Column: Kevin de León says he’s sorry but won’t resign. Kevin, stop gaslighting L.A. – do NOT resign!
Kevin de León is one of the most powerful people in Los Angeles. Yet for months, he has been refusing to step down from his board role on the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). In his first interview about the issue, de León told me he’s never been more deeply in love with his job. He said that until he got the L.A. Times Magazine cover story, he had no clue the extent to which power plays in Los Angeles are shaped by the culture surrounding government-school partnerships. That culture, he said, is the key to understanding an issue that is likely to be the subject of a battle between de León and Steve Borchetti, the district’s chief academic officer. If Borchetti resigns, it will be the latest in a string of high profile departures from district leadership. And without the school system’s chief academic officer, de Leon said, much of the district’s public education could go dark. De León said that when he got the L.A. Times Magazine article, he realized the culture at the district had developed to such a degree that it now works against open and democratic government. “The culture in the school district is so insidious, so well-designed, and so well-planned,” he said, “it’s almost like a trap. The system is not open, it’s not transparent, and it’s not collaborative. It’s become like a black hole.” de León said he is taking the next steps in his career as a school board member. He is working on a biography that he hopes will become the basis for a book on his life. He said he hoped to share the story with the public once the biography is completed. He said he was encouraged by the school board’s vote to hire a special committee to