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Passage of Proposition 63

November 14, 1986

The people of California have sent a strong message to those whose first language is a foreign one: Speak English, or else! Fine, I understand that fear and racial bigotry motivated most of the people who voted for the passage of Proposition 63. I wonder, however, if any of them were able to foresee the many problems connected with this decision.

Assemblyman Frank Hill (R-Whittier) states that he "concedes" that state services that should be provided in languages other than English are public health, safety and justice. Perhaps Hill could tell me just under what heading he puts driver's tests? Do he and his fellow hate mongers really believe that preventing foreigners from obtaining drivers' licenses will keep them off the road? Has it occurred to any of them that these people will drive themselves to work, with or without a valid license? And, not knowing the rules, are they not likely to cause accidents?

Another inspired person, J. William Orozco, Southern California spokesman for the campaign, adds that school notices sent home in languages other than English "should be eliminated." Excellent idea! I can already see children kept from school field trips because their parents could not read the permission slips they should have signed.

Outbreaks of chicken pox and possible infestation of head lice will go unnoticed by the non-English-speaking parents of school children. But then, perhaps, the schools will hire bilingual personnel to telephone parents about every event they need to be informed of.

It is very distressing to me that emotion is still the motivating factor in the way most people vote. When are we going to see reason and information prevail in the voting booth?

ANNEKE MENDIOLA

Santa Ana

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