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Somebody needs a plan

August 17, 2008

Re "The shelter storm," Opinion, Aug. 10

With apparently no other news worthy of its opinion, The Times saw fit to devote its entire Sunday editorial space to comment on a minor amendment to a Los Angeles zoning ordinance that would promote (and not require) day-labor centers at new, large home-improvement stores. After predicting a "storm" of xenophobic opposition to the measure, The Times ironically triggered the very opposition it warned was coming. The Times could have saved a lot of ink by offering a free advertisement to Home Depot.

It is a fact that Home Depot customers hire day laborers and that centers are the best way to respond to community concerns. And despite the editorial's assertion that Home Depot will be "stuck with the bill for the shelters," it is also a fact that the ordinance does not require Home Depot to pay anything. Instead, it merely requires a plan to be in place for the likely presence of day laborers. To all but nativist vigilantes and The Times' editorial board, that is not at all unreasonable.

Nativo V. Lopez

National President

Hermandad Mexicana


Los Angeles

Dear Home Depot:

If the city of Los Angeles wants to hold you responsible for the cleaning, watering and care of its illegal immigrant day laborers, which it ignores, here's a suggestion: Close your store and move elsewhere. Once the city loses your tax dollars, it might get its head out of the sand and address the problem.

Jerry Dalven

Palm Desert

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