Jimmy Carter photo

Swearing-In Ceremony Remarks at the Swearing In of the Director of the Community Services Administration, the Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Administrator of General Services, and a Civil Service Commissioner.

May 13, 1977

Some people said that this group meeting was because I got accustomed to meeting with large numbers of heads of state in Europe. But that's not the case.

I particularly wanted to have this morning, an opportunity to demonstrate as vividly as possible the interrelationship between competence in government and the humane concern about people in our country.

We have two men who will be sworn in this morning who are responsible for the public employees--head of the Civil Service and head of a General Services agency that takes care of all our property and has, I think, about a $4 billion budget. They bring to our Government a background of superb knowledge and experience.

On the other hand, we have two people being sworn in who will deal in the most direct way with human beings. And I'm very proud to have this chance to reaffirm my old friendships with some of them and to introduce the others to the American people.

The first person that I'd like to introduce, on my right, is a friend whom I've known for several years. Jay Solomon and his wife, Rosalynn, their children, are very close to me. They've demonstrated in many ways their commitment to a finer America.

Jay Solomon is a very successful businessman. He's familiar in his own region of the country, Chattanooga, Tennessee, with public housing and how to care for it, how to make it be used more effectively. His background in business is in housing development, construction, with major undertakings and enterprises far beyond anything I've ever been associated with in my own business career. And at a tremendous financial sacrifice to him, he's been willing to come and help us in the Government to bring order and good planning at a vast range of functions of a General Services agency.

Graciela comes here from New Jersey---I mean from New Mexico--excuse me. She's been a friend and has worked very closely with Jerry Apodaca, the Governor of New Mexico, who's also a good friend of mine--at least he was a good friend before I took Graciela away from New Mexico.

The function that she will perform is extremely important. When the Congress established the Community Services Administration, it was with the idea of being kind of a knife edge of dealing with human beings in a nonbureaucratic way. We have a large number of major agencies-HEW is the most notable one--which can, in a structured fashion, deal with people's needs. But the Community Services Administration can be innovative, direct, can involve poor people in the evolution of programs that help them and their neighbors. And Graciela Olivarez is such a person. She's extraordinary. She comes from a very poor family. She's the first woman who ever graduated from the law school at Notre Dame. She's been a professor. And she has the most deep sense of personal concern about the less fortunate members of the American society. And I'm very grateful that she is willing to come to be with us, also.

Leonel Castillo comes to us from Houston, Texas. He's a man who has the highest possible reputation. He's a public administrator, and I think I can tell you that he's going to take on one of the most difficult jobs in Government. Sometimes I think the Oval Office is a hot spot, but I think his own responsibilities at this particular time might be even worse.

He'll be in charge of naturalization and immigration, and he's the kind of person, I think, that can bring a proper sensitivity to the special challenge which too long has remained unresolved--how to welcome those who legally and properly should come to our society, come into our great country; how to deal with those who have in the past come into our country illegally, but who perform well here; and how to establish and maintain a friendly, constant working relationship with our friends and neighbors who want to have a good, close contact with their own loved ones in this country and who want to come here to provide good services for our country.

He's a man who also leaves a very challenging job, and I have complete confidence in him.

The last person I'd like to introduce is one that has created a great deal of problem for me. [Laughter] Yes, already.

The U.S. Civil Service Commission is an area where policies are established protecting the basic rights of employees of our Government, and also where opportunities exist, I think, for better service of the professionals who have one life to live, who have decided to devote it on a fulltime basis--not just a part-time basis, for elected officials--to service their fellow human beings. And quite often, there's a breakdown in that relationship between hard work in a bureaucracy, the protection of the employee's own rights, orderly promotion, adequate salary, and effectiveness of service.

Alan Campbell had just agreed to go to the University of Texas. The Texans were very proud of him. And it was a notable achievement for the university to have acquired his services.

When I asked him to come and take on this important job, he was in a quandary. And I can let you know that Lady Bird Johnson and many other people were deeply involved in the process, and there was a great reluctance in letting him come back to Washington. And I can tell you that typical of Texans, they yielded to the greater interest of our country.

And I'm very grateful that Alan Campbell has come. This is a thankless job, but it's one I believe that will tap his tremendous capabilities, background, and experience. He's come here at a sacrifice as well, because that's a very fine position that he had agreed to take originally, and I know he would have been proud to serve in that capacity.

So, these four people, different in their background, different in their future responsibilities, but having a common purloose to serve our country to the best of their own ability, is what brings us together this morning.

Judge Griffin Bell will administer the oath of office to these people who make me proud to be President.

Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 11:10 a.m. at the ceremony in the Rose Garden at the White House. Following his remarks, Attorney General Griffin B. Bell administered the oath of office.

Jimmy Carter, Swearing-In Ceremony Remarks at the Swearing In of the Director of the Community Services Administration, the Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Administrator of General Services, and a Civil Service Commissioner. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/244224

Filed Under




Washington, DC

Simple Search of Our Archives