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COUNCIL JllAKES PLANS: Members of the Onondaga Council of the State Commission
for Human RighlS, under the Chairrn•nship of Dr. Mkhael 0. Sa.,.'Yer, director of
ci1iunship educa1ion at the Maxwell School of Citizenship, Syncuse University, put
finishing touches on plans for theduly 2·} Syracuse area Human Rights conference. In
the p,c,ure are: Rt. Rev. Msgr. harles J. Brady. Mrs. Emily Barhyd1, Mrs. Leo R.
Murphy, Mrs. J. Curtis Boler, the Rev. J!. Rugby Auer, Frank Wood, Mrs. Rhea Eckel,
Robert Romig, Earl D. Bell, the Rev. Thomas J. Costello, Dr. Charles V. '\lfillie, Roberi
1;. S. Maier. D r . Sa,.yer, Aluander Holsiein, Kenneth Kindelsperger, and the Rev.
William H. McConaghy.

Leaders CbaJ: Commissioner J. Edward Conway, of the State Commission for Human
Rights with members of the Commission's Onondaga Council between sessions of a seri<s
of mettings in Syracuse to plan for a Syracuse Conference on Human Rights. Shown in
the piaure, left to right are, Commissioner Conway, Dr. Michael O. Sawyer, Dr. Charles
V. Willie, Mrs. Rhea Eckel and Dr. Earl H. Bell. _
---------of the--------­

The Honorable J. Edward Conway
Liaison Commissioner

Dr. Michael 0. Sawyer


Steward F. Hancock
Vice Chairman

The Rev. Rugby Auer Nicholas Ferrante

Mrs. Emliy Tarbell Barhydt Rabbi Benjamin Friedman
Dr. Earl H. Bell Alexander E. Holstein, Jr.
Morris Berman The Rev. William H. McConaghy
Mrs. J. Curtis Boler Mrs. Leo R. Murphy
The Rt. Rev. Msgr. Charles J. Brady Robert E. Romig
William M. Chiles Thomas F. Ruck
The Rev. Thomas J. Costello Malcolm A. Sutton
Frederick M. Darrow Mrs. A. McKinley Terhune
William E. Davidson, Jr. Paul K. Weinandy
C. Walter Driscoll Dr. Charles V. Willie
Dr. Rhea M. Eckel Frank T. Wood, Jr.

Government Leaders Speak .•.

* "Now we are again called upon, in a time of testing in our
* city, in our country, and in the world, to give renewed meaning
and application, for today's minority groups, to the ideal of
* equal opportunity."
Mayor William F. Walsh
* In Preamble to
Syracuse Code of Human Rights
* "New York State has long been a leader in the field of human
* rights, and I am happy to report that Onondaga County is
committed to the same desired goal. As County Executive, I
* fully realize that my responsibilities are not to the few, but to
all citizens of this fine community."
* John H. Mulroy,
County Executive
* "Common decency requires a quality of housing which lends
* itself to the dignity for which we all should strive .... Either
we recognize our responsibility as a community and do what is
* necessary or we bury our heads in the sand and suffer the
inevitable consequences."
* Senator John H. Hughes

* Citizens Speak • ••
* J
"The realtor took me to three places," said a Negro graduate
student who, with his wife, had come from Boston. "The first
one was really something. It was on Harrison Street ... the rent
was $75 ... no utilities ... the place was terrible ... .
(<every person should be able to live where his . ;.
"So we went to another place ... on Adams Street, and this
was the same thing. Run down. . ..
heart desires and his means permit. )) "In the third place, which was a lot better than the other two,
the floors were sagging and the walls were full of cracks and
holes ... the bathroom was terrible ... $85 a month with no
NELSON A. ROCKEFELLER, Governor ) utilities ... .
of the State of New York in his
1961 Address to the Legislature

6 7
"But what really got us was when we found a place we
thought we· d really like. This was in the - - - Apartments.
... The superintendent said, 'Well, you'll have to speak with
Equality Under Law
the boss. He's not in now.'
"I said, 'When will he be in?'
" 'I don't know when he'll be in. Come, and if you can catch
him, you can catch him.' . . .
" 'Can I have the boss' phone number?'
" 'The boss doesn't do business over the phone. You have
to meet him in person.' So I asked for an appointment ...
"He said, 'You just come back .... If you' re lucky, you"ll
catch him.'" \ ' In New York State, discrimination based on racial, religious
• and ethnic background was outlawed in 1938 under an amend-
ment to the State Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights.
"At most places they would say, 'We just rented five minutes This statement, powerful though it is an an instrument for prog-
ago," a Negro doctor said, describing his search. ress, became more meaningful with the enactment of legislation
providing administrative procedures and creating an adminis-
• trative agency to carry out its intent.
"The landlord would tell you to get out, if you said too much
about what needed to be done," said a Negro construction The New York State Law Against Discrimination, enacted
worker. He was paying $60 without utilities for three rooms March 12, 1945, did just that. It was the first statute of its kind
in bad repair. in this country or in the world. The basic purpose and philoso-
phy of the Law is expressed in its preamble, Section 290 of
• Article 15 of the Executive Law of the State of New York:
"When I sought to purchase a home at about $15,000," a
Negro engineer said, "the major companies were courteous but the legislature hereby finds and declares that
told me they had few available. The same companies had ads practices of discrimination against any of its inhabi-
of the kind of thing I was asking for.'' tants because of race, creed, color or national origin
are a matter of state concern, that such discrimination
• not only threatens the rights and proper privileges of
A Negro sergeant in the U.S. Air Force hunted from January its inhabitants but menaces the institutions and foun-
to November before finding a satisfactory apartment for his dation of a free democratic state and threatens the
family. peace, order, health, safety and general welfare of the
In charge of an interracial team of twelve men who operate state and its inhabitants ... .''
computers to detect nuclear attack, he is now called upon, also,
to give housing advice to Air Force personnel being transferred The administrative procedures set forth in this law include
to the Syracuse base. the filing of complaints by aggrieved persons, full and impartial
"But it is very difficult when you have had this experience investigation of such complaints, and mandatory efforts to cor-
yourself," he says. "And it is very hard on you, when you rect any unfair practices that are found to exist, through con-
realize you are here to defend people who give you such a ference, conciliation and persuasion. When a satisfactory agree-
hard time.'' ment cannot be reached, the law provides for public hearings
and the issuance of a cease and desist order, if warranted. Such
* * *
orders are enforceable through the courts.
Tapes reporting these and other experiences of nonwhite
Originally limited to the field of employment, the law has
citizens, recorded in June, 1962, may be borrowed by community
been amended so that its jurisdiction also covers housing, public
group from the Syracuse and Onondaga County Council of the
accommodations and non-sectarian, tax-exempt educational
New York State Commission for Human Rights.
Conference Purposes ..................... _ _ __ __ ............................... 12
The Problem ......................................................................................... .................. 13
Why a Conference in 1962 ..................................................................... 14
Program ................................................................................................................... 15
Conference Procedure ............................... ................... ............................ 16
Where We Are in Human Rights ....................................................... 16
Next Steps ..................................................... ................................... ........................ 21
Commu,ii/y OrgatJizalions: Toe leaders of Community organixations in Syracuse gather
to discuss plans for Human Rights conference. In the picture. Ide co right are: Sidney For the Council
Manes, B' nai B'rich; {;eor,e Wiley, CORF.: Mary Ann Gibson. C3'holic Interracial
Council; Miss Edith Oldfield, Soroptimist·i Riley Pam, NAACP: Mrs. Fran W. Freel, For Local Government
PTA Council; Robert G. S. Maier, SCI: R Re,:ional Director: Dr. Michael Sawyer,
chairman SCHR Onondaga Council; George Sparks, Greater Syracuse labor Council; For Real Estate, Finance, Industry
Mrs. George Reeve, League of Women Voters- Wilson \Vormer, YMCA; Mrs. Tierzah
Anderson, YWCA; Robert Hillers, Jaycees: and Miss Mar,:uerite lane, Field Representative For Community and Neighborhood Grou ps
of the Commission and co•ordinacor of the conference.
For Religious Organizations
For the Individual
Predictions for 1963 ..................................................................................... ... 26
Questions to Be Explored ............................. ................................................ 26
Who Took Part ................................................................................................... 29
How the Conference Was Planned ....................................................... 33
Text of Talks ......................................................................................................... 36
Syracuse Code of Human Rights .................................................... 36
Mayor William F. W alsh
Human Rights in Syracuse: The Progress and the
Challenge ....................... ....... ................ ...................................................... 39
Commissioner J. Edward Conway
Factors Determining Residential Distri bution of the
Nonwhite Population in Syracuse ............................................. 52
Dr. Michael 0. Sawyer
Statement- John H. Mulroy, County Executive .................... 57
Dinner Address-Senator John J. Hughes .... ............................ 58
Summary and Predictions- Dr. Charles V. Willie ............... 63
N o Tlmt Out: Even during lunch rime meml,.,rs of the Council continue discussion of
plans for the J-luman RiJChts conf,rence. an event brought together leaden in a variety 11
o ( fields o f activities and interests in the Syracuse Are-a: business, induscry, finance, labor.
community rtlacions, intergroup and interracial relations. religion and politics. In the
pi cture are, Council Chairman Sawyer, the Rev. Thomas Costello, Earl D . Bell{ Robert
E. Romig, Alexander Holstein. Kenneth Kindebperger, Paul Weinandy Wi liam E.
Davidson. William Chiles. the Rev. William H. McConagby, Or. Charles V. Willie and
SC HR Co mmiuioner J . Edward Conway.
"Our greatest problem," said Major Eldridge Williams, re-
porting his search for a home, "is that real estate agents are
afraid owners will boycott them if they show to Negroes."
"One of our popular misconceptions is that Negroes make
slums," Dr. Michael 0. Sawyer, Council Chairman, contributed.
"Our recruiting personnel cannot be reassuring to nonwhite
prospects," Mr. Clyde H. Harrison, a leading industrialist,
stated. "Lack of adequate housing could be a serious deterrent
to our program, as it becomes necessary to employ more minority
group members."
· 'The Syracuse Real Estate Board can promote understanding
among real estate people," said Mr. Robert J. Conan, a leading
realtor. "But this doesn't solve the problem. Real estate agents
are middlemen."
"Lending institution have to know whether a borrower can
Conference Purposes repay," Mr. Edward T. Nolan, a leading banker, added. "But
our requirements for Negroes are the same as for anyone."
"The basic matter of finding and affording an adequate, decent
home is inextricably intertwined with finding and holding a job,
To determine where the Syracuse metropolitan community with level of income, with educational opportunities and with
stands today in human rights, with particular attention to the unfettered access to promotional and professional advancement
availability of housing to all persons, without regard to race, ... ", Commissioner J. Edward Conway stressed.
creed, color or national origin. "We were successful in finding a home because we found an
agent who took us around just like they took anyone else,"
To provide an opportunity for frank exchange of information said Mrs. John Jackson. "Can't real estate agents get together
on this-all of them-so that people can't boycott?"
and ideas among community representatives concerned with
problems of human rights. "I predict," said Dr. Charles V. Willie of Syracuse University,
"that by 1963 industries in the community that list housing ...
for new employees will ... accept listings only if the housing
To consider what steps should be taken next to provide equal
is available on a non-discriminatory basis."
opportunity for members of minority groups, especially in the
"This is a community problem rather than one which points
field of housing.
the finger at any particualr group," Dr. Sawyer summed up.

Such were the statements made by community leaders at the

1962 Syracuse Conference on Human Rights. Held July 2 and 3
at University College and Sadler Hall, Syracuse University, the
Conference was sponsored by the Syracuse and Onondaga
County Council of the New York State Commission for Human
Rights. It was focused on equality in housing. Some 160 persons
took part.



