There is Hope on the Horizon

November 7, 2012

There is hope on the horizon in Los Angeles this morning. The passage of Proposition 30 marks the first step in Californians restoring our investment in our students and our public schools. Yesterday, voters convincingly told us they value public education. They told us they believe in our teachers, principals, and school employees.

Yesterday, the voters of California told us our children and their dreams still have an important place in the priorities of the Golden State. The passage of Proposition 30 is a victory for the American Dream and the California Dream.

The message is also very clear to those of us who lead LAUSD. It is time to stop the cuts, stabilize our schools and invest in programs that work for our children and their families. I heard this message everywhere I went throughout the district. I heard it in our parent centers, in our high school government classes and in adult school ESL classes. And I heard it on door steps as I walked precincts in some of the most diverse neighborhoods in the State. Even with all our struggles, Los Angeles still believes in LAUSD.

It is no small thing that voters in our state voted to tax themselves in the midst of the worst budget crisis since the Great Depression. The victory was clear. It happened for a reason. The effort of our parents, our labor partners, and our community partners on behalf of our students and their schools was one of the most inspiring I have seen.

I want to thank every student, parent, teacher, school employee and community leader who advocated for Proposition 30. I specifically want to thank the rank and file members of UTLA, SEIU, CSEA and all our labor partners who worked tirelessly for the last two months. I also want to thank our amazing community organizations like ACCE, Community Coalition and Inner City Struggle who mobilized neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles to turn out a remarkable vote in this city. The energy this campaign created on the ground in communities won’t end with this victory. A new coalition for investment in public education has emerged.

And I want to personally thank the students and parents from over 35 schools I’ve visited in the last ten days. I asked all of you to vote yesterday. And I asked those of you who weren’t eligible to vote to talk to at least 5 eligible voters. I asked you to make sure no one voted alone. You did this and you did more. You shared your stories and your struggles. You shared your hopes and dreams for your children. We honored our elders as we valued our future. Thank you.

Finally, even as we celebrate we remember the pain of our families and friends trying to recover on the East Coast. I urge you to take a moment today and support the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. You can go to http://redcross.org/lp/sandy or another storm relief website.

In Hope,

Steve