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LA Fed’s PAC recommends Johnson for LAUSD board seat

LA School Report | July 15, 2014

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Alex Johnson LA Federation of Labor LAUSD

Alex Johnson, candidate for district 1 school board seat


The political action committee for the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor has recommended to its members that they endorse Alex Johnson, in his bid for the open LA Unified school board seat.

It’s the first step in the group’s process for endorsing a candidate. The decision by the Committee on Political Education (COPE) now goes before the union’s board of directors, and if the board agrees with the recommendation, it goes before the assembly of members who would vote next week for a final and formal endorsement.

An earlier story on LA School Report misstated the union’s process for determining the endorsement, leading to the Aug. 12 runoff election for the LA Unified District 1 school board seat.

The Federation represents over 350 labor unions and more than 845,000 workers.

“I am proud and gratified to have the strong support of the Committee on Political Education of the L.A. County Federation of Labor in my campaign for the parents, students, school staff and teachers of LAUSD District 1,” Johnson said in an emailed statement.

“These remain economically challenging times for many working women and men. That’s why I strongly supported the $15 minimum wage sought by cafeteria workers, custodians, and other school support staff represented by SEIU Local 99.”

Johnson has received endorsements from more than a dozen union locals, while his opponent, George McKenna, has won support from two unions with much closer ties to the school district — those representing teachers (UTLA) and school administrators (AALA).

The value of any endorsements remains to be seen, however, especially if they do not come with major financial backing. Even with his labor endorsements for the June 3 general election, Johnson finished a distant second to McKenna in a field of seven candidates.

Further, few, if any, of Johnson’s individual donors are members of unions, and the bulk of his Super PAC support comes from a voter education group founded by his boss, LA Country Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, and the state charter schools association.

McKenna, 74, enjoys widespread name recognition in the district, largely from his decades of work as a school administrator. Johnson, 33, is drawing on his work as an education aide to Ridley-Thomas, whose political ties have helped win much of Johnson’s support.

Previous Posts: McKenna, Johnson re-launch campaigns for school board seat; Johnson’s internal poll shows gains on McKenna in runoff; SEIU endorses Alex Johnson for LAUSD school board in runoff

* This version clarifies the steps the LA Federation takes to endorse a candidate.


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