NEW YORK (Jan. 25)
The AJ Committee’s request that Mayor John V. Lindsay make the City Commission on Human Rights a full City Department has received a favorable response from Mayor Lindsay. In a letter to the Mayor several days ago, Haskell L. Lazere, Director of the New York Chapter, asked that all city offices and agencies dealing with social problems and race relations be put under the Commission.
He said that “we are confronted not only with the need for eliminating discrimination because of race, religion or national origin, but also easing tensions between groups in our city. As we expand opportunities for minorities, simultaneously there have to be reassurances for others that their opportunities are not diminished.” A spokesman for Mayor Lindsay said that Mr. Lazere’s letter was “a thoughtful paper which will be given careful study.” Mr. Lazere compared the present Commission to “a model T Ford in a race with a Ford Lotus. The needs of the 70’s,” he added. “will not be met by the concepts or structures of the 40’s or 50’s.” He contended that the Commission should be the “keystone of a well-coordinated, carefully-planned, on-going city program. We have a commission that does not have the status, budget or authority of a full City Department.”