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Expanded and improved programs for self-help housing, as sponsored by OEO under Title III-B of the Economic Opportunity Act, including more 3% mortgage money and direct grants to self-help housing families for land purchases.

Authorization for counties to establish public housing authority, as well as towns and municipalities.

New and less restrictive programs for the formation of cooperatives in housing, including the integration of home construction, training programs, and self-help principles.

Programs for the acquisition of existing buildings needing rehabilitation, again incorporating skill training and self-help. In New York State, and several others around the country, the residents of Indian reservations are so-called “state Indians”, that is they were never considered wards of the federal government nor are they eligible as beneficiaries of Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs programs. In the housing area, the residents of the reservations face a special problem in that as land is held in common, banks will not loan mortgage money because in case of non-payment foreclosure on the land cannot be made. A federal mortgage gurantee program which will at once assure the mortgagor of return on his money and the tribe of the inviolability of its lands is a small but critical step to right the centuries of mistreatment of our Indians.

The absence of employment opportunities in our rural areas is, in many cases, a function of single employment source in the community and/or of a declining or rapidly mechanizing industry, viz, coal mining in Appalachia or potato processing in Suffolk County. An important step which can be taken by the federal government is to use public policy decisions to have a positive gain for local communities. With recent technological advances in transportation and power resources allowing for a new blend of technology, land and manpower, we urge that decisions as to government contracts and the location of government installations take into account the employment needs and opportunities contracts to be granted to the Seattle area, while at the same time manpower shortages there require other federal programs to recruit workers a thousand miles away in Los Angeles.

It is however, in the broad field of human services that the great growth of employment opportunities are now available and which will continue to grow in the decades to come. A comprehensive development and manpower program in the field of human services will not only meet the employment needs of rural America but will also provide the human resources to over-come the shocking disparties faced by rural residents in the social servces area. For example, over 50% more rural children are behind in school than urban children, while among adult in 1960, average years of schooling completed was 11.1 in urban areas, 9.5 years among rural non-farm people, and 8.8 years for farm residents. In health, rural areas on a per capita basis have roughly half the medical personnel enjoyed by the urban population. In the manpower area, only 20% of MDTA funds have gone for projects in rural areas.

We find our community ill-equipped to deal in a significant and comprehensive fashion with these problems. There are but a few programs, and they are ill-funded, not terribly well implemented, and largely fragmented. In broad scope, the problems which we face and the failure of present solutions is a familiar reality to those elsewhere in the country.

Concerns about rural poverty often founder on whether we ought to plan to keep the poor “at home” or to assume that they will migrate from the rural a reas into the city and the second option produces two further program questions--whether we should plan to prepare the people for the sharp shift to urban life or assume that it is someone elses problem.

We would like to suggest a dual program which seeks to meet the two basic areas: first, the needs of those persons who wish, for one reason or another, to remain rural residents, and, second, a program to meet the needs of those who are going to migrate to the city. In both cases, the prograin needs to be comprehensive both in terms of design and program components, and integrated in terms of direction and funding.

We believe that it is now time to call for a rural counterpart of the “Demonstration Cities” program.

We believe that it is necessary to bring together the full range of resources including such areas as housing, health, child care, education, legal services

manpower training and jobs into a single comprehensive, unified funded program. As long as there remain only piece-meal programs, patched together in some amorphous fashion, we will continue to ill-serve rural America.

The prime focus of such a program, which is designed to serve both those who remain in rural America and those who will move to the city, will be in the area of manpower training, both as a means for individual change and community development. We have often thought of manpower training in too narrow a focus. Such a training program as here proposed would allow entry for persons with zero skills and zero education--thus avoiding the shocking exrin sion by many present programs of those most in need of education and training. Throughout the period of training and education those with family responsibilities would receive stipends no lower than the present “poverty line." I persons move from a need for the most basic education into the more direct jub training aspect, efforts should be made to integrate training with jobs. Such patterns as the Nelson-Scheuer Programs of the Office of Economic Opportunity and other programs patterned on the concept of "New Careers for the Poor" should be developed. Thus, we will begin to move to a situation where jobs hare training built into them rather than holding a person from the job until he is totally trained. Special emphasis will be placed upon those job areas in the broad human services field-not only including education, health and welfare services, but also such areas as beautification and environmental improvement. It is clear that expansion of employment opportunities in the human services occupations must be a function of governmental effort-federal, state, and local. The overwhelming needs in this area-estimated by Congressman James Scheuer at over 5,000,000 non-professional jobs needed now---demand governmental response in the support of programs to provide drastically needed personnel for education, health, child care, counseling, family services, public safety, recreation, environmental improvement, etc. Thus, the quality of our life as well as the lives of the newly trained and employed will be enhanced.

