Cowards One and All
I arrived home from a spirited Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council meeting (STNC for short) just in time to find an article posted on the LA Times website about the spineless Board of Education voting to fire accomplished teacher Rafe Esquith famous for the Hobart Shakespeareans. The Board is just as weak as our LA City Councilman Felipe Fuentes, who garnered the wrath of Sunland-Tujunga when he evicted the STNC from the local city hall and handed it over to two non-profits for $1 a year [corrected thanks to Liliana Sanchez below]. That’s right- our neighborhood council which is an elected city board will have to find private space and pay rent.
Fuentes didn’t have the spine to show up at the STNC monthly meeting tonight, just as the LA School Board voted to fire Esquith “unanimously behind closed doors.” That includes Zimmer and Ratliff. Should we really trust those two to protect us from Eli Broad’s school privatization plan? I think not. It’s impossible for Esquith to fight back against all of this, but not so for our neighborhood council which thoroughly embarrassed Fuentes’ minions sent in his place- minions who were texting and rolling their eyes at us “local yokels” who took turns at the public comments time to excoriate King Fuentes. I noted when it was my turn at the mic that Fuentes was trying to weaken the STNC because he has seen the history of this small but mighty community fighting back against big box stores and mansionization. He wants to stop that so he gave our neighborhood council two weeks to leave the home it has occupied for 11 years and he had the locks changed. He thinks he and the Gang of Five, as the Valley’s five Democratic political machine members are known, can weaken the Neighborhood Council system but alas for them, some of the most powerful neighborhood councils showed up tonight to support us. Felipe was no where to be found. I’m confident we’ll win this thing but not confident that teachers will save public education. We’re up against a much more powerful machine and Rafe Esquith- the most famous teacher in America -was brought down by it.