Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Statement by the President Upon Signing the District of Columbia Appropriation Act, 1969.

August 10, 1968

I HAVE today signed H.R. 18706, the District of Columbia Appropriation Act of 1969. This bill provides a total of $688.9 million for the work of the government of our Capital City in this fiscal year.

An appropriation bill provides the lifeblood of government, and of the services it provides to its citizens. I take particular pride in two items in this bill.

The act authorizes funds for 1,000 additional police officers, which I requested on May 27 of this year. The District of Columbia already has a skilled, responsible, and ably-led police force. But our Capital City and its needs are unique. It should be the law enforcement model for the Nation. Equal justice for all has always been the goal throughout this land. But it can only be attained in an ordered society. Effective, efficient, evenhanded law enforcement is no longer just desirable--it is essential.

This increase in the authorized size of the force--together with the increased salaries for police officers which I recommended and the Congress approved in May--must give Washington's residents and the millions of Americans who visit it each year the safety and security they deserve. With this new authority, I am asking Mayor Walter E. Washington to step up his programs to recruit new officers--and to make a special effort to attract members of minority groups into this essential and urgent work. Moreover, I urge all of those engaged in law enforcement functions to extend the full measure of cooperation to accomplish ordered justice.

I am also gratified that the Congress approved the funds I requested for the new Federal City College and the Washington Technical Institute. These two schools will enroll their first students in September. I believe that they--backed up by an upgraded public school system, for the first time supervised by an elected school board--hold an important key to the future of our Capital City by enlarging the opportunities of thousands of youngsters who make it their home.

Note: As enacted, the bill (H.R. 18706) is Public,, Law 90-473 (82 Stat. 694).
The statement was released at Austin, Texas.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Statement by the President Upon Signing the District of Columbia Appropriation Act, 1969. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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