2012 Election


CEPS Endorsements for November 6th Election


Community for Excellent Public Schools has made endorsements in local races that will be decided by voters on November 6th .  The decade-old education-focused Political Action Committee has endorsed:



Gleam Davis

Terry O’Day

Shari Davis

Ted Winterer



Ben Allen

Jose Escarce

Maria Leon Vazquez



Richard Bloom




YES on Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Measure ES


The CEPS Steering Committee made its endorsements on Saturday, September 8, after a two-week evaluation process.  Candidates for the Santa Monica City Council and the Santa Monica-Malibu Board of Education were invited to answer a short questionnaire and all responses to CEPS education-themed questions are posted on the CEPS website at www.excellentpublicschools.org.  Select candidates were invited to a short interview with CEPS Steering Committee members, which were open to the community and took place at the Santa Monica Main Library on August 30 and September 4.

CEPS based its decision to endorse in the City Council race on criteria that went farther than expressed support for public education, but acknowledged candidates who had a record of working as true “champions” for public education.  “Gleam, Shari, Ted and Terry each have impressive personal records of advocating for public schools and lifelong learning,” says CEPS Chair, Rebecca Kennerly.  “We are proud to work with them to help preserve and protect our local schools and support the entire community.

CEPS had difficulty making its decisions in the Santa Monica City Council race since so many candidates expressed vigorous support for public education.  “We hated to narrow the field to the four to fill the open seats,” says CEPS Chair Rebecca Kennerly, “since a much greater number than that share our commitment to the core concept that strong schools equal a strong community.”

In the School Board election, CEPS voted to support the three incumbents in the race, School Board President, Ben Allen, as well as Jose Escarce and Maria Leon Vazquez.  Each of these incumbents has a strong focus on representing all students in district, working to close the achievement gap, and helping develop and focus goals for the district, which has just seen a significant rise in student test scores.  In addition, these incumbents, unfortunately, have experience guiding the district through budget crises, which could become a very large issue should California Propositions 30 and/or 38 fail to pass in November.

CEPS was encouraged to see three Malibu candidates, Karen Farrer, Craig Foster, and Seth Jacobson enter the Board of Education race.  Steering Committee members have worked with and respect each of the three.  However, as they are running as a single slate, the CEPS Steering Committee felt they were not provided with sufficient information to complete the necessary analysis of each candidate individually.

In addition to the Board of Education and City Council endorsements, CEPS also voted to support California Propositions 30 and 38, both of which would provide increased funding to public education and reduce the need for severe funding cuts to our local public schools.  CEPS encourages “yes” votes for both.

Finally, CEPS voted to support the Santa Monica-Malibu Bond Measure ES, which will provide critically needed funds to schools to repair 100-year-old school facilities and upgrade technology so that students can engage in 21st Century learning.

AUGUST 25, 2012

Community for Excellent Public Schools (CEPS) to make endorsements and recommendations in November’s election



The broad-based all-volunteer political action committee, Community for Excellent Public Schools, has successfully advocated for a collaborative approach to shared community support for Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District schools.  For the last decade, members of the organization have crafted and participated in the campaigns of a number of ballot measures, resulting in more than $20 million dollars of annual local support for our public schools, which has helped offset cuts in education funding from the State of California.

CEPS also has a history of supporting and/or endorsing local Board of Education and City Council candidates, and will weigh in again for November’s election.  In the past, CEPS support has taken a number of different forms, from an official endorsement to ratings or recommendations.

CEPS has sent questionnaires to all candidates in the Santa Monica City Council election and the Santa Monica-Malibu Board of Education race.  Candidates who are interested in working with CEPS for its endorsement or recommendation have returned their answers, which will be made available for the public to view by August 30 on the CEPS website.

The CEPS Steering Committee will review questionnaires and invite some candidates to a 20 -30 minute interview with CEPS Steering Committee members.  Interviews will take place on Thursday August 30 and Tuesday September 4 from 5 – 9pm.  The public is welcome to attend these interviews at the Santa Monica Main Library (601 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica).  Follow posted signs to the Community Meeting Room.  Please come early as seating is limited.

The CEPS Steering Committee will decide which form its support for November’s election will then hold its endorsement meeting on Saturday September 8.

In addition to Candidate endorsements, CEPS will decide on September 8 whether it will take a position in California’s 50th District Assembly race as well as California Proposition 32.

CEPS has already voted to support California Propositions 30 and 38, which both will provide critically needed funding for public schools.

Finally, CEPS has voted to support Santa Monica – Malibu Measure ES, a local bond that will improve classroom learning in Santa Monica and Malibu schools and repair crumbling 100-year-old buildings.