Saturday, May 23, 2015

SATURDAY POLITICS: Openly Gay, Latino Ref Rodriguez Elected To Los Angeles School Board

Dr. Ref Rodriguez was just elected this week to fill the District 5 seats on the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) board of education. He defeated incumbent Bennet Kayser by a surprisingly large margin of 7 points (53.5% to 46.5%). Rodriguez was endorsed by the Victory Fund, which supports only LGBT candidates for elected offices around the country.

Rodriguez is well-known for founding the Partnership to Uplift Communities Schools, commonly known as the PUC Schools, which run many charter schools in the state of California. The Rodiguez-Kayser battle was the most expensive of those contested on May 19th, with the California Charter School Association spending millions of dollars to defeat Kayser, who was aligned with the United Teachers Los Angles (UTLA), the teachers' union.

As KPCC put it:
As was the case in the primary, voter turnout was low as predicted: 7.64 percent of registered voters turned out in the school board election and 13.93 percent in City Council District 4. 
In the school board election, the low turnout gave special interests more influence in the results than had voters turned out in decent numbers. California Charter Schools Association Advocates' PACs spent over $2.2 million, primarily to support charter school administrator Ref Rodriguez. The teachers union, UTLA, spent about $1.3 million while calling on its 31,000-plus members to campaign for its favored candidates. 
The District 5 election got so fierce that I had people knocking on my door (twice) for Kayser even though I am not in District 5 (I'm in District 2 currently held by Monica Garcia).

Because of the ill-advised Charter Amendments that passed earlier this year, Rodriguez will serve a 5.5 year term, coming up for election in June 2020.

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin