Letters of support for Peoples Temple from Calif. state legislators, 1977

LL-1-a-1

Law Offices of Willie L. Brown, Jr.
1515 Vallejo Street
San Francisco, CA 94109

Willie L. Brown, Jr.
Robert C. Evans, Jr.

To: Hon. F.L.S. Burnham [Forbes Burnham]
Prime Minister
Government of Guyana
Government Headquarters
Brickdam, Georgetown
Guyana, S.A.

Cc: Dr. Ptolemy Reid
Deputy Prime Minister
(same address)

Dear Sir:

I am a member of the California State Assembly, serving on Revenue and Taxation committees. I have represented thousands of people in the metropolitan area where the headquarters of Rev. Jim Jones’ church, Peoples Temple, is located, and I am very familiar with the outstanding work his organization has done in service to society. Rev. Jim Jones is one of the most principled voices for social justice in this nation, and he has been instrumental in providing forceful leadership in developing practical solutions to serious urban problems, such as crime, drug abuse, and neglect of the elderly. I am certain that you are aware of the character and integrity of this man, as are so many of us here in the United States who have come to know him.

Because he is an extremely effective leader in the area of social progress, Jim Jones has (especially of late) been the object of some malicious attacks from various individuals who (out of personal vindictiveness, racism, and other despicable motives) have mounted a smear campaign. This campaign has

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been denounced by progressive community leaders and public officials who are working effectively for the interests of blacks and other minority people in our society.

As a black elected official who has also been the object of this same sort of character assassination, I feel it would be most unfortunate if current efforts to discredit Jim Jones and his church were in any way to hamper or jeopardize the work that he is doing in Guyana. A great number of people are aware of the Peoples Temple Agricultural Mission and feel that it represents a useful and significant effort towards international co-operation.

I have the greatest admiration for the progress of your nation since the achievement of national independence, and wish you the very best of success in coming years.

Sincerely yours,
[signature]
Willie L. Brown, Jr.
August 5, 1977

LL-1-d

November 22, 1977

Honorable Fred Willis
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Guyana House Annex
95 Carmichael Street
Georgetown, Guyana

Dear Mr. Willis:

I have known and worked with Rev. Jim Jones for several years in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. He is a rare human being. He is a leader of the first order. He cares about people. His inspirational involvement in a solution to the everyday problems of the world is unmatched.

Rev. Jim Jones is that person who can be helpful when all appears to be lost and hope is just about gone. Having him as a resident in your country can only be a plus no matter how short or long his stay.

Sincerely,
[signature]
Willie L. Brown, Jr.

WLB: yw

LL-1-e-1

[Assembly California Legislature letterhead]

February 27, 1978

The Honorable Jimmy Carter
The President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennslyvania St.
Washington D.C.

Dear President Carter:

It is an honor for me to write on behalf of Rev. Jim Jones, a rare human being and leader of the first order. He has been unjustly maligned in recent months, but is presently undertaking a remarkable agricultural mission in Guyana, South America, the reality of which flies in the face of all its detractors. Rev. Jones, more than any other minister the Bay Area has seen, did wonders for this community in terms of tackling ingrained social problems, such as drug abuse, crime, and unemployment. I have no doubt that his inspirational leadership is motivating the Peoples Temple members in Guyana to even greater achievements now that they are established on their own territory free from the tensions and hinderances of urban life.

As a leader within the minority community of San Francisco and of the State of California, I can speak to the tireless efforts Jim Jones extended to virtually everyone in need of assistance when he was a resident of our city. The Third World community knows and respects him well. A man this noteworthy for his high principles, ceaseless work, and extraordinary ability to motivate others is surely the best representative our country could hope to have in the emerging Third World nation of Guyana. I have confidence that Jim Jones’ community can only reflect well upon both America and the Guyanese.

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The Honorable Jimmy Carter
The President of the United States
February 27, 1978
Page 2

I had the pleasure of attending a testimonial dinner on behalf of Rev. Jones, at which he was presented well-deserved certificates of commendation from both the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and the State Senate, the latter of which was initiated by my Republican colleque, Senator Milton Marks. The dimension of Rev. Jim Jones humanitarian goals and accomplishments is such that he has been uniquely able to transcend surface political considerations to promote concrete, humane and better conditions of life for all our citizens.

