Ondale ... below is an interesting article written by Ruben Salazar on January 8, 1961 ... for the EL LAY TIMES ... simon ... Salazar covers the battle to incorporate EAST EL LAY into a pinche ciudad ... ondale ... the campaign failed but if passed, who would have been MINNIE ME ... EAST EL LAY or sanTana ... it's class struggle ... GENTE vs. BUSINESS ... what's trippy es que el CASTRO "BIG PAPI" THEORY pops up ... simon ... during this tiempo (even hoy) gente thought that Castro's takeover of Cuba would menstruate over onto RAZA in Latino Americano y tambien los ESTADOS UNIDOS ... like a spilled hoya de frijoles ... that we'd all become RED BEANS ... check out the article ...
Mexican-Americans Move into New Era of Political Awakening January 8, 1961
LOS ANGELES—Lorenzo Marquez, a 30-year-old Mexican-American who lives on Brooklyn Ave. in East Los Angeles, is experiencing a political awakening.
Until recently, Marquez, a mechanic, thought a workingman's business was that of doing his job well and taking care of his wife and children. But on Dec. 1, at a hearing before the Board of Supervisors, Marquez carried a placard which read:
"Have a heart. Let East Los Angeles Incorporate."
Taking time off from a greasy transmission which he was repairing, Marquez recently mused:
"You know, my father lived in East Los Angeles for 45 years. He never became a citizen of the United States and never even learned to speak English. I remember once after I got back from the Army I asked him why he never learned English."
Things Are Different Now
He answered half seriously, "Who wants to speak to these gringos?"
"Well, my good father belonged to another generation. Things are different now and I very much want to talk to my neighbors, no matter what their national origin is."
"I'm working for the incorporation of East Los Angeles because I know that Mexican-Americans can progress only if they participate in civic affairs. Though my father worked here for almost a half a century, his heart was really in Mexico. I know nothing about Mexico, but I know something about East Los Angeles. It's my home and I want it to get better. If we make it into a city we Mexican-Americans will at last have a voice in our civic affairs."
Others Have Their Objections
At the meeting in which Marquez carried his incorporation placard, another man was there with different ideas about East Los Angeles. He was George Hansel, president of the East Los Angeles Improvement Assn., who told the lawmakers that he represents property owners on Atlantic Blvd. and that 85% of them are against the incorporation.
Hansel, who said East Los Angeles now enjoys a tax rate of 17th from the lowest among 80 communities in the county, told the hearing in part,
"(There) seems to be an awful lot of money spent for the incorporation of East Los Angeles, but we don't know where the money is coming from . . . ."
"We feel that with the revenue of a million to a million and a half dollars at stake that we should have better control and a better accounting of who is going to be city manager, the city government and what they have in mind."
(Charges have been made, though not by the official opponents, that if East Los Angeles is incorporated it will become another Gardena-type gambling town and that gangster elements will move in.)
East Los Angeles is a workingman's district with the reputation of being more wicked than it really is. It has the police problems characteristic of low income communities in large metropolitan areas.
Gang riots, dope peddling and shootings have marred its character in the eyes of people outside East Los Angeles.
Has Better, Less Spectacular Side
But the East Side has its better though less spectacular side. Mexicans love big families and like to raise their children without moving around. The many modest, but well-kept, homes attest to the Mexican-American's love for the "hogar" (family home). Most have been there for generations and intend to stay there, unlike their higher income brother who hopes sometime to buy a larger home in a "better neighborhood."
East Los Angeles' old business districts along Brooklyn Ave. and 1st St. could be something out of Chihuahua City or parts of Mexico. There is everything from chorizo (Mexican sausage) factories and tortilla factories to used clothing stores and cobbler shops where worn shoes are remade from top to soles.
Then there is the "new" East Los Angeles in the northwestern side.
There, West Bella Vista, with its new tract homes, and Atlantic and Whittier Blvds., with their supermarkets and car dealers, point to what all of East Los Angeles would like to be. New East Los Angeles is flanked by Monterey Park and Montebello, two communities which eye the territory as possible revenue-producing annexation land.
Next Thursday, the Board of Supervisors will decide whether an election should be called on the proposed incorporation of East Los Angeles and, if so, what the boundaries would be.
On the surface, the squabble centers on two basic issues:
The proponents of the new city, in which the 60,000 to 70,000 residents would be overwhelmingly Mexican-American, claim they seek a long-overdue community identity and that the run-down sections of their area would improve under home rule.
The opponents, business interests along Atlantic and Whittier Blvds. and some property owners in West Bella Vista, argue that a new city would only bring new taxes. This new burden, they contend, is unnecessary because they now receive excellent services from the county government.
The Citizens Committee for Incorporation of East Los Angeles knows that if it excluded West Bella Vista and Atlantic and Whittier Blvds. from its incorporation plans, there would be little trouble in forming the new city.
But the committee feels that these areas are an integral part of the proposed city and that businesses on Whittier and Atlantic Blvds. owe any economic success they might have to the support of the Mexican-American population in the East Side.
However, the hundreds of signatures on petitions filed with the supervisors which ask that East Los Angeles not be incorporated or that their section be excluded attest to the great concern many have over the proposed creation of the new city.
The Rev. William Hutson, a top Catholic Youth Organization official, who was influential in the recent incorporation of Pico Rivera, feels that opponents to the new city "suffer from vain fears."
"I know and have worked with East Los Angeles people for years,"Father Hutson said. "I trust them without reservation. In no hands would democracy be safer. In a time when Fidelismo (Castroism) is making strides among Latin Americans, I see the reverse trend in East Los Angeles. In the future, East Los Angeles will be not only an economic asset, as it is now, but also a social and political asset in Los Angeles County. Besides, the incorporation of East Los Angeles would make the residents better Americans."
