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‘ PHOTOS BY LOUIS DUBOSE’ Hereford store window, whiteface motif case against Hereford Mayor Wes Fisher. And the local district attorney’s law partners frequently defend growers sued by TRLA plaintiffs. Roland Saul, the District Attorney who has held office for ten years, has frequently been embroiled in criticism. According to Claudia Stravato of the High Plains chapter of the Texas Civil Liberties Union, a number of defendants in the 1986 drug cases were represented by court-appointed attorneys who were also Saul’s law partners. \(Saul maintains insists has “incredible leverage” on juries and grand juries in the county, has been also publicly reprimanded for misconduct. In December of 1984, the regional grievance committee of the State Bar of Texas filed a civil suit against Saul, recommending that he be suspended or disbarred for prosecutorial misconduct. In February of 1985, according to the Amarillo Globe-News, Saul was cited for similar infractions by the Texas Prosecutors Council which also issued a public reprimand. In August of 1985, U.S. District Judge Mary Lou Robinson charged, in a written opinion on a 1980 labor/growers lawsuit, that Saul had violated ethical canons. Saul’s law firm, according to Robinson, represented local growers while Saul, acting as district attorney, sued labor organizers. And the State Bar is currently investigating a complaint filed by Silvana Juarez that alleges Saul harassed her during her 1987 election campaign when he tried to discourage her fundraising. It is voting rights lawsuits filed against the city, county and school district by the TRLA, that now tilt the political landscape of Deaf Smith County. \(The first of the four suits was filed with the help of TRLA paralegal Trini Gamez six months before Legal Services arrived in Hereford in 1978. The suit, according to Gamez, cost her son Americo, who was it it was this series of lawsuits that eliminated at-large election of members of the city commission and the school board. And boundaries of previously gerrymandered commissioners’ court precincts have, by court order, been redrawn. “One line split the San Jose Labor Camp right down the middle,” McIntyre said. McIntyre also questions local estimates of population that fix the city’s Hispanics at lower . than 50 percent. He cites 1980 census statistics and insists that today’s percentages are closer to 60. The 1990 census, he said, will provide an important assessment of potential Hispanic political strength in the city and county. But even if the Mexican American population is not the majority in Deaf Smith County, it certainly represents the ascendant minority. And it is an under-represented minority. Until last year’s city election, only one Hispanic, restaurant owner Paul Avalos, had ever held elected office in the city. And according to Gamez, he was not a bona fide representative of the Hispanic community, but rather a candidate promoted by the downtown business establishment dominated by Anglos. The Amarillo Globe-News series that recently spawned a storm in the Panhandle also took Hereford to task for a paucity of elected Hispanic officials. In their November 2 lead editorial, Globe-News editors claimed that the problem is representation, not discrimination, and encouraged more Hispanic political participation. But the editors might have uttered a Panhandle heresy, and precipitated the regional anti-press uprising, when they praised TRLA for its work on behalf of migrants and commended Concerned Citizens of Deaf Smith County for focusing attention on the problem of Hispanic representation. The editorial also included the fact that only one Hispanic serves on the city’s 28 appointed board positions. Quoting Chesterton, they wrote of Hereford’s Anglo leaders: “It’s not that they can’t see the solution. It’s that they can’t see the problem.” THE PROBLEM,” Hereford Mayor Wes Fisher said in a recent interview, “has been that nobody was interested in running and the candidates who did run weren’t very capable. We’re interested in working with Hispanic people here in Hereford.” Fisher insists that Hispanics in the city represent 42 percent of the population and said that he expected that more Hispanics will now run for elected office. He does not foresee, however, a Hispanic majority on the city commission. Fisher soundly defeated Sylvia Flores, a Hereford woman who ran against him in the last mayoral race. Nor does Fisher perceive Concerned Citizens as a legitimate political actor in the community. “Most of those people are relatives of young men put away in a drug bust here two years ago,” Fisher said, adding that he does not think that the group represents the majority of the responsible Hispanic community.’ “We’ve got a lot of successful and responsible Hispanics in Hereford,” Fisher said. “Most of them are good people.” “The mayor has described us as `irresponsible Hispanics,’ Concerned Citizens’ La Fuente said “He’s an irresponsible Anglo. He’s an, old-fashioned mayor who has made his money off of Hispanic workers.” La Fuente is looking toward 1990 as a year when Hispanics will win a healthy plurality, if not a majority on the city commission and perhaps two seats on commissioners’ court. If the drug raids on the Hispanic community galvanized Mexican American opposition to city hall, Concerned Citizens has turned that opposition into a political force. Shortly after the trials were concluded, the local group brought Stravato, of the civil liberties union, to Hereford to help local leadership address some of their grieVances at the ballot box. Stravato and Richard Martinez of the Southwest Voter Registration Project helped local leaders register 700 new voters \(23 of them blockwalkers for last April’s city election to help elect Silvana Juarez, the first woman and second Hispanic to serve on Hereford’s city commission. Juarez, a 25-year-old department store clerk is described by some members of the Hispanic community as very inexperienced. And she agrees. “But,” she adds, “I proved it can be done. And so far the Mayor and commission members have been coopera THE TEXAS OBSERVER 11