By Jason KUROSU
It was a victorius luncheon enjoyed by supporters of Measure S who came out en masse to celebrate its passage at the Oakmont Country Club on Wednesday, May 11.
Just over a month had passed since Measure S was decidedly voted in (the measure passed with 69.9% of the total vote while only needing 55% to pass), giving its supporters ample time to soak in the victory. They could also anticipate what will happen next now that they know Measure S has indeed passed, perhaps the only saving grace in an uncertain state budget situation that may prove dire for the school district.
“This is crucial for our district moving forward,” said GUSD superintendent Dick Sheehan.
The other attendees, who had worked for months promoting and campaigning for the measure, certainly concurred. They also agreed that the support of the community for the school system helped pass the measure.
“I was hoping to get maybe around 60% of the vote, especially in these times and with the teacher’s union working against us,” said GUSD school board president Greg Krikorian. “But getting 70% is remarkable. We’re truly blessed to have communities like Glendale and La Crescenta come out to support us.”
School board member Mary Boger likened the success of the campaign and the ideal impact of the measure to “the story of the girl on the beach chucking starfish into the ocean. A man comes up and says ‘But you’ll never get them all.’ And the girl says, ‘But if I just save that one, I’ve made a difference.’ This measure is going to make a difference for kids, even for kids we may not see in our lifetimes.”
Along with lunch, each person in attendance received a booklet that cemented the success of the measure’s passage. The booklets, put together by campaign members Charles Heath and Joy Tatarka, were filled with census statistics taken from the voting booths, along with other campaign materials.
Heath had a chance to explain some of the statistics to the attendees and the interesting, sometimes unexpected figures.
According to the booklet, “just under one in four eligible voters cast ballots in this election.”
However, the strong majority that voted yes showed that those who actually made the effort were Measure S supporters for the most part.
Also, when showing the voter turnout by age, the booklet showed that 33.5% of the ballots were from voters between the ages of 25 to 54, the age range one would generally think would include parents of school age children, while 63.3% of the ballots came from voters age 55 and up.
“This speaks to the credibility of the district and the community at large,” said Heath.
“We made a real impact on who voted in this election.”