The Inter-Agency Committee on Mexican-American Affairs was established by President Lyndon B. Johnson on June 9, 1967. The purpose of the Committee was to conduct continuing and comprehensive reviews of the problems facing Mexican-American people. It was also intended to establish close ties to state and local governments, implement policies and programs focusing on the Spanish community, and promote assistance projects and increased participation by the private sector. The Inter-Agency Committee on Mexican-American Affairs became the Cabinet Committee on Opportunities for Spanish Speaking People (CCOSSP). President Richard M. Nixon signed Senate Bill 740 (83 Stat. 838; 42 U.S.C. 4302) on December 29, 1969. This bill passed the year before prohibiting financing of inter-agency committees by member agencies. At the same time, it shifted the focus from just Mexican-Americans to include all Spanish Speaking Americans.
Correspondents in these files include President Richard M. Nixon, Charles Wilkinson, Martin Castillo, Chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Opportunities for Spanish Speaking People, Dwight Chapin, H. R. Haldeman, Herbert Klein, Leonard Garment, Bryce Harlow, Kenneth Cole, Robert Finch, Anne Armstrong and Dr. Henry Ramirez, successor to Martin Castillo.
The terms Executive and General precede each file designation. The Executive file category contains correspondence of the President, White House Staff and Cabinet Committee on Opportunities for Spanish Speaking People officials regarding meetings, legislation and letters of recommendation of committee applicants. Also of interest is the correspondence of Congressmen, governors and senators from states with large Spanish speaking populations, such as Representative George Bush of Texas, Governor Ronald Reagan of California, and Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona. The General file category contains correspondence of the President, White House Staff, CCOSSP officials, requests and suggestions from the public concerning minorities employed by the federal government and the private sector. The files subdivided (/A) indicate career appointments. Related materials may be found in the White House Central Files, Staff Member and Office Files of Bradley Patterson, and Anne Armstrong. Also, the following subject categories may contain related materials:
FG 31 Congress of the U.S.
HU 2 Human Rights-Equality
PE 1 Employee Relations
PR 7-2 Presidential Phone calls
ST 3 Arizona
ST 5 California
ST 30 New Jersey
ST 32 New York
ST 43 Texas
ST 51-2 Puerto Rico
FG 145 CABINET COMMITTEE ON OPPORTUNITIES FOR SPANISH SPEAKING PEOPLE
The materials in these files include memoranda, correspondence, such as letters of recommendation and support, as well as the documents pertaining to the change of the Inter-Agency on Mexican-American Affairs to the Cabinet Committee on Opportunities for Spanish Speaking People. Other topics of interest are the quarterly meetings scheduled with the President, the 1970 Census, which included a questionnaire in Spanish for the first time, prejudice within the Civil Rights Commission, the Spanish speaking in the military, and the Civil Service Commission's plans to hold employment workshops in states with high Spanish speaking populations, such as Arizona, California, Florida, New Jersey, New York, and Texas.
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