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regarded now, and there are many cities in the country which enjoy a high measure of home rule simply because the State legislatures feel it is undesirable to interfere with their exercise of local activity and not that they are prohibited from doing so by the State constitution.
I think there is no doubt as to the constitutionality of conferring on the District government powers of home rule comparable to that which cities elsewhere in the country enjoy as subordinate areas under a State legislature.
I am particularly concerned about this argument which has been going around for the last couple of years to the effect that national representation is an essential part of home rule. Home rule to me means local self-government and national representation is not an essential part of it. It is quite a distinct part of it.
National representation may help home rule somewhat. Home rule will help the effectiveness of national representation. But to have our representatives up here in Congress, which I should like to have, will not accomplish home rule. Whatever Congress does, even if we are represented in it, is not in itself home rule. The important thing for home rule is for Congress to set up a local government de. pendent upon the will of the people and then let that local government carry on its work.
I don't see any reason why we should hold off from trying to get local home rule because we have not yet obtained national representation. It seems to be a sort of fear campaign which has been spread quite generally.
It would seem as if we must bell the cat by getting national representation before it would be worth the risk for us little mice to try to step out into the field of self-government in any other respect.
But it seems to me that local self-rule effectively carried on would be a stepping stone to securing the consent of Congress and of the States for our representation in Congress. · If there are objections I would have to the Kefauver bill—and I concur in some of the particular objections which have been made it is that it tries to combine home rule with reorganization and thereby gets to be an extremely lengthy bill of 119 pages full of a great many detailed provisions, which are an invitation to people to raise objections.
But so far as the Council-Manager plan as a main feature is concerned, it seems to me there has been some misrepresentation spread abroad in assuming that that plan is something new that is being put over on the Washington people; whereas, it is really, of course, a very widespread plan which has worked very successfully. While it has been said that the Council-Manager plan has not been carried out successfully in any city the size of Washington, it does seem to me that a city the size of Cincinnati, with 500,000 population, is enough of an example to point to its probable success in a city of 800,000 like Washington. It does seem to me that there are also other cities which are large enough to be additional examples. · Some of the objections which have been raised, such as to bring in city managers from outside or giving them very extensive powers to appoint and to remove officers, and so forth, have been put for
ward as being something unusual which would be very dangerous, but those in many cases are provisions which are found to work successfully in Cincinnati or other cities of considerable size.
Some of the other provisions, such as the matter of having two members of the Council appointed by the President and the special provision about dual voting, some of those things are peculiar to the Washington situation and it may well be argued if people are sincerely desirous of working out a good home-rule bill, it seems a little good will and sound logic would be able to work out a plan which would work well on those particular details.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, and if you wish, you may extend your remarks further by a written statement in the record. Mr. HODGKINS. Thank you. The CHAIRMAN. Is Mr. Frank Tavenner present?
STATEMENT OF FRANK TAVENNER, VICE PRESIDENT, YOUNG
DEMOCRATIC CLUB OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Mr. TAVENNER. My name is Frank Tavenner. I speak for the Young Democratic Club of the District and for the Young Democratic Clubs of America. I am a lawyer here and also a property owner, but I am in the Young Dernocratic Clubs of America and they are for home rule. The Young Democratic Club of the District of Columbia has consistently worked with eternal vigilance toward self-government in the District of Columbia. Though we are behind the Kefauver bill in force, we are not against any bill that would let us crawl before we walk.
We Young Democrats condemn the attitude of those autogenetic rulers of the District of Columbia who would pay homage to home rule but at the same time make every effort to see that it doesn't happen. Their method is to settle for nothing but absolute home rule when they know well that this is the best method to scuttle it. They say that home rule is not practical because of the race problem when they know well that such is not the case and that there would be no · real trouble over it.
Senator JOHNSTON. Are you criticizing the Congress for taking a position?
Mr. TAVENNER. No, sir; I am not.
Senator JOHNSTON. For their opinion? They have a right to their opinion, whether for it or against it.
Mr. TAVENNER. I don't believe I criticized the Congress.
