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Petition circulates to appoint former administrator to L.A. school board

The campaign to pick a successor to Los Angeles Unified board member Marguerite LaMotte, who died earlier this month, is gaining steam.

A single sentence petition, "Appoint Dr. McKenna to Complete Marguerite LaMotte's Unexpired Term," went live Dec. 16th, a week and half after LaMotte died unexpectedly while attending a convention in San Diego.

Hundreds have already signed on to back George McKenna, a former administrator at L.A. Unified and Inglewood Unified.

Signatures include former students at George Washington Preparatory High School in south L.A. and members of black political coalitions. 

The seat has been held by a black woman since 1979, but the student demographics of the south L.A. district has shifted to majority Latino.

The petition's organizers are not disclosed. The goal is 500 signatures. It's garnered about half that many.

Dozens of black community leaders, such as Congresswoman Maxine Waters and the head of L.A.'s NAACP, support McKenna. But other black leaders, including L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, favor an election.

The L.A. Unified school board will discuss whether to make an appointment or call a special election at its next meeting in January.