2022 LAUSD Elections
Corruption In The Redistricting Process?
Was it unethical for Luis Sanchez to serve on the LAUSD Redistricting Commission while his wife, Maria Brenes, was planning to run for a board seat?
- LAUSD Redistricting Commission
Every ten years, the board districts of the LAUSD are redrawn based on census data. Even though the school district’s boundaries include cities other than Los Angeles and unincorporated portions of LA County, this process is controlled by Los Angeles City officials with the Mayor and the City Council President each appointing four members. Each of the LAUSD Board Members appoints the remaining seven members.
For Board District 2’s representative on the 2021 LAUSD Redistricting Commission, Monica Garcia appointed Luis Sanchez, who formerly served as her chief of staff. In 2011, Sanchez unsuccessfully ran against Bennett Kayser for the Board District 5 board seat that is currently held by Jackie Goldberg. Sanchez’s wife, Maria Brenes, runs InnerCity Struggle, an astroturf organization that has received funding from Eli Broad and others in the Nonprofit Industrial Complex pushing a school privatization agenda.
In 2018, with the teachers’ strike rapidly approaching, Garcia made an ill-fated attempt to transfer $125,000 from the LAUSD to InnerCity Struggle. This was about the same time Garcia was in Sacramento claiming the district could not meet the union’s demand for smaller class sizes because the district was facing bankruptcy.
As chair of the Redistricting Commission, Sanchez introduced a last-minute change to the proposed map that made drastic changes to the boundaries of Board Districts 2 and 5. These new maps were heavily gerrymandered, completely surrounding District 2 with District 5. Areas that have historically not supported the Jose Huizar/Monica Garcia regime were transferred to District 5. This move was supported by multiple calls made during the public comment period from people identifying themselves as members of InnerCity Struggle.