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Senator CASE. In this paragraph you just read you have said there are 61 citizens associations that are members of the Federation of Citizens Associations and 26 of the civic associations. Do you know the relative membership in the associations represented ?
Mr. NEWELL. I am coming to that, Senator. I have very little information concerning the Federation of Civic Associations, but · Senator CASE. I read ahead in the next paragraph. You give the figures for yours, but you don't give us the membership figure of the others.
Mr. NEWELL. No one can accurately tell you how many citizens comprise the 61 citizens' associations, as the members constantly change, but it is believed that there are about 24,000 residents who are members of the 61 associations that are in good standing. I mean by that their dues have been paid.
The other organizations who are members of the federation have a considerable membership, but most of their members are also members of some citizens association. So there is duplication there.
The Federation of Citizens Associations has always consistently been on record in favor of both national representation and home rule, and recently went on record approving all of the bills now introduced in this session of Congress concerning either national representation, home rule, or a Delegate to the House of Representatives.
A careful poll during the past year shows that 25 citizens associations have officially passed resolutions opposing, either home rule entirely, or the Kefauver bill specifically. In a few instances, the association submitted the question by referendum to its members and then acted according to the result of the members' vote.
Only 14 citizens associations have taken action in favor of the Kefauver bill, thus supporting the action of the federation.
Two associations opposed the Auchincloss home-rule bill in 1948 and have not acted on the Kefauver bill at all; and one association endorsed home rule in principle, but not the Kefauver bill.
Among the city-wide organizations that are members of the federation only four have voted on the question of home rule. Three voted against, and one for it.
I would be disloyal indeed to an organization of which I have been a member for so many years, one which has honored me in a great many ways, if I did not proclaim that, in my judgment, there is no organization that so fully reflects the views of our citizenry in Washington, as the Federation of Citizens Associations. I believe ordinarily this is true, but in this particular matter, namely, home rule for the District of Columbia, I believe it fails to do this. The reason for this assertion is the independent actions of the member bodies of the federation in the face of the action of the federation. It is only fair to assume that the member bodies that have not acted on this question prefer to remain silent on the matter, which can only be construed to mean "satisfied as is.” There are 19 citizens associations in this category. A few of these are inactive and do not hold regular meetings, if any at all.
I had the honor to be selected as the person to have charge of all of the precinct organizations in the plebiscite that was held Novem
ber 5, 1946. The newspapers and radio gave a great deal of attention to this matter. I did not lack for enthusiastic assistants, and some 1,400 men and women volunteered to man some 154 voting places for this event; 1,600 taxicab drivers volunteered to haul people to and from the polling places without charge. The prospective voters were presented with two questions:
1. Do you want the right to vote for officials of your own city government in the District of Columbia? (Yes) (NO)
2. Do you want the right to vote for President of the United States and for Members of Congress from the District of Columbia ? (Yes) (No) · Everyone who apparently was 21 years of age was allowed to vote, in fact, was urged in every way to vote. The day was all anyone could ask for, and yet, while it was estimated some 400,000 people were eligible to participate, actually only 170,000 people did so. The result was:
Question 1. Yes, 116,559; no, 49,669.
During the day, I personally visited nearly 40 of the polling places. I naturally made some observations. In the downtown areas, and especially in the so-called Negro sections, there was a vote far exceeding all expectations, but in the residential sections of home owners, the vote was disappointing.
The CHAIRMAN. Don't you think the fact that these Negroes had enough ambition and Americanism to go to the polls speaks well for their patriotism?
Mr. NEWELL. I think they were far more interested than the white people in the plebiscite. I frankly make that statement.
Here is an example: Take the Cardoza School. Our polling places were principally in schools or else in churches. Take the Cardoza School there with 2,793 people voting for home rule, and not one single vote was recorded against it. I have no idea how that happened.
A few examples of the vote on question No. 1:
These are all almost entirely Negro sections, where most of the residents were renters and transients. In sections mostly home-owned residential, in white neighborhoods, the vote on question No. 1 ran like this:
Petworth Church: Yes, 586; no, 611.
It is my carefully considered judgment that not one-half of the people who voted for home rule then would now vote for the Kefauver bill. There are several reasons for my conclusion.
The CHAIRMAN. If the bill were to be passed by both Houses of Congress, it would have to be approved by a vote in the District of Columbia. You are, therefore, in no danger if you are correct in your appraisal of the situation.
Mr. NEWELL. I am familiar with that, but I don't know just how you would provide for the expense of having that referendum vote. If Congress would pay for it, that would be one thing, but Congress is so inclined to let us pay for all those things that we are having a great deal to pay for that we don't think we ought to pay for.
The CHAIRMAN. If the bill were amended to provide that the Federal Government should pay for the referendum, would you support
Mr. NEWELL. I have no objection at any time of submitting this question to the city and leaving it to the people of the city, who are honest voters in the District of Columbia. · 1. Since 1946 more and more people are in opposition to home rule, as the subject is more fully understood.
These are my observations, Senator, if you please.
2. Many people who favor home rule in principle object to many of the things in the Kefauver bill.
3. There has been a big change in our population since 1946. Then, we had just gotten out of World War II, and thousands of war workers and soldiers were still in the city. Most of these have now either left the city and gone back home, or have bought homes and moved into suburban sections of Maryland and Virginia. I believe the floating population is much smaller in Washington today than when the plebiscite was held.
