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CIVIL RIGHTS IN CALIFORNIA

The subject of Civil Rights is of current and paramount interest. Recent events in Congress and in the Deep South have highlighted this interest. California, too, has its problems with racial and religious practices; and while we have made substantial progress, much remains to be done.

In this report I have attempted to compile a list of laws directly relating to our Civil Rights in California. However, no such list can adequately reflect the full story of legislative and civic activities that have been crowded into the recent history of our State.

Our fight for a State Fair Employment Practices Act has spearheaded the drive which has resulted in many of these laws. Thus, while a State FEPC has been blocked by the State Senate, the persistent efforts of numerous persons and organizations have brought many benefits; and the early passage of a State law against discrimination in employment is now highly certain.

Likewise, our civil rights have been affected by numerous Attorney General opinions and departmental rulings. These have covered subjects, for example, involving the duty of the Department of Employment to investigate discriminatory hiring practices, police handling of minority problems, and the Los Angeles Fire Department situation.

It is hoped that this report will stimulate greater interest and more concerted action in our State for Fair Employment Practices and other civil rights legislation. It is appropriate, however, to mention that basic and vital to the achievement of these full rights is the registration of the many persons in our communities who though eligible have not taken the time to register and vote.

Additional reports on this subject will be released from time to time.