When life gives you lemons
JM, Goooo-oool, 5.15.09
It is said that the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton. History will decide if the battle of Beaudry will be won on the soccer fields of Balboa.
About three-hundred non-title-one (read: Anglo, occasionally Jewish) parents came to Balboa Park's soccer fields this morning to listen to Elissa Taub, Sandra Tsing Loh, and LAUSD Valley board member Tamar Galatzan proclaim that they were mad as hell and not taking...you know. The Lemonade Initiative, formed in recent weeks as an apolitical flack-catcher for disenchanted parents fed up with baking Snickerdoodles to supplement LAUSD Category I budgets, also marched on the District office of...LAUSD's Tamar Galatzan, one of the speakers (?).
The group already has its special argot: the main buzz distinction from other PTA groups is to carefully distinguish between "Teachers" (good) and "UTLA" (bad). In this way, it looks like an unwitting adjunct of the charter movement, whose longterm gameplan to villify teachers in order to cherry-pick public schools for private profit is well-known. The politically mercurial Ms. Loh artfully scapegoated "tenured health benefits for teachers" as one of the coming causes of the budget problem (it is not presently a problem), and claimed that "noone understands how district funding is done," then conceding that "six consultants in Sacramento" do indeed understand. One of the "not exactly political" (Loh's phrase) manifesto points as articulated by Taub is for "purchasing power for our local schools"---Cortines's decentralization plan of ten years ago, which caused some of the greater funding messes in the first place, finding new expression.
Galatzan, peddling lemons
Galatzan spoke without doing much speaking, ultimately promising to "to continue to be your partner in this fight" that isn't exactly political. Then the group marched up Balboa, on...wait for it...District offices, including Galatzan's office. For this revolutionary activity, Ms. Loh, whose publicity person passed out flyers on her behalf for an upcoming performance, sported a Che beret. The march, indeed the event, felt more like crossing a picket line than storming the Moncada Barracks.