Persons concerned about discriminatory practices in housing
and related fields knew, in the spring of 1962, that the Syracuse 9:00AM Registration and Coffee
community had made gradual but steady progress against racial
9:30-Noon Presiding-William M. Chiles
discrimination over a period of twenty years. (Discrimination
based on religion or national origin had been on its way out Greetings-Mayor William F. Walsh
much earlier). There had been breakthroughs in housing for Human Rights in Syracuse: The Progress and
sale, in employment and education, and in professional and the Challenge-Commissioner J. Edward
civic recognition of Negro citizens. Religious organizations, Conway
neighborhood associations and other community groups were Factors Determining Residential Distribution
showing increasing concern. of the Nonwhite Population in Syracuse-
Dr .Michael 0. Sawyer
Despite this improvement, a large majority of the commu- Questions and Comments
nity's nonwhite population still was ill-housed. Industry had
lost technical personnel brought from out-of-town, when the 12:00-1:00 PM Lunch
latter found themselves barred from obtaining adequate homes 1 :00-2 :00 Panel: Shared Roles and Responsibilities in
in good neighborhoods. Air Force officers had sought transfer. Housing our Growing Population
A few professional men had come and gone, discouraged by
the community "climate". Moderator: Dr. Rhea M. Eckel
Robert J. Conan-Realtor
In the face of these conditions an urban renewal project, an Edward T. Nolan-Financier
expanding state medical center and a new inter-state highway Clyde H. Harrison-Industrialist
were now displacing more than 2,000 households. A large per- Major Eldridge Williams-Consumer
centage of those who must seek new homes were Negro.
2:00-3:30 Work Groups-Where Are We in Human
The problem was acute. Many groups and individuals were Rights in Syracuse?
asking-what can we do? The Commission had met with mem- 7 :00 PM Dinner Meeting-Presiding-Dr. Michael
bers of the housing industry ( urban renewal authorities, the 0. Sawyer
real estate board, leading bankers, etc.) and had held a city-
Greetings-John H. Mulroy, County
wide meeting concerning its new jurisdiction in housing. The
Commission and the Syracuse and Onondaga County Council
now recognized that the whole community should be involved Address-Senator John H. Hughes
in resolving the problem.
So-a conference was planned, to bring together represen-
tatives of government, industry, labor, finance, education, reli- 8:30 AM Coffee
gious organizations, social agencies and civic groups. It was 9:00-9:30 Presiding-Dr. Charles V. Willie
hoped that the knowledge and views of these persons, freely
Reports from Work Group Leaders
shared, would clarify the problems and point up the next steps
toward solution. 9:30-11:00 Work Groups-What Do We Do Next?

11:00-Noon Summary and Predictions-Dr. Charles V.

The Conference addressed itself to two questions: Willie
Where are we in human rights? Closing Comments-
Commissioner J. Edward Conway
What do we need to do?
CONFERENCE PROCEDURE Area. Many owners refuse to sell or rent to nonwhite
families. Certain neighborhoods have "gentlemen's agree-
The participants met in general session all Monday morning, ments." Some real estate agents will not accept Negro
July 2, early Monday afternoon, Monday evening and twice on clients. Others refuse to show them the kind of property
Tuesday morning, July 3. On Monday afternoon and again they seek. Only a few agents serve all clients, including
Tuesday morning they conferred for one and one-half hours nonwhite persons, in accordance with their needs.
in eight work groups.
2. These discriminatory practices have contributed to the
At Monday's general sessions, speakers and panelists pre- growth of racial segregation in the city's downtown area.
sented facts and views, in various fields, which provided "meat" Sixty-two percent of the nonwhite population of the county
for the work groups. In the first general session Tuesday, the ( or 72% of the city's nonwhite population) was confined
work group leaders summarized the findings of the eight groups there in 1960. Ninety-three percent of the city's nonwhite
which had met Monday afternoon. The final session, Tuesday, residents lived within 1 ½ miles of the central business
summarized the Conference. district
Each full-time participant took part in two work groups.
3. A relatively small group of citizens bears the brunt of this
No group met twice, however. There were, therefore, sixteen
state of affairs. Nonwhite persons constitute about 6% of
work groups meeting under the guidance of eight discussion
the population of Syracuse and less than 1 'fr, of the county
leaders. The leaders were drawn from the various fields of inter-
population outside Syracuse. More than 90 ';, of the city's
est represented at the Conference.
nonwhite population is Negro (11,210 persons out of
The work group participants addressed themselves in free 12,281 nonwhite residents, in 1960).
discussion to the Conference questions: Where are we in human
rights? What do we need to do? Recorders later submitted sum- 4. It was agreed that local resistance to open occupancy has
maries of these discussions. varied causes. Some owners are concerned that "the neigh-
bors won't like it." Others fear a lowering of property
Throughout all these sessions, the leaders encouraged com-
values or of neighborhood standards. Some real estate
plete candor. William M. Chiles, opening the Conference,
stressed, 'This Conference will be successful to the degree that . agents are "scared stiff." "This is our livelihood," they
point out. Finally, there is prejudice.
it can be determined what the thinking of the community is.
This can be done only by the free and open exchange of ideas, 5. But the local record indicates that property values do not
however divergent. All else we do will come to naught if we drop because of race, per se, unless owners panic. It shows,
fail in our effort to have an open forum." too, that panic can be stopped. This has been accomplished
The free expression of divergent views from the platform in more than one area in Syracuse, through neighborhood
and the floor at the early afternoon session, Monday, also served action. Convincing evidence that values do not necessarily
to set the stage for frank discussion in the work groups. drop when Negroes move into a previously all-white
neighborhood is presented, also, in Property Values and
The following three sections of this report summarize the
Race by Luigi Laurenti. This book is available at the public
findings of speakers, panelists and work group participants on
the Conference questions. These are the findings of individuals library and at the Commission office.
or groups and do not necessarily represent a consensus of the 6. The record shows, too, that living standards do not auto-
Conference. matically go down. Often, they rise. A new owner takes
pride in improving his property.
WHERE WE ARE IN HUMAN RIGHTS 7. Nor is it true that "Negroes create slums." This idea arises
from the fact that, in Syracuse and other Northern cit:es,
The following statements summarize facts and opinions pre- a high percentage of the Negro population occupies sub-
sented by speakers, panelists and the participants in 16 work
standard housing. But it was that way when they got it.
I. In spite of the progress noted, discrimination based on A study of sub-standard housing in Syracuse shows that
race and color is widespread in the Syracuse Metropolitan in 1950, in addition to a heavily sub-standard section of

