Civil Rights Panel Keeps Heat On All-White Fire Companies

March 21, 1970

Princeton Packet

Civil Rights Panel Keeps Heat On All-White Fire Companies

The Princeton Joint Commission on Civil Rights called on the governing bodies of the Princetons to help revise membership policies and practices in the three all-white Princeton volunteer fire companies, and to support the commission in its drive for fair housing.

…the commission called upon the fire companies to begin actively recruiting candidates from Princeton’s black community, to raise the upper age limit from age 35, and to institute straight majority voting in plane of the current practice which requires approval from 75 percent of the members for acceptance of new members….

Commission chairman Gordon Mack admitted that there has been a change of attitude among the firemen on the issue of admitting blacks into the volunteer companies, but, insisted that blacks still mistrust the sincerity of the fire companies’ claims that they do not discriminate

Robert F. Mooney, Borough Administrator and president of one of the fire companies, said he had been in contact with three possible applicants since December, but none of them followed up with applications. He called upon the Commission to help the fire companies.

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