As days closed in on the most critical Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) election on Tuesday March 6, the debate on who decides for the African American community was resolved when Black leaders and the final major endorsements were tabulated.
In the hotly contested District I board seat which represents South Los Angeles incumbent Board Member Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte received the overwhelming support of the region from parents, residents and concerned citizens at multiple rally's, meetings and gatherings-momentum that many expect would carry her to reelection against her novice opponent Jonathan Williams.
"What I do know about her is that she will stand up and fight for this community and with that she's got my vote," said Lavern Cross a voter in the district race.
Assembly member Mervyn M. Dymally (D-Compton), the leader of the California Legislative Black Caucus announced that organization has declared to unanimously support LaMotte in the election for Seat 1 in Board District One.
"Ms. LaMotte has been a champion for our students and our schools," Dymally said in a statement. "She's a team player with a track record of proven successes. We are wholeheartedly supporting her re-election to the School Board."
While LaMotte is the clear cut choice among veteran elected officials such as Dymally, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has come under intense scrutiny of the Black Community for joining with former Mayor Richard Riordon in an attempt to rest control of the School Board by backing candidates favorable to his agenda. The Mayor is supporting Williams.
"What I do know about Jonathan Williams is that he cares about children and is good for education, but what I don't know is if he's capable of best serving needs as a member of the school board," said an anonymous source.
"The Mayor can not and will not be allowed to select elected officials for the Black community in this election or any other election. He's threading on dangerous waters in doing so," said a prominent Black leader who requested his named not be used.
LaMotte is also supported by the powerful United Teachers of Los Angeles, but Villaraigosa has spearheaded a controlled campaign committee named Partnership for Better Schools to financially back his candidates.
Odessa Taylor, who has been employed by LAUSD for over 20 years, and supports LaMotte said, "Marguerite LaMotte genuinely cares about the children of LAUSD; she believes in the children and in the community. She is fighting to make things better and to make things right for the children. Furthermore, she is a staunch advocate for the children of LAUSD and I support her."
Chrysanthemum James is a parent whose son attends one of the LAUSD schools and she said, "My son is graduating because the school has focused on his special needs which allowed him to succeed. And I attribute his success to programs like the independent study program in conjunction with the leadership of the school board that Marguerite LaMotte is an integral part of. I totally support her re-election to the (LAUSD) school board."