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AMERICA’S UNTAPPED RESOURCE The various governmental bodies of this country: federal, state and local, constitute the largest group of employers of American people today. And, in many cases, the patterns of discrimination found there are worse than those found in the private sector. Private employers have been constrained by the provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to refrain from discriminatory practices in their dealings with minority employees since the enactment of that bill in 1964. But those persons seeking jobs with governmental agencies had no such protection until 1972 when the Equal Employment Opportunity Act was activated to cover employment in the public sector. Facts and Figures A vehicle of legal redress such as the 1972 Equal Employment Opportunity Act is of great importance to the Hispanic Community. Although we comprise 7 percent of the population of this nation, we hold only 3.4 percent of the 2,400,000 federal jobs, 2.4 percent of the 1,461,000 state jobs, and 4.1 percent of the 2,566,409 local/ municipal jobs. This means the Spanish-speaking community is underrepresented by 115,000 jobs in the federal government, and by over 50,000 jobs in state/local government. It was the disparity represented by these figures which convinced the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., that there were barriers to Hispanic participation in the government workforce that had to be dismantled. MALDEF Takes a Leadership Role Although MALDEF is headquartered in San Francisco we maintain an office in San Antonio, and this office has been one of the prime movers of our efforts in the area of public employment. MALDEF’s San Antonio office is presently involved in a case questioning the allocation of manpower training funds controlled by the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act city of San Antonio was not complying with its own affirmative action program. While nearly half of San Antonio’s unemployed are women \(most less than one-tenth of the thousands of jobs created by CETA funds went to women. We are currently seeking administrative remedies for this situation and, of course, stand ready to take other legal action. In another case in Texas, we have aided Thomas Alvarez, an Airman, in bringing suit against the secretary of the Air Force, protesting promotion procedures at Kelly Air Force Base. Alvarez had applied for a supervisory position which he was denied. The position was subsequently offered to a white employee who was considerably less qualified. We maintain that Alvarez was denied the promotion based on his ethnicity. The significance of cases such as that against the Kelly Air Force Base is that they often result in conscious efforts on the part of the agency under attack to eliminate discriminatory mechanisms in their hiring/firing and promotion procedures. This, of course, affects the entire pool of employees and potential employees of the agency, and may even have a spillover effect on the entire institution. MALDEF plans to continue its efforts to break down the barriers to free access to the job market for Hispanic members of the labor force. Only through such free access can we make effective use of the great potentials of all American people. Won’t you help us? MALDEF 501 Petroleum Commerce Building 201 N. St. Mary’s Street San Antonio, Texas 78205 Enclosed is my contribution of S Name Address City State Zip Woke checks payable to MALDEF. Contributions are tax deductible. MEXICAN AMERICAN LEGAL DEFENSE AND EDUCATIONAL FOND, INC. A Public Service Message from the American Income Life Insurance Co.Executive offices, Waco, Texas Bernard Rapoport, Chairman of the Board