Josph B. Danzansky, president of Giant Food, Inc., called on Washington area businessmen last night to double the number of job opportunities for the area's youth.
In remarks prepared for delivery, Danzansky asserted that members of Washington's Board of Trade had provided 38,000 jobs for needy youths this year. "Unfortunately that still leaves an enormous pool of idle youngsters," he said.
Danzansky said business leaders should be providing jobs for 60,000 to 70,000 youths, "and I urge every business person in the metropolitan area to search his heart and his operation to see whether an extra job opportunity might be found."
Danzansky was speaking at the Whitney M. Young Jr. Memorial Dinner sponsored by the Washington Urban League.
A native of Washington, and one of the area's most prominent businessmen, Danzansky used the occasion to call for "coalitions between the city and its suburbs, between blacks and whites, between business, consumers and labor, between labor and government and voluntary organizations. And I am asking the Urban League to play the role of catalyst in forging these new coalitions."
Having been shaken by the riots of 1968, Danzansky said, "Our world is very different now. We are somewhat sadder, but hoepfully somewhat wiser, an enormous unfinished agenda remains before us, even if we acknowledge the considerable distance we have already come."
Danzansky asked are businessmen to recognize that there are things more important than "the economic bottom lines, and encouraged them to arrest urban blight by opening more new stores in the District's relatively poor areas - and keep them open."
He said the responsibility to provide jobs rested with labor to be more flexible in setting wage scales so that more young peopl could be hired without inflation.
"Instead of spending enormous sums on government jobs programs, for example, why not provide incentives for the creation or expansion of business enterprises? Emergency government jobs offer the worker no future," he said.
Danzansky criticized government for the red tape that he said "hamstrings developers who want to provide (good housing).The District's rent control law was "the enemy of low income people" because, he said, it makes builders reluctant to construct rental units.
Speaking of the need for new coalitions, Danzansky quoted the late Whitney Young, former executive director of the National Urban League; "We may have come over in different ships, but we're all in the same boat now."