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May 17, 1974 - Image 8

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1974-05-17

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0'age Eight

THE MIHIGANAILY

Friday, May 17, 1974

Model Cities board: Unrepresentative?

By ERIC SCHOCH
Daily News Analysis
Last of three parts
In the days following t h e
creation of the Model Cities
Policy Board in February, 1969
critics charged that the Policy
Board membership was not re-
presentative of the citizens of
the Model Cities area.
As late as this spring, n e w
members were appointed to the
board by City Council, osten-
sibly on orders from the De-
partment of Housing and Urban
Development (HUD), in order to
make the board more represen-
tative and increase citizen par-
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ticipation.
The basic cause of the charg-
es has been the fact that Policy
Board leaders have always lived
outside the designated M o d e 1
Cities Area.
EZRA ROWRY has been the
chairman of the Policy Board
throughout its existence. A bus
driver for the University and
never afraid to say what is on
his mind, he does not live with-
in the Model Neighborhood.
Albert Wheeler, a long-time
black activist and local Demo-
crat who has been active in
the NAACP, was the vice chair-
man and an acknowledged pow-
er on the Policy Board until
1972, when his term ended. Like
Rowry he does not live within
the Model-Cities area.
Theodore Beals, a local patho-
logist, was elected to the Policy
Board in 1970 and has also been
considered one of the influential
and articulate members of the
so-called Wheeler - Rowry
crowd." He also does not live
in the Model Cities neighbor-
hood.
WITH MANY of the m o s t
powerful members of the Policy
Board outsiders to the Model
Neighborhood, it is perhaps not
surprising that critics called the
board unrepresentative.
The first barrage came after
the board was created. Groups
within the black community and
City Hall had been jockeying In
late 1968 and early 1969 to gain

control over the new program.
In January 1969, Republican
Mayor Wendell Hulcher and the
then Republican-controlled City
Council suggested that all inter-
ested parties meet at the Com-
munity Center to "hammer out"
a method for choosing a Policy
Board and return with it to City
Council.
A MEETING at the commun-
ity center was held, with about
80 persons in attendance. The

and fraternal organizations.
At the next meeting of City
Council, despite charges that
the board was not representa-
tive, the Community Center plan
was approved unanimously.
The Policy Board, says Row-
ry, was chosen to be representa-
tive "as it relates to the prob-
lems that Model Cities attempts
to address itself to - problems
of urban decay, health, educa-
tion, and so forth.
"THAT'S WHAT Model Cities
- ///-7 iss m- ' oi/- - - s

'I think if it's a program for a specific
neighborhood then those people, whoever
they are that live in there, ought to be
sought out and made to become a part of
it. I am aware of many people within the
community-doctors, teachers, all kinds of
professional people-who would be quali-
fied to serve but are not being asked to be
involved.'
-Republican Councilman Lloyd Fairbanks

hood then those people, whoever
they are that live i there,
ought to be sought out and made
to become a part of it. And put
in charge of running the thing,"
says former Republican Council-
man Lloyd Fairbanks.
FURTHERMORE, says Fair-
banks, he is "aware of many
people within the community -
doctors, teachers, all kinds of
professional people-who would
be q'ialified to serve but are not
being asked -to be involved."
In 1970, Ann Arbor's Mod e 1
Cities ordinance was changed
to specify that Policy B oar d
members must be elected to
their positions by the residents
of the Model Cities Community.
Included were at-large seats for
non Model Cities area residents.
The number of election can-
didates and voters for the Policy
Board is perhaps the most com-
pelling measurement of Model
Neighborhood residents' interest
in citizen participation in the
program.
THE SECOND yearly Policy
Board election in 1971 garnered
the most voter interest and can-
didates. Up for election after
having been appointed two
years previously, Rowry defeat-
ed an opponent from the Black
Economic Development League
(BEDL) opposition slate. Over
400 total votes were cast in the
election, the most contested in
Policy Board history.
However, in 1972, after hav-
ing been delayed by the bitter
fight over the Policy Board's
attempt to fire director Herbert
Wingo and the ensuing court
battle, the Policy Board elec-
tions drew only a handful of
candidates and votes. The same
held true the next year, in
which the highest vote-getter re-
ceived fewer than 25 votes.
This spring, the Republican
majority on City Council nam-
ed several north central a r e a
See BOARD'S. Page 9

plan which was drawn up was
agreed to by nearly all those
present, except for one or two
abstentions. In general, t h e
plan provided for a 1S-mem-
ber board comprised of appoin-
tees from various groups in the
black community, including the
NAACY, and several churches

attempt;
when w
sentativ
organizi
cally a
those ct
tative b
graphy,
necessa
are talk

r

Since
race, in
make-ur
publicat
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s to talk about and so
e talk about a repre-
e board we talk about
ations who have histori-
iddressed themselves to
oncerns. Not a represen-
board in terms of geo-
which has no relevance,
rily, to the problems we
kig about solving."
the 1969 city mayoral
which the Policy Board
p was attacked by Re-
ns and defended by Dem-
city Republicans have
ntly argued that t h e
Board was not represent-
nd had been placed in
by the Democrats. They
that the leadership, if
of the members, should
dents of the Model Cities
ink that if it's a pro-
or a snecific neighbor-

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