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Prison Site in Los Angeles

October 31, 1986

Why does everyone, including Bill Lockyer, insist that the proposed Los Angeles prison site is in the heart of California's Latino community? True, the Crown Coach Bus Co. site is on the east side of downtown Los Angeles, but it is also on the west side of the Los Angeles River.

This propsed site and its immediate area have been deteriorating for the last 30 years and many a politician, man or woman, have done nothing to upgrade the area. But suddenly, by bringing protesters, who don't live in this area, these politicians and their followers are considered to be defending "their neighborhood."

I, as a bona fide resident and business person of this area, welcome any government facility, prison or otherwise, for it would certainly improve the area. Has anyone ever driven under the Santa Monica Freeway on Alameda Street? It's filthy. Has anyone ever driven on 15th Street between Alameda and Santa Fe streets? It's a dump site.

As stated before, the term "Latino community" is elusive and an enigma, for Latino communities are springing up everywhere. I would prefer a community with a prison site in its midst than the conditions we have at the Latino community of 7th and Alvarado on the West Side of Los Angeles. What could be safer, cleaner, than an area with such a facility?

RAY MENDOZA

Los Angeles

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