Also training in these areas will give to the individual the option--and is not the opportunity to make meaningful choices the very essence of freedom of remaining in (or returning to) the rural area or going to the urban area assured of a skill which is transferable.

Intimately connected with this broad scale manpower program should be such ancillary services as health, legal services, housing, child care, etc. To be sur cessful these services must be an intergral part of the basic program.

Of particular importance to the rural areas of Suffolk County, with its wealth of beaches and other recreational resources and its proximity to New York City. is the development of the tourist industry. The use of manpower training and loan programs specifically designed to benefit the residents of the rural areas will do much to balance the economic situation.

Recently the Department of Agriculture reached agreement with OEO wherebr Agriculture's Technical Action Panels (TAPS) would be the local coordination agency. A schedule was established where there would be meetings first at the state level and then the county—this was to happen in May. In Suffolk County, and as far as I can determine in New York State, none of this vaunted coordination has begun to take place. Indeed, I believe that to place the Department of Agriculture in such a role, especially as it relates to the rural pour, is a mistake. The thrust and commitment of the Department, in the past and yet today, has not been toward the poor. Much has been done to help the high production farmer and as a country we are the healthier and richer for it. But millions of rural dwellers have not benefited.

The concept of community action is one with deep roots in American tradition combining as it does self-help and cooperative enterprise. As mr nine sear old son said when I described to him our recently OEO-funded Self-Help Hous ing Program, it is like a community "barn raising.” We can harness the strong feelings of independence and the traditions of cooperation of rural America. People can and will work together for their mutual benefit and their community's improvement. While OEO has shared, although to a lesser (and lessening) de gree the imbalance of programs in urban areas, it has demonstrated, we beliere the breadth of vision, the commitment to the needs and desires of the poor, and the freedom (as yet) from hidebound bureaucracy, so as to warrant the use of the local community action agency as the focus of programs for rural America,

In a recent report published by the Twentieth Century Fund, and aptly title. “Poverty Amid AMuence," the simple flat statement is made “The risk of poverty in the rural farm group has recently increased no matter how looked at.” That this is true in a nation as rich and skillfull as ours is shameful and unnecessary. Tour endeavors, we hope, will propel us toward an end to this condition.

Mr. GARTNER. I would like to comment on a number of points I have raised in the testimony. The Congressman knows as a native and fellow New Yorker, but others may not, that New York is a great agri(ultural State. To be chauvinistic for a moment, or at least locally parochial, I will note Suffolk County is the largest agricultural county in New York State, producing some $70 million worth of agricultural products. However, our pride in that production must, of course, be turned to shame in recognition of the fact that all too much of this wealth is based upon the ill-paid farm worker.

More than 4,000 of our county's residents work in agriculture and a like number of "migrants” join this work force each year, primarily to process potatoes. The word “migrant," and a peculiar Suffolk County linguistic aberration, "settled migrant,” are in truth misnomers in that the “season” is more than 6 months long and, indeed, many whom our community brand as “former migrants" have lived in the county for years, if not decades. Our fellow antipoverty program, the Seasonal Employees in Agriculture, Inc., has found from a survey based upon statements of earnings from the Social Security Administration that for a 4-year period, 1960-61, 54 migrants earned an average of $639.95 annual income. And this poverty is made all the more shameful by the fact of the complicity of State and Federal agencies, most notably the employment service, in the establishment, nurture and perpetuation of this system.

We have for example, a situation where the New York State Employment Service—and I assume this is true elsewhere in the country-go to the southern part of our country and recruit migrant workers to work in the potato sheds of Suffolk County. These workers, the bulk of whom are illiterate, untrained and unexperienced are, according to their testimony, induced to come up to Suffolk County with promises of high wages, good working conditions and even various essentially immoral opportunities.

Whether the exact promise is correct-and we have a "He said, she said," or "He said, he said," kind of situation and there are never any witnesses to these talks—the fact of the act is that a branch of the State of New York, funded primarily with Federal dollars, bring people or induces people to come thousands of miles or a thousand miles or so to work in our potato fields at wages that are shameful in America in 1967. If this were not done, if the employment service did not subsidize this low-wage potato processing industry, there are people in Suffolk County today unemployed who, for a decent wage, under decent working conditions, would work in the potato sheds.

Suffolk County is not only the most productive agricultural county in the State, it is also the fastest growing. The population was nearly 300,000 in 1950; something in excess of 600,000 in 1960, and approximately a million according to the latest estimates as of this month.

But, without comprehensive planning, without the kind of concern for rural development that this committee brings to bear, we are faced with our entire count becoming overcome with urban sprawl, our water table polluted by detergents and household wastes and our seacoasts losing their lands.

