Immigration, PR Wars and the Boss Loss
Bad PR is no substitute for good government
April 20, 2006: Vol. 2, Issue No. 31
IN THE NEWS
MALDEF FILES EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION SUIT ON BEHALF OF LATINO WORKERS OF UNIVERSITY
"As an increasing number of non-English proficient or monolingual workers join the southern workforce, it becomes imperative that we protect the rights of workers against discriminatory English-only and English proficiency policies that do not relate to job performance," said Tisha R. Tallman, Southeast Regional Counsel of MALDEF. "There are plenty of occupations where spoken English is not a necessity to performing job duties. As such, these types of policies merely serve as a pretext to discriminate against workers and must be stopped," she added.
—Press Release, April 12, 2006, Mexican American Legal Defense Education Fund
The Last Boss
One warm evening in June of 1957, I was standing by the steps of St. Anthony's Church in lower Manhattan's Greenwich Village during the annual street festival.
Suddenly I heard cheers and looked up. Coming out of the Franciscan church was the legendary Democratic district leader of Greenwich Village, Carmine DeSapio, with his beautiful blonde wife, Natalie, who was wearing a white designer suit. DeSapio was tall, always elegantly attired in a custom tailored suit. He had an oval face that was crowned with a perfect coif and was wearing his signature tinted eyeglasses that gave him a sinister look.
I had never seen a big city pol work a local crowd, so I slipped behind the DeSapios as they ambled hand-in-hand along the midway. People would come up to them for a few brief words during which the DeSapios' eyes never left the eyes of their constituents. As the DeSapios processed, the leader would wave to the vendors in every booth with a personal greeting. He would call out congratulations on a wedding or the birth of a grandchild, condolences on the recent loss of a loved one or ask about a family member who had moved out of the city.