Los Angeles Times
Wednesday, August 5, 1998
Official Business / Courts and Government
City to Support Lawsuit Against Proposition 227
After a third spirited debate over Proposition 227, the anti-bilingual
education law, the Los Angeles City Council agreed Tuesday to join a lawsuit
opposing the controversial measure.
The council essentially voted to file an
amicus brief in the case, but not to join the main litigants.
But a majority of the council members said
they firmly believe that the city must make a stand on the issue because
they say it affects city residents.
Councilman Richard Alatorre spoke with particular
passion against the law, urging his colleagues to stand up for the civil
rights of children and not to be afraid to go against a majority of voters.
"There are some issues sometimes where
you have to disagree with the general public," he said. "If it
was wrong yesterday, it is wrong today."
Before the June 2 election, the council had
voted to oppose the measure. But some lawmakers expressed reservations
about joining in a lawsuit against voters who overwhelmingly approved the
The council voted 11 to 3 to join the lawsuit,
with members Hal Bernson, Cindy Miscikowski and Rudy Svorinich dissenting.
Prop. 227 effectively kills the bilingual program in public schools.
Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg, a former teacher
and school board member, said she believes that bilingual education is
akin to special education or gifted programs.
"I don't think it can be voted away,"