Mayor Villaraigosa Rallies with Business, Nonprofit Leaders in Support of LAUSD Superintendent-Elect John Deasy

January 12, 2011 2:00 pm

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles City Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was one of dozens of civic, education, business and nonprofit leaders rallying behind newly selected Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy this morning, calling for the entire community to unite in support of Deasy.

Mayor Villaraigosa said a consistently struggling economy requires that the entire Los Angeles community stand behind Deasy and education leaders to produce students ready to compete in a global economy.

“Now, more than ever, Los Angeles and the state of California face a serious challenge regarding our education system,” Villaraigosa said.  “That means we need dramatic improvements to our education system … And it starts with a strong leader.”

L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Gary Toebben said there was a huge benefit in hiring Deasy through a seven-month interview process that started when Deasy was recommended by Cortines to be deputy superintendent.

“There’s no better way to test a candidate and see what he’s made of then watching him in the line of fire,” Toebben said.  “As business leaders, we know that seeing someone perform in situations they’ll face when hired is the greatest predictor of long-term success.”

United Way of Greater Los Angeles President & CEO Elise Buik said Deasy hit the ground running and displayed his strengths as a leader when, in his first week on the job, he flew to Sacramento to advocate for waiver relief from the State Board of Education.

“That waiver brought an estimated $50 million back home to LAUSD kids,” Buik said.  “Deasy has shown himself to be a collaborative team builder with the courage, determination and spirit needed to face our historic challenges.”

Also in attendance calling for support for Deasy were SEIU California President Bill Lloyd, Asian Pacific American Legal Center President and Executive Director Stewart Kwoh, Alliance for a Better Community Executive Director Angelica Solis, and Los Angeles Urban League President & CEO Blair Taylor.


The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of business in L.A. County. Founded in 1888, the Chamber promotes a prosperous economy and quality of life in the Los Angeles region.  For more information, visit

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