Thursday, April 11, 2013

Taking Education in Los Angeles Personally

Olivia Rubio and Edward Padgett

by J. Evert Jones and Olivia Rubio

The latest drama in Los Angeles' mayoral election involves a challenge to mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti, from Wendy Greuel, where she gave Mr. Garcetti two hours notice to a debate on education. She has been justifiably blasted in the media for her obvious media stunt. Here's only one reason why:

Wendy Greuel’s tweet Wednesday afternoon stated: “For me, education is personal, not a political issue.”

This is a nice sentiment. It would be an admirable one if Ms. Greuel allowed it to stand on its own. However, she manages to squeeze into the same tweet: “I’m ready to debate today—Eric Garcetti, will you join me?”-- effectively turning her “personal issue” into a political one. In other words, Ms. Greuel apparently can’t type out 140 characters of text without contradicting herself.

On her website, Ms. Greuel goes in-depth about her “personal issue” by making vague, passive references to being a LAUSD mom. Compare this with candidate Garcetti’s record, which not only includes teaching at USC and Occidental College, but continues to this day as he has helped more than 1,500 local constituents learn about the governmental process by hosting Government and Planning 101 courses throughout the city.

It’s nice that Wendy Greuel believes education to be a personal issue. Education is the main road to empowerment—not only for one’s personal well-being, but also for our city’s economy and overall prosperity. Our challenge to Ms. Greuel then, is to take the issue of education in Los Angeles personally and seriously. Don’t use “education” as a thinly veiled pretext for political grandstanding.

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