The map filed with the supervisors by the proponents of the city of East Los Angeles is of a 38-sq-mile area containing about 17,000 dwelling units. The 1959-60 assessed valuation of the area is approximately $27,661,570, according to the tax division of the auditor-controller of Los Angeles County.
The incorporation position, signed by at least 25% of the property owners representing at least 25% of the assessed property valuation, describes the proposed city as follows:
Bounded on the north by Floral Dr. and a line approximately one-half mile north of Brooklyn Ave., bounded on the west by the city of Los Angeles north of 3rd St. and by Eastern Ave. south of 3rd St., bounded on the south by 3rd St. west of Eastern Ave. and by Telegraph Rd. east of Eastern Ave. and bounded east by an irregular line along Goodrich Blvd. and in the general vicinity of Atlantic Blvd.
Proponents say that the city of East Los Angeles would not fall into the category of industrial cities that incorporated to keep out homes, so school taxes could be avoided, or dairy cities, which were created to protect milk farms from urban development.
"These are not true cities, as East Los Angeles would be," an incorporation tract reads. "These are nothing but incorporated tax loopholes . . . . The incorporation of East Los Angeles is a dramatic story of a people, who once controlled California, and now want to enjoy self-government."
Over the years several groups have attempted to incorporate East Los Angeles without success.
Speaking at a Public Relations Counsel Conference in 1956, councilman Edward Roybal observed:
"One of East Los Angeles' biggest failures is a lack of coordination among Eastside Organizations."
This does not hold true anymore. Twenty-three Mexican-American organizations have a co-ordinating group called the House of Delegates. The membership includes such organizations as the Council of Mexican-American Affairs, Catholic Youth Organization, Inter-American Club,
Inter-American Library Assn., Lulacs and the Mexican Civic Patriotic Committee.
Not Directly Involved
The House of Delegates is not directly involved with the incorporation as some of its member groups lie outside the proposed boundaries. But it encourages all Mexican-Americans to exercise their civic rights and obligations.
It is estimated that there are from 600,000 to 750,000 Mexican-Americans in Los Angeles County and politicians drool when they dream of controlling this group as a bloc.
The East Side of late has been able to point with pride to one of its own, Judge Carlos Teran, who was appointed municipal judge by Republican Gov. [Goodwin] Knight and later superior judge by Democratic Gov. [Edmund G. "Pat"] Brown.
But East Los Angeles only recently tasted its first real political victory when attorney Leopold G. Sanchez, a novice politician, beat incumbent Judge Howard H. Walshok by a vote of 23,767 to 20,519 in the East Los Angeles Judicial District.
In part, it is this political consciousness on the part of the East Los Angeles Mexican-Americans that disturbs some anti-incorporation petitioners.
"It's not that I want to deny anyone the right to democratic process," a West Bella Vista resident said. "It's that I feel that they're forming a bloc and I wonder whether they have my interests in mind, too."
Complaints by anti-incorporation East Los Angeles residents might be summed up by a letter which appeared Dec. 23, in the East Los Angeles Tribune:
"I am opposed to East Los Angeles' incorporation," it read. "I have lived here many years. My folks moved out here in 1922. The majority of the people I talk to are satisfied the way we are now."
"I think a few aspiring young men are looking for a city job. Several of them aren't even property owners, so why should they be concerned. It's for a selfish reason."
Leader of the incorporation movement is Joseph Galea, an attorney. Among the advantages listed by his committee are:
There would be no new property tax in the new city with income coming from gasoline tax returns, in lieu of tax returns, sales tax, county gasoline tax returns and liquor license fees. These would provide a surplus over expenditures. The "Lakewood Plan" would be used, with municipal services being furnished by the county on a lease plan.
Businessmen along 1st St. and Brooklyn Ave. are generally for the incorporation because they feel a closer affinity to the old "East Los Angeles." The businesses on Atlantic and Whittier Blvds. are generally bigger and have more modern facilities.
Alfred Paquette, who operates a sportswear factory at 3545 E. 1st St. which he says grosses about $2 million a year, puts his faith in the proposed new city.
"My business has been here for about 15 years and I am for the city of East Los Angeles because I'm interested in this area from a business standpoint."
John Siegwein, a property owner in West Bella Vista, thinks it's a mistake to think of East Los Angeles, especially his area, as strictly a Mexican-American section.
"The falseness of this statement becomes readily apparent when Bella Vista is included in this area. Here we have a very cosmopolitan group of home owners and they are all Americans. There are people of various European, Latin and Oriental ancestries here and they embrace a large variety of religious beliefs and are living in harmony."
"We enjoy excellent county services and we want to continue to enjoy them. Should we become part of a new city, a city council could change all this. We feel that the city property tax is inevitable if the proposed area is incorporated, and we feel that this tax will be particularly oppressive on the 653 parcels in West Bella Vista."
But to Mrs. Elizabeth Porras, also of West Bella Vista, the fact that her area and the Atlantic and Whittier Blvds. business houses are the "nice parts of East Los Angeles and most prosperous proves why they belong to the proposed City of East Los Angeles."
The Board of Supervisors has a tough job cut out for it on Jan. 12. The supervisors must decide whether West Bella Vista and Whittier and Atlantic Blvds. should be included in the proposed new city. If these areas are excluded, the proponents of the city of East Los Angeles will complain that they have been robbed of much of the tax base required for the city and of the added prestige which West Bella Vista would bring the new city.
If the supervisors approve the tentative boundaries, businessmen will protest that they are headed for higher taxes and a group of homeowners will complain that they are being forced into a community for which they feel no affinity.