The committee can’t thank its friends and mem-
bers enough for their continued support and
involvement. And as we continue to do the
work, we find we need more help. As you know,
we usually meet each month, and planning these
meetings takes time and skill. We could use
your planning skills. We’re not looking for
people with extraordinary expertise — just
people who have sufficient training and ex-
perience to get the job done well.

If you’re not quite sure what the Committee
for Racial Justice stands for, please see our
“Purpose” statement below.

Here are the areas in which we could use your help:
1. Design monthly meeting notices (online flyer)
2. Help set up (and maintain) an online Facebook
“like” page each month
3. Help to secure speakers for the meetings, make
sure they are reminded of the meetings, and take
care of any special needs they may have.
4. Notify the press of our meetings
5. Pass out flyers to friends, family, everyone
in your neighborhood, and any clubs or church
you belong to
6. Take pictures during the workshops
7. Set up and clean up the event

If you can help out in any of these areas, please
let us know now.

Thank you.

The Committee for Racial Justice: Our Purpose

As members of the Committee for Racial Justice,
we want to make some changes. We want all stu-
dents in the Santa Monica/Malibu Unified School
District to be treated equally, and we want to
know how to best give students the support they
need. We want to shrink the “achievement gap.”
We want all students to be safe on their camp-
uses, and in their neighborhoods and communities.
We believe that in order for this to happen,
faculty and staff must be culturally competent
and supportive. That’s why for the past two
years we have worked to bring programs and ser-
vices that will change the climate at Santa
Monica High School and in all the schools in
the district.

We have also worked to make changes in the sys-
temic racism that has resulted in the mass in-
carceration of people of color in our state and
our country over the past 30 years. The road
to incarceration often starts in school. Studies
have shown that students of color are often not
given the proper support to succeed, and, are
more apt to suffer unfair and weighty penalties.
Just as black men routinely receive harsher pri-
son sentences than white men, black students,
boys in particular, are more often suspended or
expelled than their white counterparts are. In
the same way,when black students attempt to ex-
plain themselves, they are more apt to be ignor-
ed than white students.

The Committee members are attempting to educate
themselves and the community about ways and
means of working with school districts, while
changing the laws and the criminal justice prac-
tices that have landed so many people of color
behind bars and then guaranteed them second
class citizenship upon release.

Here and now, America, the world’s leading dem-
ocracy, also leads the nations of the world in
the percentage of its population now in prison.
America has less than 5 % of the world’s popu-
lation, but 25% of the world’s prison population.

Blacks are 12-13 % of the nation’s population,
but 40.1 % of the prison population.

The Committee for Racial Justice is hard at
work to ensure fairness for all: fairness and
equity in the classroom, equality and accep-
tance in our communities, and justice in the
courtroom. We hope you will join us.


Shadows Over Central Park
Published: October 28, 2013

TWENTY-SIX years ago this month, a coalition
of New Yorkers led by Jacqueline Kennedy Ona-
ssis won a historic victory for Central Park.
At issue was a planned building on Columbus
Circle by the developer Mortimer B. Zuckerman
with 58- and 68-story towers that would cast
long shadows on the park. After a lawsuit by
opponents of the plan and a rally in Central
Park at which over 800 New Yorkers with umb-
rellas formed a line to simulate the build-
ing’s shadow, Mr. Zuckerman relented and ag-
reed to scale down his design, which event-
ually became known as the Time Warner Center.

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thal, follow @andyrNYT.
“One would hope that the city would act as
protector of sun and light and clean air and
space and parkland,” Mrs. Onassis said at the
time. “Those elements are essential to combat
the stress of urban life.” Today, as the city
becomes denser and green space ever more pre-
cious, New Yorkers’ access to sunlight and
blue skies above Central Park is under assault
in ways that make Mr. Zuckerman’s original
plans look benign.

