And then there is a possible race politics angle to Measure A, which is also the mark of a Peter Dreier run PUSD election effort. The attempt to play one ethnic group off of another to preserve the interests of Dreier and his old boy allies on the Board of Ed is apparently in play here. In a letter to the Pasadena Sun, former Board of Education member and 30 year Pasadena Unified administrator Bill Bibbiani puts it this way:
Measure A will result in a style of racially oriented, ward-based, "what's in it for me" politics and politicians. And it will exacerbate tension between blacks and Hispanics who share many of the same neighborhoods.
Measure A represents a significant step backwards for PUSD and the increasingly diverse communities it serves. Forced to integrate its schools in 1970 as a result of its own intransigence, now is not the time to divide the district itself, as Measure A would do.
There is a definite "divide and conquer" component to Measure A. One that plays the more urban so-called sub-districts against suburban areas such as ours. The best indication being that we, along with two other areas, will not be allowed to elect our Board of Education representative until 2015. Whereas the inner city sub-districts will be allowed to elect theirs in 2013, a full two years earlier.
Not having representation on the Board of Education until 2015 will hurt Sierra Madre's schools as we will have no one there to speak for our needs. This at a time when hundreds of millions of dollars in Measure TT money are being allocated. With 4 other sub-districts having representatives while we are with none, who will fight for us?
The argument has been made that old line PUSD Board of Ed members such as Tom Selinske, who will be allowed to serve until 2015 as an at-large representative, will step into the gap and be our voice. But when you consider the huge hit in Measure TT money we have already taken under this current Board of Education, one run in large part by the gent named here, I don't see them suddenly becoming advocates for our cause. With these sorts of folks serving alongside the 4 new sub-district representatives elected in 2013, it is pretty obvious that we will be out in the cold, and severely ripped off.
I think it is pretty safe to say that Measure A is anti-Sierra Madre. And largely by design.
Peter Dreier, who many regard as being one of the Godfathers of Measure A, is a gentleman with a fairly radical past. And remains so now for that matter. Dividing the Pasadena Unified School District along community lines in the name of empowering minorities is hardly out of character for someone who has advocated for the kinds of things Peter Dreier has over the years.
If you click here you will be taken to the Key Wiki page of Peter Dreier. There you will be treated to various links connecting Peter Dreier to the Democratic Socialists of America, a quasi-political party that continues to advocate for radical causes to this day.
Saturday evening delegates recognized the contributions of DSA vice chair and Washington Post columnist Harold Myerson, Occidental College sociologist and longtime DSAer Peter Dreier and insurgent California Congress member Hilda Solis who in turn provided in-depth perspectives of the political scene.
So what is the Democratic Socialists of America all about? This is how the organization is described on their Key Wiki page (click here):
Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is the largest socialist organization in the US. It is one of two official U.S. affiliates of the Socialist International. It was formed in 1982 from the merger of the Michael Harrington led Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee and the smaller New American Movement.
Interesting that such an organization and its influences have now come into play here locally in the form of Measure A. It certainly explains a lot.