Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Big Raisin v. The Big Orange

Mayor Alan Autry
City of

August 28, 2006

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
City of Los Angeles
200 North Spring Street, Room 303
Los Angeles, CA 90012
VIA FACSIMILE 2133-978-0656

Dear Antonio:

I have tried unsuccessfully to reach you regarding your education reform bill. I'm left with only one conclusion, that you felt the needed votes had been arranged and there was no need to return my call.

I can't tell you how disappointed I am. As you know, I supported your efforts for reform and crossed many of my fellow Republicans to do so. I did so with peace in my heart because I believed you genuinely cared about the welfare of all the children in California, many of whom live in the most impoverished region in the country Fresno, California. It hurts me badly to think you were apparently playing a political game for Los Angeles and Los Angeles only.

The bill that passed the Senate today could have easily contained the intent language for Fresno that Senator Denham had fought for. All you and Fabian had to do was support it. It would have cost you and the speaker nothing. But you didn't. It has become painfully obvious to me that you do not believe the kids in Fresno are of equal value to the kids of L.A. I think they're all equally important and precious to this state.

Antonio, since I have been in office, writing this has been one of the most difficult things I have done because I truly do respect you. But answer me truthfully, if the shoe was on the other foot and you were the Mayor of Fresno with some of the lowest test scores and highest dropout rates in the state, would you say and do nothing? Would you stay silent after watching a similar reform for Fresno summarily and egotistically dismissed by the Legislature and along with it, the hopes and dreams of thousands of our most needy children? We both know the answer to both of these questions – no.

City Hall 2600 Fresno Street Fresno, California 93721-3600

-------end page one -------

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
August 28, 2006
Page 2

Since we don't have the capacity for intimidation here in the Valley that you and Speaker Nunez wield at the State level, I guess all I can say is shame on you, brother. But this I vow to you and the Speaker I will do everything I can to expose this action for just what it is, political deal making at its worst that puts the desire for power over the well being of our most disadvantaged children.


/s/Alan Autry

cc: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Speaker Nunez
Senator Denham
Senator Florez
Senate Education Committee
Assembly Education Committee

No comments: