By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
Griego brings the virtues and limitations of an organizer's sensibility to the campaign. Commendably, he's used his considerable campaign resources to set up a large number of house meetings, out of which has emerged a kind of grassroots Sanitation Department -- a core of volunteers who have been active in a district cleanup program. Not so commendably, Griego's campaign is almost unbearably light on programmatic substance. We are concerned that his résumé suggests he may be too comfortable playing ball with the power elites who have long dominated Eastside politics. We are comforted by the fact that his résumé suggests his fundamental orientation will be to meet constituent concerns and to support, if not initiate, progressive policies.
Given a choice that leaves us drenched with ambivalence, some secondary factors come into play as well. Each of the two candidates is aligned with a distinct larger force in Eastside politics: Griego with Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa, Pacheco with Congressman Xavier Becerra. Each of those larger forces is currently comtemplating a mayoral run in 2001, and of the two, we think Villaraigosa has made a real difference in the struggles of working-class L.A., and in a range of important battles. In contradistinction to Becerra, he can assemble the kind of citywide progressive coalition that L.A. clearly needs. So to the extent that this particular council race tips the scales a bit in the mayoral contest two years hence - and to some extent it surely does - that's another reason to favor Griego.In short, we have some misgivings about Griego -- but we have almost nothing but misgivings about Pacheco. Griego's our clear, if reluctant, choice.
LOS ANGELES UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT, MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION
1st District -- Genethia Hayes
Barbara Boudreaux is Nate Holden without the charm. Like Holden, she's a civil rights crusader of yore who's curdled over the years into a divisive and somewhat paranoid ethnocentrist, a board member whose interventions in policy discussions run the rather narrow gamut from the frivolous to the demagogic. Her chief contribution to the discussion of district pedagogy over the past term was her misdirected approach to the ebonics issue during the controversy several years ago. Her recent unfounded allegations of racism leveled at two Hamilton High teachers show an imperviousness to facts and an eagerness to play the race card that are frightening in an elected official. Moreover, it is on Boudreaux's watch that the levels of learning at the inner-city schools she professes to defend have continued to decline, and she is stunningly devoid of ideas for how to stop that decline.
There is, happily, an excellent alternative to Bou-dreaux on the ballot. Challenger Genethia Hayes, who almost got enough votes to win the race in the April primary, has been an LAUSD teacher and the principal of a religious school. She's also been a member of the task force that founded the district's LEARN education-reform project, and a compelling champion of fair but measurable standards of educational attainment. For the past several years, Hayes has been executive director of the Greater L.A. Southern Christian Leadership Conference, where she has overseen a gang-prevention program, Project AHEAD (which trains parents to become more involved in their children's schools), and other cross-racial dialogues and projects.
Hayes had already declared her candidacy, and garnered support from a wide range of educational reformers and political progressives, when Richard Riordan hopped aboard her bandwagon, so you can't hold his support against her. She would be an independent and highly intelligent addition to the board, and we support her unstintingly.
LOS ANGELES COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT, MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Office No. 1 -- Sylvia Scott-Hayes
Office No. 3 -- Mona Field
Over the past year, the Community College District has begun to institute some of the changes that still elude the LAUSD. Under the new leadership of trustees Elizabeth Garfield and Kelly Candaele, the board has moved to give individual campuses the flexibility to develop academic and vocational programs, along with responsibility for their own budgets. In both of the following election recommendations, we've endorsed a candidate who's committed to push the reform agenda even further.
In Office No. 1, the candidate we think best able to address the district's ailments is Sylvia Scott-Hayes, who heads up the Testing Center and helped found the Writing Center at Cal State L.A. Though you wouldn't know it from her name, she'd also be the only Latino member of this elected-at-large board.
In Office No. 3, we strongly support Glendale Community College professor Mona Field over 12-year incumbent Julia Wu, who's always been a featherweight force in board deliberations. Field is probably the single best-qualified non-incumbent candidate seeking municipal office in L.A. this year. As head of the teachers union local on the Glendale campus (which is not part of the L.A. district), Field has fostered the very kind of labor-management-student-community relations almost never found on college campuses: collegial relations. She's an education reformer with a proven record of enlisting her fellow teachers in that cause, and we're damn proud to endorse her.
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