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'Affirmative Action's Edge'

September 19, 1988

I read with great interest Frank del Olmo's perceptive column "Affirmative Action's Edge" (Op-Ed Page, Sept. 8) on programs for Latinos in the public sector.

While I applaud Los Angeles Fire Department Deputy Chief Reynaldo Rojo's recent appointment as hard-earned, and overdue, he must realize that the commitment and pressure of Latino activists (such as the highly respected Joe Sanchez) and other organizations like MALDEF make our oversized bureaucracies sensitive to community problems and the need for fair and equitable employment policies, particularly with regard to hiring and promotional opportunities.

To deny that discrimination against Latinos has not been prevalent in public employment takes naivete to a new height. And the most damning evidence is simply an eyeball survey into almost any local government where work-force statistics almost always show few minorities in management--and very few skilled Latinos in any position of authority.

As Del Olmo aptly points out ". . . And as Los Angeles continues to change . . . government will have to alter its hiring and training policies accordingly."

The implementation of creative and progressive nondiscriminatory employment policies to meet the requirements of our community is the least that should be expected in our "world class" city and county of Los Angeles.

LAURENCE B. LABOVITZ

Los Angeles

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