January 02, 2014

By Kenneth D. Miller

Assistant Managing Editor



The funeral services for long time and respected educator Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte has been held and the Los Angeles Unified School District Board will reconvene for a special meeting on Jan. 7 to vote on whether an appointment, special election or both would be held to determine who and how her seat should be filled on the board.


While the Black community is clearly divided on which process is best, few will argue that not having any representation for the tens of thousands of students in District 1 immediately would be catastrophic.


On December 17th LAUSD Board met to discuss replacement options, but was met by LaMotte supporters who protested that any decision be made until after her burial and the board voted in favor of postponing the vote.


During the meeting LAUSD Board member Monica Garcia urged board members to make a decision and said that, "by doing nothing we are doing something." Garcia contended that District 1 students should not go without being represented.


"I am absolutely certain that seat should not be vacant for six to eight months or how ever long an election takes and there be no representation for the constituents in District 1. It's imperative that seat be filled with an appointment, said community and education advocate Larry Aubrey.  I think that appointment should be Dr. George McKenna."



Which is precisely why two members of congress including Rep. Maxine Waters and Rep. Karen Bass and a powerful contingent of community coalitions are adamant in their support of polished long time educator Dr. George McKenna' appointment to the board immediately.


McKenna, supporters argue, would continue to carry out the wishes of LaMotte while being the best advocate for addressing the needs and concerns of students and parents in District 1.


LaMotte was the lone African American on the board and the long ties she shared with McKenna from their days at Washington Prep are indicative of a shared community commitment to the students and parents of District 1.


McKenna would provide students of the district an immediate voice on the board until LaMotte's term expires in 2015 or until a special election can be held.


Many contend that a special election would be detrimental in two aspects: preventing District 1 from having representation and costing taxpayers millions to hold a special election for a replacement.


"Most of the people on the other side are big money people. In this particular case an election is not beneficial to the community. I am for elections, but in this particular situation it would be criminal to the constituents of the district to not have continued representation," stated Aubrey.


The LAUSD is already in a power struggle over resources that could hamper   the district for the next 20 years if not more.


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Category: Community