16 17
the "inner city' 'where the population was 25% nonwhite,
criminatory practices. On the average, these families have
there was a much larger area of the inner city which was
a higher rate of unemployment, obtain less remunerative
also heavily sub-standard but which had only a sprinkling
types of work, have less opportunity for promotion and,
of nonwhite residents. By 1960, however, when the city's
in the past, have had less opportunity for education. See
nonwhite population had more than doubled, most of the
Conway, pp. 40-42.
increase was concentrated in the deteriorated housing of
this inner city. See report of Dr. Michael 0. Sawyer, 13. Under these circumstances, many of our nonwhite youth
p.52. lack incentive to achieve. They have grown up with a
"poor image" of their position in society. They receive
It is true, however, that some families in this area, both
inadequate stimulus from parents who themselves were
white and nonwhite, have very poor housekeeping stand-
denied educational and occupational opportunity.
ards. Local agencies are today introducing special services
to help families whose housekeeping is impaired by poor 14. As a result of residential segregation, also, the pupil
health, lack of goals and lack of skills. population in three of our city schools is about SO%
Negro. Some schools have no Negro pupils.
8. Many nonwhite families of excellent standards have been
forced into the sub-standard housing of this area by dis- 15. Today, redevelopment is changing the residential pattern
criminatory practices such as the refusal of some real estate of the inner city. But much of the nonwhite population
agents to serve Negro clients, "gentlemen's agreements," displaced by redevelopment is becoming concentrated
etc. Some nonwhite families are in this area, as are some anew in neighborhoods adjacent to the downtown area,
white families, because they cling to friends and known where the housing is already sub-standard or deteriorating.
surroundings. See Sawyer, p. 56. Several factors govern this movement of population. As
9. In this area nonwhite families pay, on the average, higher urban renewal and other projects force the relocation of
rent for quarters that are in worse condition and more families, discrimination blocks their freedom of movement
crowded than those rented to white families. throughout the community. Not all find it possible to
The median gross rent paid by Negroes in 1960 was $76 pioneer. Many cannot afford to hunt far and long for better
a month, while only $65 was required of the typical white quarters. And some want to stay near familiar ground.
family. This, in spite, of the fact that the median income 16. Some of these new areas of concentration will become
for nonwhite families was $4,106 as against $4,587 for slums by 1970, past experience and present trends indi-
white families. Fifty-seven percent of nonwhite housing cate, unless deterioration is stopped by neighborhood
in the area was sub-standard, 40% of white housing; and action, strict code enforcement and the extension of open
20% of nonwhite units housed more than one person per occupancy.
room, in contrast to only 6% of white units.
In the face of high demand, some properties are being pur-
10. A significant number of Negro families have sufficient in- chased by investors whose interest is in income and who
come to live outside the inner city area, if discrimination will not live in the area. Older structures are being re-
did not prevent. In fact, some Negro families could afford modeled to provide a larger number of units than is con-
to live in any area of the city of Syracuse where they might sistent with good standards. Overcrowding will hasten
desire to live. For figures on income and levels of rent, deterioration.
see Sawyer, pp. 55-56.
At present, a back-log of code enforcement cases prevents
1 1. But it is also true that many nonwhite families are limited the city government from acting promptly and forcefully
in their choice of homes by lack of income. The income of on violations.
nonwhite families is, on the average, lower than that of
17. But in spite of the seriousness of these conditions, the out-
white families in Syracuse. See report of Commissioner
look today is hopeful. There has been gradual progress,
J. Edward Conway, p. 39. over a period of twenty years, in the following fields:
12. The income level of nonwhite families is directly related
Legislation: From 1945 to 1962, New York State enacted
to several other factors which have been subject to dis-
a series of measures barring discrimination as to race, creed,
forcement. They endeavor to maintain or improve neigh-
color or national origin in employment, education, public
borhood standards, to promote understanding of the
accommodation and housing.
problems faced by racial minorities and to help minority
Employment: Since the Telephone Company employed its group members feel at home in their area.
first Negro secretary in 1944; the Syracuse Transit Corpo-
Action by Religious Groups: Religious groups are taking
ration its first Negro bus driver in the same year; and the
increasing responsibility. In 1959-60, an Interfaith Com-
Syracuse Board of Education, a Negro teacher in 1950,
mittee obtained 3400 signatures of owners and tenants on
openings for skilled workers and for clerical, technical and
an Open Occupancy Covenant. A number of churches are
professional personnel have increased steadily. Today gov-
today working with the city"s Relocation Office to find
ernment-federal, state and local-is in the front ranks
homes for nonwhite families. Some religious organizations
in the employment of nonwhite personnel. For number
have study groups on human rights. Some work with the
and percentage of nonwhite persons employed locally in
young people of minority families in their neighborhood.
various categories, see Conway, p. 42.
Some are active in interpretation of human rights problem.
Education: There is growing conviction that many non-
Communications: TV, Press and Radio are providing in-
white children must be provided special educational help
creasing coverage of the problems of racial minorities.
to make up for an intellectually deprived environment.
The Madison Project of the Syracuse Board of Education 18. However hopeful the outlook, it does not justify com-
and the program of Youth Opportunities Unlimited are placency in the face of the gross injustice of community
examples. practices. We must seize the opportunity afforded by
growing community concern to cope effectively with
The Negro population of Syracuse is relatively youthful.
This fact, together with the recent increase in local edu-
cational facilities, affords Negro youth an opportunity to
prepare for anticipated shortages of skilled workers, cleri- WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS?
cal, technical and professional personnel. An Interfaith
Committee and trade committees are now approaching
young people and parents in the hope that the former will NEXT STEPS
endeavor to quality for various trades.
The Conference participants came up with a great many ideas
Open Occupancy: Fewer owners specify today, in listing as to possible next steps. Their suggestions are presented below,
property, that it is not open, a leading realtor said. In whether they were offered by only one person or by many.
some instances, white neighbors go out of their way to The following outline represents a compilation of ideas, not
welcome the nonwhite newcomers to the neighborhood. the findings or a consensus of the Conference.
A real estate firm which has a record of excellent service
to Negro clients is prospering.
Code Enforcement and Housing Standards: Since early in COUNTY COUNCIL OF THE STATE
1961, the staff of inspectors in the Bureau of Building has
been increased twice and a special attorney added. A pro- COMMISSION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
gram of house-to-house inspections was initiated in 1961
1. Promote a vigorous program of community education on
and will continue until every dwelling in the city has been
human rights and housing. For example, it might:
covered. Plans are under way for an index of housing
which will provide basic data on every structure and a a. Spread awareness of the services of SCFHR for those
record of information obtained on official inspections. who need protection under law.
b. Provide assistance to community groups for educational
A Code Review Committee is drafting a Housing Code to
set standards of maintenance and occupancy.
c. Sponsor tours of areas where people live in sub-
Neighborhood Concern: Neighborhood associations are standard housing.
I working with the city to support and promote code en-
d. Encourage face-to-face discussion by persons involved FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT
in specific controversies.
1. Speed up code enforcement.
e. Promote talks by bankers and real estate representa-
tives, in areas of new housing, concerning the stability 2. Keep the public informed of progress against sub-standard
of property values. housing and neighborhood deterioration. Provide for
f. Seek increasing coverage by press, TV and radio, to "direct communication" to interested groups.
present success stories about individual families, pilot 3. Develop and staff associations of neighbors, to:
programs and social gatherings. Seek a TV documen-
a. Maintain or improve neighborhood standards.
tary on well integrated areas in the city.
b. Communicate with city officials.
g. Consider whether other channels of communication
can be developed. c. Cope with specific neighborhood problems, including
those arising from fear of open occupancy.
2. Serve as a consultant to agencies and groups interested in
d. Promote change of neighborhood "climate," where
taking action.
3. Serve, where appropriate, as a coordinator for community 4. Appoint qualified nonwhite persons to position of respon-
action projects. sibility.
4. Encourage greater participation by nonwhite leadership in 5. Study the possibility of increasing taxes on rental proper-
the life of the community. Among other values, example ties which are not kept in repair. They cost the city money
1l,11 is a stimulus to youth. for inspectors and public services, such as fire protection.
Some communities consider the income from slum area
5. Encourage public recognition of nonwhite leadership.
Iii properties in evaluating them for tax purposes.
6. Encourage the appointment of qualified nonwhite persons 6. Support the schools in using to the full their opportunity
to positions of leadership and responsibility. Explore the to promote understanding and obviate the development
possibility of a TV station engaging a Negro as newscaster of prejudice among children.
or sportscaster.
7. Seek ways to open employment to nonwhite workers in FOR REAL ESTATE, FINANCE, INDUSTRY
jobs commensurate with their abilities. This is needed both
in itself and to provide incentive to nonwhite youth. 1. Treat all persons as individuals, rather than as representa-
tives of a group.
8. Promote a special effort, now, to open housing to non-
white professional persons. This, as a start. 2. Seek face-to-face discussion by persons involved in specific
situations-owners, neighbors, bankers and real estate
9. Explore the possibility of promoting an integrated sub- agents.
3. Seek opportunity for bankers and real estate agents to
10. Seek an increase in low-income housing. reassure owners and neighbors, in specific situations, con-
cerning the stability of property values.
11. Establish, or promote the establishment of, a "clearing
house" or "housing center" in a central location. It would 4. Encourage real estate agents to show houses without dis-
be the function of this agency to: cussing race or color in advance. The owner may like the
minority family when he meets its members.
a. Maintain a central file of properties for rent or sale.
6. Provide consultation for anyone having a housing 5. Make a special effort, now, to open housing to nonwhite
professional persons. This, as a start.
c. Receive and act upon specific local complaints. 6. Encourage major employers to confer with banks, as some
already do, in behalf of employees who experience diffi-
d. Take action to avert panic selling.
culty in obtaining mortgage loans.
"D. See that the nearest regional office of the Commission
1. Disseminate the facts concerning sub-standard housing,
places your organization on its mailing list for the
stability of property values, etc. Commission newsletter and press releases.
2. Encourage respect for differences in culture. Help persons "E. Devote time, periodically, in your meetings to a dis-
of minority races to achieve goals without demanding con- cussion of the Commission: why it exists; how it
'I.I formity to the culture of any particular social class. helps all the people of the state; and the responsi-
3. Give recognition to Negro leadership. bilities as well as the rights of individuals under the
Law Against Discrimination.
4. Encourage greater participation by nonwhite leadership in
the life of the community. Among other values, example "F. If your organization works with youth, sponsor Career
is a stimulus to youth. Days, wherever feasible, or other youth incentive
programs, making sure that you use success models
5. Encourage nonwhite youth to set goals for themselves.
1:1; from many ethnic and religious groups in your
I, Promote their interest in crafts and apprenticeships and community.
their understanding of the importance of high school
graduation. "G. Use the Commission's educational materials in your
6. Encourage nonwhite families to buy in better neighbor-
hoods. Action by one family provides incentive for others.
7. Let owners and real estate agents know there is commu- FOR RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS
nity support for open occupancy.
8. Develop action committees and study committees. Help GROUPS, 1-9.
may be sought from the Syracuse and Onondaga County
Council for Human Rights in developing the work of such 10. W.ork with children in religious education and neighbor-
committees. hood programs to promote understanding and obviate the
development of prejudice.
9. Promote inter-group acquaintance. Form couples clubs for
cultural and social exchange. 11. Help a nonwhite family find a home. Consult the Reloca-
tion Office about this. It will assign a family and work with
10. Use the Commission's seven-step program as suggested in you.r committee. Call the City of Syracuse Relocation Office.
Program Bulletin 15 :
1 12. Let more people have opportunity to sign the Open Occu-
"What Community Organizations Can Do To Alert Their pancy Covenant.
Membership To The Purposes, Procedures And Progress
Of The Commission
"A. Inform, explicitly, every member of your organiza- .I. a. Make housing vacancies known to the Relocation Of-
tion of the existence of the Law Against Discrimi- fice or any organization handling listings.
nation; what it prohibits; and how and with what b. Welcome nonwhite newcomers to your area.
Commission offices to file complaints.
c. Promote neighborhood understanding, where necessary.
"B. Advise those who feel they have been discriminated d. Act to resolve a specific problem, when occasion arises.
against of their right to file a complaint at the nearest
Commission office.
"C. Provide the nearest Commission office with any data
or reports you may have on, discrimination in your 1. Respect differences in culture.
community-or on progress in dealing with such
discrimination. 2. Work with children in the home to promote understanding
and obviate the development of prejudice.
3. Encourage neighborhood discussion, over coffee for in- This question erupted spontaneously in several work groups.
stance, especially prior to welcoming nonwhite residents The participants were emphatic that a strong local program
into your area. is needed. They differed concerning its auspices. Some
4. Call on the newcomer in your neighborhood. Help the thought we need an agency of local government "divorced"
family get acquainted in a natural way. from the State Commission, locally appointed and financed,
but cooperating with the Commission and supplementing
5. Recognize the salutary effect on a neighborhood when resi-
its work in "broad areas." Others said-Don't create another
dents entertain friends in their homes without regard to
commission. We have the Council. "Fine support of the
race or color.
local Council will bring about the results we desire." Still
6. Provide opportunity for Negroes of achievement to en- others stressed a need for clarification concerning the powers
courage and give stimulus to Negro youth. of the State Commission and the areas in which the local
7. Report instances of discrimination, "both real and seem- Council operates. They counseled-Let's evaluate what we
ing," to the State Commission for Human Rights. have and then decide whether we need another committee.
One work group recommended "creation in Syracuse of
PREDICTIONS FOR 1963 an official Commission on Civil Rights with a Housing
Center to handle referrals of all housing applicants who
"I predict," said Dr. Charles V. Willie, "that by 1963 more
apply-white or nonwhite." They suggested that such a
qualified Negroes will be hired in executive and policy-making
Commission could evolve from the existing Council.
positions in city and county government."
" ... code enforcement will be stepped up, particularly in the 2. Do we need a "benign" quota system for integrated hous-
south and southwestern sections of the City of Syracuse and ing? What is the tipping point* toward segregation? Does
... the staff of building inspectors will be enlarged ... " the tipping point theory warrant rejecting an individual
" ... the Real Estate Board will appoint a special committee
to develop practical ways of making housing available to non- This last query led to the question-"Is it our purpose to
white persons on an et1ual basis with other persons in the promote integration or to assure adequate housing?" It led,
community." also, to question of the legality of any quota system-benign
11! or exclusionary.
1il " ... industries in the community that list housing available
I for new employees will, as a policy, accept listings only if the 3. Should an effort be made to further integration through
housing is available on a non-discriminatory basis." some procedure for selecting nonwhite families?
" ... industries will cease referring new employees to real Such procedure was urged by some participants, protested
estate firms that do not agree to serve all new employees- by others. A realtor suggested that a plan be worked out
white and nonwhite-without discriminating on the basis of for recommending "qualified families" to the Syracuse Real
race, religion or national origin." Estate Board. An agent is not able to "qualify" those seeking
homes, he explained.
" ... in 1963, less than 75 percent of the Negro population
will live within one and one-half miles of the central business (The Real Estate Code requires that an agent not introduce
district. ... By 1963, there should be a greater dispersion of into a neighborhood anyone who is not socially, education-
Negro households throughout the community." ally and economically suited to the neighborhood.)
A participant in a work group varied the realtor's request
I QUESTIONS TO BE EXPLORED with the suggestion that families be "recruited." Partici-
pants in two work groups, recommended "investigating"
The following questions rose out of conflicting suggestions or
families seeking to rent or buy.
were presented as simple queries.
l. How can we develop a vigorous local agency for human * "tipping point" was defined as that point in the integration process
when the number of Negroes becomes so large as to create a new area
rights? of segregation. This defeats the goal of integration.