Fueled by lax zoning laws, cheap capital and
the rise of a global elite with millions to
spend on pieds-à-terre, seven towers — two of
them nearly as tall as the Empire State Build-
ing — have recently been announced or are al-
ready under way near the south side of the park.
This so-called Billionaires’ Row, with struc-
tures rising as high as 1,424 feet, will form
a fence of steel and glass that will block sig-
nificant swaths of the park’s southern exposure,
especially in months when the sun stays low in
the sky.

At New York’s latitude, explained Michael Kwa-
rtler, the president of the Environmental Sim-
ulation Center, a New York City nonprofit that
creates shadow assessments, buildings cast sub-
stantial northerly shadows throughout the day
in colder months. At noon on the winter sols-
tice, for example, those shadows reach twice
a building’s height and fall due north before
stretching to 4.2 times its height in a north-
easterly direction, 90 minutes before sunset.
That means the shadows of the larger of these
planned buildings would jut half a mile into
the park at midday on the solstice and elongate
to around a mile in length as they angled ac-
ross the park toward the Upper East Side, dark-
ening playgrounds and ball fields, as well as
paths and green space like Sheep Meadow that
are enjoyed by 38 million visitors each year.
“The cumulative effect of these shadows will
be to make the park less usable and less plea-
sant to be in,” Mr. Kwartler said.

Some damage has already been done. In cooler-
months, when direct sunlight can make all the
difference for children playing outside, visi-
tors to the amazing Heckscher Playground on
the south end of Central Park can find them-
selves cut off from the sun in midafternoon
by Extell’s One57, where earlier this year a
penthouse apartment reportedly sold for $90
million to a group of investors.

Despite the likely impact these buildings
would have on the park, there has been remar-
kably little public discussion, let alone
dissent, about the plans. Part of this is
because few people seem aware of what’s com-

Many of the buildings are so-called as-of-
-right developments that do not require the
public filing of shadow assessments, which
can ignite opposition with their eye-popping
renderings of the impact shadows will have
on surrounding areas.

But New York City has also lost a kind of ra-
bble-rousing infrastructure that once stood
up to overzealous developers.Opposition to Mr.
Zuckerman’s plans, for example, was spearhead-
ed by the Municipal Art Society, a watchdog
on issues of urban design that today is a com-
paratively acquiescent organization — with
developers on its board. The Landmarks Pres-
ervation Commission, which approved plans for
two of the towers this month, has also ignor-
ed the issue of shadows on the park in favor
of a narrow concern with the aesthetics of the
structures themselves. The Central Park Con-
servancy has also remained silent, contending,
when asked, that its focus should remain with-
in the park’s borders — never mind that this
is exactly where the shadows in question would

There are few New Yorkers around today with
the gravitas and magnetism of Jacqueline On-
assis to focus public attention on planning
issues the way she did for Grand Central Ter-
minal and Columbus Circle. That means New
Yorkers who want to protect Central Park will
have to do it on their own, by picking up
their umbrellas once again and by contacting
community boards, politicians, city agencies
and the developers themselves, to demand immed-
iate height restrictions south of the park.
And they need to hurry, before the sun sets
permanently on a space the park designer Fred-
erick Law Olmsted envisioned as “a democratic
development of the highest significance.”

Warren St. John is a former reporter for The New
York Times and the author of “Outcasts United:
An American Town, a Refugee Team and One Woman’s
Quest to Make a Difference.”

A version of this op-ed appears in print on
October 29, 2013, on page A29 of the New York
edition with the headline: Shadows


The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District
issued the following press release in April, 2001.

After a comprehensive search and interview pro-
cess, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School
District Board of Education is pleased to ann-
ounce the selection of former Rhode Island Co-
ventry Public Schools Superintendent John Deasy
as its new superintendent.

SMMUSD Board Chairman Tom Pratt stated, “I am very
excited and pleased to have the opportunity to work
with John Deasy. It is an exhilarating and dynamic
time to be on the Board and Mr. Deasy is an excel-
lent match with our communities. I was impressed
by how deeply he embraces the belief that all stu-
dents will achieve. I look forward to learning
from and working with Mr. Deasy.”

