Santa Monica Lookout
|Santa Monica City Employees Back Council Incumbents, Oppose LUVE||
By Jonathan Friedman
September 19, 2016 -- The Coalition of Santa Monica City Employees (CSMCE), which represents the City’s more than 1,600 non-public safety workers, has endorsed the four council incumbents and recommended voters reject the slow-growth LUVE Initiative.
These endorsements match those of the public safety employees, which were also announced this past week.
CSMCE's endorsement does not carry as much weight as those from the public safety employees or Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR), but still has some significance in the eyes of political observers.
The Coalition has a little less than $10,000 in its political action committee (PAC) account, according to the most recent filing that covers through June 30.
In contrast, the public safety employees have more than $110,000, and SMRR has nearly $64,000.
Incumbents Gleam Davis, Terry O’Day and Ted Winterer also received the Coalition's endorsement in 2012. It did not back Mayor Tony Vazquez that year.
“While our individual associations continue to negotiate through the challenges of the day, we as a coalition strongly believe that our current mayor, mayor pro tem and City Council members are best equipped to lead the city forward,” said Lauralee Asch, Coalition PAC president, in a statement that appears on the group’s website.
She added, “It was clear that as a team, our City Council is focused on relieving traffic, making smart planning and land use decisions, reducing homelessness. [The incumbents] are the best choice for renters, homeowners and the city employees who deliver the services.”
The Coalition does not often take positions on ballot measures (although it’s not unprecedented), but Asch said LUVE, which will appear on the ballot as Measure LV, is unique “because of its impact on city employees and where we work.”
She looked to what she said is a LUVE feature that would require post-natural disaster renovations to go before voters for approval.
Residocracy, the slow-growth group that wrote LUVE, has disputed this reading of the document.
“The way the measure is written, it leaves more questions than it answers and will create more problems than it solves,” Asch said.
The Coalition backed two of the three council winners in 2014, three of the four victors in 2012 and all five people elected in 2010.
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