26 27

Members of a fourth group protested the suggestion for One group recommended that legislation be sought to bar
recommending "qualified families." The potential buyer all discrimination in housing, for rent or sale. A participant
should be dealt with as any other human being, they said. in another group suggested that individuals who discrimi-
"A Negro should not have to prove himself." "Syracuse nate should be barred from engaging in business in New
should make housing available to those who can afford finer York State.
homes." But a concluding suggestion in this group was:
"We should try to place one good Negro family in every Some participants thought an owner should have the right
to determine to whom he would sell his property. Others
thought an owner had a moral obligation to sell to "the
Another group found itself unable to define conclusively a best possible person" but did not have a moral right to
"desirable" person. It concluded that the line between those limit the sale to white persons.
who are not fitted and those who are discriminated against
is "blade-thin."
4. What is the role of industry in promoting open occupancy?
It was recognized that industry now gives some help to the Some 160 community leaders took part in the Conference, while
new personnel it brings into the community. Some partici- 15 or 20 more attended one session, such as the dinner. These
pants thought it should take greater responsibility in screen- persons were affiliated with the following agencies, departments

11. •
ing listings and seeking real estate help, because it needs and community groups. Some came as official representatives of
;'11 and brings new people. their organizations. Many came as individuals.
Some industrial representatives thought intervention with American Civil Liberties Union
1:111:: real estate would smack of paternalism and favoritism. Some American Jewish Committee
other participants said: This is a community problem. The Bishop Faery Foundation
ccmmunity seeks industry. B'nai B'rith
Catholic Charities
1·1·,, 5. Are mortgage loans available to nonwhite persons on the
111: Catholic Diocese of Syracuse
same terms as to white persons?
Catholic Interracial Council of Syracuse
A leading banker said that this was the case in his bank. Catholic Schools
The same person or a second banker said his institution Catholic Women's Club
leaned over backwards to meet the requests of Negro appli- Catholic Youth Organization
cants, but that most of them were unable tc qualify Cazenovia College
financially. Central City Business Men's Association
Participants in another work group expressed the belief Child and Family Service
,11 that banks have "hidden policies" governing loans to non- City of Syracuse
white persons. The Mayor
Is this true of some lending institutions? Or is this a matter Community Renewal Program
of there being relatively few nonwhite applicants who can Common Council
meet the financial requirements? Department of Urban Improvement and its Relocation
I Office
Ii 6. How can we stop those slum landlords who are buying up
Housing Authority
ii'!, property in outlying areas? Municipal Recreation Commission
7. Can action be taken to lower excessive rents? Syracuse School District
8. What can be done to foster a desirable ratio of white and Congress of Racial Equality, Syracuse Committee
nonwhite children in city schools? Dunbar Association
9. Under what conditions would pressure upon an owner con- East Side Cooperative Council
flict with his personal or civil rights? Gifford Foundation

28 29

Greater Syracuse Board of Realtors United Community Chest and Council
Greater Syracuse Industrial Union Council United Nations Association of Central New York
Greater Syracuse Labor Council Volunteer Center
Home Builders' Association of Greater Syracuse YMCA
Huntington Family Centers YWCA
Interfaith Committee on Human Relations Youth Development Center
Jewish Family Service Youth Opportunities Unlimited
Lambda Kappa Mu
LeMoyne College
Manufacturers' Association of Syracuse
May Memorial Unitarian Church William M. Chiles, Director of Relocation, City of Syracuse
Metropolitan Development :Association
Commissioner J. Edward Conway, New York State Commission
National Association for the Advancement of Colored
for Human Rights
National Council of Jewish Women Senator John H. Hughes
National Council of Negro Women John H. Mulroy, Onondaga County Executive
" New York State Council of Churches
New York State Legislature Dr. Michael 0. Sawyer, Director of Citizenship Program
North Syracuse Common Council Maxwell Graduate School of Citizenship and Public
Onondaga County Affairs, Syracuse University
William F. Walsh, Mayor of Syracuse
County Executive
Board of Supervisors Dr. Charles V. Willie, Assistant Professor of Sociology and
Community College Senior Research Associate of the Youth Development
Department of Probation Center, Syracuse University
Department of Social Welfare
Youth Board PANEL
Onondaga County Bar Association Moderator: Dr. Rhea M. Eckel, President, Cazenovia College
Rabbinical Council of Syracuse Robert J. Conan, President, Pomeroy Organization (Real
Religious Society of Friends Estate)
Rotary Club of Syracuse
Salvation Army Clyde H. Harrison, Manager of Employee Relations, General
South Side Neighbors Electric Company
Syracuse Area Council of Churches Edward T. Nolan, Assistant Secretary and Mortgage Con-
Syracuse Builders' Exchange sultant, Onondaga County Savings Bank
Syracuse Council of Parent-Teachers Associations Major Eldridge Williams, U. S. Air Force
Syracuse Federation of Labor
Syracuse Girls' Club
Syracuse Governmental Research Bureau
Syracuse Interracial Fellowship Louis P. Abrams, Executive Director, Syracuse Chamber of
Syracuse Jewish Welfare Federation Commerce
Syracuse Junior Chamber of Commerce Ernest A. Cuno, Executive Officer, Home Builders Associa-
Syracuse Links tion of Greater Syracuse
Syracuse Peace Council
Syracuse University Norman Edell, Executive Director, Syracuse Jewish Welfare
Thornden Park Neighborhood Council Federation

30 31
Robert G. Emerson, Project Director, Community Renewal
The Rev. Thomas J. McLaughlin, St. Therese Church Program
John A. Panaro, Syracuse Junior Chamber of Commerce Nicholas Ferrante
The Rev. Bruce Roberts, General Secretary, Syracuse Area
i11 Council of Churches NEWS MEDIA
John B. Searles, Jr., Executive Vice-President, Metropolitan Mrs. J. Curtis Boler, Chairman
111 Development Association
1,1 Morris Berman
Dr. George A. Wiley, Chairman, Syracuse Committee, Con- ., The Rev. Thomas Costello
gress of Racial Equality.
H. Douglas Johnson, President, Barlow-Johnson
The following committees, appointed by Dr. Michael 0. Sawyer,
Council chairman, developed the plans for the Conference. HOSPITALITY AND ARRANGEMENTS
These committees were composed of Council members and four Mrs. Emily T. Barhydt, Chairman
more persons, who are separately identified.
Dr. Rhea M. Eckel
PROGRAM AND WORK GROUPS Rabbi Benjamin Friedman
Dr. Charles V. Willie, Chairman Mrs. Leo R. Murphy
Louis P. Abrams, Executive Director, Syracuse Chamber of Robert E. Romig
Commerce Mrs. A. McKinley Terhune
Dr. Earl H. Bell
Frederick M. Darrow ·1- STAFF
Alexander E. Holstein, Jr. Miss Marguerite H. Lane, Senior Field Representative, Divis10n
John J. Murray, President, Catholic Interracial Council of of Education-Conference Coordinator
Syracuse Miss Doris Beausoleil, Senior Field Representative, Division of
Malcolm A. Sutton Housing
John Bushnell, Ph.D., Director of Research
Miss Elaine Clyburn, Field Representative, Syracuse Regional
Frank T. Wood, Jr., Chairman Office
'i The Rt. Rev. Monsignor Charles J. Brady •I
Albert C. Ettinger, Field Representative, Division of Research
ii Stewart F. Hancock Robert G. S. Maier, Regional Director
The Rev. Dr. William H. McConaghy Edward Rutledge, Director of Housing
Thomas F. Ruck John B. Sullivan, Director of Education


William M. Chiles, Chairman When the members of the Syracuse Council decided, in the
The Rev. E. Rugby Auer spring of 1962, that a conference was in order, they asked them-
William E. Davidson selves: What do we need to do so that this conference may open
the way into effective community action?
C:. Walter Driscoll



In organizing conferences, they thought, we usually bring In the course of these sessions, one person or another was
together the people who are working in a field and others who disturbed by some of the ideas voiced. But they accepted the
have expressed concern about its problems. This procedure often expression of divergent views as essential to mutual education.
leaves out persons who are believed to be uninterested or un- They recognized that only through free inquiry and frank ex-
willing but who might actually do a great deal about the prob- change of thought would these problems be solved. By the time
1111 lems. After such a conference is over, we go out and try to the Conference opened, a climate had been created in which
1 1
i ll11;1 communicate our conclusions to people on the firing line who participants could feel at ease and could share their thinking
ili,j were not invited. freely.
In this case, how do we know that people in every-day con- Indispensable to the success of the Conference, Council
tact with human rights problems are not interested? We do know members said on its conclusion, was the active cooperation of
some of them are. Perhaps other do not express their concern community agencies and the professional assistance provided
because they see no answers. In any case, here are people who by the State Commission. Commissioner J. Edward Conway
can do something. We need to know how they see these prob- maintained a close liaison on all matters of policy. The Director
lems. And they may need community support to take effective of Education had responsibility for allocation of State staff and
action. general supervision of staff operations. The Director of Housing
provided consultant service regarding the Commission's policies
We need to know, too, what action has been taken by various
and procedures with respect to its housing jurisdiction, and the
groups in the community and how it has worked. All of us need
Director of Research provided consultant service on pre-
to look at all the facts and viewpoints, together. conference research. The Commission made staff members avail-
Out of this thinking, the plan of the Conference emerged. able from its Regional Office in Syracuse and from the State
Invitations went out to diverse groups. They went to the Greater Administrative Office and its divisions of Education, Housing
Syracuse Board of Realtors and the Congress of Racial Equality, and Research.
to the Syracuse Board of Education and Youth Opportunities
Local agencies contributed valuable suggestions to the plan-
Unlimited, to the Manufacturers' Association and the Greater
ning and quantities of data from their files.
Syracuse Labor Council, to mention a few. Invitations went, too,
to city and county governmental leaders, to members of the Of very positive value was the cordial working relationship
State Legislature, to religious organizations, to neighborhood which developed among these three partners in the planning-
associations, social agencies and civic groups. the Council, the staff and the personnel of community agencies.
Leadership became a shared function, passing freely back and
At the same time, community leaders in several fields, includ-
ing real estate, finance, and industry, were pressed into service to forth according to who was the "expert" 'of the moment. Especi-
act as chairmen of Conference Work Groups or take part in ally noteworthy was the staff's flexibility in adjusting its services
a Panel. This diversity of leadership, it was hoped, would to the many tasks undertaken by Council members and other
insure broad coverage of facts and viewpoints. local leaders. This made it possible to capitalize on the special
talents of these volunteers, as well as their knowledge of the
The response to these invitations and requests more than community, to the full extent that their time permitted. The
justified the confidence of the Council members that persons staff supported and supplemented their work.
from many fields would welcome an opportunity to confer on
human rights. The community response to this cooperative effort was re-
warding. The suggestions offered in the section, THE NEXT
One question still had to be faced. Would people express STEPS, afford a rich resource. The candor reflected in QUES-
themselves freely? Would they fear misunderstanding in so TIONS TO BE EXPLORED holds promise of forthright grap-
diverse a company? A series of luncheons was arranged, for the
pling with problems.
:!]i month of June, for leaders in various fields-a real estate lunch-
eon, an industrial luncheon and others. Here, people could sort In short, the vigorous attack of the Conference participants
out facts an<l views in preparation for the Conference. Council upon the questions before them has opened the way, Council
and staff representatives attended the luncheons. members believe, for effective community action.

34 35

fl 1

PREAMBLE Responsibility of Departments of City Government:
Citizens of Syracuse are devoted to the basic spiritual and po- Particular responsibility shall be exercised by the various
litical heritage that recognizes the inherent worth, fundamental departments of city government as listed below. This listing

dignity, and ultimate destiny of all persons, and their right to shall not be considered exclusive, for a sense of concern for
equal opportunity without regard to race, creed, color or national human rights is an important responsibility for all employees
origin. of the Government of the City of Syracuse.
Citizens of Syracuse also share a proud local history in the A. The City Clerk
:11! furtherance of freedom and equal rights. Chapters in that record In all forms and records there shall be no limitation or
include the Anti-Slavery Societies and the Jerry Rescue of the specification as to race, color, creed or national origin

~!I ~
pre-Civil War era, and the welcoming of the wealth of human unless required by statutory law, or for a bona fide pur-
resources that came to our city in the days of the great waves pose, and prior notification of use of such specifications
'i:1, of immigration. has been given to the State Commission for Human Rights.
Now we are again called upon, in a time of testing in our B. Code Enforcement and Licensing


I city, in our country, and in the world, to give renewed meaning It is the unequivocal policy that code enforcement shall
1 II'
111 and application, for today's minority groups, to the ideal of operate in the field of housing with the fullest vigor

equal opportunity. consistent with the advancement of human rights. Further,
Syracuse is moving forward to assure new accomplishments it is policy that licenses be denied to those who are using
in work and industry, in government service, in increased com- such licenses to discriminate.
munity beauty and culture, and in building a city congenial to C. Community Development, Housing Authority, and Urban
a rich individual and family life. In working toward these goals, Improvement Departments
Ii' I

f it is essential that the blight of discrimination be guarded against

~ and that equal opportunity for all be advanced. In all community development, planning and public hous-
ing there shall be scrupulous avoidance of discriminatory
ij,l'i Therefore, and in view of the foregoing, the following code practices, and positive steps taken to assure the safe-
shall prevail throughout the Executive Branch of the Govern- guarding of basic human rights for all.
~ ment of the City of Syracuse.
D. Board of Education
In cooperation with the Board of Education, educational
programs are to be designed and conducted so that all
Appointment and Promotion of City Employees: may have the opportunity to develop their talents and
0 capacities without regard to their race, creed, color or
i!'1·'1 .1\.i Responsible city officials shall appoint, assign, and promote national origin.
J city employees on the basis of merit without regard to race,
E. Department of Purchase
creed, color or national origin.
Every city contract for public works or for the purchase
I of goods and services shall fully and effectively bar dis-
ARTICLE II criminatory practices in the production of such goods and
11 1

Service to Public: services.


