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July 24, 1988

In the interest of truth and accuracy I wish to correct a couple of misconceptions in your report on the vendors around Our Lady Queen of Angels Church at Olvera Street (Metro, July 14).

I cannot and do not authorize anyone to break the law. I have made this quite clear to all vendors who come to me seeking permission to sell on public property. I have also informed all my associate pastors and staff that they are not to give such authorization.

What I have done is to inform the Los Angeles Police Department at the highest level that I have no objection to vendors around the church as long as the vendors do not interfere with the flow of traffic of the more than 10,000 faithful who worship at the church each Sunday, and that they will keep the place clean. I also have on file a letter from Police Chief Daryl Gates that the LAPD will not cooperate with the Immigration and Naturalization Service in the arrest, roundup, or harassment of undocumented persons who may be among the vendors. The Police Department has also made verbal commitments to the church that it will enforce the laws with utmost compassion, especially with those whose only interest is to survive.

I am greatly concerned about the beauty and the cleanliness of our great city of Los Angeles. My greater concern, however, is that some will attempt to achieve perfect order and beauty at the expense of the most vulnerable in our midst. Perfect order demands that as a society we respond to the poor, the homeless and, yes the undocumented, not by getting rid of them but by creatively seeking ways to aid them in the betterment of their life conditions.



Our Lady Queen of Angels

Los Angeles

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