Kelly vs desegregation

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Description: Jan von Mehren reports that City Councilor James Kelly denies that Boston's public housing policy is discriminatory and plans to ask the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for proof of discrimination. He has proposed an alternative housing policy which allows tenants to choose where they want to live. Mayor Ray Flynn has agreed to present Kelly's plan to HUD for discussion. Kelly and Flynn attend a South Boston community meeting, where Kelly speaks out against housing integration. The crowd jeers at Flynn as he approaches the stage. Von Mehren's report is accompanied by footage of white and African American residents of housing projects in Boston.
1:00:06: Visual: Shot of James Kelly (Boston City Council) at a community meeting in South Boston. Shots of audience members at the meeting applauding; of Ray Flynn (Mayor of Boston) at the meeting. Audio of audience members booing Flynn. Jan von Mehren reports that Kelly called a community meeting in South Boston to discuss public housing; that Flynn attended the meeting; that Flynn was booed by the crowd. V: Footage of Kelly at the meeting. Kelly dismisses the findings of discrimination in Boston public housing. Shot of a sign for the Mary Ellen McCormack Housing Development; of white women and children of a park bench; of a white boy scrambling under a fence near a housing project in South Boston. Von Mehren reports that there are approximately 2,000 housing units in South Boston; that no African American families have been placed in South Boston since Flynn entered office. Von Mehren reports that Kelly will ask the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for proof of discrimination; that Kelly has come up with an alternative housing plan. V: Footage of Kelly speaking at the meeting. Audience members are crowded into the room. Kelly talks about his "freedom of choice" housing plan, in which no family would be placed in a neighborhood without their consent. Von Mehren notes that Kelly's plan would permit African American families to move into white housing projects; that Kelly's plan would not force white families to move into primarily African American housing projects. V: Shots of a racially diverse group of children outside of a housing project. Von Mehren stands at the entrance to the community meeting in South Boston. Von Mehren reports that Flynn has promised to discuss Kelly's plan to HUD; that he will not submit the plan if it is deemed discriminatory. V: Footage of Flynn at the meeting. Flynn says that he will try to achieve as much choice as is possible in the new plan; that the new plan will not discriminate. Von Mehren reports that Flynn made clear that he has an obligation to work with HUD. Von Mehren notes that Kelly was clear about his intention to fight for South Boston residents. V: Shots of Flynn at the meeting; of Kelly at the meeting; of audience members.