Today I canceled my automatic payroll deduction for United Way when I learned through The Times' article of (United Way president) Francis McNamara's membership in the California Club, paid for by United Way ("Expected '86 Shortfall Intensifies Soul-Searching at L.A. United Way" by David Johnston, April 10). I will contribute an equivalent amount directly to United Way member agencies.
I had only recently authorized a regular contribution to United Way in response to my perception that they were beginning to respond to the needs of women and minorities by broadening both their leadership and their outreach to agencies that serve these needs. However, I cannot allow any portion of my contribution to be used for a membership for the president of United Way in the California Club, a club that does not admit women. I find it most offensive that United Way would, on the one hand, talk about the needs of women and minorities and, on the other hand, continue to support a flagrantly discriminatory club. To me, this clearly indicates they do not understand the problem or what needs to be done.
As they seek to determine why the giving campaign fell short of its goal, they will have to look at whom United Way is serving, whom it should be serving and the total message being delivered to the community. It is not one I choose to support at this time.