CEPS ENDORSES AND RATES CANDIDATES FOR SANTA MONICA CITY COUNCIL, SMMUSD BOARD OF EDUCATION AND SANTA MONICA COLLEGE BOARD OF TRUSTEE ELECTIONS
Endorses Gleam Davis for City Council; Emily Bloomfield, Kelly Pye & Barry Snell for Board of Education; Louise Jaffe, David Finkel, Tom Donner & Nancy Greenstein for SMC Board
October 2, 2006 SANTA MONICA Community for Excellent Public Schools (CEPS) announces its endorsements in three races critical to education interests in the Santa Monica and Malibu communities after concluding a month-long evaluation process. CEPS has voted to endorse Gleam Davis for Santa Monica City Council; Emily Bloomfield, Kelly Pye & Barry Snell for SMMUSD Board of Education; Louise Jaffe, David Finkel, Tom Donner & Nancy Greenstein for SMC Board of Trustees.
City Council Race
CEPS had voted in June, 2006 to endorse Gleam Davis for a position on the Santa Monica City Council. CEPS chair, Shari Davis stated, "Gleam Davis understands the value of having excellent public schools, and the benefits our whole community reaps when high quality K-12 schools, early childhood education and community college opportunities are a top priority. Numerous policy decisions come before the Santa Monica City Council related to educating and enriching the lives of the children in our community. Gleam has the experience and know-how to maximize the impact the City can have on education."
Acknowledging that education is one of a group of important criteria that voters must assess in making their council choices, CEPS chose a rating system for other City Council candidates to indicate whom it believes to be a reliable supporter of public education
Incumbents Bob Holbrook and Kevin McKeown, along with newcomer Terry O'Day, were rated as "reliable" supporters of education. All three have demonstrated an understanding of the needs of our public schools and have stated their intentions of continuing to provide support to our schools and our children in the future.
CEPS has rated incumbent Pam O'Connor as "unreliable". The rating was based upon O'Connor's public disdain for the constituent movement that led to the City's contract providing ongoing funds to our schools and her lack of commitment to support future funding.
SMMUSD Board of Education
Community for Excellent Public Schools endorses incumbent Emily Bloomfield along with longtime education activists Kelly Pye and Barry Snell.
Bloomflield, mother of three SMMUSD students, has been a passionate and well-respected champion for closing the achievement gap during her first term on the Board of Education. Pye has made a name for herself as an outspoken voice for low-income students in the district in her years of service to PTA, Site Governance and various education groups. She stresses partnership and collaboration as her mission on the Board. Snell is also a high-profile volunteer who has worked with PTA and school site groups to bring minority parents, especially African-American fathers, into the loop at Santa Monica High School and the middle schools.
Santa Monica College Board of Trustees
CEPS endorses Louise Jaffe, Nancy Greenstein, Tom Donner and David Finkel for SMC Board.
Louise Jaffe brings an extraordinary commitment to community lifelong learning and a record of significant achievement in efforts to provide new resources for students. Nancy Greenstein is the only incumbent and the current board chair; her long record of community service and leadership has been especially beneficial to the College and merits her re-election. Tom Donner's thirty-year record of trust and service has contributed to SMC becoming one of the top ten community colleges in the country. His institutional memory is most needed with the retirement of three long-serving trustees. David Finkel's lifetime of service to the community will provide Santa Monica College with both wisdom and strength. As a retired judge and a former locally-elected official, his skills and experience will be invaluable to the continued success of SMC.
Community for Excellent Public Schools candidate evaluations followed a three-step process. Candidates were asked to answer a comprehensive list of questions that were developed to touch upon a broad spectrum of educational concerns specific to SMMUSD. The full list of questions as well as each candidate's complete answers are available to the public at http://www.excellentpublicschools.org. Candidates were then invited to meet with CEPS Steering Committee members on September 27 & 28th for individual interviews. CEPS then reviewed all answers as well as incumbents' records, and Steering Committee members voted on endorsements and ratings.
CEPS also voted to endorse Measure BB, Santa Monica Malibu's School Safety and Repair Bond.