LAUSD workers union endorses both school board incumbents
An important labor group is backing two incumbents and a newcomer for the Los Angeles Board of Education, days after the powerful teachers union issued its endorsements for the March election.
Local 99 of the Service Employees International Union supports incumbents Monica Garcia and Steve Zimmer, as well as Antonio Sanchez, who is running for an open seat.“Our decision was driven by both the need to improve our children’s education and to protect and expand good jobs in our communities,” said in a statement released late Friday, noting that many of her union’s members are also "parents who are deeply concerned about school quality.”
The union represents more than 30,000 cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, special education assistants and others in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Many work part-time at low wages. The unit has suffered thousands of layoffs during the economic downturn.
In District 6, in the east San Fernando Valley, Nury Martinez elected not to seek a second term. Local 99 settled on Sanchez, among a field of five. Teachers endorsed four candidates, including Sanchez.
The contrast with the teachers union was sharpest in District 2, which stretches out from downtown. Local 99 has endorsed Garcia in the past and is sticking with her. United Teachers Los Angeles has an anybody-but-Garcia approach, endorsing four of five potential opponents.
The list of candidates was still in flux Monday because city workers were in the process of verifying petitions that candidates submitted to qualify for the ballot in districts 2 and 4.
The field is set in District 6. It will consist of Sanchez, Maria Cano, Ernie Cardenas, Iris Zuniga and Monica Ratliff.
The list of candidates also is final for two of the three seats on the Los Angeles Community College District's board of trustees. For seat 2, which lacks an incumbent, Mike Eng will run against John C. Burke. For seat 6, incumbent Nancy Pearlman will face David Vela, Tom Oliver and Michael Aldapa.
-- Howard Blume
Photo: Local 99 of the Service Employees International Union endorsed L.A. Unified board member Monica Garcia, shown, as well as Steve Zimmer and newcomer Antonio Sanchez. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times