Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
Any event scheduled in the middle of a Redskins-Cowboys game and a World Series game, one would think, was either a mistake or something very important.
In the case of the gathering Sunday evening at the Eugene and Agnes Meyer House on Crescent Place NW, it was something very important, "a historic occasion," in the words of Rep. Edward Roybal (D-Calif.).
This was a reception given by the 2-year-old National Association of Latino Democratic Officials (NALADO) for its supporters and friends to announce a plan to further the concerns of the nation's Spanish-speaking. That about 400 persons ignored bad weather and all sporting distractions to attend could be taken as more than a hopeful sign by NALADO's leaders.
Chief among these is Roybal, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and NALADO's president. He said that NALADO hopes to open a lobbying organization in Washington by next July and similar organizations in at least four states with large numbers of Hispanics.
Roybal, who said $150,000 would be needed to open the Washington office, called on the guests - who paid $25 each or $100 for a "sponsorship" to attend the champagne reception - to give $25 in each of the next five years.
"If this doesn't work, we don't stand a chance," said Roybal, telling the group that NALADO was the organization that would unify Hispanic people. Among the guests were Sen. Dennis DeConcini (D-Ariz.) and Joseph Aragon, special assistant to President Carter.
Roybal went to great lengths to attend. He said he slipped a disc in his back recently. "He's been in bed a week," said his wife, Lucille, "but he got out of bed to be here."
NALADO's cohost for the evening, the Antioch School of Law, whose library is located in the Meyer house, ironically was criticized in flyers handed out in the lobby by about 20 Antioch students and area residents, most of them Hispanics. They charged Antioch with "economically exploiting and oppressing the poor" in its procedure to sell a building it owns on 16th Street that houses Hispanic and black families.