This issue of NEW DEAL-FRONTIER highlights some of the notable advance made in establishing equal employment opportunity for all in the State of California. Two pictures on this page illustrate breakthroughs in teacher employment and various branches of our state government. Another picture shows Sherril D. Luke, recently appointed Assistant to the Executive Secretary in Governor Brown's office.

Laws alone do not guarantee equal employment opportunities, but they do provide essential protection against discrimination. The 2nd Annual Report of the California Commission on Discrimination in Teacher Employment reports encouraging evidence of increasing employment of teachers on the basis of education qualifications and personal fitness only. While much remains to be done, merit hiring of teachers is improving.

With the election of more liberals and minority group representatives to Congress and our state Legislature, we can look forward to ever-expanding opportunities in public as well as private employment.




This is a year of decision. This is a year in which we can advance the fight for equal opportunities in employment, housing, education and all phases of our economic, social, and political life.

This is a year in which we can improve our communities for better living, and work for programs that will provide full employment and fair practices in hiring.

This is a year in which we can redouble our support of those brave youth and church leaders throughout the south, who in Freedom Rides, Sitins, economic boycotts and vote registration drives are helping to bring dignity and new meaning to our American Democracy.

Finally, this year—and this may be our most important decision— we have the opportunity to send a truly qualified and experienced representative from our community to Congress. If the program we have outlined above is right, then our choice for Congress must be an individual who has proved himself capable, courageous militant, seasoned in political battle and worthy of representing us at this crucial time.

This man is Assemblyman Augustus F. ("Gus") Hawkins. A champion of civil rights, author of our Fair Employment Practices Act, father of Child Care Centers, California's most experienced legislator, Chairman of the Assembly Rules Committee, a proven friend of working men and women, our youth, pensioners, domestics and the little home owners—his record of achievements speaks louder than the most beautiful promises that will be thought-up during this election year.

Yes, this fight is right; and we must win!!


Few people in public life have achieved so much for our community in so short a time as Assemblyman Augustus F ("Gus") Hawkins. Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, his family moved to Los Angeles in 1921. During his boyhood he was active in the 28th Street YMCA and the historic Church at 8th and San Julian Streets. He graduated from Jefferson High School.

A classmate of Dr. Ralph Bunche, Newell Eason, and Judge Bernard Jefferson, Gus received his A.B. degree in Economics at the University of California at Los Angeles. All four worked as custodians and clerks to help pay for their education.

In 1934, after graduating, Gus became active in juvenile welfare work and, later in the National Youth Administration — a New Deal agency established to help youth during the depression.

His first interest in politics was stimulated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. First a member of the Young Democrats, Gus soon became East-side Campaign Manager for Roosevelt's re-election. Out of this activity grew his lifelong friendship with the Roosevelt family, and especially with Congressman Jimmy Roosevelt — the two being of the same age and sharing similar interests in liberal, democratic government.

In 1935, although but one year out of college, Gus Hawkins was elected to the State Legislature defeating a veteran Republican Assemblyman Fred Roberts. For 12 successive elections, setting a record in California politics, Gus has been reelected by Republicans as well as Democrats. In the 1960 election he obtained the highest vote percentage of any legislative candidate for an overwhelming endorsement of his outstanding record and many accomplishments.

During World War II together with his then pastor, Reverend Clayton D. Russell, he organized the Victory Committee. This Committee was responsible subsequently for opening up many new jobs in defense industries.

As a member of the Legislature Hawkins has brought to our community dignified political recognition and numerous benefits. He was responsible

for the naming of the first Negroes in this state as judges, State, County and City positions.

The first Negro to become Chairman of the powerful Rules Committee of the State Assembly, he is also the first Negro to be elected Chairman of the Joint Committee on Legislative Organization of both Senate and Assembly - the highest ranking legislative committee in any state. In these posts he has succeeded in opening many new employment opportunities for minority persons with the Legislature, including secretaries, clerks, staff and research personnel.

In 1945 Hawkins initiated his 14 year uphill fight to create a state Fair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC). With courage and determination, despite all discouragement and repeated defeat, finally, in 1959 came victory.

With the unified support of the newly elected Democratic Governor and a Democratic Legislature, and such outstanding legislators as Assemblyman Byron Rumford (Oakland), Phil Burton (San Francisco), Ed Elliot (Los Angeles), and Senator Richard Richards (Los Angeles), and the State Committee for Fair Employment Practices, Hawkins' long battle achieved success. FEPC became the law of the state.