I am advised that Rev. Jones decision to remain in Guyana for the time being. I understand that decision. I respect it and I am sure that Rev. Jones will return to this country when he deems it wisest to do so.

From the news stories about Rev. Jones absence from the country, it is clear that many persons opposed to Rev. Jones are attempting to exploit the absence for their political purposes. I am frankly appalled at such efforts. I hope that you will not be persuaded to assist in their efforts.

Jim Jones is truely an American asset!

Sincerely,
[signature]
Willie L. Brown, Jr.

LL-1-f

[Assembly California Legislature letterhead]

Art Agnos
Assemblyman, Sixteenth District
Majority Whip

August 2, 1977

Honorable Forbes Burnham
Prime Minister
Government Buildings
Brickdam, Georgetown
Guyana

Dear Prime Minister Burnham:

Recently in San Francisco a number of people have begun to attach a political meaning to the work carried on by the Rev. Jim Jones and the People’s Temple.

As a politician, I am aware from firsthand experiences that the public service activities without partisan political overtones. leadership and congregation of People’s Temple carry out exceptional public service activities without partisan political overtones.

While it is true that their participation in issues religious beliefs require active in large numbers confronting the community such as supporting in large numbers the tenants of the International Hotel, 99% of all the work done by People’s Temple is in service to the elderly, poor families, and troubled youth. On many occasions I have referred destitute people to People’s Temple for help and they have all received it.

It is most unfortunate that some people in San Francisco feel threatened by this very simple organization and philosophy of service.

Sincerely,
[signature]
Art Agnos

LL-1-g: Duplicate of letter on LL-1-d addressed to Forbes Burnham

LL-1-h

[Assembly California Legislature letterhead]

Art Agnos
Assemblyman, Sixteenth District
Majority Whip

April 25, 1977

Dear Friends,

I am planning my first fundraiser as newly elected Assemblyman from the 16th Assembly District and Democratic Majority Whip.

The $25 per person reception will be held on Thursday, June 2, 1977 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. at the Galleria, 101 Kansas Street, San Francisco. Senator Alan Cranston, Democratic Majority Whip of the United States Senate will be my honored guest.

Since my election I have tried to do many old-fashioned things to serve my constituents… such as personally walking precincts each week and giving 100 percent of my energy and attention to the activities described in the enclosed outline.

My fundraiser will be in keeping with the old-fashioned approach.

Just as special interests have too often monopolized the attention of legislators, they have also represented the easy way to raise necessary political funds.

The usual way to raise these funds has been to seek large blocks of money from the big checkbook interests.

My commitment is to remain free of those interests. I am therefore seeking the financial support of the everyday working people in the community.

I need your help. Please fill out the enclosed card and join me on June 2 for a festive evening filled with Greek hors d’oeuvres, music, and dancing.

Let’s start a “new old-fashioned tradition” for people and politics.

Sincerely,
[signature]
Art Agnos

Further information call:
Tana Girimonte (415) 981-8333

Not printed or mailed at public expense

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[Assembly California Legislature letterhead]

August 2, 1977

Art Agnos
Assemblyman, Sixteenth District
Majority Whip

Recently in San Francisco a number of people have begun to attach a political meaning to the work carried on by the Rev. Jin Jones and the People’s Temple.

As a politician, I am aware from firsthand experiences ther the leadership and congregation of People’s Temple carry out exceptional public service activities without partis an political overtones.

While it is true that their religious beliefs require active participation in issues confronting the community such as supporting in large numbers the tenants of the International Hotel, 99% of all the work done by People’s Tempe is in service to the elderly, poor families, and troubled youth. On many occasions I have referred destitute people to People’s Temple for help and they have all received it.

It is most unfortunate that some people in San Francisco feel threatened by this very simple organization and philosophy of service.

Sincerely,
[signature]
Art Agnos

AA/rtw

LL-1-K through LL-1-N: duplicates of letter from Willie Brown on LL-1-d to Fred Willis, Vibert Mingo, Dr. P.A. Reid, Forbes Burnham

Originally posted on May 19th, 2022.

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