Foremost among the deficiencies of the actual operating program of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission was the lack of an adequate staff. This lack was manifest not only in the need for additional investigators to handle the case load, but also and most importantly, in the absence of full- time personnel to administer the educational program. Of necessity, a great deal of the time of Director Thomas and Investigator Burger was spent in handling problems relating to cases. Positive programming, therefore, was relegated to a subservient level.
It is becoming recognized almost universally in human relations circles that the real key to significant community progress in areas such as employment is to conduct a thorough, on-going program of affirmative action. Such a program requires that a rapport based upon mutual respect and integrity be established among employers, employees and human relations groups. An approach of this sort would be particularly fitting in Iowa. The approach is possible, however, only if the commission is provided with the resources necessary to carry it out.
The consensus among Iowans who are members of racial minorities is that housing is the number one problem. There seem to be many sides to the housing problem; finding adequate housing when one has the means; finding adequate housing with meager means; limitations on the areas of selection and the concurrent problems of the ghetto; getting a proportional share of public services such as sewer service, lighting, health code enforcement, etc.; and the problems of urban renewal and redevelopment with no government assistance in relocation. The commission has gone on record as favoring passage of a freedom of residence law for the State of Iowa. Such legislation would not solve all the problems, but would certainly help to remove one very significant barrier to progress--racial discrimination in the sale and rental of dwelling places in Iowa.
As we look forward to our second year of operation, we are hesitant to speak loudly of what successes we may have had during the past year. We hesitate because we know that our field of endeavor is a most difficult one, one in which the dimensions of the problems yet to be faced are such as to require our utmost in effort and dedication. It better serves our purpose, therefore, to look forward to the coming year in the hope that we can make an even greater contribution to our state.
IOWA CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION
Philip A. Hamilton
Elizabeth S. Kruidenier
Donald E. Boles, Ph.D.
Merle F. Full
June P. Goldman
Harry D..Harper, M.D.
Lawrence S. Slotsky