The mixed rural and urban nature of our county, the western part of which is at the fringe of the New York City commuting area. presents a situation not untypical in gross order, we believe, of other parts of America. Not exclusively rural, but with half our county having a population density of under 0.5 person per acre; not solely agricultural, but producing more than $70 million of food products annually; not devastatingly poor, but with some 100,000 people living in poverty--the majority of whom are white, and living outside of heavy pockets of poverty, Suffolk County is a picture of the problems and hopes which confront much of America.

Mr. RESNICK. To get back to New York State, is New York State enforcing its own laws as far as these people are concerned?

Mr. GARTNER. As best we can tell; no, sir.

Mr. RESNICK. Has legal action been taken to force them to live up to their own laws?

Mr. GARTNER. One of the problems in enforcement of law has to do with a peculiarity of the potato-processing industry, if you will, called downtime. The bulk of the migrants work not in the potato fields, but in sheds where potatoes are washed, graded, sorted, and bagged. There is a machine called a grader which in effect takes out the culis. Because of the way the machine is set up, the hopper will hold only a truckload or two of potatoes. The operation of the machine is dependent upon a consistent flow of potatoes coming into the shed during the course of the day. And also for reasons with which I am not totally familiar, I think essentially having to do with the inadequacy of the machine, it often breaks down. So in the course of a 16- or 18-hour day, which is the normal day at the peak of the processing season in August, September, and October, the machine itself

Mr. RESNICK. Sixteen hours?

Mr. GARTNER. A 16- or 18-hour day; yes, sir. The machine itself may not be working any more than 8 or io hours. The workers themselves are not paid for the so-called downtime although they physically must be on the premises in order to retain their jobs.

Thus we have a situation where a man is in the shed at the job 16 to 18 hours and is paid for 8 hours and on that basis he gets the fair wage.

Mr. RESNICK. That is quite a system. I know in my factory when the machines breaks, he still gets paid.

Mr. GARTNER. In the shed he does not.
Mr. RESNICK. I think that is a clear violation of the labor laws.

Mr. GARTNER. One of the problems has to do with the so-called agricultural exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Our council is trying to dig into this question, whether or not we are dealing with a farm situation or whether in fact we are dealing with factory. Mr. RESNICK. It sounds like a canning operation.

Mr. GARTNER. You get a peculiar thing. The potato is the same. There is no agricultural legislation--and this is not an area of great expertise on my part-where we raise the question of the change in the products. The potato is brought into the grading shed and it comes out in itself, except for being cleaner, not significantly different as opposed to something canned or cut up or cooked or what-have-you.

But we would argue that when a company as large as A. & P. runs a potato grader, that is an industry and that is not entitled to the kind of exemption we have in our farm laws for the family farm. We hope before this summer is out to bring suit on just this issue.

Mr. RESNICK. Another of our witnesses, Mr. Rubenstein, testified that health facilities and housing facilities are also substandard and below State minimums. Would you agree?

Mr. GARTNER. We had a situation recently in our major township in the county, Riverhead Town, which also happens to be the county seat, where the town board passed regulations permitting housing for a 9-month period in mobile homes for migrant workers. It was stated from the floor by a member of that town council that the purpose of the 9-months figure for migrant homes was to get around the State law which covered 12-month homes. We have, indeed, this kind of effort.

One of the things we are trying to do, which I discuss in my testimony, we have been recently funded for an EO title III (b) self-help housing program which will be hardly a drop in the bucket but will begin to show some success in what individuals can do for themselves.

Mr. RESNICK. There seems to be running throughout these hearings the threat of the effect that farm prices have on rural poverty. Is it reasonable to assume from your testimony that no matter what the prices are, those people in the sheds get the same inadequate wages?

Mr. GARTNER. Although the price of potatoes has fluctuated fairly significantly in the last year and a half since I have been in Suffolk County, there is no change and, as I gather, there has been no change in a significant period of time prior to that in the conditions of the wages of the workers.

Mr. RESNICK. I would like to point out that I agree 100 percent that the farmer family is not receiving adequate wages for his work. One of the reasons he is not is that he has to compete against people like this.

Mr. GARTNER. I would agree.

Mr. RESNICK. When a man is working in the packing shed against somebody making $700 a year, that is what the labor is worth, $700 a year, and not a penny more. He can't get any more.

Mr. Zwach. When I am thinking of rural America, I am thinking of the whole overall structure. In our area we can't hire help for love nor money. Nobody can pay the wages necessary. The cities have taken our people off of the farm.

One thing I have learned here is that our type of operation isn't typical of all operations throughout the United States. This is most interesting to me.

I would guess, too, that the price of potatoes is not stable; that potatoes perhaps fluctuate, too.

Mr. GARTNER. Quite a bit.

Mr. Zwach. When it becomes a consumer product, it is then pretty stable. My wife tells me when she goes shopping here in Washington there is tremendous stability in all farm products after they get out

of the hands of the producer. You have stability there, but not down I below. The farmer sometimes gets $1 per bushel less for his potatoes

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