This is in response to the recent article in the Santa Monica Daily Press entitled “City Council Member De La Torre Refuse to Step Down from School Board.” I ran for SMMUSD School Board and finished fourth for three seats in a competitive field of eight candidates. I was part of the Slate of 8 that produced the historic election of three newcomers to City Council including Mr. De La Torre. I met Councilman De La Torre early in the campaign. We bonded over our shared commitment to equity and anti-discrimination. I appreciate his 18 years of service on the School Board as well as his ongoing support for my candidacy.

However, I do not welcome being placed in the middle of Councilman De La Torre’s feud with the School Board. Nor do I endorse my appointment to his vacated seat as a condition of his resignation. There is a process to an appointment. That process is dictated by California’s Government and Election Codes.

I believe I am uniquely well-qualified for the appointment. I have been fully vetted by the voters and finished next in line. I have two daughters attending elementary schools in different parts of the district – Franklin and John Muir Elementary. My background as an attorney will be an asset to the Board. My significant work in civil rights will help the district fulfill its commitment to equity and anti-discrimination. My deep knowledge of special education will bring immediate help to the district’s neediest students, many of which are minority and socio-economically challenged.

It is for these reasons that I am seeking appointment to the vacant School Board seat on the merits. I am seeking a vote by the School Board, free of politics and free of bias and based on what our esteemed Board believes in the best interests of the district giving deference to the expressed preference of the voters in our recent election.

Jason K. Feldman