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education. We have only two adults-one community youth organizer and one head tutor for our school. As the Rebels went on, we felt we needed to enrich our education and to learn more subjects than we would ordinarily get in school.
For example: the structure of our Government-you know you are our city's fathers-Negro history and responsible citizenship and arithmetic, sciences, and others. The school is also a work-study program in which we relate what we learn to our job experience. This we did not get and are not getting in the public school system. We have set up our own school and selected our own curriculum and our own tutor.
What was a dream a year ago is now a reality. We thought you would like to hear our real achievements.
Mr. PUCINSKI, Mr. Scott, your entire statement will be in the record, if you so wish, then we are all through here. And this young lady's name is what?
Miss POTTER. Marie Potter.
Mr. PrixSKI. Miss Potter, proceed. STATEMENT OF MARIE POTTER, NEIGHBORHOOD YOUTH WORKER,
WASHINGTON, D.C. Miss POTTER. Good morning, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I welcome the opportunity to appear before you to discuss the achievements of the Rebels With a Cause. Since the beginning of our program, our staff has helped in organizing youth and coordinating youth and other members in the community to make the necessary improvements in our community. We have worked with many agencies to improve the conditions in the Southeast Anacostia area.
Some of these agencies are: The Recreation Department, Park Serr. ice, National Capital Housing, Police Department and the Department of Highways and Traffic. We have held meetings with the heads of these agencies. In these meetings we have had youth and adult support from the community, which is a good example of community organization.
In our meeting with Mr. Joe Cole, the Superintendent of the Recreation Department, our discussions were centered around a new recreation center, improvements in the old Douglass Recreation Center, lights on the basketball courts, tot lot equipment for smaller children, new equipment inside the recreation centers, outdoor facilities, basketball courts, football fields, and baseball diamonds repaired, regular movies shown in the recreation centers, and swimming pools.
As a result of our efforts in improving recreation, a new recreation center with a pool is being built on a large piece of land in the Douglas dwellings area. This pool is scheduled to open on June 1, of this vear. Total cost of this center is $619.000. Other improvements in the Douglass area are the improvements in the Douglass Recreation Center. This center has received new kitchen facilities, pool table, iron horseshoes, a movie projector, outdoor benches, night light, and a tot lot equipment on the playground.
Not only have improvements been made in the Douglass area, but they have been made in Knox, Barry Farms, Fort Stanton, and Oson Run. As other results of our efforts, Fort Stanton and Oxon Run will receive a swimming pool and Barry Farms will have a wading pool. Sheridan Terrace has received tot lot and picnic equipment. Woodland Terrace has received tot lot areas and basketball courts. In Fort Stanton, the football field and basketball court have been repaired.
Our staff has also helped youths, neighborhood workers, and members of the community to get better facilities in privately owned housing. In Parkchester, we are trying to get a community center. So far we have succeeded in having a basement donated. In another privately owned development, we have helped in getting gas heat installed to replace coal stoves.
In our meeting with Mr. Hanson and other Highway and Traffic officials, we have been successful in getting a traffic light at Nichols Avenue and Sumner Road. At Stanton Terrace and Alabama Avenue we have also been successful in getting a caution light and stop signs.
In working with groups like the Block Boys and the Barry Farm Tenant Council our staff has been instrumental in getting several roads repaired. They have also helped in getting the homes in Barry Farms remodeled. In addition to that, the wall surrounding St. Elizabeths, which was at one time a breeding place for rats, has been filled in.
In Knox, vandalism occurred at the Knox Well-Baby Clinic, because the youth in Knox did not have a recreation center, so our staff met with health officials and youths from Knox to discuss ways in which they can help and save the clinic from vandalism. As a result of that meeting, the youth have been working jointly with the tenant council to protect the clinic.
Another result is that the health officials have given youth permission to use the clinic in the evenings for recreation. This evening recreation will be supervised by the Recreation Department. Starting in June, there will be dances held on the outside of the clinic.
