Your Sept. 30 article “Legislators praise their bills,” listed several bills introduced by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake). Since the election for the 43rd State Assembly district is nearly upon us, I wanted to point out that Gatto’s voting record is anything but praiseworthy.
Gatto authored AB 1034 that would require a charter school to notify parents that their involvement in school efforts and activities was not a requirement for enrollment. As Governor Brown noted when he vetoed Gatto’s bill, “Charter schools are established to encourage the widest possible range of innovation and creativity” and that “it is critical that they have the flexibility to set admission criteria and parental involvement practices that are consistent with the school’s mission.” Charter schools have been routinely opposed by teachers’ unions, and on an issue that clearly pits the interests of the community with those of special interest groups, Gatto has clearly sided with the latter.
This is not the only time Gatto has sided with special interests instead of the community, he also voted for AB 183, which has banned the sale of alcohol through self-checkout machines. This legislation was pushed by the grocery workers’ union to protect its workers from competition posed by technological advancements.
When Gatto is not helping special interest groups, he is authorizing our deeply indebted state government to borrow money for the high-speed rail project (SB1029), attempting to raise taxes on small businesses (AB 2540), voting for a law which allows 12-year-olds to seek treatment for a sexually transmitted disease without informing their parents (AB 499) and voting to attempt to eliminate the electoral college (AB 459).
Ryan Welsie Ford
Editor's note: The writer is a member of the Republican L.A. County Central Committee, 43rd Assembly District