Dr. Joseph Quarles, SMMUSD Assistant Superintendent,
Human Resources indicated that, “The recruitment and
selection process was rigorous and thorough and in-
cluded a broad selection of community stakeholders
Following the review process, it was clear that Mr.
Deasy was not only the best candidate, but an exce-
llent match for the school district.”

Deasy has over 17 years of experience in education,
most recently serving as superintendent of the Cov-
entry Public School District from 1996 to present.
Previously, Mr. Deasy held the positions of Assis-
tant Superintendent, Principal, Director of Per-
sonnel, Assistant Principal, Dean of Students in
Rhode Island and New York and teacher at the secon-
dary and college level.

Mr. Deasy was very enthusiastic about applying for
the superintendency and looked forward to the possi-
bility of moving to California with his wife and
three children. With the decision official, Mr.
Deasy commented, I am humbled and honored to have
been selected as the superintendent of the Santa
Monica-Malibu Unified School District. This dis-
trict is truly a learning community, onr where all
the stakeholders actively join together to provide
every opportunity to succee. During the interview
process it was clearly evident to me that this was
not merely a good school system, but one where all
constituents are deeply invested in the high achiev-
ement of each child.”

John Deasy is an exemplary Superintendent,” states
SMMUSD Board Vice President Julia Brownley. “His
commitment to all students, his record of leadership,
and his nationally known ezpertise on educational
reform make him the perfect fit to lead our district.
The district is in good hands and I know the commun-
ity will give him a very warm welcome.”

Coventry’s current Board President shares that “John
Deasy is a collaborative leader with a deep value of
integrity; he is also a great communicator, Well
liked by the community, he has a passion for educa-
tion and a belief that ALL children WILL learn.”

Deasy received his B.A. in Biology/Chemistry Educa-
tion at Providence College and his Masters in Educa-
tion Administration from Providence College. He
earned extra credits beyond his asters in Education Administration and Policy Studies at the University
of New York and is currently a Ph.D. candidate.

Mr. Deasy is a nationally known expert on education-
al reform. He is committed to and focused on improv-
ing student improvement of all students. He has an
impressive record of achievement in the implementa-
tion of school and systemic reforms resulting in an
improvement of test scores among students in Covent-
ry. He has been involved in national and state re-
form initiatives, the Coalition of Essential Schools,
the National Center on Education and the Economy, and
the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown
University among others. He has developed a series
of models that have gained national attention in-
cluding administrator and teacher evaluation, staff
development and leadership training, collaborative
assessment of student work and the implementation
of system school reform.

Martha Duran-Contreras, member of the interview team,
District parent and teacher and community leader
shared her response to meeting Mr. Deasy.

“Mr. Deasy came into the room and people stopped talk-
ing and smiled. Mr. Deasy was calm and spoke confident-
ly. We listened and through his words that he was com-
mitted to working with all groups for all children.
He spoke about working long hours, listening to the
many voices communities have, and he spoke about the
importance of knowing each child by name. The commit-
tee posed serious questions about the budget, stan-
dards and diversity. His answers provoked deeper
thought. The committee was confident that the exper-
ience Mr. Deasy brings to SMMUSD will give us the
security to face the many challenges the 21st Century
brings to education.

Mr. Deasy said further, “I look forward to meeting
all members of our learning community and to active-
ly listen to their needs and concerns. Using the
knowledge they provide, we will work together on the
obvious current successes of this remarkable dist-
rict. Through the processes of strategic planning
and building instructional capacity, together we
will realize even greater student success, communi
ty pride and confidence, My family and I look for-
ward to joining this culturally rich and diverse
community both in and out of the class room.”

John Deasy officially assumes the duties of superin-
tendent on July 5, 2001.

In 2006, Deasy left Santa Monica to become Superint-
endent of the Prince George County (Maryland) Public
Schools. It was said to be one of the nation’s larg-
est and most troubled urban school districts.

