Community for Excellent Public Schools (CEPS)
Endorsements for November 2nd Election
September 30, 2010, SANTA MONICA–Community for Excellent Public Schools (CEPS) has made endorsements in local races that will be decided by voters on November 2nd. The decade-old education-focused Political Action Committee has endorsed:
Yes on Santa Monica Propositions Y + YY
Santa Monica City Council Two-year race
Gleam Davis and Terry O’Day
Santa Monica City Council Four-year race
Bob Holbrook, Kevin McKeown, Pam O’Connor and Ted Winterer
Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District Board of Education
Laurie Lieberman, Ralph Mechur, Barry Snell and Oscar de la Torre
CEPS’s endorsements were made by its Steering Committee after its education-based candidate’s forum on Monday. A primary criteria in the Santa Monica City Council races were candidates positions on city propositions Y + YY. All CEPS endorsed candidates expressed at the forum their support for both Proposition Y, a half-percent transaction and use tax that would bring additional revenues into city coffers, and Proposition YY, a companion advisory measure that asks the City Council to direct half of increased revenues generated by Proposition Y to local schools, with the other half benefitting vital City services.
In addition, all CEPS endorsed City Council Candidates stated, unequivocally, at the forum that should Propositions Y + YY pass, they would support allocating the full 50% of increased revenues to SMMUSD schools, with that allocation being added to and not supplant the current funding generated by the Joint Use Agreement between the City of Santa Monica and SMMUSD.
CEPS noted the longtime service of Bob Holbrook, Pam O’Connor and Kevin McKeown to the City of Santa Monica and their many accomplishments in citywide and regional issues, along with their consistent support for our local public schools. The group also felt that Ted Winterer, a SMMUSD parent and Santa Monica Planning Commissioner, is a strong advocate for education and would be a valuable addition to the City Council.
In the School Board election, CEPS wanted to support the three incumbents in the race, Oscar de la Torre, Ralph Mechur and School Board President, Barry Snell, as a vote of confidence for the direction and positive moves currently underway within the District. Each of these incumbents had a strong role to play in Special Education reform, guiding the district through its recent budget crises, and helping develop the focus and goals for the district, which has just seen a significant rise in student test scores.
For the final endorsed seat, CEPS has supported longtime education activist, Laurie Lieberman, who it feels will add a strong, new, and extremely knowledgeable voice to the SMMUSD Board of Education.