Mr. TAVENNER. I am criticizing those people who would say they want home rule and at the same time use all prejudice, and so forth, to overcome it. In other words, to weaken the will of the people to have home rule.
Home rule is not practical to those who are too selfish or lazy to take on the responsibilities of self-government or to those who fail to see that the people of the District of Columbia are more educated, intelligent, and democratic than the average city in the United States. It is not practical to those who have been sung to sleep through the
years by the hypocritical patriots by the song that the present government works better than self-government. Few people stop to think that a competitive system of appointing local rulers would save them money. The elected government would be forced, in order to retain office, to keep taxes down, avoid wastage, make less regulations and give better government. Who can honestly say that it is less practical to have self-government in the District of Columbia than it is in New Orleans, New York, Atlanta, or San Francisco. · I work quite a bit with automobiles in the District of Columbia. I hear people complain every day that auto tags are too high here. I ask them if they would be willing to go to the polls to vote for lowerprice tags. They always say "Yes.” Yet, the same persons when asked if they are in favor of home rule answer that it is not practical. I ask, On what grounds is it not practical ?
We Young Democrats feel that this is the year for home rule. Any technical point that continues to curtail it is redundant to the spirit of the Constitution. We Young Democrats are going to ask those Democratic Members of Congress who do not endorse the party plank for home rule in the District just why they are disloyal to their party platform. The minority members will be exposed as to the real reason they oppose it. Those token forces will be uncovered. In this campaign also we will make the public conscious of their rights and duties.
I urge all those groups who have shown themselves to be sincerely behind home rule to join forces with the Young Democrats to cover the city with posters, advertisements, radio, and public canvass so that the city will be brought back to a feeling of responsibility that local citizens should have.
Senator JOHNSTON. I want to thank you for mentioning automobile license tags. I am much in favor of that and always have felt that automobile tags ought to be low in price. If you have to get the money, get it from those that use the car after they buy the tags. In my State I had an awful fight down there, even called out the National Guard, in regard to the highway department, and finally we got the lowest tag in America. I guess you know that. It starts at $1. A lightweight car, $1. You have to pay for the postage and things on top of that, and then the insurance. But it is just $1.
Mr. TAVENNER. If I could extend that remark, in the District of Columbia we have 10 miles, approximately 10 miles of territory here. Probably I would say we have the highest automobile tags in the United States. What do we have to say about them? Not a thing in the world.
Now in our campaign, the Young Democrats, we want to rouse the citizens to know just what profit they get from local government.
The CHAIRMAN. Is Mr. Huver I. Brown present?
The CHAIRMAN. Unless you can make your statement very brief, I am afraid we will be unable to hear you at this time. We have 3 minutes.
STATEMENT OF HUVER I. BROWN, REPRESENTING THE
WASHINGTON BAR ASSOCIATION Mr. Brown. I am Huver I. Brown. I represent the Washington Bar Association. I was selected by that organization to appear down here at these hearings at their last meeting, and I come here in a representative capacity.
My observation, sitting here, it seems to me that most of the opposition is due to the lack of an understanding of the fundamental principles upon which the District of Columbia was established. We all should recognize the fact that the Federal Government has a superior interest in the District here, and I believe this home-rule bill goes as far as it is possible to go without being hampered with some kind of constitutional amendment.
There are some provisions in there that I realize most people don't understand. I think there is no doubt that the majority of people appreciate the fact that mere police regulations can be and are delegated to the District government here. But the question seems to be that they don't appreciate the fact that there is a difference beween mere police regulations and legislative matters. I think Congress has gone as far as it can go providing for some supervision of its superior interest in the District and causing these legislative matters to be referred to it. I think that is a tie-in there that the chairman mentioned, the opinions which some of the eminent lawyers had in mind, making this provision constitutional
Now there is just one observation I want to make, at the risk of repetition. I believe the Recorder of Deeds office should remain independent; and, if there is any change, I think it should be consonant with the Register of Wills here. I believe it would be probably uniform if the Recorder of Deeds were allowed to administer his office, the administrative part, under the administration of the Supreme Court here, as the Register of Wills is now doing.