Two years later, Deasy left it to become deputy di-
rector of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s
education department. And, in 1910, he returned to
this area to become assistant superintendent of the
Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s
second largest school district. Soon thereafter, he
moved into the Superintendent’s office. Last week
he told a number of people that he was considering
resigning, noting that the California Board of
Education was scheduled to evaluate his performance
on Tuesday, .

His career has been punctuated by controversy. While
here, he was charged by the School Board with improv-
ing the troubled Special Ed department, and told he
would be paid a bonus if he succeeded in straighten-
ing it out. He brought in a new man, Tim Walker, and
made him an assistant superintendent .According to
Deasy, Walker was the right man for the job, but things
got worse, rather than better as Walker allegedly
demanded that parents sign “confidentiality agree-
ments” in order to secure the special programs their
children needed. It all came to a head at a City Coun-
cil meeting, when parents of students with special
needs told the Council horror stories of the so-
called abusive behavior they’d been subjected to in
their efforts to arrange for the specific treatment
their children needed. Council members responded by
voting to suspend payment of City funds to the Dis-
trict until basic changes were made in the program. Subsequently, the District and Walker agreed that
he would not serve the third year of his three-year
contract, but would be paid in full, according to the
terms of the settlement. He went on to work in other
area School Districts.

In addition, there have been questions about whether
Deasy was awarded a PhD. though he didn’t havw the re-
quired number of credits.

During his run as Superintendent of LA’s schools, Deasy
has been acclaimed by a number of influential leaders in
political, educational and philanthropic circles, and criticized by board members, teachers and teachers’ un-
ions. Recently, there was a flap over Deasy’s decision
to give every student in the District an I-pad, but disagreement flared about whether the students could
take them home, and Deasy was called an “Apple sales-
man” by some of his critics.

Though 91% of the members of the Teachers Union say
they have no confidence in Deasy, there have been
marked improvements in student performance, and civic
groups have rushed to defend Deasy and criticize the

Given Deasy’s record, posture, connections, and ambi-
tions, it is likely that he was offered a job before
he announced his possible resignation.


By Hannah Heineman

Again this year, the Santa Monica Chamber of
Commerce celebrated the arrival of new teach-
ers,firefighters and police officers to Santa

The 19th Annual New Heroes Celebration was held
on October 22 at the Santa Monica Le Merigot
Hotel. Originally, the event targeted new teach-
ers exclusively, but it added new Santa Monica
Police and Fire Department recruits when the re-
cession reduced educational hires.

In November 2010, Santa Monica approved a half-
cent increase to the city’s sales tax in Nov-
ember 2010 to raise additional funding for the
school district and for the city’s police and
fire departments.

This year the school district hired 31 people
and SMC hired six people. Five private schools
participated in the celebration. Calthorp
School welcomed seven people,Delphi Academy
Santa Monica hired five people, New Roads
School hired 13 people, Saint Anne School wel-
comed three, and The Art Institute-Santa Mon-
ica hired five people.

The Police Department and the Fire Department
each welcomed 10 new hires.

There were also 4 Inspirational Hero Award Win-
ners.Educator Dr. Steven Marcy was honored for
his 35-year teaching career at Lincoln Middle
School (LMS) and his 25 years as a Scout Master
for Troop 2. SMMUSD’s School Board member Ben
Allen noted that while Dr. Marcy was Troop 2’s
Scout Master “162 Scouts became Eagle Scouts”
and that he “started Lincoln’s computer lab.”

Also honored were Police Officer Adam Barry and
his retired police canine partner, Landor.They
were honored for, among other things, their
work on the Third Street Promenade. Police Chief
Jacqueline Seabrooks said that Barry was a real
hero because he was willing to help “somebody
without expecting anything in return.”

Finally, Marco Franco received the Youth Inspi-
rational Hero Award that is given to an up and
coming young person. He was honored for his work
with the Fire Department’s Training Division.
Fire Chief Jose Torres noted Franco “leads by
example” and he has a “genuine heart for help-
ing others.”


It took nine years to plan, more than five years
of fund-raising, cost $28 million and includes a
community center, parking structure, reception pa-
vilion,gymnasium renovation and elementary school
facility. And it’s finally finished.

