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Education Activist Group Makes Election Endorsements  

By Lookout Staff

September 30, 2010 --Community for Excellent Public Schools (CEPS) on Thursday endorsed all the incumbents in the City Council and Board of Education races. The education advocacy group also backed challenger Ted Winterer as a fourth pick in the four-year council race despite there only be three seats available. Challenger Laurie Lieberman received support for the school board competition.

The selections were made by the CEPS Steering Committee following a forum on Monday. A CEPS press release states the primary criteria for endorsements in the council races were the candidates’ positions on Measures Y and YY (the half-cent sales tax proposal and the advisory measure that calls for half the tax revenue to go to education). The Steering Committee also voted to endorse both measures.

“CEPS noted the longtime service of (incumbents) Bob Holbrook, Pam O’Connor and Kevin McKeown to the City of Santa Monica and their proven commitment to education issues,” the release sates. “The group also felt that Ted Winterer, an SMMUSD parent and Santa Monica Planning Commissioner, would be a valuable addition to the City Council.”

Those three incumbents and Winterer are running four three four-year positions on the council. The incumbents receiving the CEPS endorsement for the two two-year seats are Terry O’Day and Gleam Davis.

For the Board of Education race, the endorsed incumbents are Oscar de la Torre, Ralph Mechur and Barry Snell. The release states that the CEPS support is “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.”

As for the endorsement for Lieberman, the release states CEPS “feels (she) will add a strong, new and extremely knowledgeable voice to the SMMUSD Board of Education.”

CEPS is the most powerful education activist group in Santa Monica. It was behind the 2004 push to greatly increase funding from the City to the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.


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