MAY 24, 1962

Racial discrimination and segregation in housing are the "root cause" of much of the tension now existing in the Los Angeles community and "urgently require legislative action," declared Councilman Edward R. Roybal today.

A series of meetings with civic leaders is underway to consider strategy for overcoming technical-legal obstacles to a proposed City fair housing practices ordinance, and insure a common approach by all concerned organizations, Mr. Roybal announced.

Mr. Roybal stated: "The root cause of much of the tension and conflict now existing in Los Angeles is the prevalence of discrimination and segregation in the sale or rental of housing on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin and ancestry.

"Such discrimination has imposed disadvantages, disabilities and indignities on minority group persons and has perpetuated barriers against contact, communication and understanding among Los Angeles residents.

"Experience here and in other cities clearly indicates that such discrimination can only be eliminated with the assistance of legislation. "Hence, an ordinance has been suggested to establish a Commission for enforcing non-discriminatory practices in the sale or rental of housing by those in the housing business.

"The proposed ordinance will follow the procedures now well established and thoroughly tested by the human relations commission in 18 states and 40 cities and by the California Fair Employment Practice Commission.

"A series of meetings are now going forward among concerned civic groups and leaders to refine the proposed ordinance and to assure common agreement among sponsors. "An effort is also being made to iron out technical-legal obstacles which have arisen in connection with the ordinance. "A broad Citizens Committee to sponsor the ordinance is also being formed and hearings will be scheduled before the Health and Welfare Committee on the ordinance at the earliest feasible date."