St. Monica Catholic Community will officially
open its new facilities on Sunday, November 3,
with a building dedication and Mass at 1:15 pm.
on Sunday, November 3, with Archbishop Jose
Gomez of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles as cele-

Following the Mass, there will be a reception
with tours of the facilities, live entertain-
ment by the Phil Cordaro Jazz Trio, and a food
festival with local area restaurants including
Joe’s in Venice, Marmalade Café, Camacho’s Inc.,
JiRaffe, La Monarca Bakery, Il Ristorante de
Georgio Baldi, Kikka Sushi, and Chef Derek
Brandon Walker of St. Joseph’s Center and win-
ner of “Chopped.” The event is open to the

“This is the day we have all been waiting for.”
said Msgr. Lloyd Torgerson, pastor. “God has
graced our parish with the faithful whose num-
bers have increased, challenging our ability to
welcome and serve them properly. These great
facilities will allow us to answer the Gospel
challenge in new and exciting ways as we form
loving disciples who will transform the world.”

St. Monica’s, named for the saint whom the
city itself is named for, occupies a full city
block, bounded by Seventh Street, Lincoln,
California and Washington Avenues. The new facil-
ities will add 103,647 square feet to the St.
Monica campus. They include the Tina and
Rick Caruso Community Center, Grand Pavilion
and Grand Patio, the Carol G. Simon Child
and Student Center, and a two-and-a-half le-
vel subterranean parking garage.

The Tina and Rick Caruso Community Center fea-
tures 17,600 square feet of assembly and meet-
ing spaces (available for rental by the general
public), administrative offices, the St. André
Bessette Chapel, Holy Grounds, a new coffee
bar and religious gifts/bookstore, and dedi-
cated space for Hope at the Door, a ministry
for the needy in the local community.

Below the community center is the parking gar-
age with 175 parking spaces. In line with St.
Monica’s stewardship goals, this building is
striving for Silver Level LEED certification
by the U.S.Green Building Council.

The St. André Bessette Chapel, located on the
corner of Lincoln and California Avenue, fea-
tures the Pillar of Light, a translucent win-
dow tower that is the project’s most prominent
architectural feature and a second visual sig-
nature, after the church’s bell tower.

The Grand Pavilion, open for assemblies dur-
ing the day and receptions at night and on
weekends, provides seating for up to 450 and
is available for rental by the general public.

The Carol G. Simon Child and Student Center
will be used exclusively by St. Monica Catho-
lic Elementary School for before and after-
school programs and as a classroom during
school days.

Holy Grounds will be open to the general pub-
lic seven days a week and will include a gift/
bookshop and a coffee bar that will feature
fair trade coffee from Urth Caffe in Santa

To date, St. Monica Catholic Community has
raised over $28 million toward this build-
ing project through a fundraising campaign
titled “Celebrating Our Blessings, Building
Our Future, Together.” This project is the
first phase of two and includes not only the
new facilities, but renovation of the exist-
ing St. Monica Catholic High School gymnasium,
which was completed in December of 2011.

The dedication on November 3 marks the comple-
tion of the first phase of the building pro-
ject. The second phase will include renovat-
ions to the basement of the gym along with
anew schoolyard scheduled for completion in the
summer of 2014.

Since 1994, the parish at St. Monica has near-
ly tripled in size to more than 8,000 registered
households, from throughout the greater Lo
Angeles area, making it one of the largest par-
ishes in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. These
new facilities are designed to accommodate this
previous growth, not for the parish to grow

St. Monica Catholic Community includes St. Moni-
ca Catholic Church, St. Monica Catholic High
School, and St. Monica Catholic Elementary School.
St. Monica Catholic Church, founded in 1886
and at its current location since 1926, serves
a congregation of more than 8,000 registered
households. The elementary school, which joined
the campus in 1930, and the high school, which
joined in 1937, provide programs for students
in grades K through 12 primarily from West and
South Los Angeles.

More information can be found at
St. Monica is also on Facebook at www.facebook.