Thoughts about Election Results and the future of Santa Monica Malibu Schools

 Whew!  What a ride.  I’ve been trying to recover with little success, but here goes…

Tuesday night Propositions Y + YY sailed to victory under the skillful leadership of campaign chairs Shari Davis and Tom Larmore along with guidance by stupendous campaign consultant Barbara Grover!  When the numbers came it, the sheer size of the victory seemed inevitable, but for those of you who were in the trenches, I’m sure you shared with me a sense of dread.  I never knew whether these measures would pass and even now can’t believe they have!

Now, our work as Community for Excellent Public Schools continues.  As the organization that originated of the measure that became the current Joint Use Agreement, and stalwart proponents of school/city partnerships, the actual process of allocation of these funds and a renegotiation of the current Joint Use agreement must be very high on our list of priorities.  Continued vigilance from CEPS and the education community around the schools/city partnership must remain firmly in our sights.

Tuesday held so many important races for our community, our schools and our state.  In the national sea of red, it was a rare great night to be a Californian.

Welcome to our two new SMMUSD Board of Education members, our own CEPS Steering Committee member, Nimish Patel and Laurie Lieberman!  Both are tremendous leaders and will bring valuable new insight to the Board.   While we are sad to see Barry Snell and Kelly Pye exit the Board of Education, we hope and expect to see them at the CEPS table even more in the months and years to come!  And of course, congratulations to re-elected incumbents Oscar de la Torre and Ralph Mechur!  We hope to continue seeing you around the table as well.

Congratulations to re-elected City Council members Gleam Davis, Terry O’Day, Pam O’Connor, and Kevin McKeown.  All are stalwart education supporters and we look forward to working with you for many years to come!

And the race for the final four-year Santa Monica City Council seat remains too close to call.  Both CEPS Steering Committee member, Ted Winterer and Bob Holbrook were endorsed by CEPS and would be terrific on the Council.  Too bad there aren’t enough seats for both!  Like Ted and Bob, I will hold my breath until the results are final.  However it turns out, though, CEPS is excited about the prospects of working with both Ted and Bob on education and city issues — on the Council, around the CEPS table and in the community.

I don’t know if all of you are as tired as I am.  Most of you have a reason to be even more tired than I.  However, I couldn’t be more excited about the future with Y + YY in place and incredible leadership to help put those increased revenues to the most effective use to benefit our schools and our city.
With much great work done — and much left to do, I applaud you all!

Rebecca Soladay Kennerly
Community for Excellent Public Schools (CEPS), Chair
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