DOWNTOWN — Custodians, cafeteria workers, bus drivers and teaching assistants working for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District have endorsed two school board incumbents and two challengers for the November ballot.

Members of SEIU Local 99 held a town hall meeting last week, at which time they threw their support behind school board members Ralph Mechur and Oscar de la Torre, as well as challengers Patrick Cady and Laurie Lieberman.

Cady is a coach at Santa Monica High School and is the only candidate from Malibu running. Lieberman is an education advocate and the wife of powerful land-use attorney Chris Harding.

“We are looking for candidates who recognize the commitment, expertise, and insight of the employees working at our schools,” said SEIU Local 99 Chief Steward Keryl Cartee-McNeely. “We believe that Coach Cady’s experience in the district will give him insight into the day-to-day workings of our schools. And we liked Ms. Lieberman’s commitment to looking everywhere for resources to preserve and expand school services.”

There are roughly 700 members of the union in Santa Monica and Malibu, said Terry Carter, a spokeswoman for the SEIU. Members plan to go door to door to talk with voters about the candidates and will make phone calls on their behalf.

There are four seats up for grabs on the school board.

“As an experienced educator and laborer, I’ve been preparing for the role of school board for the past 35 years,” Cady said. “I believe we should go directly to workers if we want to understand how to improve what we do and solve problems. The district cannot be run from a top-down model. It must be flipped upside down.”

Both Mechur and de la Torre have been endorsed by the union in the past.

Local 99 members also endorsed the three local ballot measures, Measure Y (the half-cent sales tax increase), Measure YY (advises that half of new tax revenues, an estimated $6 million, go to education) and Measure RR (increased eviction protection for renters).

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