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  • Tuesday, August 21, 2007


    eLECTION Watch 2007

    Florice Hoffman still running… somewhere in OUSD
    Arianna Barrios joins Recall race against Steve Rocco

    On June 21st, 2007 the LIBERAL OC blog site announced the candidacy of Florice Hoffman for the OUSD School Board and posted an invitation for a fundraiser for the local labor activist. This started a flurry of speculation on which seat Hoffman was seeking (see links below). Hoffman responded in an email that same day to an Orange Net News inquiry about what OUSD seat she was running for as follows:

    “I am waiting to see how the recall signature effort goes as I am planning on challenging Rocco.
    Words cannot express my frustration with his tenure.
    From teacher pay to class size reduction to facilities to NCLB, Rocco has missed major opportunities to improve education and our district. When I think about how he wastes time speaking about conspiracies instead of improving education all I can do is roll my eyes and shake my head in frustration. He is a distraction and a detriment to public education.”

    However, there was a problem with a Hoffman vs. Rocco race. OUSD has a Trustee Area Residency Rule which mandates a trustee must live in the Trustee Area they represent. Rocco represents Trustee Area 6, far from where Hoffman lives.

    On June 22nd, Hoffman responding to an inquiry from the OC Blog writes:

    1. I have to move if I run.
    2. My sons do not graduate from Canyon High School until June, 2008
    3. I am an employment attorney, run my own business and not a layer [sic].
    4. I am committed to public education and making sure that OUSD has great and safe schools.
    5. I do no find all this blogging constructive. I am too busy raising my children, working and making Orange County a better place to live.

    Thank you,
    Florice Hoffman

    Fast forward to this week, the Liberal OC blog published a post from Andrew Davey (a member of the Board of Directors of the Eleanor Roosevelt Democratic Club of Orange County) asking for support of Hoffman and he included the following email from Florice Hoffman:

    “I want to work to bring OUSD students smaller class sizes, computers and updated facilities. I believe OUSD students and families deserve year round leadership from school trustees dedicated to improving education.

    With over 40 schools, OUSD must work to ensure parents and teachers are supporting students and creating a safe learning environment upon which our students can build a life. I know tomorrow’s doctors, nurses, firemen, architects, and business owners , as well as today’s coaches, parents and neighbors need our schools to be the best they can be.

    I also know meaningful educational change requires sacrifice and leadership. I believe I have the leadership OUSD students and families deserve. As a parent, PTA volunteer, local business owner and attorney, my experience and education will guide my stewardship of the OUSD.

    Your contribution of$100, or $50 or $25 to my campaign for OUSD will help me bring community based leadership to our students, our schools and our community.”

    In the Greater Orange Communities, OUSD completely encompasses the cities of Villa Park and Orange as well as also serving the enormous Anaheim Hills area in the City of Anaheim. In addition OUSD serves portions of west Garden Grove and northern Santa Ana as well as the various communities of the Orange Hills and eastward. The diversity of the communities with different populations, wealth, education, and political involvement all combined to result in a Trustee Area Residency Rule when OUSD was formed from independent local districts. The rule mandates a trustee must live in the Trustee Area they are elected to represent, but they are elected by the whole district. The rule has served its purpose to insured equal representation from across the Greater Orange Communities to the OUSD Board. The rule has also served the original purpose of preventing activists from one part of the district in dominating the OUSD Board and ignoring other less influential areas. In addition, while various dominate majorities have in turn captured five of the seven OUSD trustee seats; the rule has prevented a unanimous slate of ideologues (from the right or the left) from capturing all seven seats and running the district in Closed Session meetings. The one or two minority members among these majorities have always served as a small check and many times like now, a constant irritant to the controlling OUSD majority, but also has served to ensure robust diverse airing of viewpoints.

    Ending the Trustee Residency Rule has always been appealing to the controlling majority members. Trustee Areas 2 and 6 have always been the hardest to recruit candidates to run. The former OUSD Trustee recalled ideologue Maureen Ashcroft was long rumored to maintain an apartment in Trustee Area 2 to qualify for the OUSD Board. In fact within a week of her recall, she had “moved” out. Ashcroft replacement, OUSD Trustee John Ortega had to also physically move into Trustee Area 2 (the timing was never brought under scrutiny) to be compliant with the Trustee Residency Rule.

    The Trustee Residency Rule apparently has now frustrated enough of both the liberal and conservative elements in OUSD political circles for an attempted change the rule from both sides of the political spectrum. Conservative Foothills Sentry columnist and local education activist Marjan Dunn has addressed changing the requirements in her The Orange Scene feature of the widely read monthly. The current five-member liberal dominated Godley Majority or the OUSD School Board is so frustrated with eccentric Trustee Steve Rocco that the OUSD Board may broach the issue of changing the Trustee Area Residency Rule when they take up possible Trustee Area boundary changes at the next OUSD School Board meeting August 23rd.

    For information on School District Reorganization CLICK ON:
    Metro TALK on Reorgainization

    Barrios vs. Rocco
    Speaking of Marjan Dunn, she also broke the news in her August 14th Foothills Sentry column that long time local activist Arianna Barrios has announced she will be a candidate for Rocco’s seat either in a Rocco Recall election, or when Rocco’s term expires in 2008. Barrios father Russell Barrios served two terms on the OUSD Board.

    Barrios has worked as a communications advisor for school districts across California after working with the California Department of Education in that department’s widely viewed failure at reorganizing the Compton Unified School District after an earlier pre-No Child Left Behind state takeover of the now still failing district.

    After briefly moving to Texas with her husband Brian Lockrie, the couple returned to California where Arianna became Director of Communications for the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace. In 2002, Barrios led a network of grassroots players to take over the Central Orange County YWCA from the then Board of Directors after they decided to close the long time community organization Orange location. Barrios is also on the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of Orange.


    LIBERAL OC announcement on
    HOFFMAN Liberal OC

    Orange Juice on Hoffman

    LIBERAL OC: the Andrew Davey post

    ORANGE NET NEWS on Florice Hoffman
    /O/N/N/ on HOFFMAN

    eLECTION Watch 2007 is produced by
    Orange Net News /O/N/N/

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