Councilmember Jeff Prang fired off an email to West Hollywood residents urging them to pay attention and vote in the General Election on May 17 in much of Los Angeles County.
In most communities, the only office on the ballot is for Los Angeles Community College District, Member of the Board of Trustees, Seat No. 5.
“While this is a single item ballot, it is never the less a crucial election,” writes Prang. “Rarely in local races are the differences between candidates so stark with so much at stake.”
School Board Member Scott Svonkin and Lydia Gutierrez, a teacher, are only two candidates vying for this seat.
“Scott Svonkin is a Progressive candidate who strongly supports public education,” write Prang. “As an elected school board member and civic leader, he has fought for health care and insurance reform, LGBT civil rights, and a host of progressive issues and causes.”
On the other hand, he points out that Svonkin’s opponent does not share the values of most West Hollywood residents.
“[Gutierrez] is a right-wing candidate supported by the Tea Party Patriots,” he writes. “She strongly supported Yes on Proposition 8 that denied marriage equality to gays and lesbians.”
Right-wing conservatives have been attempting to clandestinely win seats on the Community College District Board of Trustees for several years, says Prang. He accuses them of running campaigns that evade mention of their more conservative and radical views.
Prang says the difference between these two candidates in this race is like night and day. The Community College District has nine campuses serving over 140,000 students with a $2.79 billion annual budget.
“We simply cannot risk electing a right-wing zealot with a record of supporting the Tea party agenda and discriminatory policies to a public education governing board,” he wrote in the email.
Sample ballots started arriving in the mail this week. Voters can request an absentee ballot to vote from home, otherwise, he urges people to remember to vote May 17th.
“There is a lot riding on the outcome of this race, so please make an extra effort to vote,” said Prang. “Don’t let the small ballot dissuade you from participating in this important election.”
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