Also in Knox, the youth have met with a member-Polly Shackleton--from Mrs. Johnson's committee to discuss beautification at Knox Well-Baby Clinic and other areas in the Southeast.
In working with youth and organizing youth, we have helped in trying to prevent vandalism, gang fights and other acts of juvenile delinquency. We have brought gangs together in meetings to neutralize them so they can participate in community activities together.
We have helped in getting jobs for some of these youth. We have contacted businesses in our area to hire youths from the community. We have worked with No. 11 precinct, Captain Davis, Public Relations Officer, Youth Crime Commission Councils, and other agencies to decide on ways we can help problem youth.
As a result of this, the youth that are picked up by a police officer on a 379 citation are not taken downtown to juvenile court. The No. 11 precinct notifies one of the agencies in the community and the youth is put in their custody. This agency will see to it that the youth is given a counselor, who will give him counselling services. In addition, we schedule games, movies, trips and other activities for the youth in our community.
STATEMENT OF WALTER WILLIAMS, ASSISTANT YOUTH
DIRECTOR, WASHINGTON, D.C. Mr. WILLIAMS. My name is Walter Williams. I am assistant youth director for Rebels With a Cause.
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, you have heard the background, history and achievements of the Rebels. From what you have heard, 'I'm sure that you can see that you have been responsible for the Rebels With a Cause being able to carry out their programs because of the Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Offenses Control Act of 1961 provided these funds.
Through this program we have developed a good relationship with the community and have set up good partnership with agencies which are operating and functioning to help youth. We have also found out how the community and agencies feel about our program, and are submitting for the record testimonies from their representatives.
I would like to read only a few of these testimonies.
A year ago people were saying that the Rebels were hoodlums, but this year at our first anniversary ceremony, Mrs. Ruth Bates Harris, the Executive Director of the Commissioners' Council on Human Relations in the District of Columbia said, “I'll look into my crystal ball and see members of the 'Rebels With a Cause' as mayor, chief of police, superintendent of the Recreation Department and heads of the Department of Highway and Traffic.”
Mr. Joseph H. Cole, Superintendent of the Recreation Department, an honorary Rebel, said:
Anacostia, D. C. would never have gotten the recreation facilities and programs they are now getting, but for the Rebels. The Rebels and I have developed a partnership
In looking further into the future, our staff feels that the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Act of 1967 is the kind of bill that will help our program and programs like ours to continue. We hope that you could put language in the bill that we can understand-language that tells us and others that the bill will help us, the Rebels with a Cause, and other programs like ours to continue.
Page 2, section C of the bill states:
The Congress believes that the Nation's youths should be given meaningful opportunities to be involved in the efforts designed to assist them.
Our program is a program designed to give youth a chance to exercise responsible citizenship and to participate in community programs.
Page 9, part C, states that Congress wants "to promote the use of community-based services for the prevention of juvenile delinquency and the rehabilitation of delinquent youths." Our program is a preventive program because we have tried to find out and meet the needs of youth and especially problem youth. We have been successful in altering some of the facilities in Anacostia, Southeast. We haven't been able to change the needs, because the needs are still there. We are hoping that this bill—the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Act of 1967—will help us continue our efforts and also help other youth in our country.
I am delighted to say that I am glad to see that Members of Congress are putting more emphasis on juvenile delinquency prevention. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today.
Mr. PUCINSKI. Who is next, Mr. Scott!
STATEMENT OF HAROLD WOOD, NEIGHBORHOOD YOUTH
WORKER, WASHINGTON, D.C. Mr. Wood. I am Harold Wood; I am a neighborhood youth worker. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am glad to appear before you today.
I would like to say that I hope this program, I am now in, will be continued and will one day become a nationwide program, because I believe it is needed by a lot of youths throughout the country or youths who, like myself, were at one time out on the block. So I do hope funds will be continued, and I hope this program will be nationwide soon.
