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L.A. mayor: Education is our civil rights struggle

My story began like far too many people across this country. My father left when I was 5 years old., says Antonio Villaraigosa, mayor of Los Angeles, for CNN. My mother, sometimes working two jobs, raised four children on her own in East Los Angeles. She was always my touchstone, the person who taught me my core values. It was her quiet grace, strength in the face of adversity and unflinching will that served me so well in life. However, despite everything she poured into our family, we kids didn’t always make it easy for her. By age 16, I was kicked out of the Catholic school she had worked so hard to send me to. I found myself at the local public high school, Roosevelt. It was a “drop-out factory.” I was put into remedial classes, which I found boring and unchallenging after my previous education. But even worse than that, I felt like the school had given up on me. So, I gave up on myself and dropped out…

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