Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Angelenos Go Overwhelmingly For The Progressive Over The Establishment-Backed Big Money Candidate


Exactly a week ago, there was an election in Los Angeles to replace a crooked School Board member, Ref Rodriguez, a charter school shill who was forced to resign after a many-faceted financial scandal. (Rodriguez pleaded guilty in July to 5 separate charges involving election fraud, exactly the kind of stuff you would imagine from a charter school lowlife selling out his community.) In last week's 10-person race, voters overwhelmingly chose the most progressive candidate, Jackie Goldberg, who got close to the 50% mark that would have precluded a run-off. Despite the airwaves clogged with $750,000 worth of garbage ads from a PAC supporting Heather Repening, the establishment candidate and the probable run-off contender, Goldberg finished with 15,241 votes (48.45%)-- 489 votes shy of what she needs to avoid a run-off-- to Repenning's 4,144 (13.17%). Graciela Ortiz is right behind Repenning and votes are still being tabulated and it is actually possible that Goldberg could win outright or that she will face Ortiz instead of Repinning. The run-off is May 14.

The district, whose 81,000 students in 177 schools are almost 90% Latino, includes Los Feliz, Silverlake, Highland Park, Echo Park, Eagle Rock, Huntington Park, Maywood, South Gate, Vernon and Bell.

Goldberg, 74, served on the school board in the 1980s and then went on to serve on both the City Council and in the State Assembly. She is strongly allied with the teachers unions and opposes the further spread of charter schools.

According to Los Angeles Magazine, "The seven-member school board is deeply divided ideologically. There are a number of sticking points, chief among them the spread of independent charter schools. There are currently two board members who are fairly sympathetic to the teachers union and skeptical of the charter movement, and three members who are the reverse. In somewhere approximating the middle is the idiosyncratic Richard Vladovic. A Jackie Goldberg victory in May would leave the board balanced on a knife’s edge. She would press for more oversight and more regulations on existing charter schools, and would likely work to stop their spread, although that’s tricky one, since their right to exist (and their right to be located on school district-owned campuses) is mandated by state law.
“I think the biggest battles will probably be in Sacramento,” said Goldberg. “I’m sorry, but there needs to be some reform to charter legislation.”

No matter who wins the special election, the board will be pressing for more money, both from the State Legislature and from voters. One month after the runoff, in June, the district will ask voters to increase their own property taxes by 16 cents-a-square-foot, in order to raise half a billion dollars or so a year and save L.A. Unified from insolvency. The measure will need a 67-percent supermajority to pass, so it’s far from a sure thing. Should that vote fail, then the board’s business would become dominated by the money crunch. Should it succeed, then they may find themselves supervising fights over the spoils, between different unions and factions.

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At 9:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goldberg's name recognition goes back decades. She's not been the worst person representing her constituents. Not being one of her constituents, that's about all I can add.


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