I personally am against the passage of the so-called Kefauver bill for the following reasons:
1. It is not a home-rule bill and the residents would not have any particular advantages that they do not now possess.
2. I object to the so-called dual voting system. In other words, I know of no reason why anyone should be allowed to vote in the District of Columbia who votes in one of the States.
3. I am opposed to what would be the electorate in the District having the right by their votes to impose as high as an $80,000,000 bond issue on the privately owned properties in the District, especially when only about 15 percent of the residents are the property owners.
4. While not satisfied with the present method of selection of members of the Board of Education, I am opposed to their election by a vote of the people. Experience elsewhere has proven that such a procedure does not get the best kind of people for those important positions.
5. I am opposed to the President of the United States appointing two, or any other number of members, to the proposed Council. With the President's right of veto on any action of the Board, it is only too obvious that the members of the Council, no matter how efficient and
honest, would be apt to approve of what the President's appointees might advise, right or wrong.
6. Any action taken by the proposed Council, no matter how urgent or important, could not be made final for some time, as both Congress and the President could invalidate it if they desired to do so.
7. It would add expense to the taxpayers of the District. Political employees are not noted for economy.
Thank you very much, gentlemen, for allowing me to use so much of your time.
Mr. ARMSTRONG. Mr. Chairman, I am Kenneth P. Armstrong. I was put down for the next witness, but apparently I will not get an opportunity to testify today. May I ask a question?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Mr. ARMSTRONG. You are representing the Arkansas Avenue Citizens' Association, are you not?
Mr. NEWELL. I should have added that. I was instructed to appear also in behalf of the Arkansas Avenue Community Association, one of our largest citizens' associations, at a meeting of our executive board held just a couple of evenings ago; they directed me to appear here and oppose the Kefauver bill.
Mr. ARMSTRONG. Mr. Newell, you testified before the joint committee in February of 1948, did you not?
Mr. NEWELL. Yes.
I have been directed by that association to appear at this time and to give my 100 percent approval of the Auchincloss bill. We are strongly in favor of suffrage here in the District of Columbia.
Is that correct?
Mr. NOWELL. My position is this, if I may use this expression. You know people can once in a while change their minds. They have changed their minds materially up in my section of the city apparently and are going now against the Kefauver bill, though the Kefauver bill, in my judgment, is not anywhere near as good as the Auchincloss bill was, in my judgment; but, regardless of that, their present action is opposed to the Kefauver bill.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Newell, may I rejoin that in my opinion there has been more than a hundred percent greater interest shown in home rule this year than there was when the bill was last before this committee. I think that is a very hopeful sign.
Mr. NEWELL. Yes, indeed.
Mr. ARMSTRONG. Mr. Chairman, may I ask just one more privilege? Apparently I am not going to get an opportunity to be heard.
The CHAIRMAN. I regret we cannot hear you today because we are unable to continue after 12 o'clock.
Mr. ARMSTRONG. Unfortunately, I have to work for a living and took the day off for this hearing. I am leaving the city for an extended period of time, and I am with the Department of the Air Force
as an engineer, and I apparently will not be able to appear when you continue the hearings.
The CHAIRMAN. When do you expect to return? Mr. ARMSTRONG. Not until the middle of April. I would like to file for the record something which I wrote in answer to this little pamphlet the Board of Trade got out last year against the Kefauver bill. I think it covers most of the things that Mr. Colladay referred to, and if that could be included in the record, I would appreciate it.
Of course, there have been some little changes in the present bill from the bill which was before the preceding Congress, but in general I think it is quite applicable.
If I may have that privilege—. The CHAIRMAN. Yes. Mr. ARMSTRONG. Also, if I am in town, when you resume the hearings, I would like to get a spot where I could be heard without sitting around all day.
Senator CASE. I should like to have a copy of this.
The CHAIRMAN. The reporter will copy it in the record so that it will be available for Senator Case.
(The statement referred to above is as follows:)
ANSWERS TO THE BOARD OF TRADE PAMPHLET ENTITLED “DOES THE KEFAUVER BILI.
REALLY PROVIDE FOR HOME RULE?”
(Statement of Kenneth Armstrong) On March 1, 1950, the Washington Board of Trade prepared and distributed a pamphlet in opposition to S. 1527, a bill to provide for home rule and reorganization in the District of Columbia (the Kefauver bill), which is cleverly written, but full of misrepresentations and misstatements of facts. Most of the arguments contained therein could be answered very simply if all persons who read them had comprehensive knowledge of the details of American history, the Constitution, and municipal government. Since most persons do not have such detailed knowledge more extensive explanations are necessary. The following pages discuss the arguments somewhat in detail, under 12 captions, as follows:
I-Home rule and congressional authority
X-The Federal payment
I-HOME RULE AND CONGRESSIONAL AUTHORITY
The board of trade maintains that the Kefauver bill does not provide home rule because it states that Congress may enact, repeal, or amend any law affecting the District no matter what the council may do.
Answer: The Kefauver bill gives the City Council as much power as any city council has, insofar as municipal matters are concerned. It goes further, and provides that the Council may make "legislative proposals" which will become law if not disapproved by Congress or the President within a specified time. Such ,,matters are normally handled by State legislatures, not city councils. All