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Linda Chavez: 1947—: Civil Rights Advocate, Columnist, Commentator

Advanced Conservative Causes

After her failed bid for a Senate seat, Chavez turned her attention to another of her pet conservative causes: the formalization of English as the official language of the United States. In 1987 she agreed to serve as president of U.S. English, a nonprofit lobbying organization founded in 1983 by conservative John Tanton. She resigned the following year after learning of Tanton's alleged prejudices against Roman Catholics and Hispanics. To help ensure that the conservative viewpoint was properly showcased in the media, Chavez in 1988 began working as a reporter and commentator for Baltimore TV station WJL-TV. As she gradually developed a reputation as a conservative policy spokes-person, Chavez was invited to appear on a number of news talk shows, many of them broadcast nationally. Chavez also began writing a syndicated column, distributed by Creators Syndicate, and was a frequent contributor to such publications as the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Reader's Digest, Washington Post, Commentary, and New Republic.

In 1991 Chavez published Out of the Barrio: Toward a New Politics of Hispanic Assimilation, in which she argued that it was not racism holding back Hispanics but rather misguided public policies such as affirmative action and bilingual education. The following year she joined the conservative think tank Manhattan Institute and served as director of its Center for the New American Community. Chavez also began work as a consultant to the United Nations Subcommittee on Human Rights, in which capacity she served until 1996.

Chavez founded the Center for Equal Opportunity (CEO) in 1995, a "think tank devoted exclusively to the promotion of colorblind equal opportunity and racial harmony," according to the mission statement on CEO's website. CEO, which Chavez continues to lead as president, focused primarily on the three interrelated issues of affirmative action, immigration and assimilation, and bilingual education. In announcing the formation of CEO, Chavez said: "We're very concerned that many of our public policies do more to set people apart than bring them together. We need to have a truly colorblind set of laws." In the late 1990s Chavez served as an adviser to Silicon Valley millionaire Ron Unz, who helped to finance the successful campaign for California's Proposition 227 that dismantled the bilingual education system in that state.

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Brief BiographiesBiographies: Katie Burke (1953–) Biography - Personal to Galeazzo Ciano (1903–1944) BiographyLinda Chavez: 1947—: Civil Rights Advocate, Columnist, Commentator Biography - Difficult Childhood Lead To Early Action, Deemed "not Minority Enough", Experienced Political Transformation, Advanced Conservative Causes