"Appointing a non-Latino candidate like Goldberg to the seat, even temporarily, 'is definitely not in the spirit of the law. It would seem contrary to what LAUSD's own commission did' when it drew the district."
- Political Consultant Mike Trujillo
LAUSD Board Member George McKenna Questions LA City Clerk Holly Wolcott
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Bigotry in the LAUSD Board Room ChangeTheLAUSD.com.
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This is not the first time that the charter industry has used politics of ethnic and racial division. In an exchange on Twitter last May, LACOE Board Member Alex Johnson accused me of being "against high-quality education for black and brown students" because I expressed opposition to the privatization of education. During the last election in Board District 5, Ref Rodriguez' supporters mailed flyers stating that incumbent "Bennett Kayser tried to stop Latino children from attending schools in white neighborhoods." This drew a strong rebuke from Board Member George McKenna, who called the ad "misleading and racially inflammatory in nature." An editorial published in the Los Angeles Times noted that "scurrilously implying racism in a candidate who hasn't given the slightest indication of such a thing, dragged the campaign down into the muck almost before it had gotten seriously under way."
When confronted about the Kayser ad, the charter group that mailed it hid behind the point "that the mailer never actually said Kayser was a racist." Instead, they just suggested it. On Tuesday, Speak Up eliminated all pretense by directly stating that "no matter what the records show, a white Board Member who lives in Echo Park will not represent Latino students."As expected, the charter industry got their way and the resolution to appoint Goldberg was defeated on a 2:4 vote. With the Board evenly split and Board Member Richard Vladovic standing by his conviction that it would be undemocratic to appoint anyone to the seat, it appears that the stakeholders of District 5 will be unrepresented until a special election can be held. The Board has requested that the Los Angeles City Council schedule the primary election in March 2019. The likely runoff would then be held in May with the results finalized in June, just in time for the Board's summer break. If you are a stakeholder of Board District 5, you will regain your voice in District decisions in about a year. Don't worry nothing important should be happening between now and then.
Carl Petersen is a parent and special education advocate, elected member of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council and was a Green Party candidate in LAUSD's District 2 School Board race. During the campaign, he was endorsed by Network for Public Education (NPE) Action and Dr. Diane Ravitch called him a "strong supporter of public schools." His past blogs can be found at www.ChangeTheLAUSD.com. Opinions are his own.