Since that time, the FEPC Commission has investigated more than 1400 cases of alleged discrimination in employment because of race, religion, national origin or ancestry. In about one-third of these cases, discrimination was found and corrected. Jobs in many new industries have been opened to minorities and numerous minority group workers have been upgraded.

In addition, apprenticeship and other on-the job programs sponsored by Hawkins in the post-war period have resulted in thousands from our community finding jobs in new occupations or promotions in their present lines of employment.

Among the many laws now on the state statute books which were authored and led to passage by Gus Hawkins are the following:

  • AB 31—prohibiting discrimination in public works employment.
  • AB 156—providing Workmen's Compensation for domestic workers.
  • AB 465—regulating employment agencies.
  • AB 64—prohibiting racial and religious discrimination in Civil Service.
  • ACA 37—improving laws regarding loans to veterans.
  • AJR 16—urging Congress to increase compensation for postal employees.
  • AB 2816, AB 774, AB 1916—assisting Old Age Pensioners, the blind and the disabled.
  • AB 890—establishing the State Fair Housing Act.
  • AB 2171—setting up a new on-the-job training program in California for persons seeking up-grading or new jobs in occupations affected by age, accident, automation or other disability.


Introduced by Mr. Hawkins January 28, 1949

Referred to Committee on Judiciary

An act to prohibit the inclusion of questions relative to race or religion in application blanks or forms.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

1 SECTION 1. The inclusion of

2 any question relative to an ap-

3 plication blank or form required

4 to be filled in and submitted by

5 an applicant to any department

6 board, commission, officer, agent

7 or employee of this State, is

8 hereby prohibited.

9 Any person who violates this

10 section is guilty of a misde-

11 meanor.

AB 2636, a law passed by Hawkins in 1949, eliminated racial designation on all state forms, licenses, and application blanks.

As a result, it is now unlawful in California to include race on Motor Vehicle licenses, on any examination blanks, or applications. Also the State Department of Employment is prohibited from handling any discriminatory work orders.

Thus, the vicious practice of identifying citizens in California by race for the purpose of discriminatory treatment is made unlawful under the Hawkins Law.



As a fitting climax to the Christmas season, petite and pretty Laura Hewlett, St. Mary's Academy sophomore student, celebrated her 15th birthday by inviting 14 of her close friends in for snacks and dancing just before returning to school from the Christmas holidays.

We were unable to attend the party, but Laura's little sister, Angela, gladly demonstrated most of the dances Laura and her pals did at the party. With an assist from her lovely mother, Dorothy, the house was beautifully decorated with a holiday decor and the snacks were most scrumptious. Of course, one year hence will be the "magic sweet sixteen," for Laura, and Angela, my favorite operator, promises she will furnish me with the name of Laura's first date.

Those invited to help Laura celebrate were Eilaina Hewlett, Lynn Wethers, Sybil Ventress, Jackie Norwood, Brenda Garibaldi, Robert Norwood, Paul and Anthony Gomez, Donald Collins, Davis Leah, Leon Aubay, Gary Harriston, and Kenneth and Richard Simeon.

Besides shrieks of surprises and joy of the youngsters while opening their Christmas toys and gifts, the scanning of unique Christmas cards from our many friends adds zest to the traditional Christmas scene around our house. One in particular was the one sent by Atty. Gen., and Mrs. Stanley Mosk, inscribed with a quote by the late Secretary General of the UN, Dag Hammerskjold,—"No life is more satisfactory than one of service to your country and humanity—with the courage to stand up unflinchingly for your convictions." . . . Then there was the one from Gus and Pegga with the two cute tots kneeling in supplication, with their "tail gates" for an emergency, praying for all of their friends.

HATS OFF TO JESSE UNRUH: A full complement of his constituency was present to bid him their continued support at the Beverly Hilton recently. Les Shaw, as usual, did a commendable job by accounting for over 40 people.

CONGRATS DEPT.: To the Rev. John H. Owens, who recently presented a standard U. S. flag to Cub Scout Pack No. 135-C of the 37th street school P.T.A. The flag was a gift from Congressman James Roosevelt of the 26th Congressional district . . . Members of Zion Hill Baptist Church on East 50th street will celebrate the first anniversary of their pastor, Rev. E. V. Hill, Sunday, March 4th with a pot luck dinner, according to the Youth secretary of the Church, Mr. Delphi Lee, Jr.