“A Champion for L.A.’s Students & Working Families” – Statement from SEIU Local 99 on the Death of Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte

SEIU Local 99 Executive Director Courtni Pugh issued the following statement:

“We are truly saddened by the passing of Board Member Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte. We have lost a champion for L.A.’s students and working families. Never afraid to speak her voice to ensure children were at the forefront of all decisions, she will be remembered for her valiant leadership and her deep belief in the power of education to transcend all barriers.

“Board Member LaMotte also firmly believed that the District’s role was not only to educate our children in the classroom, but to address the many challenges they face in their homes and communities. She was a strong advocate for a quality education for LAUSD students and persistently pushed the District to eliminate the achievement gap for African American and Latino children. Whenever a school board decision impacted LAUSD’s working poor employees, she was a vocal advocate and steadfast supporter to raise their standard of living.

“We appreciate her support for ensuring that cafeteria workers, many of them also parents of LAUSD students, gained health care benefits. She rallied with and encouraged SEIU Local 99 members as they boarded buses at midnight and headed to Sacramento to fight education cuts. And, most recently, she supported the fight to keep the Breakfast in the Classroom program that feeds tens of thousands of Los Angeles children every day. In these actions, and in many more conversations, decisions, and debates we shared, Ms. LaMotte led with compassion and conviction.

“On behalf of the members of SEIU Local 99, including the cafeteria workers, bus drivers, custodians and other classified employees working at LAUSD, we extend our condolences to her children, grandchildren, family, friends, and colleagues.”

School Board Member LaMotte
in front of our
union hall at a
2009 “Stop the Cuts!” rally.

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SEIU Local 99 is a union of nearly 45,000 education workers in K-12 schools, early education centers and homes, administrative offices, and community colleges throughout Southern California, including nearly 30,000 cafeteria workers, teacher aides, custodians, bus drivers and others providing essential student services at LAUSD schools. Nearly 50% of SEIU Local 99 members are also parents or guardians of school-age children.


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