Two candidates squeaked in before today’s deadline and entered the race to try to unseat incumbents in the March LAUSD board elections, according to a City Ethics report.
Running against Board President Steve Zimmer, Allison Holdorff Polhill is an attorney, a Palisades Charter High School board member and a parent. Pacific Palisades is one of the most affluent areas in LAUSD. http://www.allisonforstudents.com/about-me
ntil November 2, 2016, she was also listed in the staff directory of the California Charter Schools Association as a Parent Organizer, according to my computer’s cache.
“As a parent organizer for CCSA Families, Allison builds teams of parent leaders who advocate to protect and expand charter schools for all families in Los Angeles.”
Holdorff Polhill is the second corporate reform candidate to put their name on the ballot for School Board District 4. TFAer nice guy Nick Melvoin was the first.
Melvoin has raised the most money at $161,000. Zimmer, who has been endorsed by UTLA in previous races, has raised about $29,000, and Gregory Martayan has raised $40,000, according to the City Ethics webpage. Martayan held a fundraiser emceed by Mark Geragos, the celebrity attorney who announced a class action lawsuit against LAUSD while representing famed teacher Rafe Esquith. Tracy Grand is also running. Neither she nor Holdorff list any campaign contributions yet.
But when it comes to elections and charter school lobby, we all know the drill. The big money will be in Independent Expenditures. If previous school board elections are a guide, some of those will be State rather than local, with a less frequent reporting cycle. So we may not *technically know* who the donors are until after the election. But I bet we could all guess today!
Across town, in the “Cradle of Reform,” as board incumbent Monica Garcia calls her district, teacher Lisa Alva has joined the race to unseat the corporate reform queen who has enjoyed steady support from SEIU.
Alva has been asked many times by many people to run for school board. She became nationally known when she very publicly quit the reform movement.
Her wake-up call came in the form of a conference call coordinated by the United Way to organize an astro-turf demonstration outside the LAUSD Board meeting to show support for the now disgraced, now departed superintendent Deasy in October, 2013.
Alva's Dear John letter was addressed to the reformers and posted on a teachers blog. Picked up by the Washington Post, and Diane Ravitch, it was a light shone in the dark corners where astro-turf groups, civil rights groups and corporate funders huddled while they thought no one was looking.
Another light-shiner, parent activist Carl Petersen, is running in Board District 2, as are Manuel Aldana Jr. and Miho Murai. Garcia has raised $132,000.
The primary election will be held on March 7, 2016 and the general on May 16.
Things are about to get very interesting and, hey, it's not even noon yet. That's the final deadline for candidates to file.