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Challenges to Prop. 187

November 21, 1994

Who's the boss--the voters or the elected L.A. Unified School District officials, who refuse to execute the law (Nov. 10). Prop. 187 is the law until it's judged unconstitutional. Any group can spend its own money for litigation against 187. But LAUSD spends citizens' school taxes to fight the citizens' referendum decision. Any elected employee who refuses to obey the electorate--on 187 or any other referendum--should be recalled for insubordination.

IRVING L. UTTAL

Pacific Palisades

With regard to "Reading, Writing, Ruin," Nov. 9: The degraded conditions of the LAUSD school facilities are dramatic testimony to the distorted priorities of that district. How is it school board members can immediately find the considerable resources it will cost to pursue their challenge of the legality of Prop. 187 and yet continue to countenance $600 million in deferred maintenance?

The social ideologues on the school board and in the LAUSD's overblown bureaucracy should be thrown out of office for both their dereliction of responsibilities to the city's children and their cynical attempt to subvert the democratic process.

RICHARD C. WILLSON

La Canada

Regarding "L.A. Supervisors Decline to Join Prop. 187 Challenges," Nov. 11:

Many voters are outraged that the proposition is being challenged because it signifies that their votes are not being listened to. However, although the majority voted for the proposition it does not signify that it is constitutional or just.

If we examine our history we will find that the majority has not always been right or just. Let us not forget that the majority once allowed slavery and that the majority once allowed segregation. It is the responsibility of those we elect to be the leaders of our communities to make sure that the laws the majority passes abide by our Constitution.

VERONICA MURAYAMA

Los Angeles

I voted against 187 because of my concern for the health and education of the innocent children of illegals in California. Still, I was astonished at your Nov. 10 Commentary, "State's Diversity Doesn't Reach Voting Booth." What would better prove the cross-racial, multi-ethnic support for Proposition 187 than this sweeping mandate? It was less than overwhelmingly successful only (around) San Francisco, which is the heart of the liberal constituency, not of ethnic diversity. Neither support nor opposition split on racial lines.

MIDGE CROSSAN

Sierra Madre

I'm hurt, angry and dispirited after reading Bob Scheer's Column Left (Nov. 13). I would think that as an opinion writer at least part of his purpose would be to persuade those who disagree with him, but referring to people who voted Republican and for Prop. 187 as "good Germans" (he didn't use the word Nazi , but that's clearly what he meant) does not help achieve this. Liberals talk about tolerance and inclusiveness all the time, but they could start by practicing a little of it themselves.

Opponents of 187 pushed the race issue to its absolute limits, not just using the normal and expected charge of racism against their political opponents, but going so far as to compare California to Germany in the '30s. Putting aside the question of whether this kind of talk is fair, or wise, the 18-point victory of 187 shows that people will not be intimidated by it anymore. Scheer should realize that to maintain civilized political discourse people should be allowed to express their viewpoints and vote without being vilified like this.

JAMES E.NELSON

Fountain Valley

Nov. 9, while I was lunching near my office, a Times reporter approached me for my comment on Prop. 187. The next day "State's Diversity Doesn't Reach Voting Booth" appeared on the front page. The reporter's rendition of my viewpoint materialized as two paragraphs near the end of this article.

Somewhere after they departed my mouth and landed on Page A35, my opinions about 187 must've flown through icing. I would like everyone who read this article to know that I do not blame illegal immigrants for the loss of middle-class jobs in the region. This job loss, as everyone well knows, is largely due to the decline in defense and aerospace spending in California. Most illegal immigrants are guilty only of wanting a better life for themselves and their families, for which I hold them veritably blameless.

I do think that California's illegal immigration is a net economic drain. I hold this opinion because that is what has been reported to me by dispassionate analyses. I'd delight if it were not so. Nevertheless, it is on principle that I voted in favor of Prop. 187--the principle that people who enter a sovereign nation in disregard of its immigration law are not entitled to remain, much less tap its social benefits. I do not hold that 187 solves any economic problem.

GLENN A. EMIGH

Whittier

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