Dear Ms. Waddell,
On behalf of the Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce (LALCC) and its thousands of business owner members, we are writing to convey our disbelief and disappointment at the, some would argue, biased demands by AFT 1521 to block David Vela’s appointment to the Los Angeles Community College District Board.
The Latino community is stunned and very disappointed that on the AFT 1521 Facebook page, soon to be appointed trustee David Vela, a Latino and a member of the LGBT community is dubbed as a person who does not “reflect our diverse student population.” This statement is simply not true. It seems that the person who made this statement is not aware that Latinos make up the largest student population (60%) in the Los Angeles Community College District, and that the LGBT community has become an integral and influential part of our diverse Los Angeles population.
Here are some additional statistics that will add additional insights to into this matter. As we’ve stated, more than 60% of LACCD’s student population are Latinos –yet, only 40% of the LACCD Board is Latino. Further, only 20% of the LACCD teachers are Latinos. With Mr. Vela’s appointment, 56% of the board would be Latino, which more fairly represents LACCD’s student population.
LACCD’s appointment of Mr. Vela will make LACCD the first major government organization in Southern California whose board is majority Latino and is consistent with the population of Los Angeles. Mr. Vela’s appointment is seen by many in our community as historic and a step in the right direction. I remind you that more than 55% of LA County is comprised of Latinos. LACCD’s board action in supporting Mr. Vela is consistent with the composition and population of LACCD and the County of Los Angeles.
Your Facebook statement from our vantage point indicates that you chose to embark on an underhanded attack on a very deserving, worthy and influential Latino American citizen. Further, it is our firm belief that your sole interest is to advance your union’s political agenda -over the best interests and desire of the community at large. Such a narrow position only serves as a serious detriment to the LACCD. Additionally, it is our understanding that you have divided union support on the tack that you are taking which generates additional questions.
The Latino and LGBTQ community supports Mr. David Vela’s appointment to the LACCD board and will attend the next public board meeting to show our support for the LACCD Board’s decision to appoint someone who is clearly a reflection of our community and who is a very well-qualified person.
The LALCC vigorously supports Mr. Vela’s appointment.