ERNEST CALLOWAY SPEECH, MARCH 17, 1958

In support of the Mill Creek Valley Massive Slum Clearance Program:

By Ernest Calloway, Research Director
St. Louis Teamsters Joint Council
President, St. Louis NAACP

Public Hearing, Kiel Auditorium
March 17, 1958

The St. Louis Branch of the NAACP, in recognizing that housing is basic, supports a policy of a free and open market in housing for everyone regardless of race, creed or color. We support the removal of slum conditions and also the prevention of slums. We further recognize that the social, moral and economic welfare of our community requires the elimination of slums and blighted areas.

The Mill Creek Valley project represents one of the most ambitious and far-reaching slum clearance programs in the history of St. Louis. It will revive the heart of our city. It will tend to slow down the stampede to the suburbs.

The area contains more than 5,000 dwelling units and over 4,000 families. It is estimated that 97 percent of these are Negro families. This represents almost 10 percent of the Negro population in St. Louis.

A far greater problem that emerges is the matter of employment opportunities to be provided by the physical clearance and new construction to take place in the area over the next 10 year period. [We want to] insure a fair share of the 'good' jobs for local Negro citizens.

We further believe that the Redevelopment Plan for the Mill Creek Valley Project will benefit the total community. Therefore on behalf of the thousands of members of the St. Louis branch NAACP we call upon the Board of Aldermen to approve the Redevelopment and Relocation Plans of the Mill Creek Valley Project.

Source: Calloway Collection, Western Historical Manuscripts