Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Neighborhood Group Withdraws from Districting Lawsuit

AMPS decides a study is better than a lawsuit


Graduating high school seniors, 2015

The Board of Directors of Advocates for Malibu Public Schools (AMPS) has decided not to be part of a California Voting Rights Act lawsuit filed against the City of Santa Monica.

In an attempt to force the City to change its Charter from city-wide to districted Council and School Board elections, several groups last week sued Santa Monica alleging civil rights violations. Board member Oscar de la Torre's wife, Mary Loya, was the organizer of the lawsuit.

The Pico Neighborhood Association (PNA), Maria Loya and Advocates for Malibu Public Schools (AMPS) filed the suit in the Los Angeles Superior Court. The SMMUSD subsequently threatened to cancel or delay a study on district separation, that could've led to the AMPS' desired result: The City of Malibu forming its own district. So the group withdrew.

"Regardless of the merits of the case, AMPS' board believes that AMPS acted hastily in its original decision to join the lawsuit and did not properly consult with all stakeholders and collaborators. These include the SMMUSD Board of Education, the Santa Monica and Malibu City Councils, and all members of the teams charged by the school board to negotiate the terms of separation by which an independent Malibu Unified School District is to be created," the group said on April 17 in a press release.

Blind student receiving an SMMUSD award

"AMPS continues to believe in the importance of local governance and control for Santa Monica and Malibu schools, regrets the distraction created by its original decision to join the lawsuit, and looks forward to the resumption of negotiations to create a Malibu Unified School District – a solution it believes will serve far better the interests of both the Santa Monica and Malibu communities. "

In a tactic borrowed from Quebec (which periodically threatens to withdraw from Canada), the City of Malibu has periodically threatened to withdraw from the SMMUSD for decades. The districting lawsuit is, however, a new tactic.

It's worth noting that the County of Los Angeles was forced ten years ago, to adopt "Supervisorial districts" for it's 5 member board of supervisors.


Reader Comments

eldersMeeting writes:

When Prince became a Jehovah's Witness, he really did not know what he was getting himself involved in. None of them do, in fact. Every convert is given a prefab speel, that is not reality. Check this YouTube video out on the behind-the-door world of Jehovah's Witnesses:

Parent writes:

It appears that AMPS has already decided or otherwise thinks they understand that the independent Malibu School District definitely will be created, since they use the present tense. I wish I knew what they knew that the rest of us clearly do not know.


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