The writer is incorrect in stating that the 10 percent pay cut came after a 24 percent raise. Starting in 1990-91, teachers were to receive annual 8 percent raises over three consecutive years. Instead, they received only the first year’s increase. The second year, pay was cut by about 4 percent, on the condition that most of the lost funds be restored in later years, which they were. The third year, pay was cut by 10 percent, with no provision for repayment. Since that time, teachers have indeed had several pay raises, but a teacher working in 1990 will not have caught up with all the lost pay. The 24 percent pay raise would have made L.A. teachers about the best paid in the county. This year’s raise brings them to about the county average, according to both the union and the school district.
Re: “The Movement’s Mayor” [February 16–22]. My faith in miracles has just been reaffirmed. For Harold Meyerson to even tacitly suggest that Maxine Waters is not supporting the best — or even the most progressive — candidate in the mayor’s race is, in fact, a miracle. As we all know, because the Weekly has told us so, Maxine can do no wrong.
Re: Steven Mikulan’s article “Why I Drive a Hate Crime” [January 19–25]. Mr. Mikulan seems to think that people criticize him for owning a SUV just for the sake of social gamesmanship and holier-than-thou pseudo-progressivism. Well, I’d like to give him a hard time, because SUVs are gas-guzzling road hogs. We must all take responsibility for our actions, and sometimes your choices are just plain wrong. Sure, you can’t boycott every single product that contributes to trashing the environment or oppressing people, but does that mean that you shouldn’t do anything, and just give up? Mikulan’s excuse, that everyone but “the most self-destructive radicals” eventually grow up and throw up their hands, to become a grasping consumer and resource glutton, is lame and self-serving.