A kind of resegregation of the Pasadena Unified School District, and in the eyes of some a return to the bad old days of the 1970s.
A big problem for us here in Sierra Madre is that while a majority of these districts will be allowed their own exclusive subdistrict representative in 2013, for some strange reason we won't get ours until 2015. Something that still seems patently unfair. The reason given by various shady PUSD apologists being that recently re-elected Board of Education members such as Tom Selinske needed to be able to serve out their entire terms in office. With Sierra Madre being called upon to make the noble sacrifice for these solons of scholarship.
This was ratified and made ballot ready by a specially appointed PUSD so-called "redistricting taskforce commission." One where our representatives, Joe Mosca and later Bart Doyle, sat passively by (if they showed up at all) and allowed this city to be stuck with a form of second class citizenship. And while a bizarre form of political correctness was given as a rationale for all of this, the real reason has now been revealed. Stick around and I will tell you what that was, and why we were misled by those who were supposed to represent us.
Pasadena Star News writer Brian Charles pretty much nailed the racial politics involved in an April 7 piece entitled "Pick Your Poison:"
Voters in the Pasadena Unified School District will vote again to decide how they will elect their school board. The current system, a quasi at-large voting mechanism, has been under attack for more than a year. The Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights said PUSD was "vulnerable to a lawsuit" if they don't switch to a ward system similar to the composition of the (Pasadena) City Council.
The push is for diversity. Creating voting districts around "communities of interest," jargon for black people, Latinos, rich people and poor people, would assume that everyone in the community is represented on the board. But beware of Balkinization. It's currently possible to influence all seven members on the board since they run citywide, and each voter in the district can in effect flip the board every two years.
On June 6 of this year we posted an article called Measure A: Sierra Madre Loses (click here). It announced that Measure A had indeed been approved by the voters, and that we'd been kicked to the back of the bus and would not have our own representative until 2015. This was also the day that the LA County District Attorney's Office searched the home of COG's miscreant El Supremo, Nick Conway. Which, while a good thing, also meant that a rather remarkable prediction contained in this Tattler article was largely overlooked. It had been made the previous day by an anonymous poster, and we were so impressed we stuck it in that day's article. Here is how it read:
The fact is the commission that drew up the maps and decided which sub-districts would get elected first was made up of failed Board of Education and Pasadena City Council candidates.
Their names are: Ken Chawkins, who lives in West Pasadena. He failed in his run for school board and so drew a District for himself and designated it open in 2013.
Roberta Martinez, who lives in Northwest Pasadena. She failed in her run for school board and so drew a District for herself and designated it open in 2013.
Khatchik Chanhinian, who lives in North East Pasadena. He failed in his run for Pasadena City Council.
This is the true reason why the Districts were drawn the way they were and why Sierra Madre has to wait until 2015 ... because the Sub-District Commission members designated the seats they intend to run in upfront in 2013.
Mark my words. These three Commission members will all pull papers to run for school board in 5 months to run in the sub-districts they created for themselves and made sure were available in 2013.
That was last June. Now leap forward several months to this moment in time. In a Larry Wilson column titled "Pigskin Preview of Pasadena Politics," which ran over the weekend in the Pasadena Star News (click here), you will find this rather remarkable passage:
Back to the Pasadena school district: "Scott Phelps will probably be challenged on the west side by Ken Chawkins, who chaired the PUSD redistricting task force. Roberta Martinez and Khatchik Chahinian, both of the task force, are said to be running in their newly defined districts."
So there you go. The June 6 prediction may have been right.
Of course Chawkins, Martinez and Chahinian are very much in league with the establishment cabal currently on the Pasadena Unified Board of Education. The same sad bunch that includes Ed Honowitz and Tom Selinske, characters responsible for the Measure TT "bait and switch" funding debacle that threatens Sierra Madre's schools. These are also the folks at the center of a new controversy that involves steadily declining PUSD enrollment and a scheme to sell off the resulting excess real estate to stack and pack housing development concerns.
Another PUSD big lie, quite possibly exposed. Despite all the claims of grandiose political correctness through ethnic engineering, it could have been all about nothing more than rigging some new voting districts for crony candidates favored by the current Board of Education. With Sierra Madre once again left holding the bag, of course. Isn't that always how these things always end up?
When will we ever be rid of these awful people? With this new restacking of the Board of Education deck, the answer apparently is not for a very long time.