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'Eastside Seethes Over Prison Plan'

August 20, 1986

After reading Edward Boyer and Marita Hernandez' article (Aug. 13), "Eastside Seethes Over Prison Plan," I was heartened to see that Eastside residents are fighting back. The majority of children on the Eastside grow up playing on the side of jails, factories, freeway interchanges or cemeteries. Their lungs probably encounter more toxic fumes and carbon monoxide than any children in greater Los Angeles. Their concerns are real. They deserve to be heard.

I have never witnessed a more neglected community in recent years than our Eastside. What concerns me most is that within 15 years the tax base of millions of young Latinos will be depended upon to support an ever-growing constituency of senior citizens (mostly white), whose needs are becoming both costly and acute. Are the children of the Eastside prepared educationally and socially to assume the burdens that await them? Are we maximizing their human potential as well as their earning potential?

Jimmy Stewart, in an old movie, quoted his father as saying that "the only causes worth fighting for are the lost causes." Well, I hope that the East L.A. prison fight is not a lost cause. It is definitely worth fighting for, and if the Eastside residents have room for one more, I am certainly willing.

REX GUTIERREZ

Los Angeles

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