These L.A. school board candidates have a message, but little money to get it out
In District 2, which includes downtown and nearby neighborhoods, veteran Roosevelt High teacher Lisa Alva, 56, proved to be a crowd favorite with an audience of mostly high school students during a recent campaign forum. She also successfully wooed the union representing district administrators, which endorsed her.
But her own union, United Teachers Los Angeles, held back, making no choice in the contest — possibly that’s because Alva has been critical at times of the union. Labor sources said they feared it would be wasting money to take on incumbent Monica Garcia, who has funding from charter backers and deep community ties.
At the campaign forum, Alva talked about classroom issues such as a district discipline program. She said it’s well-intentioned but poorly executed, sometimes making learning more difficult in the classroom. She’s raised $13,212 for her campaign.
Also in that race is Carl J. Petersen, 49, a father of five, including children with special needs.
“The district made me fight for the services that my daughters’ teachers agreed they required,” he said.
Overall, his views probably align more closely with the teachers union than any other challenger. As a parent activist, he’s repeatedly targeted alleged misconduct at charter schools, through blog posts and public records requests.
He is director of logistics at a company that makes high-definition security cameras.
Petersen ran unsuccessfully two years ago for the west San Fernando Valley board seat, then moved to District 2 to run again. He’s raised $2,999.
Three of the four candidates in District 4, incumbent Steve Zimmer and challengers Allison Holdorff Polhill and Nick Melvoin, have considerable outside financial backing. Gregory Martayan, who’s raised $71,475, is the other one.These L.A. school board candidates have a message, but little money to get it out - LA Times: