The LookOut Letters to the Editor
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Setting the Record Straight and Educators Endorse JJ

October 28, 2002

Dear Editor,

Santa Monica residents recently received a political mailer opposing Measure JJ that was not only untrue but also very deceptive. We would like to correct the misinformation so that residents can decide how to vote based on the truth, though we take no stand on this issue.

The mailer pictured the Montana Avenue Branch Library in disrepair, surrounded by a fence, with the headline, "Our libraries are already in trouble. Measure JJ would only hurt them more." The photograph is misleading. The Main Library and three branches are not "already in trouble."

On the contrary, a bond for the $25 million passed in 1998 by more than a whopping 80 percent of our residents, which is providing the funding to renovate the branch libraries and expand the Main Library. Ten years prior to the passage of that bond, another bond passed to acquire the property adjacent to the Main Library for eventual expansion.

Both Montana and Fairview Branches are closed for the funded renovations and will open in December -- new and improved for all patrons to enjoy. The Main Library expansion is on target and will be demolished in the next few months to be replaced by a state-of-the-art facility, paid for through the bond and matching funds provided by the City of Santa Monica.

The mailer gives the wrong impression that the branch library is closed because of some alleged "trouble" and states that the libraries will be hurt more if JJ passes. The bond funds are secure and the City's commitment to the Library is unwavering. The opponents of JJ are trying to tie their cause to possible library problems as a scare tactic, knowing how Santa Monica residents love their libraries.

H. Richard Horst and Ida Trives signed the text on the mailer. It is unfortunate that they are misinformed. Mr. Horst was the chair of the Library Board from 1982-1986. Ida Trives chaired the Library Board from 1990-1992. Neither of these signers seem to be aware of the current status of the libraries' construction, for if they were, they would know that the libraries are neither in danger of being closed or not maintained properly.

We take no stand on Measure JJ. We do, however, take offense when misinformation about the status of our libraries is disseminated for political gain.

Sherrill Kushner, Vice Chair
Jon Arenberg, Chair
Friends of the Santa Monica Public Library


October 29, 2002

Dear Editor,

As teachers, education officials and youth leaders, we are deeply concerned about working poverty and its impact on both children and adults. Our concern is heightened by recent studies showing that the percentage of children living in poverty has increased significantly.

The effects of poverty wages are broad and profound. Low wages force parents to work two or sometimes three jobs, leaving less time to spend with their kids. This can seriously compromise the education of children, who rely heavily on parental help and encouragement to succeed.

Health care is often out of reach for the working poor, as is quality day care. Likewise, there's little or no money left for college savings. Poverty wages also limit career advancement opportunities for adults, who frequently work multiple jobs that make it difficult or impossible to obtain training and education.

By lifting wages for an estimated 2,000 people, Measure JJ will offer substantial benefits to working families. This conclusion was affirmed by the city's living wage study, which has been reviewed and endorsed by 120 economists from around the country, including many leading experts in the field.

Under Measure JJ, parents will have more time to spend with their children. Access to health care and day care will be improved, and educational opportunity will be expanded for both kids and adults.

In endorsing Measure JJ, we also note our concern over charges made by opponents that the living wage law will hurt youth. These assertions have no basis in fact, and merely reflect the financial self-interest of those who would deny workers a fair wage.

Measure JJ is good for kids, good for parents and good for our community. We proudly offer our endorsement of this important law and urge voters to support it on Election Day.

Educators for Measure JJ

Julia Brownley
President, Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District

Maria Leon-Vazquez
Vice President, Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District

Pam Brady
Board Member, Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District

Brenda Gottfried
Board Member, Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District

Pat Nichelson
President, Santa Monica College Board of Trustees

Dorothy Ehrhart-Morrison
Trustee, Santa Monica College

Annette Shamey
Trustee, Santa Monica College

Kenneth Mason
Vice President, Santa Monica College Faculty Association

Bill Winslow
Member, General Advisory Board, Santa Monica College

Abby Arnold
Member, Site Governance Council, Santa Monica Alternative Schoolhouse

Emily Bloomfield
Former member, Strategic Planning Team, Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District

Kevin McKeown
Instructional Technology Consultant, Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District

Oscar de la Torre
Founder, Pico Youth and Family Center

Harry Keiley
President, Santa Monica Malibu California Teachers Association

Sarah Braff
Executive Board, Santa Monica Malibu California Teachers Association

Rick Abel
Connell Professor of Law, UCLA/Santa Monica resident

Nancy Cohen
Professor, Center for the Study of Women, UCLA/Santa Monica resident

Charla Fett
Professor of History, Occidental College/Santa Monica resident

Larry George
Professor of Political Science, Cal State Long Beach/Santa Monica resident

Nancy Greenstein
Public Safety Administrator, UCLA/Santa Monica resident

Charles Noble
Chair, Political Science Department, Cal State Long Beach/Santa Monica resident

John Rogers
Associate Director, Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access, UCLA/Santa Monica resident

Teresa Wright
Associate Professor of Political Science, Cal State Long Beach/Santa Monica resident

Ned Acker
Social Studies Teacher, Santa Monica High School

Georgine Acosta
English Teacher, Santa Monica High School

Laura Adams
Math Teacher, Santa Monica High School

Sara Campos Gonzalez
Bilingual educator, Santa Monica High School

Luis Contreras
Math Teacher, Santa Monica High School

Gilda de la Cruz
English Teacher, Santa Monica High School

Alicia Gonzalez
Math teacher, Santa Monica High School

Gilbert Lopez
Math Teacher, Santa Monica High School

Carmen Paul
Spanish teacher, Santa Monica High School

Luis Ramirez
Counselor, Santa Monica High School

Elias Serna
Former English Teacher, Santa Monica High School

Ramon Veral
Math Teacher, Santa Monica High School

Leslie Wells
Spanish Teacher, Santa Monica High School

Affiliations for identification purposes only.


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