, etc. The time is long past due when we developed a national urban policy.
I urge your favorable consideration of the Clark bill. It will be one of the major accomplishments of this Congress.
Mr. DILWORTH. Thank you.
I think the first question that has been brought up was one that I heard when I testified before the House committee, that is: Why should the Federal Government get into the problems of the cities? After all, this argument goes, the cities are the creatures of the States and why aren't they doing something?
I think, Senator Humphrey, that you described it beautifully at our conference of mayors. This argument ignores the fact that today we are almost a completely urban civilization and every research indicates that by 1980, 8 out of 10 of our people will be living in these urban areas.
The Government itself, in many ways, has created this situation. It has created it by the machine and the atomic age. Certainly, the Government is not primarily responsible for that, but all the policies the Government has, and both parties for that matter, have resulted in increasing bigness and that in turn has placed more and more people in these great urban areas.
The policy of integration has given us one of the greatest problems.
Forty years ago, the Federal Government only took 25 percent of the tax dollar. We are not criticizing the fact that the Federal Government today has to take better than 75 percent, but the fact is the Federal Government has every real, lucrative, broad base tax and cannot yield them up and does not intend to do so.
The question is asked: Why don't the States which create the cities take care of these problems? In the first place, there is no doubt the State legislatures are rural-dominated and will be in the future.
In our State, despite the express provision of the constitution as to reapportionment, there has been no reapportionment of our senat since 1920. The result is that it is virtually impossible for the cities to get proper representation in the State legislature. In addition, and even more important as we see it, is the fact that the States cannot possibly undertake any large program for the benefit of urban areas themselves because the competition between States for industry is so tremendous.
If the State undertakes such programs to get the funds needed, business taxes and taxes on individuals must be increased and then, of course, our surrounding States very quickly leap in and attract the businesses and residents that are moving away. It is virtually impossible for the States, under the present setup, to get into these programs on their own.
The other reason it is so important, is that the Federal Government and the Nation are changing to such an extent. Today, the pioneers are really those who are living in the cities. The frontiers of our democracy, we believe very definitely, are in the cities. We are testing out this machine age, this atomic age, to see whether democracies can survive and work in an urban civilization.