CITY HALL — The City Council campaigns of Gleam Davis, Frank Gruber, Terry O’Day and Ted Winterer received a boost this week after the Coalition of Santa Monica City Employees voted to endorse the four.
The coalition, comprised of roughly 1,600 attorneys, analysts, bus drivers, clerks and public works employees, conducted a “multi-step” endorsement process, which included a candidate questionnaire and in-person interviews over the Labor Day weekend, said coalition President Lauralee Asch.
“There were several strong candidates, however, there are only four openings on the council,” Asch said. “The coalition strongly supports the re-election of council members Davis and O’Day to their first full-term on the council.
“[Planning] Commissioner Ted Winterer has a long record of service to Santa Monica and journalist Frank Gruber demonstrated familiarity with the issues facing our city and shared refreshing ideas for moving forward.”
There are 15 candidates running for four seats on the council. The election is scheduled for Nov. 6.
“The coalition is mindful of the impact the City Council’s actions have on its members’ mandate to provide services to the community,” Asch said. “The council’s actions also play a role in how the community interacts with city employees.”
With the endorsement comes plenty of campaign assistance, including volunteers and ads in local newspapers, Asch said. The coalition has also sent out mailers in previous elections, helping candidates get in front of voters.
The endorsement is critical for candidates because of the constraints placed on fund raising by local election law limiting contributions to $325 per person, per candidate. With candidates spending anywhere from $40,000 to $100,000 or more, any assistance provided by outside groups such as the coalition can help candidates focus their efforts on other areas of the campaign, such as hosting meet-and-greets with residents.
As of July 31, the coalition had $19,742.12 on hand.
“I am pleased and grateful that the coalition has endorsed me,” Davis said. “The city’s talented and dedicated workforce is well aware of the challenges that the city will face in the next four years and I am honored that they have endorsed my ability to work with them as well as residents and local businesses to meet those challenges.”
Gruber said he was proud to have received the endorsement, citing the coalition’s professionalism and commitment to serving the community.
“When you talk with the leadership of the coalition you get a sense that it’s not them against us,” Gruber said. “They see it as their members being totally tied into the health of the city. My theory is that a healthy city is not only a place where residents thrive and flourish, but also a place that has good government. … I told them that it is extremely important that the city provide a high level of service and we all wanted to continue that.”
To hear more from the candidates, make sure to attend the Santa Monica Daily Press’ Squirm Night, a candidates forum featuring those running for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified Board of Education and the City Council. The forum kicks off at 6 p.m. at the Main Library, Martin Luther King, Jr. Auditorium on Oct. 15. Remember to save the date.
“Santa Monica has some of the most dedicated city employees in California,” Winterer said. “I appreciate their support for my candidacy.”