WIN FOR LA CITY WORKERS AND RESIDENTS: In a tremendous victory, Gilbert Cedillo was reelected to Los Angeles City Council, representing District 1. Supported by a coalition including business and labor, Cedillo blew opponent, Joe Bray-Ali, out of the water, with 70.8% of votes. Council 36 contributed funds into an independent expenditure on Cedillo’s behalf, given his long record of support for public services and public employees.
UNDERDOG TOROSSIAN PUTS UP GOOD FIGHT: Coalition of LA City Unions partners, Council 36, and AFSCME Locals representing City employees, including Local 2626 (Librarians’ Guild) and Local 3090 (Clerical and Support Staff), contributed to City Council District 7 candidate Karo Torossian’s campaign. Torossian was disadvantaged as a political outsider, who was not endorsed by the Mayor. Members of Local 800 (Jewish Communal Social Services Agencies), including Torossian’s aunt, pounded the pavement, walking precincts to get out the vote. Ultimately, his campaign was outspent 4 to 1 as donations from corporate special interests flooded in. Monica Rodriguez won by 52.9%, and will represent the San Fernando Valley District 7 seat that was vacated early by Felipe Fuentes, according to the Los Angeles Times.
MOST EXPENSIVE LAUSD ELECTION BATTLE EVER: Despite the grassroots campaign efforts and support of AFSCME, UTLA and other unions, pro-worker LAUSD Board of Education candidates, Steve Zimmer (District 4) and Imelda Padilla (District 6), were unable to compete with the big money that poured in for their opponents. Deep-pocketed anti-union, pro-charter school interests outspent Zimmer supporters, for example, 3 to 1 to elect Nick Melvoin -- in what was the most expensive school board election in American history. Similarly, Kelly Gonez was elected over Padilla. While the results are a loss for public education, which supports all students, including those with disabilities and from working-class households, we will keep fighting back against the pro-charter school millionaires who seek to destabilize our public school system.