Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
Monday night at the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights reception honoring the late Sen. Hubert Humphrey, New Orleans Mayor-elect Ernest Morial was hesitant to evaluate the first year in office of U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young. The problem, you see, is that Young happens to have been the senior prom date of Morial's wife, Sybil. So naturally, Morial admitted, he was biased.
"Andy Young, and I grew up together," said Morial, who will be New Orleans' first black mayor. "And his father and mother worked for me in my campaign. Overall, however, I guess I'd have to say that so far Andy has done a solid and substantial job."
Morial was part of a crowd of over 200 gathered on Capitol Hill for the reception following the conference's annual meeting Monday. Humphrey had planned on being there and was remembered in pictures and quotes around the room.
"Because of our respect and effection for him, we felt we needed to do something to show it," said Clarence Mitchell, Leadershkp Conference chairman.
Among those dropping by to chat with Mitchell were Urban League Executive Director Vernon Jordan and Sens. James R. Sasser (D-Tenn.), Harrison Williams (D-N.J.) and Howard Metzenbaum (D-Ohio).
Later, when asked what he thought about President Carter's efforts to help blacks during his first year in office, Mitchell commented: "I think he's been constructive but I don't think we've put enough emphasis on the role of Congress in this picture. The president can propose but it takes the Congress to dispose."
Morial, who seemed to be thoroughly enjoying the attention being lavished upon him, had another view of Carteer. "I'm waiting to see what he does with the problems that are tied into the cities. Right now he seems to be making considerable efforts to fulfill promises to his constituency. But I think the jury is still out on him."
Then, stopping for a moment, Morial added: "But I guess that might go for all of us. Look at me, the first black mayor of New Orleans despite the fact that years ago a reporter once said to me, 'Your haven't got a chance. You're Catholic, look Jewish and are a black to boot.'"