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JUST IN: In reversal, Waters asks for delay on LaMotte vote

LA School Report | December 17, 2013

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US Representative Maxine Waters

US Representative Maxine Waters

Just a day after US Representative Maxine Waters was actively pressing the LA Unified school board to appoint a candidate she favored to fill the vacant school board seat, she reversed herself today and is now urging the board to delay any action until next year.

As a press conference she said she is doing so out of respect for Marguerite LaMotte, the long-serving school board member, who died suddenly earlier this month.

In a statement she said if the school board acted today it is a “violation of African-American custom… before the conclusion of services and interment” of Marguerite LaMotte. 

The change of heart appears to be a signal that Waters and the groups that joined her in lobbying for the appointment of George McKenna (see story here) are facing the possibility they do not have the votes to win at today’s board meeting.

Here is the her full statement:

“In every way, Marguerite LaMotte was a model educator, advocate and dear friend. Our community is still coping with the loss of this important leader, who fought especially hard for students in underserved communities.

“That is why today, we are respectfully requesting that the LAUSD delay any action to determine how Ms. LaMotte will be replaced. Moving forward at this sensitive time is premature and would be hurtful to her family, friends and community, all of whom are still grieving.

“It is a violation of African-American custom and practice to replace, substitute or eliminate any position before the conclusion of services and interment. We have come here today out of respect for these traditions – and for Ms. LaMotte’s family – to ask the board to delay any motion until its next meeting.

“Marguerite LaMotte truly left her mark on all who knew her. Her presence in this building – and across Los Angeles – will be missed. I believe that after giving generations of our children so much, the very least we can do is properly celebrate her extraordinary accomplishments by delaying this vote.”

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