taken ten years to adopt.” Martin added that “there is delay because of the way the law is written.” Subcommittees of a general advisory committee have to consider each proposed standard. “Having to go through all these people” causes delay. The advisory board is composed of ten management people, ten labor people, and Martin. Four standards, on fixed ladders, weld Texas is the only state in the country which has as many as three of the 20 largest standard metropolitan areas. These three are Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas-Fort Worth. Each has its ghettoes, and so do smaller Texas cities such as El Paso, Corpus Christi, and Waco. It is the Texas tradition to ignore the ghettoes. The Legislature is still run by rural people. The subconscious decision of the state is, “Let Washington take care of it.” Washington has not, but the state, in league with the cities and Washington, can help take care of it, should there be the desire to. The state can sponsor a “peace corps” of Texas young people who want to work in the urban cores. We do not have to wait for “Vista” workers from Boston and Philadelphia, we have an abundance of Texas young people who would be proud to work in the ghettoes in their own hometowns, and they would not have to try to overcome, from the start, the handicap of being strangers. No doubt some federal money could be obtained. The state “housing” law actually does next to nothing for the poor; it impedes the application of federal low-cost housing programs for the poor in Texas. Let it be amended. We, too, could have our own state housing program. In New York, Gov. Nelson Rockefeller has proposed a non-profit state corporation with power, in league with private and other public instrumentalities, to provide housing and other enterprises and services in the urban core. He wants a state loan guarantee program for investors in the ghettoes and a tax incentive program for businesses that provide jobs located in these areas. 27 These ideas are just as good for Texas as they are for New York. Medicare is working in Texas in the standard manner. The 1967 Legislature passed the law to provide the medical benefits of medicare to all persons receiving public welfare benefits. Failure to pass this would have caused the cutting off of federal funds for medical benefits for old age pensioners. By 1975, on pain of similar consequences, the states must provide medical care for everyone who cannot afford such care, whether they are on welfare or not. 28 New York’s Rockefeller has proposed the first state “universal medical ing and cutting, the use and care of abrasive and grinding wheels, and woodworking machinery, are coming up for public hearing soon, he says. Last Jan. 17, he recommended that the state board consider “start working on” a general safety code. Can he tell how long it might take to get one? “No, sir, it’s hard to tell,” Martin says. 2 6 care” bill, and Texas could make amends for some of its neglects in these areas by taking up the idea promptly. SCHOOL integration has been limited, in Texas as elsewhere, by persisting residential segregation. Each community needs, if it does not have, a citizens’ group dedicated to integrating the community. Re-drawing school lines is one method of achieving the goal. Another is the new idea of the educational park, a centrally located school complex, limited to a few grades, attended by children from many areas of the city. School busing is a third method. It is now being experimented with in Berkeley, Cal., and the Middle West. The new US commissioner of education favors it. A member of an urban Texas school board favors it, but, public opinion being so Texas is the only state that does not regulate telephone rates and one of the very few that do not regulate privately owned electric light and, power companies and water rates. 2 9 Through the Texas Railroad Commission, this state does regulate rates on buses, trucks, railroads, natural gas, and oil and gas pipelines. Even so, it is indisputably the most neglectful state in the union in the protection of its citizens from rate gougings by the natural monopolies, the privately owned utility companies. The Railroad Commission has been charged, by the Jacksonville Daily Progress, with discriminating against Texas shippers by setting truck freight rates intrastate higher than the Interstate Commerce Commission sets interstate rates. Calling for abolition of the commission six years ago, the Jacksonville newspaper said the railroad commissioners, once appointed or elected, “become the darling, the protectors and the providers of the truck lines, hostile, is afraid to broach it; the consequences would be self-defeating. School busing really integrates the children of a city; that is why it is so controversial. Citizens who want a democratic community should support school busing. It is feasible now to carry out the Observer’s proposal of 1959 that “Segregation should be wiped out of every Texas law like a crushed spider off a book page.” This is merely a cleaning up operation, but should not be neglected. It is illegal in Texas, for instance, for a child with Negro “blood” to be adopted by a white family, or vice versa. Negroes are banned from sleeping in Pullman cars, unless they are porters. Although the Supreme Court unanimously banned the Virginia law against interracial marriage in 1967, Texas law continues to declare “miscegenation” illegal. The statutes should be combed clean of all these lamentable, unconstitutional laws. Legislators who would uphold them would have a lot of explaining to do. Affirmatively, the state should enact a fair employment practices act. A law should also be passed prohibiting racial discrimination by all state licensees. They have sought the protection of endeavors affected with a public interest; let them also accept the responsibilities of such endeavors. All state work should be let only on the basis of non-discriminatiOn in employment. Unions or contractors that continue to discriminate should be barred from state or local public projects. bus lines, railroads, and the oil companies.” 3 We need a state public utilities commission with rate-making powers. The law should be drawn to specify actual cost of investment less depreciation as the basis for the permitted percentage rates of income, which should not exceed six per cent. In Texas, passenger trains have been discontinued helter-skelter by the Railroad Commission on dubious findings that the railroads were losing money on passenger service. The state gave these railroads millions of acres of land and now they tell us we have no right to ride their damn trains. The trend should be reversed. The public convenience and necessity should be made the basis for the state’s decision on whether passenger service is required. Railroads should be ordered to provide passenger service again. Even apart from people’s right to ride a public vehicular monopoly, February 21, 1969 5 Government And the People The Protection Of Consumers
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