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Tom Bradley

October 11, 1998

* I have a very poignant memory of the beginning of Mayor Tom Bradley's political career.

It was the early 1960s and I was active in a large Democratic club. The civil rights movement was in its early stages. When we heard that a black, retired policeman was going to campaign for the City Council, we decided to organize a fund-raising affair for his campaign. It was an exciting experience as we were able to arrange for a garden party in Beverly Hills.

The day of the event was perfect and everything was in place, including a table and microphone under a magnificent tree. We had a good turnout of a basically white, middle-class audience. In walked this very tall, stately gentleman, Tom Bradley, and we escorted him to the spot where he would speak.

He looked up at the tree and smiling said: "Do you think it's safe for me to stand under this tree?" There was laughter. He won us over. But those piercing words, spoken with a gentle smile, are my sharpest memory of this event. It told us who he was, and who we were 100 years after our Civil War.

I feel privileged to have been there at the beginning of a very special political leader.

DOROTHY GILDEN

Culver City

* As a real estate broker and homeowner, I will always remember Tom Bradley each and every time I sell a home and have to explain to the seller why he has to pay the sales tax. Disguised as a document stamp tax equal to $4.50 on every $1,000 of sale price, it is included as a closing cost on every real property sale in the city of Los Angeles. This hidden, de facto sales tax was proposed and promoted by Bradley to circumvent our Prop. 13 tax relief referendum.

MARK HOLLAND

Los Angeles

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