Asm. Autumn Burke has carefully crafted and supported school board candidates and state legislation to possibly benefit herself personally. Today, the Inglewood Unified School District will vote to award a 35 year land lease, located at on the Woodworth/Monroe/Morningside site, to one of Burke’s campaign donors.
In October 2014 Majestic Realty, owned by Edward Roski, made a $1,000 contribution to Burke’s campaign. Burke won her assembly race the following month in November. Burke ran on a platform of “saving Inglewood Unified School District”.
According to Roski’s bio on the USC Price Sol Price School for Public Policy, he is the co-owner of the Los Angeles Kings and Los Angeles Lakers and either manages or leases 70,000,000 sq ft of property across the nation for his clients. Roski led the efforts to create the Staples Center, a one-time foe of the city of Inglewood during the NFL approval process. He is also a huge donor to USC and the USC Roski Eye Institute bears his name.
“We had no idea there was any connection between Autumn Burke and Majestic Realty,” said board member D’artagnan Scorza. “It was a fair and competitive process.”
A review of Majestic Realty’s “About Us” page on their website, shows there is not a singe Black person employed by Mr. Roski yet he wants to come into a predominantly Black and Brown community to do business.
A couple of years ago Roski sponsored eye exams for Black male Inglewood residents but many declined to participate when they were asked authorization to provide their DNA to be studied. My brother was one of them not understanding why they needed his DNA for an eye exam.
After Burke’s 2014 election she set out to put key members on the school board by supporting D’artagnan Scorza and Dionne Faulk.
After Scorza and Faulk were elected in April 2015 Burke convened a meeting, at Inglewood Unified to discuss “declining enrollment” where Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr. made a remark that selling surplus school land, to pay down the district’s state debt, should be considered.
Related: Declining Enrollment Hampers Inglewood Schools’ Recovery
“There are two things that have to happen,” Butts said. “One, you have to repay the loan. Two, you have to raise scores for two or three years consecutively.
“Right now, we have been in receivership for about three years and our scores have not risen,” the mayor said. “It is my understanding that in this coming year, we are still going to have a million dollar deficit. So that means we are going to have to borrow $1 million to pay back $1.8 million. That’s ridiculous.”
Butts said it is now time to start talking about the possibility of selling surplus land to help pay back the loan to the state and to have funds to move the district forward.
In January 2018 an ad hoc committee was assembled to decide which Inglewood Unified schools were best suited to be consolidated.
2UrbanGirls reached board member D’artagnan Scorza who shared, “…remember that committee Councilman Alex Padilla and Odest Riley were apart of?”
The following month, in February, Burke initiated state legislation to allow schools in state receivership, to sell or lease excess land to pay off their state debt.
Related: AB-3228 School facilities: surplus real property: proceeds to pay emergency apportionment loan.(2017-2018)
The bill died on the Senate floor in November 2018 because Governor Jerry Brown made $52.1 million available to Inglewood and Oakland school districts between 2018-2021 if they made fiscal changes as part of an education bill.
The deal, included in the education trailer bill AB 1840, was proposed by the state’s Department of Finance to help the two districts that are paying back state loans. To get the funds, the Oakland and Inglewood districts will be required to prepare detailed short-term and long-term financial plans and increase their budget reserves. They may also look at options such as selling surplus property to help pay off state loans and consolidating schools to cut costs.
According to annual statement of economic interest filings, in 2018, Burke disclosed she earned up to $10,000 in real estate consulting income under Mandeville Group, LLC. That income was not disclosed on 2019 filings due to her failure to file tax returns and her company being suspended by the Franchise Tax Board as a direct result.
Autumn Burke had a busy 2018 enriching herself off the backs of Inglewood children under the guise of bringing the district back under local control. Her lack of transparency in her financial dealings is why her company is suspended by the tax board for failure to disclose her income.
On June 11th the school district held a virtual meeting to announce the closure of Daniel Freeman/Warren Lane despite the numerous photo opportunities held there in conjunction with the Los Angeles Rams and on June 12th the district will vote to give Edward Roski control of 22 acres of school owned land.
Some will say the district is headed towards recovery and needs to sell land to regain local control, while others will say we just got fucked with no vaseline.
You can view the school board agenda by clicking here.
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It is a cardinal rule of school districts to never sell land. I guess someone got to the leadership and put the land on the ground for sale… Lease Lease Lease
The board members want a 55 year land lease to build affordable housing.