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Recall Campaign Targeting Prop. 187 Foes : Immigration: O.C. organizers of measure say L.A. school board president and a councilwoman are first of dozens of elected officials they will work to oust.

November 16, 1994|BETH SHUSTER and MARTIN MILLER | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

Gearing up for the "second phase" of their campaign, the Orange County organizers of the Proposition 187 movement say they are targeting the first of what may be dozens of elected officials across the state for recall.

At a Los Angeles news conference today, organizers will announce they will seek the ouster of Los Angeles Board of Education President Mark Slavkin. And if that effort gains momentum, Robert Kiley, who spearheaded the 187 campaign, said Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg is next on their hit list.

Both Los Angeles officials advocate legal action to block Proposition 187, which cuts off education, welfare and non-emergency medical services to illegal immigrants. Eight lawsuits, including one by the Los Angeles Unified School District, have temporarily stalled the measure.

Proposition 187 backers are outraged that public funds are financing lawsuits against the measure, which was approved by 59% of the electorate Nov. 8.

"We aren't going to stand by and watch this thing die," said Kiley, a Yorba Linda political consultant and founding member of the Save Our State committee. "We are going to see how this pans out. We've got to start someplace and if we spread ourselves too thin we might lose our credibility."

Los Angeles Unified School District officials, who won a temporary injunction in federal court last week against the measure being implemented at schools, said the district could lose up to $650 million in federal funds if they are forced to question students' legal status. Under Proposition 187, schools would be required to verify the immigration status of students and their parents.

Board members said they believe that any recall efforts will fail, and that Proposition 187 will be declared unconstitutional in the courts.

"In the end, I think that people will find that upholding the Constitution is not something for which people should be punished," Slavkin said. "People are in an angry mood and are looking for targets to vent their anger."

To get an election scheduled to oust board members, recall proponents must gather the signatures of 15% of the registered voters in the school board district. Slavkin's district, which includes part of the west San Fernando Valley, has about 350,000 voters.

Meanwhile, Orange County 187 organizers are also planning to hold statewide seminars by the end of next week to instruct volunteers how to recall elected officials.

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