LAUSD Board Delays Vote Until After Ms. LaMotte’s Burial

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LAUSD Board members Bennett Kayser, Monica Ratliff and Steve Zimmer stopped the rush to decide how to fill Marguerite LaMotte’s vacant seat before she has been laid to rest. “Rule 72″ is a LAUSD Board rule that requires 13 days of public notice before the Board can act on any item. Under normal circumstances Rule 72 would have prevented consideration of filling the vacancy until after Ms. LaMotte’s funeral. However, the Board can suspend the rule by approving a “Rule 72 waiver” that requires four votes for passage. With only three votes in favor of taking up replacing Ms. LaMotte on Tuesday. (Tamar Galatzan, Monica Garcia and Dr. Richard Vladovic), the waiver failed, and Ms. LaMotte can be properly buried before consideration of how to replace her takes place, just as we requested prior to the Board meeting. (Read our full statement before the vote below). The item is scheduled to be taken up at the next LAUSD Board meeting on January 7.

Please take a second to send board members Kayser, Ratliff and Zimmer a thank you email for showing Ms. LaMotte and our community, which is still processing her passing, respect on Tuesday::,,

Marguerite LaMotte’s home going services begin today, starting at noon at Angelus Funeral Home, where she is lying in repose. Click here for the full schedule of opportunities to pay your respects to our fallen warrior.

Subject: List of Supporters of Appointing George McKenna & School Board Members Op-ed
Date: Tue, Dec 17, 2013 at 7:45 AM

To: Richard Vladovic, Steve Zimmer, John Deasy, Monica Garcia, Tamar Galatzan, Monica Ratliff, Bennett Kayser, Herb Wesson, Thelma Melendez, Eric Garcetti

Board Members, Mr. Mayor, Council President Wesson and Superintendent Deasy,

I am writing on behalf of the community-based effort to appoint an able caretaker for Ms. Marguerite LaMotte’s seat so that the “babies” she has left you all to look after aren’t harmed from having no seat at the Board table for 6 to 8 long months while adults play politics.

You know that if Ms. LaMotte was here she would be furious at the political opportunism on display by those pushing for a special election, which would leave her seat vacant until June or August. She would implore you all to focus the critical decision you must make on the question she so often asked from her seat, what is the impact on the children?

To have this debate on any terms other than what is best for the children is disrespectful to Marguerite’s legacy, which has already been so disrespected by this Board by forcing our community to have this conversation before her family has had the opportunity to bury her.

As the the four retired school board members wrote in today’s article in CityWatch LA (Dr. Barbara Boudreaux, Rita Walters, Larry Aubry and Saundra Davis), “If a special election is called District 1 will be unrepresented for at least 6 to 8 months while the Board of Education divvies up billions of dollars and makes major policy decisions that will impact the quality of education for District 1 students.” The article specifies the major policy decisions in which District 1 would have no vote.

The current list of supporters for appointing Dr. McKenna as the caretaker is below. It includes 50 organization and opinion leaders in the District 1 community who are joined by elected representatives and your fellow board member peers. You will find on that list individuals who those calling for a special election claim some peoplesupport their position like Betty Pleasant. This is not unique. The position of many people (including several on the list below), including Ms. Pleasant has changed to supporting an appointment after they became educated about the real harmful impact to the kids of having no representation until June or August. Even Congresswoman Karen Bass now believes that the appointment process is what is necessary.

Understand, it is a natural reflex for people, especially African-Americans who had to fight and many die for the right to vote, to call for an election. But democracy is not just about direct citizen voting; it is about having a seat at the table when big decisions are made. When the harmful impact to the kids is explained every person supports an appointment and the overwhelming majority get behind Appointing McKenna as the caretaker. And no one – NO ONE – has claimed that Appointing McKenna would not be best for the kids.

Honor Ms. LaMotte’s memory by focusing not on the politics, but on how this impacts the kids. Provide our community more time to debate this critical issue out of the political echo chamber. In fact, this is exactly why Rule 72 was created, to allow the public time to debate complicated and critical matters like this. It, along with the disrespectful act of having this conversation before Marguerite is buried, is why the Rule 72 waiver should not be granted.

Allow us time to properly bury our fallen warrior. Respect Marguerite the woman and her legacy. Vote against the Rule 72 waiver.

I request these comments be entered into the record in their totality.

Thank you,
Appoint McKenna

P.S. We will continue to update the support list as it continues to expand at the following link: