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Teens Are Bright Spots in Tarnished City

June 28, 1992

An open letter to Branndi Johnson, Ramsay Davila, Elisandro Duran and all young people in Los Angeles ("A Tarnished Future," June 10): I moved to Los Angeles in 1977 when I was 9 years old and enrolled in Christ the King school. Being a new kid, I felt nervous. After the first day of school, I felt that I had been there all along. I will never forget the closeness I felt with those kids. My friends came in a multitude of ethnic backgrounds--Asian, Hispanic, black.

I'm 24 now. I have a tough time trying to figure out the Rodney King verdict, let alone what horrors occurred afterward. I'm embarrassed that George Bush and Dan Quayle represent us. In our time of need, government officials sat on their hands and let our city be wrecked. It never ceases to amaze and hurt me the way our elected officials think nothing about running to the aid of other lands and then leave their own citizens in deprivation.

Young people in this country deserve and need the best education we can give them. Yet we spend more money to keep someone in jail than we do to try to educate him or her.

No matter what happens with regard to all of the bad things in Los Angeles and our country, we must try to retain or find our optimism. Young people must get busy and write letters to our papers and our city leaders. We must make certain demands of our country--such as the right to a good education and involved, caring government leaders.

Above all we must stick together and not compromise our own values. I'm proud to live in a city with such great young people as Branndi Johnson, Ramsay Davila and Elisandro Duran. We need some adults in authority to be more like them.

LAURA ANN OSTERMEYER

Northridge

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