Mr. PUCINSKI. Well, Mr. Wood, as you know, we frequently discuss with Miss Kitt, Mr. Scott, and the others, the possibility of extending this concept on a nationwide basis, encouraging young people to organize as you have done here and do meaningful work, and I am sure that this is being given very serious consideration.
Mr. Wood. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
STATEMENT OF HERMAN LEE, WASHINGTON, D.C.
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am Herman Lee. I am a supervisor. I see the youth in the staff going out in the community, finding out their problems, and telling the people what they can do about it. I see Mr. Scheuer coming into the community, as he did 2 years ago when he came to the Southeast House to tell them about the new careers act under manpower. I can see youth coming together talking about their problems and bringing better communications between adults and the youth in the community.
Mr. PUCINSKI. Well, now
Mr. SCHEUER. Mr. Chairman, may I say that what I was describing to you 2 years ago was just a dream that many of us up here had 2 years ago the dream program for teenagers. Now it is the law, with a substantial allotment from Congress, many millions of dollars, and I hope very much that many of you and your friends will apply for this program through your Washington, D.C., poverty program and become aides to the public service.
I think you have a great deal to contribute to our society through that program which we discussed when it was only a dream; and now it is a reality.
Mr. LEE. And we are giving you an open invitation to come any time.
Mr. PUCINSKI. I might say we have now come to the point in our proceedings that we are going to hear from the lady who was very much instrumental in encouraging this group. I remember how discouraged they were when they first started out with this program. There were many obstacles, a great deal of distrust, a lot of people shuddered at the name of this organization. It sounded somewhat revolutionary in its own, Rebels With a Cause, and I know that when
I first heard of it, I had some misgivings. But many times, as these young people ran into all sorts of obstacles in communities that did not always understand the scope of their effort, the lady would come through and was their No. 1 lobbyist, I would say. She was a lobbyist for the cause, and, I presume, came by and helped
Ι them. The irony of their work is that the needs of the community they serve are so huge that whatever these young people do gets lost in the enormity of the problem, so we have to try and judge their accomplishments and their efforts in that perspective.
They have taken on a job that many others had considered impossible and had given up, and that is the tragedy of Washington, D.C.; that so many people have given up and run away. But, these young people have said, and with a marvelous stubbornness have insisted, that they are going to succeed.
So, Miss Kitt, we are privileged to have you here this morning to tell us about not only the activity of this group, but how their spirits and their work can be related to a national effort to help young people of this country.
We are delighted to have you here and if you would be good enough to proceed, we would be glad to have your testimony. STATEMENT OF EARTHA KITT, HONORARY MEMBER, REBELS
WITH A CAUSE, NEW YORK, N.Y. Miss KITT. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, of course, I would like to express my appreciation to Chairman Pucinski for his invitation to me to speak before you today. It seems a very short time ago that I was able to convince Congressman Pucinski to accompany me to a town meeting in Anacostia, Washington, D.C., for Rebels With a Cause.
As you have heard this morning from this meeting, a new and viable concept was conceived by the Rebels With a Cause. It is my belief, and I believe Congressman Pucinski's belief, that this town meeting was one of the most educational experiences of both of our lives.
We met the group of youngsters, varying in age from 16 to 22, with the majority being under age 18, whose background should have led them to be without hope or desire for any better life. In the last year. through their efforts, they have come to be one of the strongest and most influential groups within the area of Anacostia. This feat being performed by any teenager group would of itself be laudatory; however, when one is aware of the fact that 90 percent of these young men and women had juvenile records, the term “laudatory” is, to say the least, an understatement.
As far as I am personally concerned, the most important aspect of H.R. 6162 is the provision for youth participation in planning programs of prevention and rehabilitation of the juvenile delinquents, although we are all well aware of the fears of the adult community in turning over community planning to teenagers, and in this case to teenagers with juvenile records. The fact of the matter is that the adult community has certainly proven its limitations with respect to aiding and preventing juvenile delinquency.