In providing their facilities and performing their services to

F. Department of Parks and Recreation Commission
the public, city agencies shall not discriminate on the basis of Parks and recreational programs are for the enjoyment
race, creed, color or national origin. of all the people of Syracuse and in no case will dis-
11,,, crimination be exercised by city employees, nor shall they
:II 36


allow discriminatory practices by any persons using the
parks or participating in city recreational programs.
G. Police Department and Department of Law
In Syracuse all are to stand equal before the law and Text of remarks by Commissioner J. Edward Conway,
special efforts including periodic training programs in New York State Commission for Human Rights,
human relations are to be undertaken by the police de- before the Conference on Human Rights, Syracuse,
partment to assure equal treatment for all groups and to July 2 1962. (Supplementary tables attached.)
help all people understand their responsibilities under
the law. It is with great pleasure and with a profound sense of re-
sponsibility that I appear before you at this early hour on
H. Department of Health Monday morning. From the intensive thought and planning,
All operations of the City Health Department shall be from the extensive pre-conference activity, and particularly from
conducted to assure that no person who seeks help will the air of excitement which has surrounded the preparations for
be denied the facilities of our hospitals and other health this occasion, I am convinced that this will be the most important
dispensaries which safeguard the health needs of the conference of its kind ever held in upstate New York. In a very
public. real sense, Syracuse is about to become a model showcase demon-
strating what can be done in the field of human rights when
the leadership in one of our major urban areas is willing to unite
for the common good. I am also convinced that the success and
Procedure ultimate worth of this conference will derive in major part
from the fact that, in the best tradition of the sciences and the
To assure that the objectives of this code are effectuated, the humanities, both the broad view and the narrow focus will be
following procedures are to be followed by city officials and emphasized.
The problems of housing in and about the city of Syracuse
A. Copies of this code shall be distributed to all city em- constitute the specific and key issue crying for attention. This
ployees and copies shall be posted in conspicuous places centrality of housing in local affairs is highlighted by the pre-
in all city facilities. cipitous climb in number of housing complaints received by the
Commission following expansion of the Commission's jurisdic-
B. It shall be the responsibility of city officials 8.nd super- tion in housing last September. For the city of Syracuse in the
visors, periodically and systematically, to call to the atten- six-year period between 195 5 and 1961, seventeen complaints
tion of city employees the provisions of this code. were received alleging discrimination in housing, an average of
C. City officials and supervisors will cooperate fully with the less than three complaints a year. In the first four months of
State Commission for Human Rights in the mutual task 1962, 24 housing complaints were filed by persons seeking
of securing equality and fair treatment for all persons. housing in the city. I have been informed also that in a survey
of community organizations in this area just concluded by mem-
bers of the Syracuse Council there was striking agreement in
volunteered statements by officials interviewed that housing was
MAYOR OF SYRACUSE the major problem for this city in the human relations field.
JULY 1962
However, we are all keenly aware of the impossibility of
viewing housing in an isolated context. The basic matter of find-
ing and affording an adequate, decent home is inextricably
interwined with finding and holding a job, with level of income,
with educational opportunities, and with unfettered access to the
promotional and professional advancement which represents

38 39
upward mobility in the traditional manner we associate so inti- Take unemployment for example. The year 1950 at the close
11111 mately with the democratic process. of a recession period found six percent of the white males in
the Syracuse labor force out of a job. The comparable unemploy-
I welcome the opportunity to place before this conference a ment rate for nonwhite men of the city was sixteen percent.
number of facts for your consideration and deliberation, facts In 1960 the level for whites had dropped slightly to five percent.
·I' i
11 ! which bear on the larger scene, facts which I hope will be of For nonwhite males there was some improvement-eleven per-
assistance as the conference contemplates ways and means to an cent unemployed. I need hardly point out, however, that eleven
I ever brighter future for Syracuse. percent remains a high rate of unemployment which, if repre-
Much of what I will report here derives from statistics re- senting a condition affecting the whole labor force of the city,
leased by the Bureau of the Census. The fund of information would constitute a state of severe economic depression.
available through this source constitutes one of the obvious The economic hurdles facing many of the nonwhites of this
places to which we would turn, yet it is surprising how seldom city can be clearly seen through an analysis of annual earnings.
this data is fully utilized. I will, of course, speak about popula- Across the board, income for white individuals is 21 percent
tion trends but I would like also to touch upon the matters of above that earned by nonwhites. Seventeen percent of working
employment, income and education which tie in so closely to whites have incomes over $6,000 per year. Three percent of
issues in the housing field. nonwhite individuals in the labor force earn over $6,000 a year.
In terms of population shifts, Syracuse reflects a nation-wide Earnings reported by families may reflect more accurately
pattern-a decline in total population within the city limits, financial ability to buy or rent housing accommodations than
a rush to the suburbs, a growth in the nonwhite community of does level of individual income since members of a family in
the central city. In the decade between 1950 and 1960, nearly addition to the principal bread-winner may work and contribute
12,000 whites left Syracuse; the white suburban population in- to total earnings.
creased by 72,000. Meanwhile the nonwhite population of the In 1959, median income for nonwhite Syracuse families was
city nearly tripled to aggregate 12,300 persons, six percent of the $4,358. White families earned $2,000 more. Seventy-three per-
total population. Some 7,000 nonwhites found living accomoda- cent of nonwhite families had incomes under $6,000 compared
tions in Syracuse during the past ten years. Where did they find to 46 percent of the white families. To put it another way, one-
housing. eighth of the nonwhite families earned over $8,000 in 1959;
In 1950, 83 percent of the nonwhites in the city lived in three one-third of the white families were in this category. It should
census tracts with an additional eleven percent residing in 12 be remembered that this consistent disparity between white and
tracts surrounding this three-tract core area. In short, 94 percent nonwhite earnings persists in spite of the fact that many family
of the nonwhite population was located in a 15-tract inner-city units in the lower economic brackets press all available members
area. into the work force in order to bring earnings to the highest
point possible.
For 1960, the figures show that 93 percent of the expanded
nonwhite community was situated in these same 15 census tracts. Directly related to income level are the types of jobs held by
Since 1950, 14,700 white residents left this central city area for wage earners. Thus, for Syracuse 88 and 86 percent respectively
more desirable housing accommodations in other sections of of nonwhite men and women are working in blue-collar and
the city and in the suburban areas. These data indicate that social service industries. Comparable figures for whites are 54 and 32
percent. At the professional and managerial level are found
and economic forces are perpetuating a condition whereby the
27 percent of the white males in the city's labor force which
inner central area of Syracuse represents almost the only home
stands in sharp contrast to the 7 percent of nonwhite males
available to the Negro. This phenomenon ( which characterizes
located in this top occupational category.
virtually all urban communities in our State) is not only a matter
of discrimination barring the nonwhite homeseeker as he tries This economic state of affairs reflecting the handicaps facing
to rent or buy, but also the end result of that chain of dis- the Negro community is, in part, the result of less than full
criminatory events affecting employment, upgrading, and edu- opportunity in the realm of education. In the city of Syracuse
cation to which I alluded earlier. adult nonwhites report a median number of school years com-

40 41
pleted which is two and one-half years below the educational fABLE 1
level of the white population. Whereas whites on the average
reached the senior year in high school, nonwhites ( in terms of
1950 AND 1960
median years completed) did not quite finish the freshman
year of high school. Twenty-five percent of Syracuse white adults Percent of Area
completed their education with high school graduation; twelve lnffease 1950-1960 population
1950 1960 Numerical Percent 1950 1960
percent of the city's nonwhites are in this group. While eleven
percent of the whites are college graduates only five percent of White .... 215,525 203,757 -11,768 -5.5 97.7 94.3
the nonwhites hold this distinction.
Nonwhite 5,058 12,281 7,223 142.8 2.3 5.7
While these facts may reflect unequal educational opportunity
Negro 4,586 11,210 6,624 144.4 2.1 5.2
in the past rather than the present, they serve to underscore the 472 1,071 126.9 0.2 0.5
Other races 599
1111 basic necessity and the essential right of all segments of the
I community to receive the schooling they can utilize free from Total population 220,583 216,038 -4,545 -2.1 100.0 100.0
any barriers posed by race, creed, color or national origin.
11111, In this connection I note the warnings sounded by our econo-
mists that the state and the nation face critical shortages in the

professional, technical, and skilled labor areas. I note also an TABLE II
impending dearth of workers in the prime age range of 20 to
44 years.
I Nonwhites in Syracuse are a relatively young population-46 REMAINDER OF ONONDAGA COUNTY, 1950 AND 1960
percent are under 21 years; only 15 percent are over 45. For
whites, the comparable figures are 33 percent and 35 percent. Nttrnerical Percent
I 1950 1960 change change
This comparative "youthfulness" of the nonwhite population
combined with the opportunity to train or to study or to work Whites in City of Syracuse... 215,525 203,757 -11,768 -5_5
represents a potential contribution to the economy of Syracuse
White in suburban Syracuse... 44,625 116,864 72,239 161.9
11 which obviously has been fully utilized.
Whites in remainder of county ... 75,294 88,313 13,019 17.3
It is also obvious that community problems in all areas which
1111 11
touch upon race, religion or ethnic origin must be viewed and Nonwhites in City of Syracuse... 5,058 12,281 7,223 142.8
11'11 solved in terms of the complex realities they are. As you proceed Nonwhite in suburban Syracuse... 78 384 306 392.3
ilij. to the heart of this conference and the attainment of that goal Nonwhites in remainder of county ... 1,139 1,429* 290 25.5
which can be reiterated in Governor Rockefeller's words-
"Every person should be able to live where his heart desires
* Includes 941 persons residing on Onondaga Indian Reservation
and his means permit"-! know that you will conduct your
explorations and discussion with the fullest knowledge possible
of that web of realities which taken together we call Syracuse.
In your hands this approach may very well make this city a
showcase for the nation, perhaps even the world.

