Sunday, July 07, 2013

Villaraigosa: The Myth of The Progressive Mayor (teaser)

"The alliance, formed between the mayor, the school board, and Los Angeles' corporate elite to design the idea of 'public school choice,' is another example of how neoliberal economic policies have influenced educational policies." — Professor Theresa MontaƱo

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa speaking at a school privatization event. Photo by Robert D. Skeels
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa speaking at a school privatization event. Photo by Robert D. Skeels
I finally finished an essay I actually started writing in the Spring of 2011 on the flight to Korea with my wife. With about a third written, it sat forever until the urgency of Villaraigosa leaving one office, and his contemplating another, motivated me to finish it. Weighing in at around 5,500 words with footnotes, there's no need to reproduce the whole thing here — especially in that it isn't only about his education policies. However, the bulk of the piece does focus on his AEI approved neoliberal dismantling of public education in Los Angeles. The last section is a somewhat thorough examination of his direct involvement in school privatization and teachers union busting. So here's the first two paragraphs and an outline of the essay's contents. Please read and share the whole thing: Villaraigosa: The Myth of The Progressive Mayor.

Statuesque in a six thousand dollar suit, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa graced the June 2009 cover of Los Angeles Magazine. Emblazoned across his photograph was the bold word "Failure." The tenuous article, embodying the sentiments of many hopeful Angelenos, reproached the Mayor for not being the visionary progressive many envisioned him to be, and in that regard, a failure.

While Villaraigosa disappointed supporters and failed to deliver any progressive policies whatsoever, he was hardly a failure to those he really serves. Indeed, for developers, real estate tycoons, billionaires, and school privatization profiteers, Villaraigosa's eight year reign was a smashing success.

Villaraigosa: The Myth of The Progressive Mayor



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