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Prop 8 Supporter Vies for School Board in May Election



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.”

You can learn more about Scott Svonkin at his website.

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  1. Lydia Gutierrez

    April 22, 2011 at 2:02 AM

    Hi All,
    This is Lydia Gutierrez, candidate for LA Community College Board of Trustees, Seat 5. If you would like to read about me and what are the issues I am standing for, please visit my website at:

    Thank you for your time,
    Lydia Gutierrez
    Candidate for LA Community College Board of Trustees, Seat 5

  2. Brian Hamilton

    April 22, 2011 at 11:37 AM

    @Lydia Gutierrez: Thanks for dropping by. I have ONE question for you that requires a direct answer, if you please. Did you, or did you not, support Yes on Proposition 8 that denied marriage equality to gays and lesbians?

  3. Lydia Gutierrez

    April 23, 2011 at 1:43 PM

    Hi All,
    This is Lydia Gutierrez again. I received an email from Brian Hamilton with the below contact number. The number is the “Operator Directory Number”. I take serious this race in wanting to create a future for our youth.

    Name:Brian Hamilton
    Phone:323 – 555 – 1212

    Thank you,
    Lydia Gutierrez
    Candidate for LA Community College Board of Trustees, Seat 5
    Vote May 17th

  4. Brian Hamilton

    April 23, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    @Lydia Gutierrez: Your contact form did not allow me to submit it without giving a phone number. I don’t give out my phone number, especially over the internet. Now lets get to the issue and spare me the evasive games, ok Ms Gutierrez?
    You had an opportunity to ANSWER my question here, and you chose to IGNORE it. So, I’ll take that as a YES– that you DID support Prop 8, as Councilman Prang stated.

  5. Kelly

    May 3, 2011 at 2:08 PM

    Hi Brian, I think you have your answer. Apparently Lydia Gutierrez doesn’t listen to her potential constituents online. If she can’t give you a yes or no answer, what is she going to do if she gets into office?

    After reading this article and thread, I’m voting for Scott Svonkin.

    (A taxpaying, straight, female voter who believes in justice and equality for ALL, and in government that is not controlled by religious fanatics.)

  6. Ragan Fox

    May 25, 2011 at 1:48 AM

    @Lydia Gutierrez: If your grammar is an indication of your commitment to higher education, I’m thankful that your opponent was ultimately victorious. You also lose points for homophobia.

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