The loss of our beloved friend and leader of unwavering advocate for our children Marguerite LaMotte was truly a sad day in our community. The loss of Ms. LaMotte was not only a loss to the African American community, but a loss to every hard-working student and parent in LAUSD who needed an advocate to ensure that the promise of a quality education is afforded to every child no matter their race, religion or socioeconomic circumstances. Marguerite LaMotte was that advocate! She dedicated her entire life to fighting to ensure that every child received the best education because she was a proponent of education being the key to pursuing a quality life for everyone who fought for a better way for themselves, their family and their community.
As the debate heightens for a replacement for Marguerite LaMotte, there is but one answer within our community and throughout District #1; the answer is simple. George McKenna!!!
George McKenna, amongst the constituents of District #1, will be a magnet for unification, not a lightning rod for divisiveness used as a tool that pits one faction against another. Whether you are a proponent of appointment or whether you are an advocate of a special election, Dr. George McKenna is someone the entire community can agree is a man who will uncompromisingly represent the students and families of the district as we steer the delicate transition of change with the loss of Marguerite LaMotte. Our children, our community and our schools don’t have time to wait to for representation. We need the board to appoint a representative for District #1 NOW!!! We need someone with unquestionable character and unquestionable qualifications ready to step in and make the hard decisions TODAY! George McKenna is that man. Dr. McKenna has been an educator, an administrator and a superintendent at the highest levels of education. He is well respected within the education community, not only here in Los Angeles, but throughout this nation. It is undeniable that Dr. McKenna’s life work has been about raising the standards and expectations of education for our young people. He has dedicated his life to education and demonstrated an ability to bring about reform and raise the expectation to perform to the highest levels. George McKenna has a resume that is unquestionable and he is known for doing the necessary work that is required to turn a school and a school district around.
As we mourn the loss of our dear friend, colleague and education leader, Marguerite LaMotte, we find ourselves facing the cold, hard truth that hits all of us in difficult times like these. Who are we going to get to replace Marguerite LaMotte? Who is it that has the passion for the kids, and for the job? Who is it that has an understanding of the inner workings of LAUSD? Who can represent the interests of the students in District 1 TODAY? Who is it that would not sellout our community to the special interest groups who have and are continually working, not in the interest of our kids, but in their own interests on the backs of our children? Who is it that can quickly get up to speed on the issues facing our young people and continue to advocate on the promises of our former representative (Marguerite LaMotte) and at the same time bring some new and fresh ideas into the halls of LAUSD with an understanding of the situations that confront our students, teachers, administrators and support staff employed at LAUSD each and every day? Who is it that has the leadership qualities necessary to return LAUSD to the high performing school district it once was and who has the ability to build the bridges of unity amongst the LAUSD Board that our children so desperately need and deserve? The Answer: Dr. George McKenna!
Dr. George McKenna is clearly that leader. He is a man who does not need to be brought up to speed on the crisis in education within LAUSD because he has lived it for the past 40 years at every level and he can bring a level of honesty, candor and an inner perspective to the board that few are able to bring, because they have not worked in it, lived with it the way Dr. McKenna has. Remember Dr. George McKenna was the principal who turned Washington High School from an underperforming high school to an over achieving college preparatory academy. When Compton Unified School District was in shambles and taken over by the State of California, it was Dr. George McKenna they called upon to right the ship. Dr. George McKenna served as a Superintendent in Inglewood Unified School District and as Assistant Superintendent in Pasadena Unified School District. When LAUSD decided to break the district up into smaller sub-districts, is was Dr. George McKenna who came in to lead the charge for the schools in South Los Angeles.
In these challenging economic times, when the challenges of operating LAUSD are at a critical path, our schools and our kids must have someone sitting at the table of leadership ensuring that their voices and their interests are served Today, Tomorrow and into the Future. We don’t have time to wait 120 days for a special election. In 120 days, our children’s interests can be sold, traded or simply ignored and the impact could last a lifetime. WE NEED THE LAUSD BOARD TO IMMEDIATELY APPOINT Dr. George McKenna to fill the District #1 seat so tragically vacated by Marguerite LaMotte. Then and only then will we have time to properly address the issue of when we hold an election and who should fill her seat.
The Los Angeles Sentinel strongly encourages you to email, call, text or contact via Facebook and Twitter or simply write a letter in support of Dr. George McKenna immediately being appointed to fill the seat of Marguerite LaMotte. Once we know that the interests of our children are covered, we can then debate when and where we hold the election to fill the seat.