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San Gabriel Valley

Alleged Racist Remarks Fuel Doughnut Shop Protest

July 12, 1996

Outraged by a comment made by parking commissioner Judy Bredenkamp at a Pomona City Council meeting in May, the picketers again lined up Thursday in front of her Taylor Maid doughnut shop--just as they have for five weeks.

Bredenkamp said she addressed the council to voice her concerns about beautification--or lack of it--in the city. Her opponents say that what she expressed was racism.

"There were fliers on every tree and awning of our business. And there are pushcarts everywhere. And there is laundry hanging up [outside]," Bredenkamp said. "I said Pomona was beginning to look like Tijuana."

Bredenkamp said that the first time she ever saw laundry hanging on clotheslines was in 1983 when she took a trip to Tijuana.

"That's why I said Tijuana," she said.

But her words angered many in the Latino community. Councilwoman Christina Carrizosa, who represents Bredenkamp's district, helped start a boycott of the shop. The picketers are calling for Bredenkamp to resign from her commission post--and are ready to picket until she does, said Francisco A. Suarez, a legal observer for the protesters.

"I think that she doesn't think that what she says is racist," Suarez said. "It is racist. If she doesn't resign, she's going to go broke."

Picketers have hurt the 41-year-old business slightly, Bredenkamp concedes. But she said she is not going to resign or apologize.

"I'm going to hold my own," she said. "I'm not going to resign because I haven't had any reason to resign."

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