In the November 2012 election, we proved that when we take political action, we win for working families.
And now we’ll continue to stay strong so we can make a difference in the March 5, 2013, primary elections for Los Angeles Unified School District and Los Angeles Community College District Board Members.
Many of us are parents of LAUSD and LACCD students. We are deeply concerned about school and college quality. We look for candidates we believe will improve our children’s education and at the same time protect and expand good jobs in our communities.
School Board members make decisions on funding, educational reforms, and other issues that have a deep impact both on our livelihoods and our children’s future. It’s important for us to elect board members who demonstrate a deep understanding of the role that we play in a child’s learning. We look for candidates who know that a student can’t learn if a classroom is dirty or a child is hungry or school buses don’t arrive on time.
To determine whom we would endorse, SEIU Local 99 members held a “Meet and Greet” event in November. Then in December—joined by members from SEIU Local 721, Local 1000, United Long Term Care Workers Union, United Service Workers West, United Health Care Workers West, and 121RN—we hosted an official Endorsement Town Hall. We asked the candidates about their budget priorities, education policy, classified employee jobs, and other issues that matter to us.
Then we made our decisions.
Here are the endorsed candidates:
Los Angeles Unified School District
District 2: Monica Garcia
(Incumbent, endorsement carries over)
Since her election to the board in 2006, Monica has been a champion for the community. As she pushes for bold innovation and educational excellence, she recognizes that school jobs must be good jobs. When the “Public School Choice” resolution passed in 2009, she made sure that district schools converting to charter management retained our services. In 2011, she introduced (and the School Board passed) a resolution demanding that charter schools not interfere if their employees seek to form a union.
District 4: Steve Zimmer
(Incumbent, endorsement carries over)
Since his election in 2009, Mr. Zimmer has worked nonstop alongside union members. For example, he fought with us last year to defeat the Governors’ proposal to eliminate the guaranteed “categorical” money that funds many of our jobs.
District 6: Antonio Sanchez
Antonio is a dedicated community organizer from the San Fernando Valley serving the community for the Mayor’s Office. Most recently, he led key segments of the campaign to defeat Prop. 32 and win Prop. 30. His experience in the community will make him a strong advocate for working families and bring a fresh, young perspective to the board.
Los Angeles Community College District
District 2: Mike Eng
A longtime state legislator and SEIU Local 99 ally, Mike Eng is a champion for working families. While in the state legislature, he led the charge to increase funding to community colleges and his bill to backfill $80 million for community colleges was incorporated into the Governor’s 2008 budget.
District 6: David Vela
David Vela, a current member of the Montebello School Board, has pledged to be a champion for SEIU Local 99 members at LACCD. As a current school board member, he fought to increase classified jobs. He will fight with the same commitment to education workers as a Community College Board Trustee.
To learn more about how you can get involved in making sure these candidates win, please contact Caroline Melo at (213) 387-8393, ext. 177.
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