42 43
TABLE Ill (Cont.)
1950 1960
r 1950 1960 Change
Tract Non- Total Non- Total Non-
Tract Non- Total Non- Total Non- White
No. White white Tract White white Tract white
No. White white Tract White white Tract White white

32 2,547 1,816 4,363 728 2,069 2,797 -1,819 253

1 45 45 13 13 - 32
33 4,286 1,572 5,858 1,887 2,648 4,535 -2,399 1,076
2 5,594 4 5,598 4,808 26 4,834 -786 22
34 4,133 292 4,425 2,699 917 3,616 -1,434 625
3 2,208 3 2,211 2,115 2 2,117 - 93 -1
35 4,195 10 4,205 3,544 243 3,787 -651 233
4 4,896 11 4,907 5,182 14 5,196 286 3
36 3,679 32 3,711 4,658 202 4,860 979 170
5 2,541 ...... 2,541 2,153 14 2,167 -388 14
37 600 38 638 394 60 454 -206 22
6 3,972 ...... 3,972 3,832 5 3,837 -140 5
38 3,746 6 3,752 3,449 20 3,469 -297 14
7 2,015 1 2,016 1,991 1 1,992 - 24 0
39 8,570 15 8,585 7,767 159 7,926 -803 144
8 3,567 3,567 3,343 ...... 3,343 -224
40 5,407 32 5,439 4,650 111 4,761 -757 79
9 4,240 10 4,250 4,709 16 4,725 469 6
41 3,244 56 3,300 2,175 554 2,729 -1,069 498
10 3,453 3 3,456 5,608 60 5,668 2,155 57
42 5,498 785 6,283 1,952 3,164 5,116 -3,546 2,379
11 308 308 259 259 - 49
43 3,260 33 3,293 3,492 172 3,664 232 139
12 788 788 371 371 -417 ......
44 5,829 36 5,865 5,235 97 5,332 -594 61
13 2,891 2,891 2,292 24 2,316 -599 24
45 5,412 20 5,432 5,473 47 5,520 61 27
14 3,841 ...... 3,841 3,445 2 3,447 -396 2
46 1,466 13 1,479 1,829 5 1,834 363 -8
15 3,484 3 3,487 3,336 8 3,334 -148 5
47 2,000 29 2,029 4,261 65 4,326 2,261 36
16 3,261 4 3,265 2,838 17 2,855 -423 13
48 1,025 1,025 1,966 ...... 1,966 941
17 4,663 4 4,667 4,729 5 4,734 66 1
49 1,811 ······ 1,811 2,105 ...... 2,105 294
18 3,597 2 3,599 3,757 5 3,762 160 3
50 3,879 3 3,882 3,981 2 3,983 102 -1
19 3,948 2 3,950 4,158 1 4,159 210 -1
51 4,057 2 4,059 3,767 12 3,779 -290 10
20 4,167 4,167 3,643 11 3,654 -524 11
52 6,099 6,099 5,702 106 5,808 -397 106
21 3,751 3,751 3,203 8 3,211 -548 8
53 5,064 28 5,092 4,107 383 4,490 -957 355
22 2,978 8 2,986 2,368 22 2,390 -610 14
54 6,259 4 6,263 5,825 168 5,993 -434 164
23 4,747 1 4,748 4,224 88 4,312 -523 87
55 1,222 1,222 2,252 19 2,271 1,030 19
24 4,371 38 4,409 3,780 193 3,973 -591 155
56 5,369 21 5,390 4,164 61 4,225 -1,205 40
25 3,181 4 3,185 2,830 38 2,868 -351 34
57 2,225 1 2,226 3,254 9 3,263 1,029 8
1111 26
2,832 15
-231 14 ' 58 3,824 5 3,829 3,756 14 3,770 - 68 9
59 4,254 ...... 4,254 4,140 11 4,151 -114 11
28 3,188 2 3,190 3,127 2 3,129 - 61 0
60 3,242 ...... 3,242 4,914 4 4,918 1,672 4
29 1,864 1,864 1,736 7 1,743 -128 7
61 4,874 12 4,886 6,681 21 6,702 1,807 9
30 4,764 44 4,808 3,718 287 4,005 -1,046 243
31 2,091 52 2,143 1,238 67 1,305 -853 15 Totals 215,525 5,058 220,583 203,757 12,281 216,038 -11,768 7,223

• Data. abstracted from Bureau of Census, Advance Table PH-1, Population and Housing
Character1s11cs, 1960, tor Syracuse Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area

11 44 45


1950 AND 1960
Percent of Nonwhite
Percent of Total White
ucore 11
Population in City
Nonwhite Population Tract Population of Syracuse 1950 1960







r! Age group

Under 5 19,283 20,071

i 5-9


4,173 7,881 ...... ...... 82.5 64.2
65 and over
2 i:~} 32.8 45,547
25,650 it!} 35.0
tracts Total 215,525 100.0 203,651 100.0
24 38 193 0.9 4.9 0.7 1.6
30 44 287 0.9 7.2 0.9 2.3 Nonwhite

34 292 917 1950 1960

6.6 25.4 5.8 7.5 Number Number
35 10 243 0.3 6.4 Age group Percent Percent
0.2 2.0


Under 5
8.2 34.0
47.4 47.4
12.5 45.9
39.0 39.0
20.5 1.1 4.5 45-64 759 15.0} 1,466
65 & over 184 1g}15.1
43 33 172 1.0 3.6 391
4.7 0.6 1.4
52 0 106 0.0 1.8 Total 5,058 100.0 12,301 100.0
0.0 0.9
53 28 383 0.5 8.5 0.6 3.1
54 4 168 0.1 2.8 0.1 1.4
Total 584 3,495 ...... ...... 11.5 28.5

"Core" and
"Fringe" Tracts
combined 4,757 11,376 ...... ...... 94.0 92.7
Total Nonwhite
Population 5,058 12,281 ...... ...... 100.0 100.0

46 47
Sex and employment J/at,,s 1950 White Nonwhite

Male Female Male Female
Total .................................................................................... 83,137 71,939 Total employed 51,901 31,591 2,677 1,518
In labor force ........................................................ . 63,449 55,217
Not in labor force ............................................. Total reporting 48,982 29,637
In civilian labor force ......................................... .
I Professional, tech- 7,342 l 5,228 l

119 l

Employed 59,316 nical and kindred
Unemployed ........................................................... . 4,021 (6.3%) workers
2,634 ( 4.8%)
Female Farmers and farm
62 ~ 26.5% 4 t21.1%
~ 6.5% ~4.1%
Total .................................................................................... 89,725 82,074
In labor force ............................................................ 32,531 32,753 Managers, officials s,590 I 1,006 j 17 I 19

, ,.,l l
Not in labor force ............................................... . 57,194 49,321 and proprietors
In civilian labor force ................................. . 32,516 32,745
31,075 31,591
Clerical and kindred
workers 11,273
94] 102]
1,441 ( 4.4%) 1,154 (3.5%) 19.4% 46.5% 5.7% 9.7%
Sales workers 4,766 2,533 25 20
NONWHITE Craftsmen, foremen 9,959 l 436 l 3061 12
Sex and employment Jtat11J & kindred workers
1950 1960
Operatives and 9,802 4,291 660 361
kindred workers
Total···················································--················ 1,913 3,692 54.1% 32.4% 87.8% ~ 86.0%
In labor force ............................................................ 1,505 Private household
3,027 workers 64
Not in labor force ................................................ 408 1,093 16 193
In civilian labor force ....................................... 1,503 3,004
Employed Service workers 3,867 3,615 391 483
1,259 2,677
Unemployed ............................................................ 244 (16.2%) 327 (10.9%) Farm laborers & 61 21 5
Female foremen
Total .................................................................................... 1,845
4,002 Laborers 2,726 J 137 J 465 J 32
In labor force............................................................ 839 1,677
Not in labor force................................................ 1,006 2,325
In civilian labor force.......................................... . 839 1,677
753 1,510
Unemployed ............................................................ 86 (10.3%) 159 (9.5%)




Under $1,000
$1,000- 1,999
$2,000- 2,999
$3,000- 3,999
$4,000- 4,999
$5,000- 5,999

48 ·3 %

39 . 5%

8 -5%

l ·

Years of
School Completed

Total persons reporting

Number school years completed




$6,000 and over 4,085 3.7% 20 0.8% Elementary: 1-4 years 3,847 3.2 698 12.5
5-7 years 14,205 11.7 1,315 23.5
Total reporting income 109,560 2,635 8 years 20,502 16.9 884 15.8
High School: 1-3 years 25,646 21.1 1,238 22.1
Median income: $2,066 $1,528 4 years 30,714 25.3 710 12.7
College: 1-3 years 9,971 8.2 312 5.6
4 years 13,336 11.0 259 4.6
White Nonwhite Median school years completed 11.1 8.7

Under $1,000
$1,000- 1,999
$2,000- 2,999
27,445 {
36 · 5% 1,ml
39 .3 %

$3,000- 3,999
$4,000- 4,999
J24 ·3% 1,054
37 .3 % TABLE XI
$6,000 and over 19,889 16.7% 188 3.3% UNDER THE LAW AGAINST DISCRIMINATION AS AMENDED, 1961
Total reporting income 118,885 5,712
1950 1960
Median income: $3,128 $2,593
All Dwelling Units 64,459 All Dwelling Units 70,447
No. of Dwelling Units in
structures with 3 or more
dwelling units 21,948
No. Dwelling Units in 3 unit
INCOME BY FAMILY AND RACE FOR SYRACUSE, 1959 structures including 1 owner-
occupied apartment -4,354.5
White families Nonwhite families
Total Dwelling Units which Total Dwelling Units
would have been covered by covered by 1961 Hous-
Under $2,000
$2,000- 3,999 3,71>!
7,117 2 1. 0 %
719 { 44.2% 1961 Housing Law 17,593.5 ing Law based on pro-
jection of units covered
$4,000- 4,999 5,764 415
$5,000- 5,999 7,076 24 ·9 % 351 } 29.8% in 1950 19,232 (27.3%)
$6,000- 6,999 6,031 l 229 Total "covered" Dwelling
$7,000- 7,999 5,238 5 2 1.8 % 141 14 .4% Units as a percent of all
$8,000- 9,999 7,048 13.6% 192 7.5% dwelling units in City of
$10,000 and over 9,683 18.7% 106 4.1% Syracuse 27.3%
Total number of families 51,669 2,571

