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Bilingual Staffer in Wrong Place

August 31, 1986

The article (Southeast/Long Beach sections, Aug. 21) regarding the recall petition against Rep. Augustus F. Hawkins' field representative Thomas E. Jackson fails to mention one major point. In the article, Pat Benson, the congressman's Los Angeles office director, said one of the things that has resulted from the meetings in March and May is that Hawkins' Huntington Park office put up a sign for Latino constituents.

The truth of the matter is that Hawkins' office tore down the original sign in Spanish. Only when members of the Hispanic community went to Hawkins' office in March did Hawkins relent and put back the sign.

Also, what is the bilingual staff member doing in Hawkins' Los Angeles office when South Gate and Huntington Park, both overwhelmingly Spanish-speaking communities, desperately need bilingual services? It appears that Councilman Jackson is not the only politician that needs to be recalled. Congressman Hawkins is solely responsible for installing Jackson on the congressman's payroll at a cost of more than $11,000 to taxpayers. This is outrageous when one visits Rep. Hawkins' office and finds neither desk place nor nameplate for Emperor Jackson.

Also, how insulting to the Hispanic community when Jackson says, "My name doesn't have to be Gonzales in order for me to do my job." Of course, any Latino will tell you Jackson is not being recalled because he is Anglo. If that were the truth, all five Anglo councilmen would be recalled. I personally would like to see Mayor Herb Hennes stay in City Hall for the rest of the century. Mr. Hennes, an Anglo, is very popular in the Hispanic community. Jackson's statement is total nonsense and he should apologize to the Hispanic community.

And where's civil rights leader Gus Hawkins? Why doesn't he reprimand his employee, Tom Jackson, from making insulting remarks? Why do Latinos have to go all the way to downtown Los Angeles to receive bilingual services when Hawkins has an office in Huntington Park? What is the use of the Huntington Park office, when it is smack in the middle of two heavily Latino cities, if they tell a Latino to go to Los Angeles?

--REV. MARK VALDES

president

L.A. Center for Law and Justice

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