The election for the Los Angeles School Board seat in District 1 is Tuesday August 12.

If you live in Board District 1, be sure to vote.

Monica Ratliff endorsed veteran educator George McKenna. So did Steve Zimmer.

Here is Steve Zimmer’s statement:

I am posting this on Facebook in the hopes that each of my friends who lives in LAUSD Board District 1, works in Board District 1 or knows folks who live in Board District 1 will urge people to vote in Tuesday’s Special Election. This special election, to fulfill the unexpired term of my friend and colleague Ms. La Motte, is expected to have an incredibly low voter turnout. I ask you first and foremost to vote on Tuesday. We must show that public education is important for every student in every community.

As many of you know, I have endorsed Dr. George McKenna in this race. I do not make endorsements lightly. I respect the rights of voters, especially when it is not my district, to make their own decisions. When I saw the attacks against Dr. McKenna, however, I decided I could not stand by and watch. As I saw the same organizations that spent over $4 million to take me out, now raising over $1 million to spread lies and cast doubts about Dr. McKenna’s career, I could not look away. TheLAUSD school board is not for sale. It is immoral to seek victory by any means necessary. It is unconscionable to use the injuries of children as a political weapon. In some of the same ways as in my election, our core democratic values hang in the balance as ballots are cast on Tuesday.

These were the reasons I endorsedDr. McKenna two weeks ago. Since that time, I have come to know George McKenna in a different way than I had working with him over the last 20 years. I have seen the man behind the Superintendent. I have seen the values and reasoning behind his decisions. I had always respected Dr. McKenna. From the moment I met him in 1992 as a first year teacher, I knew that Dr. McKenna was a consummate educator in an ongoing struggle for civil rights and education rights for all students.It is a very hard thing to do that from within public school systems, so I had always respected his skills and tenacity. But now that respect has grown into trust. I trust that Dr. McKenna is running for all the right reasons, and It rust that his understanding of the needs of children in district one and throughout LAUSD will make Dr. McKenna an outstanding board member.

Specifically,

· I trust Dr. McKenna will put the needs of students and their families first in every decision he makes as a Board Member

· I trust Dr. McKenna has absolute urgency to transform our schools so they meet needs of students and families for whom the promise of public education has yet to be realized

· I trust Dr. McKenna understands the complexity and diversity of District One and that he will serve all areas of the district; balancing the charge to concentrate resources in areas of greatest need with ensuring that all schools are well supported

· I trust Dr. McKenna is truly independent. He will not be beholden to any interest group or endorser and has shown this over and over again during the campaign. He is honest and transparent because he is an educator not a politician.

· I trust that Dr. McKenna will not blame teachers for the problems facing public education. He knows that our challenges do not have simple answers and that we all must work together. He will hold every employee to the highest expectations while respecting their dignity and honoring their service.

These are the qualities and values we need in our next school board member. Dr. McKenna has both the moral compass and the experiential direction to lead LAUSD towards a new day for children and their schools. It has been an honor to get to know a man I have admired for so long. I ask you to spread the word about this election and aboutDr. McKenna. I encourage you to visit his website and listen to one of McKenna’s speeches.

If you should have questions, feel free to email me at szdeke@hotmail.com

Please feel free to share this note and thank you for reading and caring about public education.