Garelik Calls for Full Study of Ethnic Census of City Employees

City Council President Sanford D. Garelik said that he would have the City Council Committee on Civil Service and Labor ” fully explore ” questions raised by Mayor John V. Lindsay’s executive order calling for a racial and ethnic census of city employees.

In a letter to the American Jewish Congress–which in a telegram to Garelik had voiced ” anxiety and concern” about the census’ possible use to “destroy the civil service merit system”–Garelik wrote: ” I concur wholeheartedly with your comments and I share your concern.”

Responding to Theodore J. Kolish, chairman of the Congress’ Metropolitan Council–who had sent the protest telegram calling for public hearings by the City Council–Garelik wrote: ” The ethnic census called for by reason of Executive Order No. 49 has raised many questions and is susceptible to misuse that could adversely affect the Civil Service system.”

In a letter to Commissioner Eleanor Holmes Norton, chairman of the City Commission on Human Rights. Garelik stated that while ” equality of opportunity and the elimination of employment discrimination” were “worthy and necessary” objectives. ” we must be certain that in our zeal we do not infringe upon or do violence to existing safeguards to individual rights.”

The Mayor’s Executive Order No. 49, dated October 1, called on the City Commission on Human Rights to ” conduct a census annually of the employees of the city in order to determine and tabulate by jurisdictional classification, job title and salary level the racial or ethnic identification and sex of all of their New York City employees.” Physically handicapped workers are also counted.

NEXT STORY