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

September 20, 1986

Having been raised in the Boyle Heights area, I have strong feelings about the downtown prison site issue. It is totally beyond my comprehension why Gov. Deukmejian is so much in favor of building a prison so close to a residential area.

The elementary school I attended as a child is only a four-minute drive from the proposed site. There are three elementary schools, one junior high and two high schools that I can think of that are about a mile and a half away from the planned site.

Officials have managed to waive an environmental impact report normally required for construction of this type; more than likely to get around the issue of having so many schools so close to the tentative prison.

Why was this particular site picked over so many other more plausible sites? Why did local politicians decide to change their stand against the downtown prison issue and support it? Why do so many state politicians favor this site?

In my opinion, the answer to these questions is that politicians are playing a morbid chess game where the East Los Angeles community is a pawn about to be sacrificed once more.

JESUS de la RIVA

Los Angeles

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