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Parents Unable to Find Support for Gershman Recall

June 26, 1986

A group of Westside parents who sought to recall Los Angeles school board member Alan Gershman because of his vote in favor of year-round schools has failed to gather enough support to place the measure on the ballot.

Elizabeth S. Haskell, a spokeswoman for the Committee to Recall Alan Gershman, said the group had collected 10,000 signatures by the June 11 deadline, far fewer than the 50,000 signatures needed to force a recall election.

"We were not successful, but if nothing else, we at least were able to make him aware that we are out there," she said.

Haskell said that the group organized the recall effort in February after Gershman voted on Jan. 6 to include year-round classes as one of 10 options to be considered by the Los Angeles Unified School District to accommodate an estimated 82,000 new students over the next five years. The board approved the measure by a 5-2 vote.

The group maintained that Gershman voted in favor of year-round classes, but Gershman argued that he voted only to include it as an option to relieve overcrowding.

Haskell said that the group failed to gather the needed signatures because it lacked volunteers to circulate the petitions.

"Our major problem was not (in) getting the signatures from the people but getting the volunteers out to the malls and shopping centers to collect them." she said.

"I'm not surprised (by the results), mostly because I know what a difficult job it is to get valid signatures on a petition," Gershman said.

Gershman also questioned the validity of the group's claim that it had gathered 10,000 signatures. "I heard from a couple of people who were helping them that they had fewer than 5,000 signatures," he said.

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