|PUSD: We don't need your stinking votes.|
More specifically, the aim was to figure out exactly how to elect more minority members to the Board of Education in areas where they are the majority. If that makes any sense. I'm not sure if I've quite figured out how a majority of the people somewhere can also be considered a minority.
But if you give me a little time I promise I'll work on that.
The end result was the entire school district was gerrymandered basically along racial lines, thus restoring the kinds of ethnic divisions that those who had instituted school busing back in the 1970s tried to bring to an end.
Of course, nothing much was actually corrected by this so-called "subdistricting process," and the PUSD's many problems have continued as if nothing ever changed.
However, the big upshot for Sierra Madre was that while most of these newly redrawn "subdistricts" got to elect their own representatives in 2013, we were proscribed from electing anyone here until just a couple of months ago. Meaning this town wouldn't get to vote for its own Board of Education representation until two full years later than most others. All while still paying our taxes, of course.
As you may recall from your high school years, the American Revolution was fought over a rather messy "taxation without representation" issue. But maybe that is now too long a time ago for people to remember. Or perhaps those few who did not forget have learned not to care.
Along with the following helpful graph, here is how this was described (link):
We talked about that question for a long, long time, and most of us did our level-best to take up both sides of the question at different points, so that we weren’t just being an echo-chamber. Ken (Committee Chair Ken Chawkins) stayed pretty much silent on the issue, while Bart argued very strongly for SM being an odd seat. …we heard a *lot* more voices from NW Pas who desperately wanted a rep and felt that they were unrepresented on the current board than we heard from Sierra Madre.
That isn’t to say that the voices we heard from SM weren’t listened to; they were. There were just more and more passionate voices from NW Pas, really. The vast majority of input we got from the residents of SM was “meh, why bother, won’t change anything, anyway.”
Apparently the justification for Sierra Madre being beaten out of a Board of Education vote of its own for two years was that more people from another part of the Pasadena Unified School District showed up at a meeting in bigger numbers, and made some really loud noises.
However, we would never want to call that mob rule.
Yesterday on the Pasadena Politics page (link), that very same vote snatcher, former Subdistricting Task Force head honcho Ken Chawkins, was flogging the idea of once again avoiding any messy voter involvement and instead appointing someone to take the place of departing District 3 Board of Education member Tyron Hampton. Tyron had run for a Pasadena City Council seat and won, and since he couldn't keep both of these elective positions at the same time, he resigned his BOE seat.
Here is how Ken Chawkins wants to fill that empty chair:
Nice, right? Democracy is expensive, so let's save some money and let Ken and his cronies twist some BOE arms and pick someone for these poor ignorant folks. After all, they'll get to vote again someday, so why would anyone be upset?
Besides, what better way to make sure that only the most correct minorities are picked for Board of Ed seats than by allowing a few concerned white folks from the finest neighborhoods to do their selecting for them?
So who does Mr. Chawkins want to see handpicked for this seat? The eminently underpowered Ruben Hueso (link). A gent whose main claim to fame seems to be that his brother is State Senator Ben Hueso (link).
Not coincidentally, Ruben is the very same guy Tyron Hampton defeated in a runoff for that District's seat in 2013. Plus he also happens to be the dude Fabian Nunez (link) gave $5,000 to in order to, you know, help out a little.
I guess Ken Chawkins thinks the voters might have made a mistake last time and wants to get a fix in for that. You can only imagine why. Especially when you look at some of the teacher ratings Ruben Hueso has received from the Los Angeles Times - (link) and (link):
So in other words, the guy who could not win a majority of the vote twice in 2013, and therefore couldn't get himself elected no how much of Fabian Nunez's (link) money he spent, very well might, should Ken get his way, now be put into office without a vote by his good old boy downtown political establishment supporters.
This despite the wisely voted wishes of the very people Ruben Hueso would now be representing.
But hey, that's how they roll at the PUSD.