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Letter from Ray Goforth

Subject: Letter from Ray Goforth
From: "R. Goforth" <rgoforth@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 28 Aug 1996 20:02:36 -0700 (PDT)

                         August 28, 1996

Social Justice Friends:

I guess I should open up this letter by thanking you all for
helping to make Social Justice such a success.  Right now about
4,000 people receive the e-mail version while another 500 visit
our web version every month.  Quite good when you conider that
the whole operation is managed by Kim and I out of our home

I'm writing today to ask a personal favor.  As you probably know,
I am a law student interested in issues of human rights and
sustainable development.  I am currently looking for a job for
the summer of 1997.  My hope is that some of you can give me some
good leads and/or pass on my resume to someone who might.  I am
geographically flexible and thus available for work anywhere.

Brief Bio:

In 1988, I was a twenty year old staff member on a state assembly
campaign in California.  The federal amnesty law granting
citizenship to illegal residents had just been passed and there
were high hopes in the immigrant communities of Southern
California.  Our campaign had spent months registering these new
citizens to vote and more importantly, convincing them that it
was safe to vote.  Not only had the majority of these people fled
nations where political activity often brought death, but they
had survived as illegal immigrants in the United States by
consciously avoiding any contact with the authorities.
Registering to vote for them was a courageous act.

On election day our opponent hired uniformed security guards to
intimidate the non-white voters at the polls.  Our campaign
office was flooded with calls from people accusing us of
betraying them.  The word went out that the entire amnesty
program was a scam and that the authorities were waiting for
people.  Tragically, I'm afraid that this incident made many of
these new american citizens lose their faith in democracy.

I emerged from this experience with an understanding that being
"right" is not a talisman against misfortune.  One must be able
to articulate and defend one's rights.  I found myself strongly
drawn towards positions that allowed me to help the powerless
articulate their rights and navigate their way through our
society.  I went on to work for a well known environmental group
and then to a position working with gang members and homeless
teenagers in Seattle, Washington, USA.  In 1991, I began my
undergraduate studies, graduating with a B.A. in Political-
Economy in 1995.  That fall I began my first year of law school
and have just completed a summer position working for a non-
profit agency that defends whistleblowers who have been punished
for raising safety and environmental concerns on government

I now hope to find a position that will allow me act within the
same theme of social justice work.  An e-mail version of my
resume will follow this letter.  I appreciate any help that you
may be able to give me.

Sincere Thanks,

Ray Goforth

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