I also wish to say that I believe we have a better chance of getting better race relations by having the Board of Education elected by the people.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. . Senator JOHNSTON. I think you have a good thought there. You bring out our founding fathers realized that the District could not belong to any particular State. I think you bring that out. _ Mr. Brown. I do, and that is, I believe, very vividly expressed by President Madison-I guess you are familiar with that—when he was speaking about the intention of the framers of the Constitution to have that in mind, and also President Adams when he turned over the District of Columbia, and he admonished Congress that, while they had this constitutional responsibility, it was the intention of the framers of the Constitution that we should have self-government in the District of Columbia in local matters.
The CHAIRMAN. Is Mrs. Elizabeth H. Ross present?
The CHAIRMAN. Is your argument in such form that it can be printed in the record ?
Mrs. Ross. Yes; it could be printed as is.
The CHAIRMAN. We will insert your statement in the record. I am sincerely sorry we couldn't hear your testimony orally, but the time is up.
(The statement referred to above is as follows:)
STATEMENT BEFORE SENATOR NEELY'S HEARINGS ON HOME RULE, SUBMITTED BY
MRS. ELIZABETH HEALY Ross IN BEHALF OF WASHINGTON CHAPTERS OF AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SOCIAL WORKERS, AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF GROUP WORKERS, AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF MEDICAL SOCIAL WORKERS, AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PSYCHIATRIC SOCIAL WORKERS
My name is Elizabeth Healy Ross. Since April 1946, I have been a resident and, with my husband, a joint residential property owner of the District of Columbia. Though I appear as an individual, I am here primarily as a representative of the District of Columbia members of the four national membership groups of professionally trained social workers which have branches in the District. The American Association of Social Workers, the American Association of Group Workers, the American Association of Medical Social Workers, the American Association of Psychiatric Social Workers. These groups represent a total of 700 members in the Washington area.
Through paid and volunteer activities, an appreciable proportion of all members of those four organizations residing in the District are engaged in helping other District residents solve their economic, social, recreational, family, health, and certain other personal and social difficulties.
The social workers I represent work both in public and voluntary health and welfare organizations, and serve people precradle to grave. Lack of money for emergencies and for the minimum essentials to life, propels many people to these health and welfare agencies, after all other resources have dried up. Other people, perhaps some of your family or friends among them, come for technical skill and guidance toward which they may or may not be able to pay ; help in adopting a baby, advice on family affairs, medical and psychiatric assistance, and judgment about plans for child care and family relationships.
Social workers assist these individuals and families who have troubles, develop and carry out plans aimed to make them increasingly independent and self-reliant.
If people are to reestablish themselves as going concerns (whether through straightening out the complexities of a rebellious adolescent or through obtaining funds provided for their maintenance in old age), one ingredient is essential above all others : That such people be given the chance to keep, or to regain, their self-respect. Personal dignity, a sense of self-worth, is a dominant national standard for social, financial, and mental health. Such dignity is rooted in our deeply ingrained conviction that each man counts in his family, his community, under the law, and in the sight of God.
Small as one man's vote may be, great is his sense of personal worth when, within a governmental entity immediately affecting his welfare, he believes that his will, as expressed by his vote, counts. No social work warmth, no social work skill can help District residents known to social workers consider themselves as possessing that truest of all symbols of self-respect-the right of selfdetermination.
Inevitably the experience of citizen helplessness among adults affects children. Thus the children of the District grow up with a multitude of regrettable attitudes, from civic irresponsibility to resentment of their parents' impotence as citizens.
Much of our Republic's growth and strength reflects in part the American voter's belief-which we've come to think of being equivalent to the citizen's conviction—that if something is wrong it is up to the people to “do something about it.” Thus, much of our governmental philosophy, many of our laws, and innumerable administrative rulings are the result of one form or another of citizen action. But, with the American citizens who live in the District of Coluinbia, there is almost no way for them to "do something about it.” Yet, what George does may not be satisfactory. Whether George is symbolized by Congress or by a special-interest group, George's activity cannot honestly reflect the interests of the silent, unrepresented voteless citizen. This is true equally of those