Median income by family $6,359 $4,358

ing where between 25% t~ 40% of housing units are sub-
DISTRIBUTION OF THE NON-WHITE standard. The salmon tracts may be regarded as areas of fair
POPULATION IN SYRACUSE housing, the orange areas denote good housing, and the
remaining yellow tracts have excellent housing. Needless
Dr. Michael O. Sawyer to say, we are here speaking of the kind of housing that
generally prevails in these areas. Within any given tract one
l. THERE IS NO NECESSARY RELATIONSHIP BE- can find a whole range of exceptions. Now over this base
TWEEN CONDITION OF HOUSING AND COLOR map we show an overlay which delineates the concentration
One of our popular misconceptions is that Negroes make of the nonwhite population in 1950 and 1960.
slums. The basis for this belief lies in the fact that most In this overlay the dotted red boundary denotes the two
Negroes live in blighted areas; hence, it is assumed that they census tracts where, in 1950, over 25 % of the population
created the bad housing. was nonwhite. This area contained 67% of the total city
In point of fact, the kind of housing in which people live nonwhite population at that time.
, has nothing to do with their race or color. It does have a Observe that while these two tracts are characterized by a
1 great deal to do with their income, their landlords, and their high degree of sub-standard housing there are eight other
\_. city government. tracts which are also heavily sub-standard and in 1950 the
1 The history of minority groups in the United States has seen nonwhite population in these other tracts was insignificant.
a steady progression from poor jobs, low incomes and poor In two of these remaining eight tracts there were virtually
housing, to better jobs, higher incomes and better housing. no Negroes. In four others nonwhites constituted less than
People with relatively low income are of necessity forced 2 '7c of the tract's total population.
. to live in low rental areas. Generally these were areas of Thus it is obvious that Negroes did not create bad housing
/ sub-standard housing even before the new minority group in Syracuse. Sub-standard housing existed and exists today
\ began to displace older inhabitants, these latter having ac- independently of Negro occupancy.
quired the financial wherewithal to move to better areas.
Today the heaviest concentration of Negroes is found in
Most cities have codes and ordinances which hold landlords the area delineated by the dotted black outside boundary of
responsible for conditions of occupancy and maintenance of the overlay. Two adjacent tracts have been added since 1950
their buildings. Unfortunately, these laws are not generally and the nonwhite density of the initial two tracts has in-
enforced in low rental areas because to the extent that they creased to over 50%. The added southern tract is also over
are enforced, landlords soon find their slum dwellings un- 50% nonwhite, while the eastern extension is over 25 %
profitable and the responsibility for housing low income nonwhite. These four tracts as of 1960 together contain
families then falls upon city government. Hence, in the 72 % of the total city nonwhite population.
past, sub-standard housing was permitted to become increas-
ingly dilapidated through the years, and the Negro, being Now let us look at living conditions in this burgeoning
one of our most recent minority groups in Northern cities, ghetto. Another of our myths from the past held that the
initially found himself limited to blighted and slum housing. one advantage that could be claimed for poverty was equality
The point to be made is that he did not create this blight; of condition. But when color enters into the picture this
it was already there when he arrived. We see this most1 particular myth shrivels in the light of hard fact. Negroes
clearly in the case of Syracuse by means of a base map which\ of the "15th Ward" live in housing that is overcrowded, , ,
identifies areas of sub-standard housing in the city. · overpriced and sub-standard, not only in absolute terms, 1· (
but also in relation to white families who live in the same
The brown areas of the base map denote census tracts in area.
which 407<, or more housing units were sub-standard. That
is to say these units were either dilapidated, deteriorating or In 1960, the median income for white families "as $4,587
lacking in plumbing facilities according to the U.S. Census compared with $4,106 for nonwhite families; 5 7 % of non-
Bureau criteria, The red areas denote tracts of marginal hous- white housing in the area was substandard as compared with
40% of white housing; and 20% of nonwhite units were
over~rowded contras~ed with 6% of white units. Yet t~e
median gross rent pard by Negroes was $76 a month while
f,f\ nonwhite increases, 66% df it to be exact, occurred in tracts
that were already overcrowded in 1950.
only $65 was required of the typical white family. '
The reason for overcrowding is a simple matter of economics
That is the basic story of today's "15th Ward". But what of'
the future? What trends are discernible outside the ghetto?
We have a fairly good idea by projecting nonwhite move- '
It 1
which comes under the heading "charging all the traffic will
bear". If families find themselves required to pay more rent
than their income affords they are forced to adopt one of
ment from the past decade.
the two alternatives. Either move into more crowded ( and
hopefully less expensive) accommodations, or add to the
"family" by taking in boarders.
MARILY IN ADJACENT SUB-STANDARD TRACTS., Interestingly enough, this kind of rent squeeze is experi-
enced almost exclusively by the nonwhite community. This
This is an overlay that portrays numerical change in the
is because white low income families can participate freely
nonwhite residential population by census tract between
· in the open market. While the supply of low rent housing
1950 and 1960. The dotted black boundary signifies non-
is limited throughout the city, the supply that does exist is
white population increases of 200 or more. The dotted red
freely available to white families, but virtually non-existent
boundary designates tracts in which there has been a non-
to Negroes because of racial discrimination. Public housing
white increase between 100 and 200. Note that by and large
then becomes the only sanctuary for low-income Negro
the increase has occurred in and around the periphery of
the two core tracts #32 and #33, especially to the east and
j) south. Note also that the greatest increase has been located The question now arises: Are Negroes from the Near East
primarily in tracts that are already heavily sub-standard. In Side limited to ghetto housing and public housing for eco-
short what we are finding is an extension of the ghetto. nomic reasons? Stated otherwise, is the income of Negro
families so low that they cannot afford better housing out-
3.' OVERCROWDING HASTENS THE DETERIORA- side of the ghetto even if there were no discrimination?
It can reasonably be assumed that unless rigid code enforce-
ment and open occupancy are soon introduced in Syracuse,
six of the marginally substandard tracts colored in red may
well become slum areas by 1970. The reasons for this will An answer to this question necessarily depends upon know!;
be overcrowded use and lack of maintenance by responsible edge of Negro family income inside the ghetto together with
landlords. rents required throughtout the city. This information is
This is our same base map with an overlay that illustrates available from 1960 census data. The typical (median)
overcrowded housing in 1960. A housing unit that contains gross rent paid for a house or apartment in Syracuse was $80
over one person per room is generally recognized as over- a month in 1960, and the median income for families and
crowded. In our overlay the heavily dotted area signifies unrelated individuals was $4,860. Therefore, the typical
that between 10% and 21.5% of housing units in the en- family or person who rents pays approximately 20o/o of his
closed census tracts are overcrowded and cross hatched areas income for gross rent. Since the U.S. Census Bureau gives
from 5 % to lOo/o, and the remaining areas are less than · us the income of families by the number who earn between
5o/o. Note that five of the seven tracts which hav-e the $1,000 income limits, and also gives us the median gross
greatest degree of overcrowding are also tracts which are rent by census tract, we are able to construct a map of the
badly sub-standard. city showing where people can afford to rent, assuming
that they spend 20o/o of their income for rent. In this map
Now we show a base map of overcrowding as it existed in
each color represents a range of monthly gross rent, the
1950, and superimpose our overlay of nonwhite residential
limits of which were established by taking 20o/o of the
change betwen 1950 and 1960. Observe that much of the
• following income limits:

Median Color all but four of these tratts had good to excellent housing,
Income Limits at 20% afford Gross Rent Equivalent and 10 of the 16 tracts had an insignificant nonwhite popu-
lation-less than ½ of 1 % of the total tract population.
$3,999 or less $ 67 or less Brown Only one tract was over 2 % nonwhite in composition.
$ 4,000 to $ 5,000 $ 67 to$ 83 Red Then there are 302 families who are financially capable of
$ 5,000 to $ 6,000 $ 83 to $100 Orange renting in the red area of the city, which consists of 18
$ 6,000 to$ 8,000 $100 to $133 Yellow tracts outside of the ghetto. Although 11 of these 18 tracts
$ 8,000 to $10,000 $133 to$ 166 Green range from poor to bad in terms of sub-standard housing
$ l 0,000 and over ($166 and Over) Green criteria, the remaining seven could do nicely in terms of
(No tracts have median rents an intensive relocation effort.
this high)
Finally there remain 919 families ( 48 % of the total) with
incomes less than $4000 who could better afford housing
To illustrate: The median or typical cost of housing (gross
in those three brown census tracts outside the ghetto which
rent) in the university area denoted by census tract # 43
have lower rents and better housing than where they cur-
was $81. It is therefore classified in the (red) rental range
rently live.
of $67 to $83, and could be afforded by families in the in-
come range $4,000 to $5,000. I previously affirmed that Negroes are restricted from mov-
ing outside the "15th Ward" because of discrimination in
Now the income picture for nonwhite families from the housing. Thus our analysis of rent and income attests to ,
four heavily Negro census tracts, together with the gross the fact that nonwhite income does not restrict Negro fami- \
rental range they could afford, is as follows: lies to the 15th Ward. \
Nonwhite Family Income for Census Tracts 32, 33, 34, 42 At this point, however, another commonly-held assumption
is advanced to justify ghetto living, to wit, "Negroes enjoy
Gross rent afforded
living together." This is a euphemism which while partially
All families 1902 100% at 20% of income
true with respect to the more fearful, is not nearly so valid
Under $4,000 919 48.3 $ 48 to$ 67
as in the case of nationality groups with distinctive cultural
$ 4,000 to $ 5,000 302 15.9 $ 67 to$ 83
backgrounds. In any case it is beside the point. Persons who
$ 5,000 to$ 6,000 277 14.6 $ 83 to Shoo
$ 6,000 to $ 8,000
wish to live in enclaves should be permitted to do so, but
240 12.6 $100 to $133
they most assuredly should not be forced to do so. Negroes
$ 8,000 to $10,000 103 5.4 $133 to $166
most assuredly do not enjoy sub-standard, overpriced, pest-
$10,000 and over 61 3.2 Over $166 (No
infected housing and a slum environment for their children.
tracts have median
In such matters, perhaps, it is Feferable to permit the
rents this high)
victims of racial discrimination to speak for themselves.
By referring to our rent map we immediately see that 164
nonwhite families from our burgeoning ghetto (8.6% of SPEECH BY JOHN H. MULROY,
the total) could afford to rent anywhere in the city, includ- COUNTY EXECUTIVE
ing the two highest rent areas in the eastern sections. Another
240 families, representing 12.6'/c of the total, could afford Let me first compliment the State Commission for Human
to rent anywhere except the three tracts referred above. Rights and the local Council on their positive approach to a
In fact, the yellow tracts which they could afford all have most serious and pressing problem.
good to excellent housing. Yet in 1960 only 225 non- Certainly the basic dignity of the human being must be
whites or about 45 nonwhite families lived in these 14 tracts, upheld if we are to maintain our position among the free
excluding nonwhite residents of two public housing proj- nations of the world.
ects-less than half of 1 '7c of the total population in these
tracts. Next we find 277 families who financially qualify We, in this country, are continually under microscopic atten-
to live in the 16 orange census tracts of the city. In 1960 tion by other nations. When a situation arises, in the field of

56 57

Human Rights, that is distasteful to all law abiding citizens it sure that the City Government is now, in fact, living under the
most certainly reflects on the principles on which our country announced Code; nevertheless a clear statement of policy and
was founded. required action and constant re-evaluation by Department Heads
New York State has long been a leader in the field of Human and public employees is cert:iin to avoid any misunderstanding
Rights, and I am happy to report that Onondaga County is com- and at the same time bring reality to the City's official part in a
mitted to the same desired goal. most important program of human relations. A review of history
may not be amiss.
As County Executive, I fully realize that my responsibilities
are not to the few, but to all citizens of this fine community. The year before I was elected to the Senate, the State of
I pledge to you that everyone in Onondaga County will bt: New York, under the then Governor Thomas E. Dewey and
offered, especially in the field of government, a chance for the Legislature, took a giant step in the field of anti-discrimina-
equal opportunity. On that note, I advise you to keep in close tion. That year ( 1945) the Ives-Quinn bill_ passed both houses,
contact with the news media. Shortly, you will be apprised of a was signed by Governor Dewey and became the first Fair Em-
most significant breakthrough, from the County government ployment Practice Law in the history of the United States. This
viewpoint, in the field of Human Rights. It will be most pleas- was indeed a statement of principle, designed to carry out
ing to everyone. not only the guarantees already in the Constitution, but to pro-
vide the means and the teeth to make effective these inherent
County Government has the responsibility of opening up rights. After all, employment on the basis of equality is, and
areas that heretofore might have been difficult for persons of was, fundamental to the solving of many related problems.
minority races to enter. We have made rapid progress in the New York can take pride in the fact that some 15 sister states
field of Human Rights and I can assure you that more will have copied our model. We of the Legislature can take pride
be made. There is no reason why a man or woman from the in the fact that progress in the elimination of discrimination
East Side or West Side cannot have the same employment and has been a continuing one.
educational chances that a person from the South Side or North
Side has. We can no longer sit back and let the world pass by. Since 1945 we have moved in the areas of education to assure
It is up to all of us to make sure that our fellow man has the equal opportunity in public and private institutions, outlaw
same chance that we have. Onondaga County Government is discrimination in hotel accommodations, restaurants, places of
pledged to uphold the dignity of its residents. public assembly, sale of all forms of insurance, eliminated re-
stricted covenants in conveyances and made a series of statutory
changes in the law with respect to housing accommodations.
SPEECH BY SENATOR JOHN H. HUGHES, Twelve years ago we outlawed discrimination in public housing,
MONDAY EVENING, JULY 2nd, 1962 following this by the inclusion of public-assisted housing under
FHA, VA and similar programs.
May I compliment the State Commission and its local council
for the foresight and good judgment in arranging a conference In 1961 the Metcalf-Baker bill sponsored by Senator Metcalf,
for the assessment of the area, a sharing of ideas and planning prohibited discrimination in the sale or rental of multiple dwell-
the important steps of the future. I should also like to make ing units of three or more, except as owner-occupied, and in
public reference to the Code of Human Rights prepared and private developments, containing 10 or more homes on con-
put into effect by Mayor William Walsh. tiguous lots. The public policy of this state has been to the
effect that a violation of these statutes is against the public
With the Mayor's background of active participation in the
execution of the State's law, this does not come as a surprise.
Yet it is most refreshing and indicative of the vitality of our In 195 7 we set up in the office of the Attorney General a
present City Government to have a Chief Executive who not Civil Rights Bureau for the protection of those whose guaran-
only has a full understanding of the problems involved in teed rights may be infringed. These are major moves: the first,
human rights, but has the qualities of leadership which bring if you will, in an area of government where very little respon-
into action the forces of local government and rises above those sibility had been recognized, except on paper, for more than a
who give to this great problem nothing but lip service. I am hundred years.

