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Overcrowding, deterioration and abandonment are frequently the characteristics which help to make up the inner city Black community. Totally inadequate public services, private and public concern help to cause and/or perpetuate substandard housing, order of the day, in many areas. Nobody loves us, nobody seems to care, is the frequent cry of the inhabitants of these dwellings as they seek help or a way out. The terrible living conditions fostered by these residences are the breeding places of crime, drug and general discontent and unrest for those who dwell therein. All around us new construction is springing up, however, most of it is directed towards the needs of commercial space and living quarters for upper middle class and the "well-to-do". Too often one notes that urban renewal (better known as Black removal) has levelled many buildings to make way for progress. Unfortunately, with the high and ever increasing costs of rentals, the result is an increase in the overcrowding of low income Black communities further locking in many residents who had hopes of a better chance. We need to look at:

1. Development of community based and oriented rehabilitation and development corporations.
2. Tighter controls on new building programs to assure housing for low and middle income families.
3. Government sponsored take-over, rehabilitation or demolition of substandard and/or abandoned houses.
4. Placing of low and middle income units in other than inner city ghetto areas.
5. Encouragement of and planning with industry to provide adequate housing for all persons in and around new and developing industrial sites.
6. Tie in available transportation with site selection for low and middle income housing as related to industrial and job locations.
7. Development of vest pocket and mini parks, as well as, other recreational facilities to utilize vacant space in Black communities, and
8. Use of governmental agencies in the striking down of discriminatory housing practices.


"What people don't know can hurt them and the next generation." This quote from a booklet on Sigma's Project SADD (Sigmas Attack Drugs and Defects) packs a powerful message in light of drugs and the possible effects they can have upon our youth, our children and the entire community. We cannot close our eyes and expect that the problem will disappear when we reopen them. We have an obligation to work unceasingly with the current generation if we are to have any future generations. The scope of areas to be discussed are many. A few possibilities are:

1. Parental guidance and counselling,
2. Health training on the hazards and effect of drugs,
3. Referral services,
4. Educational programs, and,
5. Coordinating activity with community and other organizations.

WORKSHOP H: Political Involvement

The ballot box undoubtedly will be the most significant factor in determining whether we, as Blacks, will "make it." As we move on into the mid-1970s it is obvious that we are developing a strong core of leaders who are moving into Congressional, state and local legislative seats with conviction to get a job done and to assure for Blacks their fair share of the "good life." We must work to continue this growth of leadership. We must also work to assure that our leadership is always aware of and moving to meet the needs of our people. Establishing an ever open and meaningful dialogue rather than crying, complaining and being abusive will certainly help to keep these lines open and functioning to the advantage of the Black community. However, we must address ourselves to those situations wherein the incumbent official is deaf to the needs of our people, because then, we need to take necessary action to correct the situation or remove the individual. One needs only to look at Mayor Bradley's victory in Los Angeles to see what can be done, if we develop our strategies properly.

Voter Registration and Voter Education is still a must for Blacks if we are to have a positive effect in the determination of who shall represent our communities and voice our problems and our needs and then fight for possible remedies.

[[image - two black and white photographs of men and women at a social gathering; second photo spans two pages; caption spans two pages and is transcribed in full on both pages]]
[[caption]] Pictures were taken when Herbert Wright of Philip Morris hosted the Annual Meeting of the Georgia Club of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Houston, Texas, December 27, 1973. [[/caption]]