So it’s been 48 hours since the special election for Measure EE, spearheaded by the Los Angeles Unified School District to apply a parcel tax to owned or rented property to help fund the LAUSDs efforts to improve education environments. This election came about as a result of the teachers strike earlier this January.
Those in favor were Mayor Eric Garcetti, the LA USD, local teachers’ unions and wealthy celebrities who clearly didn’t have too much an issue with an applied tax.
However the ones not in favor criticized the LAUSD and the city government for rushing a measure that did not detail what was to happen to that tax money, which was to total $500 million annually to the LAUSD. They expressed concern that the historical negligence of the LAUSD did not inspire them enough to have an tax ($0.16 per square foot) applied monthly to fund educational efforts.
It needed a two thirds majority to pass. 54 percent said no, while 42 percent said yes-a strong blow to the neoliberal centrist establishment of Los Angeles city government.
For conservatives and right leaning democrats, they saw this as an opportunity to stick it to the man, and it certainly delivered.
Now, my opinion is this….
For those who voted NO, your concerns about additional taxes are valid, but the thing is that in all communities we should hold each other and the measures and politicians we vote for accountable. The LAUSD said there would be an independent committee to assure the tax money would be placed in its intended targets. If that wasn’t enough for you, then why didn’t you think of making sure you doubled down by forming committees on your own, and making sure the LAUSD was held to its promises? Are you sure this is about paying taxes? I mean, many of Los Angeles voted in propositions last November to help with mental health and homelessness but can’t see the same need for education? I feel as if the many that said NO were either 1) wealthy, conservative from affluent parts of LA whose children do NOT attend public school, but private and charter or 2) neoliberal centrists who claim to be socially liberal but do not see their finances the same way. They were willing to help with mental health and homelessness but felt the buck stopped there because they aren’t willing to pay more taxes.
I think of last November’s prop 10 for example for rent control. Many of the campaigns that were against Prop 10 were real estate companies. It’s not in their best interest to support rent control. The more buildings they can build and the more wealthy people that can rent or buy said properties, the better it is for them.
Now I am not generalizing all that voted NO are selfish, I’m sure you have your reasons BUT it’s impossible to empathize with your concerns when most of you have a considerable amount of funds to pay taxes to help those less fortunate. The ones who voted YES aren’t all naive into thinking we’d trust LAUSD to do their jobs correctly-labor unions put the pressure on in the first place to support better teaching conditions, so the magnifying glass is on the establishment.
It’s as if you don’t want those in lesser circumstances to become as empowered as your children because that means a bunch of black and brown kids are able to access quality education and become equally competitive as your children in the private school sector. The last thing some of y’all need is a bunch of intelligent ambitious kids from the hood with all the resources making a run at your property.
Then again this could all be conspiracy but….if this type of stuff had not happened before in a similar capacity, I wouldn’t have a reason to write this.
I hope you’re happy. You just made the lives of the worker harder. And for that reason, we will come back stronger.
This ain’t over, LA. Let’s keep fighting.