2024 LAUSD Elections
Facing The Voters
In the first debate since filing closed, seven LAUSD BD3 School Board candidates answered questions from the community. One was a no-show.
“Community Schools are a road to communism.”
– BD3 Candidate Raquel Villalta
As my wife and I pulled into the parking lot of Birmingham Charter High School, we were impressed by the number of cars already present. It was a Saturday night on the first day of Thanksgiving break and spots were already scarce. Civil engagement may not be dead after all.
It turned out most of the cars were there for a different event that was occurring on the football field, but approximately 50 people did attend what was billed as a “candidate debate” hosted by the Lake Balboa and Winnetka Neighborhood Councils. Moderated by Spectrum News 1 correspondent Ariel Wesler, the event was more of a “candidate forum” than a “debate” as there was no give and take between the candidates. Whatever the classification, it did give voters the opportunity to size up the people running to represent them in the BD3 seat on the LAUSD School Board.
Of the eight candidates who are currently in the process of collecting signatures so that they can appear on the March 5, 2024, ballot, only Elizabeth Badger was a no-show for the event. Her failure to participate deprived voters of the opportunity to hear her viewpoints on a wide range of subjects regarding the future of the school district. Badger has also refused to participate in my ongoing Candidate Forum Series which has included questions about PROP-39 Co-Locations and Special Education. As a constituent of BD3, I will assume from her lack of response that she has not taken the steps necessary to improve her understanding of the issues since she ran for this same seat in the 2020 election. Her continued refusal to engage should be seen as disqualifying in the eyes of the voters.
It was clear from the audience’s reaction that Raquel Villalta made the most effort to bring her supporters to the event. While they were very passionate, they and their candidate were clearly out of step with the electorate in Los Angeles. The…