58 59

I had occasion last winter to be in the Governor's office on about a realization that all have common problems and weak-
the day of a simple ceremony, but a moving experience. The nesses, but with it all certain basic goodness.
State of New York is the possessor of the original hand-written I wonder just how aware the people of this community are
Proclamation of Emancipation by President Abraham Lincoln. as to the plight of the Negro, except as we pass through the
That day it was exhibited and an award made to a State em- sections of the city where most are housed. We who are well
ployee who saved it in a fire some years ago. The realization housed and fed have little knowledge of the subject. Our Negro
of its importance, the thought and purpose behind it, cannot but population has grown in 12 years from 5,000 to 15,000. At
leave a lasting impression. We are celebrating in 1962 the the same time the living conditions of some Negro families
Hundredth Anniversary of that document and all it stands for. have greatly improved but not in proportion to the growth of
Unfortunately, however, except for release from slavery, the its population. In 1954 I asked the then Housing Commissioner
principle of equality has been too long overlooked. Stitchman to come to our city to review our situation and give
I believe our leadership in this field in New York State is a favorable consideration to a new State project. The conditions
continuing one. We are coming of age. This year the name which we found on that occasion were unbelievably sub-
of the Commission has been changed to the Commission for standard. His allotment of more than $6 million never mate-
Human Rights, and justly so. This does not mean an end to rialized because of the difficulty in gaining public acceptance
legislation designed to outlaw discrimination as needed. It is, as to the site for construction. However, the Eastwood, Salt
however, time for a new approach and under the leadership of City and Pioneer Homes have provided many opportunities for
Governor Rockefeller the new name of the Commission puts upgrading. Likewise, the 240 units now under construction with
the accent on the positive where it should be. Governor Rocke- probable completion in January, 1963, will make available
feller will this week by resolution ask the Governors' Confer- modern living quarters for many more families. The so-called
ence at Hershey, Pa. to translate a creed of equality into reality, Golden Homes and the Federal program now planned for the
by use of legislative action, leadership in public opinion, and aged near the Medical Center will be an added source for those
use of executive action in the 49 other states. Let's hope his \ who seek improvement in their standard of living. The rapid
) growth of the whole Negro population will not long tolerate
leadership in this effort will be followed by the other governors
regardless of party affiliation. the confinement of their majority to an existence in below-
standard dwellings. Common decency requires a quality of
No one can argue that we have not made progress in this housing which lends itself to the dignity for which we all should
state. Under the Metcalf bill it is estimated the number of living strive. I am sure we are cognizant of the fact that many of these
units covered has increased from 300,000 to 2½ million. In people have not had the advantages of those in this room, but
Syracuse it is estimated the number of living units has increased let me say neither they nor their children are going to stand
from 400 to over 7,000. These are examples in terms of ex- still. Our schools are providing the educational opportunities.
panded coverage made possible by legislative and executive These children, if not their parents, in many cases now seek
action. Statutes, however, do not necessarily solve problems. and will expect the opportunities for employment and a stand-
The spirit and effectiveness with which their intent is inter- ard of living that can be available to every white cbild in this
preted and carried out are frequently the difference between community. The problems now existing will be compounded
success and failure. We have constitutional guarantees for all by the urban renewal development-the dislocation by new
citizens, but unhappily, they mean one thing in one area of the highways and other progressive construction in this city. Either
country and something else in another. Discrimination seems we recognize our responsibility as a community and do what
to be a human weakness not confined to the United States. is necessary or we bury our heads in the sand and suffer the
inevitable consequences.
While our principal concern in the Syracuse area is for the
Negro, we also have had an unhappy history of discrimination
What is needed?
by certain groups against others. In many respects we have
matured. A man's religion or national origin is now an infre- 1. Building Code enforcement wherever the families may
quent reason for rejection. The prejudices of old have been live. With the new City Court Act there will be avail-
broken down. A closer relationship of men to each other brings able a ~pecial court for the enforcement of the City Code,

60 61

and if needed, we will provide legislation to bring about
the end of slum-living.
2. Make available as many as possible of the public and
private housing accommodations now under construction BY CHARLES V. WILLIE, PH.D.
and to be constructed.
3. Seek out and encourage community leadership within
the Negro population. With the increase in numbers of We are coming to the close of a historic conference in Syra-
educated professional and technically skilled Negroes, cuse. This conference was initiated by the Syracuse and Onon-
they should devote themselves to the job of giving guid- daga Council of the State Commission for Human Rights.
ance to those less fortunate.
The leadership and participants have been the most diversi-
4. A recognition of Negroes in public service. I can say from fied of any conference that we have attended. When in the
my position, that there is and will be every opportunity past, in this community, have a college president, college pro-
based on merit. fessors, a city mayor, a county executive, a State senator, a
It is the job of leaders in the Negro community to seek State commissioner, a relocation director, industrial managers,
out those eligible and promote them for public service. banking officials, a United States Armed Forces officer, a Cham-
ber of Commerce executive, Home Builders Association and
In summary, many of our difficulties stem from lack of under- real estate executives, a school principal, a Council of Churches
standing. When the facts are brought home to a majority of general secretary, a Metropolitan Development Association
our citizens, the conscience of the public will demand improve- official-all come together as the leadership of a conference
ment. To be sure the Negro must help himself. This is a trying concerned with human rights and housing?
problem which will require great patience and perseverance on
We have heard reports on the deliberations of the conference
the part of all. However, our interests are inseparable. This
groups. We have heard public officials at local and State levels
community has a great future so long as it has vision, vitality
of government give public affirmations of their intention to
and the welfare of all of its people at heart. We have shown
see to it that equal opportunities are available to all. Most
that we have had it in the past. This problem must be faced
important, Mayor William Walsh has stated that the "Syracuse
and conquered. I promise to do my part. I am sure the majority
Code of Human Rights" is not only an official proclamation
of our citizens will do likewise.
but a statement of his personal convictions. New York State
Senator John Hughes pointed out that more job opportunities
must be opened and Negroes must be recognized in public
service. He also reminded us that New York State possesses the
original Emancipation Proclamation document signed by Presi-
dent Lincoln nearly 100 years ago.
Dr. Michael Sawyer, State Commission for Human Rights
Citizen Council Chairman, gave convincing evidence that many
Negro persons living in the fifteenth ward ( a neighborhood in
which Negroes are highly concentrated) have income that would
permit them to live elsewhere were there no discrimination
based on race.
Commissioner J. Edward Conway's analysis of Census Bureau
statistics for 1960 found that much work is needed in increasing
occupational and education opportunities as well as non-
discriminatory housing for Negroes in the Syracuse metropolitan
community. There still is a lag in the Negro population when
compared with the white population. For example, at the height

62 63

of unemployment when about five percent of the total com­
munity's labor force was unemployed, approximately 10 percent
of the labor force that is Negro was unemployed.
Dr. Rhea Eckel, President of Cazenovia College, chaired the
Monday afternoon panel of a banker, a real estate broker, an
industrialist, and a Negro consumer of housing. The banker
said that banks have no hidden policy of differential treatment
for potential Negro customers. The realtor described his posi­
tion as a "middle man" and stated that education and under­
standing between owners, agents, and buyers is necessary. The
specific kind of education and the goal of the educational process
was not indicated. But the real estate broker felt that there
has been progress in that few persons indicate, when listing
property with a broker, that it should be shown on a restricted
basis. The industrialist reported that the recruiting people for
industry say this problem of housing accommodation on a non­
discriminatory basis comes up over and over and they can't be
as reassuring to technical personnel of minority groups as they
would like to be. It was further stated that in the future indus­
try might suffer if the community cannot house technical people
of various minority groups. The United States Armed Forces
officer, a Major, was the Negro consumer of housing on the
panel. He reported having difficulty in renting and buying.
However, after receiving more than 100 offers when his problem
was published by a daily newspaper, he finally bought a house
and has felt a genuine acceptance by the neighbors. Mrs. Eckel
summarized the panel discussion by stating that "there are a
great many people in Syracuse who still can't find housing."
Based on what we have heard at this conference-what has
been said in the discussion groups, what has been said by the
Chairman of the Council, the State Commissioner, the State
Senator, the Mayor, the panelist and citizens who spoke from
the floor in the general assembly-I should like to rnake some
predictions about action in the human rights area that will
take place in this community by 1963.
1. I predict that more qualified Negroes will be hired in
executive and policy-making positions in city and county
government. To date the Syracuse Department of Urban
Improvement has led the way. Next year I predict there
will be more than one Negro at a high decision-making
level in local government.
2. I predict that code enforcement will be stepped up, par­
ticularly in the south and southwestern sections of the
City of Syracuse and that the staff of building inspectors
will be enlarged beyond its present number.

3. I predict that the Real Estate Board will appoint a special
committee to develop practical ways of making housing
available to non-white persons on an equal basis with
other persons in the community.
4. I predict that industries in the community that list hous­
ing available for new employees will, as a policy, accept
listings only if the housing is available on a non-discrimi­
natory basis. I further predict that industries will cease
referring new employees to real estate firms that do not
agree to serve all new employees-white and non-white
-without discriminating on the basis of race, religion
or national origin.
5. I predict that in 1963, less than 75 percent of the Negro
population will live within one and one-half miles of the
central business district. According to the 1960 census,
90 percent of the City's Negro population lived within
one and one-half miles of the central business district.
By 1963, there should be a greater dispersion of Negro
households throughout the community.

We have gathered together these two days to share God's bless­

ings. The desegregation of the Negro population may be achieved
in a mechanical way but integration must be spiritual if it is
to lead truly to reconciliation. This is why our deliberations
during these two days must be described as a spiritual event­
as a sharing of God's blessings. The conference has been a suc­
cess. Confrontations and frank discussions have taken place
among persons who are concerned about the growth and de­
velopment of this community and persons who live within it.
As Charlie Brown in the Peanuts Comic Strip might describe it,
this conference has been a "real emotional experience."
The ideas generated in this conference will be implemented
only if we strive to respond to the demands of our God.
J. B. Phillips has written a book entitled: "Your God is Too
Small." This may be our problem. We will not achieve the
benefits of our discussion if we try to cut God down to our
own thoughts, our own prides and our own prejudices. Clarence
Darrow, the famous lawyer, once said the Bible teaches us man
is made in God's image; and it appears that man was thankful
and returned the compliment. A god made in our own image
is a god of self-interest, self-centeredness, and fear. That god
is too small to bring about integration and reconciliation be­
tween the races of mankind. Our concern for human rights
must be broader than self-interest if the events predicted above
ever shall come to pass.

GRonite 4-S9 S1

Report Prepared by Eleanor Rosebrugh

Under the Direction of
The Editorial Committee of the
Syracuse and Onondaga County Council
with the cooperation of
Regional and State Staffs

Regional Staff
Robert G. S. Maier, Regional Director
Elaine M. Clyburn, field Representative
Albert C. Ettinger, Field Representative
Mary lee, Senior Stenographer
Helen Dusart, Stenographer
Morion MacDonald, Stenographer