The language was simple. A quote from the PUSD website reads, "PUSD's at large board districts became geographic sub-districts encompassing Altadena, Pasadena, and Sierra Madre".
As a result of the latest elections there are four seats that are defined by geographical boundaries and three seats that are At Large. In 2015, after the next election cycle, all seats will have geographical boundaries. Currently one of the At Large seats is empty. That seat will be appointed by the current board.
There were 37 applicants for the vacated seat. The applicants ran the gamut. I'm betting all had a concern about the district and cared about the students. That is where the similarities stopped.
The number of applicants to be interviewed has been reduced to nine and they'll be interviewed tomorrow.
The Pasadena Latino Coalition (PLC) has sent a letter to the board expressing their concern that there are currently no Latinos on a board that makes decisions for a student body that is 60% Latino. The argument is made that this is a "historic opportunity to... appoint a well qualified Latino applicant, ...who will help strengthen the community's engagement to help contribute to the betterment of Pasadena's education system".
The other day I was asked if it wasn't racist to think that a Latino should be appointed.
Would I feel the same way if there were no whites on the board and 60% of the students were white: that a white person should be appointed? Not sure if they heard me when I shared, "Yes, I probably would feel the same way".
The PLC decided to not pick one applicant over another. That was something to which all members agreed.
Quite frankly I'm hoping that the person who is chosen is a Latina or Latino that has worked with the local community or local schools and for the sake of the group Latino Heritage, that they have been supportive of the work that we have done.
Every year there are 1,000 people that participate in our Parade & jamaica. Even more benefit from the talks, movies, concerts and educational activities that we provide at a variety of sites.
We welcome all who support us and who take part in our activities. How grand for the young people we work with to have someone with whom they can identify and who will serve as a role model for them.