Interview with Emma Darnell

How did you execute your authority? What were you able to accomplish?


The authority which we exercised and the implementation of the city's policy regarding affirmative action was based upon law. The city council of Atlanta, under the leadership of Morris Finley, who is, ah, still a member of city council, adopted an ordinance which said basically that if you do business with the city of Atlanta it is necessary that you demonstrate objectively that you hire, train and promote, ah, qualified minorities and women. Ah. It was an ordinance that for the first time involved more than a policy statement which we had for many years. Ah, the ordinance said that without a demonstration objectively, ah, to the satisfaction of the city and the procedures were outlined, ah, that the prospective vendor or contractor, ah, did not discriminate against minorities, that of course no contracts would be let. Um, we had the same kind of policy and procedure with respect to inside the government. Department heads were required to demonstrate that they had taken positive steps to eliminate patterns of discrimination within their departments. If they did not then the sanctions, ah, which normally follow, ah, in the, ah, supervision of performance occur. The mayor adopted a very strong position on this. And of course, as commissioner of the administration, ah, we enforced it.