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LOWER KENSINGTON CIVIC ASSN. v. WATSON

August 30, 1971

LOWER KENSINGTON CIVIC ASSOCIATION, a Pennsylvania nonprofit corp., et al.,
v.
Goldie WATSON, individually and in her capacity as head of the Model Cities Program for the City of Philadelphia, et al.


Weiner, District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: WEINER

WEINER, District Judge.

 This is an action in the nature of a mandamus, 28 U.S.C. ยง 1361 seeking to enjoin an election for council members in a Model Cities Neighborhood Council #3 scheduled for September 2, 1971. In response, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Administrator of Model Cities Program for the City of Philadelphia have moved to dismiss on the ground that the complaint fails to state a cause of action upon which relief can be granted.

 Predicated upon the stipulation of counsel for HUD and MODEL CITIES and counsel for the plaintiffs and the testimony adduced at an evidentiary hearing the following facts were established:

 (a) The individual plaintiffs are residents of the Philadelphia Model Cities Area #3, which is bounded by Columbia Avenue on the North, East to Front Street, South to Poplar Street, West to Fifth Street and North to Columbia Avenue.

 (b) On or about August 11, 1970, an election for positions on Neighborhood Council #3 was held.

 (c) 643 individuals voted in this election.

 (d) 158 non-residents of Area #3 who were employed in said area voted. Of this number 85 were employed by William H. Pflaummer and Sons, Inc.

 (e) The policies and procedures for neighborhood Council elections as promulgated by the Philadelphia Administrator of Model Cities in relevant part provides:

 
"All persons who reside or are employed in the Neighborhood Council area shall be eligible to vote. However, no person may vote in more than one Neighborhood Council".

 (f) On October 26, 1970, Neighborhood Council #3 requested that the Model Cities Administrator issue a directive which would in effect prevent non-resident neighborhood employees from voting. The Administrator, in turn, forwarded this request to HUD. In reply, the Administrator was advised that:

 
"* * * The Department of Housing and Urban Development has done considerable research in conjunction with the Office of Employment Opportunity to develop the policy questioned. We feel it justifiable that both persons who reside in the Model Neighborhood and non-resident persons employed in the Model Neighborhood should have a right to participate in the Model Cities Program, which includes elections. * * * This policy is in effect in all Model Cities programs in the country".

 (g) The defendants have submitted the affidavit of Floyd H. Hyde, Assistant Secretary for Community Development wherein he affirms that:

 
"* * * To allow non-resident employees of the Model Neighborhood to vote for representatives on neighborhood councils is consistent with Department of ...

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