No End to LACCD’s “Kabuki Politics”: Public Meeting Kept Secret

VOICES - Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) has begun taking steps to prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Report to examine future use of the $91 Van de Kamps campus in Northeast Los Angeles.  This is part of the court victory of the Van de Kamps Coalition we represent.

The first step is a Public Scoping meeting which the Board will conduct at the Van de Kamps campus (corner of San Fernando Road and Fletcher Drive) this Wednesday, September 19th at 6:00 p.m. at a building on the Van de Kamps campus. There’s one funny thing: the LACCD has conducted no public relations outreach effort to actually encourage the public to attend the meeting.

What if a public agency held a public meeting to solicit the public’s opinion about the future of the Van de Kamps campus but the only outreach was to the existing tenants of the campus?  Yes, that is what will unfold this Wednesday as part of the strange Kabuki Theatre called “LACCD”: The Board adopted a resolution in August declaring its intent to move its Board meeting location to Van de Kamps in order to “hear from the public” about the future of the Van de Kamps campus.  But then, LACCD Vice Chancellor Adriana Berrera, who runs Van de Kamps, made sure that only the Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools and the Mayor’s politically favored tenants were informed of the date, time and place.

Did Ms. Berrera send out a press release announcing the meeting? Not that we know of.  Were the City’s Neighborhood Councils notified?  None of the NC representatives we inquired with had received any notice of the meeting from LACCD.  OK, well, did they at least post a notice on the email list servers and blogs that focus on Northeast Los Angeles issues?  You can guess the answer.

But you can bet that the current tenants at Van de Kamps, the people who were handed this multi-million dollar campus with no competitive bidding, are busy rallying THEIR supporters to make sure the LACCD Board only hears their support for continuing to give them this valuable community college facility at a grotesque below market price.  Here is the link to the charter school’s website which is whipping students and parents into a frenzy to attend the Wednesday Board meeting:

What if LACCD held a meeting where they declared they wanted to hear your opinion and then they only told selected members of the public when and where the meeting would be held?  Does this make you feel that your tax dollars are being spent for your interest?  Would you really vote for Prop 30 this November to give the LACCD more tax money to waste as they have done in leasing our community college facility to outsiders who have no business occupying these buildings?

(Miki Jackson and Laura Gutierrez are members of the Van de Kamps Coalition and CityWatch contributors.  Miki Jackson can be reached at [email protected]) –cw

Vol 10 Issue 75
Pub: Sept 14, 2012