JUNE 16, 1959
NEW YORK—The Senate Democratic leader, Lyndon B. Johnson, told Congress last week that it still had an obligation to do something about unemployment in the United States.
All of us have been reading, I know, encouraging figures concerning our economy—first in profits of certain companies and then in increased employment. But those of us who travel around the country know there are still many pockets of unemployment, just as Senator Johnson said, and a family whose breadwinner has been out of work for many months is not helped by hearing that other people are employed.
Senator Johnson is hoping for the passage of a bill that would create a Youth Conservation Corps. This bill, from my point of view, is not only valuable because of the help it would give young people at a time of uncertainty in employment, but also because of the effect it would have in reducing juvenile delinquency.
The Youth Conservation Corps, I hope, would recruit many young people who, because of little to do, might otherwise get into serious trouble.
This, of course, is not the answer to juvenile delinquency, but it might well help some who do not have the opportunity to attend the better schools which someday we might be able to provide for all of our children.
A great many people must have been disturbed last week to read in the metropolitan newspapers that 15 percent of New York City's teaching jobs are not filled by qualified teachers.
A real study of the entire question of schools needs to be undertaken, not only in New York but in urban and rural areas all over the United States. Teaching must be made a profession in which people can make an adequate living. But, more than that, they must feel that they are making a worthwhile contribution to their community and that they have professional stature.
Former Senator Herbert Lehman and I attended a dinner last week of the Village Independent Democrats of New York City.
These Democrats are trying to elect new leaders in the district of Carmine De Sapio, chief of Tammany Hall, and I think they have presented to him a real challenge.
The young lawyer, Charles McGuinness, and his co-worker, Miss Gwen Worth, who are seeking election as leaders of this district, are anxious to make a good campaign. And, if elected, they will try to be, I am sure, active representatives of the interests of the people in that area. They are ardent Democrats and anxious for widespread participation in party affairs.
This is, of course, what Mr. Lehman, Thomas K. Finletter and myself would be more than glad to see.