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Deukmejian's Stand on Prison in East L.A.

September 20, 1986

Gov. George Deukmejian's comments regarding his dramatic loss of support among Latinos (Times, Sept. 14) serves notice on all Latinos that the governor has written off our community.

His comment that he would not have had our support regardless of the prison issue, not only demonstrates his ignorance with regard to this matter, but also goes to show that his political agenda is not for the benefit of all residents of this state, but only for those who are most likely to vote for him.

While this may be a politically reality, it is a slap in the face to a community that is legitimately concerned for the safety of more than 27,000 schoolchildren, as well as improving its self-image. The governor essentially is telling us that we are and should remain second-class citizens. Our response will certainly be felt at the polls.

When Assemblywoman Gloria Molina and Sens. Art Torres and David Roberti announced that he prison issue was a statewide Latino issue, the governor seemed not to believe them. He called our "bluff", and The Times poll disclosed that we were playing with a full house. If time allows, the governor will soon discover that we also hold a royal flush.

His support by a meager 23% of Latinos statewide is sure to plummet even further, and take with it the support of many more of this state's fair-minded citizens.

VERONICA GUTIERREZ

Los Angeles

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