On Tuesday this week, local area women gathered for a “Wine and Sweets” reception at the home of Tara Kelly to meet Kate Anderson, candidate for LAUSD School Board in the 4th District (which covers an enormous area including Larchmont Village/Hancock Park, Hollywood, West Hollywood, parts of the Valley and most of the Westside.) While enjoying several kinds of wine provided by 3Twenty Wine Lounge and an assortment of delicious treats from Coffee + Food on Melrose, the moms heard about Kate’s plans for LA’s public schools, and communicated their own concerns and interests about public education.
Those gathered learned that seven elected school board members of the nation’s second largest school district control an annual budget approaching $7 billion, making decisions that impact curriculum, facilities, school safety, teacher performance and evaluation, resource allocations and much more. Yet in the last LAUSD School Board election, fewer than 10% of registered voters cast a vote, and the victor won by just a few hundred votes. The election on March 5th is crucial to the future of LAUSD, with three seats up for grabs and the philosophical balance of the Board at issue.
Anderson spoke about her experience as a mother of twins who attend public school, as a former congressional staffer (Henry Waxman and Jane Harman), a child advocate, attorney, and local elected official. She dreams of bringing the District back to its former history of providing a world-class education for children in Los Angeles. Anderson contrasted her position as being an advocate for change and reform in order to best serve kids and families in our City, compared to her opponent, the incumbent Steve Zimmer, who she believes is an advocate for the status quo.
Anderson spoke to the fact that of the seven current LAUSD School Board members, only one has children enrolled in an LAUSD school. Anderson hopes to bring a stronger parent voice to the Board’s decision-making process and encouraged everyone to vote on March 5th.