September 4, 2020
CONTACT: Shari Davis

Community for Excellent Public Schools (CEPS) Endorses Community Leaders for Santa Monica City Council, Santa Monica College Board, and SMMUSD Board of EducationSupports Propositions 15, 16, Measure SM

SANTA MONICA, CA -- Community for Excellent Public Schools (CEPS) announces its endorsements for the Santa Monica City Council, the Santa Monica College Board of Trustees, and the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education (SMMUSD). CEPS also has made important decisions on statewide and local ballot measures, supporting Propositions 15 and 16, and Santa Monica Measure SM.

As voters consider their choices in the upcoming November 3 election, CEPS is proud to endorse community leaders who have demonstrated that they make education a top priority,” Shari Davis, Chair of Community for Excellent Public Schools, stated. She added, “As our community seeks an inclusive and equitable recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, we believe these candidates will make certain that support for education and public schools, including after-school programs, early childhood education, and post-secondary public education, will be public investment priorities. In the race for three SMMUSD board seats, CEPS has endorsed four strong candidates.

Following, in alphabetical order by surname, are the CEPS 2020 endorsees:

Santa Monica City Council
(four-year seats)
Gleam Davis
Ana Maria Jara
Terry O’Day
Ted Winterer

(two-year seat)
Kristin McCowan

Santa Monica College Board of Trustees
Dr. Susan Aminoff
Dr. Margaret Quiñones-Perez
Rob Rader

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education
Keith Coleman
Jon Kean
Maria Leon-Vazquez
Jennifer Smith

Proposition 15 SUPPORT
Schools and Communities First will provide crucial funds for schools throughout California.  Since its inception two decades ago, CEPS’ position has been that California’s schools are inadequately funded, currently ranking in the bottom 20% nationwide.  This sensible reform of property tax laws will close loopholes that hold back funding that our public schools need.

Proposition 16 - SUPPORT
As advocates and strong supporters of the City and School District’s sustained and serious attention to equity, CEPS strongly endorses Proposition 16, which would allow diversity to be considered in public employment, education, and public contracting. The passage of Proposition 209 in 1996 has slowed California’s efforts to fight sex discrimination and racial bias throughout our state and has severely hampered efforts by public schools, colleges, and universities to level the playing field. A generation later, as diversity, equity, and inclusion rightly have come to the fore, CEPS urges Santa Monica and Malibu voters to vote yes on Proposition 16.

Measure SM - SUPPORT
As COVID-19’s impacts decimated Santa Monica’s municipal budget, important human services and community programs were slashed, negatively affecting our youth, families and schools.  Measure SM will generate local revenue which is a vital part of rebuilding our community’s strength.

CEPS Milestones
Since 2003, Community for Excellent Public Schools (CEPS) has been the face of public education advocacy in our community and for our schools.  CEPS has worked strategically to rally voters’ support for public education through advocacy and direct democracy.  This work has led to successful outcomes that now generate over $35 million annually for SMMUSD, over 20% of SMMUSD's annual budget. These vital funds provide all students in our community the benefits of quality teachers, curriculum and arts programs, and provide citizens the benefits that great public schools create. The total operating revenue generated for SMMUSD by CEPS-backed efforts over the last 17 years now exceeds $350million. CEPS supportseducation at all levels, including early childhood, K-12, and community college.


Download the pdf: CEPS 2020 Endorsements Press Release