Guild Demands that Newly Appointed Trustee Step Down Immediately
Join your colleagues, students, staff, and community members to protest trustee appointment at the next Board meeting on July 11th at the Educational Services Center downtown
In an action that surprised and disappointed faculty, the Board of Trustees ignored the voices of students, faculty, staff, and the public they are supposed to represent by selecting David Vela to fill Seat #3 on the Board. “The Board chose politically expedient cronyism over highly qualified educators and community activists,” said Guild President Joanne Waddell. “We urge Vela to step down and demand that the Board appoint a trustee who will make our governing board more closely reflect our diverse student population.”
For weeks, the Guild’s Committee on Political Education (COPE) had interviewed numerous candidates to fill the vacancy left by the departure of the board’s only African-American member, Sydney Kamlager-Dove. After in-depth interviews and consideration of their experience and knowledge of community colleges and the communities they serve, the Guild recommended a number of well-qualified candidates to the Board, several of whom were African-American women with decades of experience advocating for students and public education.
Despite the fact that nearly every speaker from the general public (including students, faculty, staff, community activists, politicians, and even religious leaders) spoke overwhelmingly in support of Cal State L.A. professor Dr. Melina Abdullah to fill the open seat, the board members chose to ignore their constituents and appoint a candidate who has already tried and failed to win public election to the board.
“The more than 20 speakers who expressed overwhelming support for Dr. Abdullah’s appointment to the board, as well as the students, teachers, and community members in the audience, were shocked and disheartened that the board so blatantly ignored the importance of gender diversity, equity, inclusion and qualifications in appointing a board member to replace Sydney Kamlager-Dove,” said Dr. Sandra Lee, AFT Chapter President at Los Angeles Southwest College.
“We’re very concerned that the Trustees chose to ignore the Guild’s recommendations. In one vote, they disrespected labor, women, and the African-American community,” said Waddell.
Join other faculty as well as students and community members from across the District at the next LACCD Board of Trustee meeting on July 11th at the Educational Services Center downtown to protest this decision and demand that David Vela do the right thing and step down from the board immediately.