Last Update: Thursday, May 23, 2013
|Greuel, Garcetti Piling Up Endorsements|
|Written by Mike Terry|
|Thursday, 21 March 2013 04:57|
LOS ANGELES – The race for city mayor will conclude in two months, and candidates Los Angeles City Councilmember Eric Garcetti and City Controller Wendy Greuel are lining up – and being further defined by – their endorsements.
On Tuesday, March 19, Greuel received the support of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. The endorsement had been expected since the group's political committee had voted in favor of her candidacy last week.
Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary-treasurer of the federation, told City News Service that Greuel was a "truth-teller" and a "fierce advocate for good jobs and a strong middle class, all across Los Angeles."
Greuel told reporters she was "honored to have the support of our firefighters, 911 operators, nurses, librarians, trash collectors, and more."
The endorsement by the federation, which represents some 300 unions, could mean more than voter influence among its 600,000 membership. It could also provide Greuel some added manpower in getting out the vote for the upcoming May 21 election. Hundreds of federation members spent time doing phone banking for several successful council candidates prior to the city's primary election on March 5.
This endorsement also adds to the strong support Greuel received from other key labor groups in the primary election. The city's sworn police and electrical worker unions together spent more than $2 million in independent donations to put out mailers and air television advertisements promoting Greuel.
Greuel, a former city council member who's attempting to become the first female L.A. City mayor, also has an endorsement from SEIU 721, which represents 10,000 city employees.
Garcetti can also claim union backers after being endorsed by the Teamsters Joint Council 42, which represents 200,000 working members and retirees, the Communications Workers of America, which has 700,000 members, and the Laborers' Local 300, which represents 8,000 Los Angeles construction workers.
"I'm proud to have such strong support from labor organizations and their individual members," Garcetti was quoted as saying following last week's Federation of Labor committee vote.
"So many labor organizations and members are supporting me because of my proven results creating jobs, strengthening our middle class and solving problems for L.A. residents. I will always stand up for working men and women as L.A.'s next mayor."
The backing of unions could be pivotal in the 2013 mayor's race, in part because it comes at a time some city labor organizations are under fire for the rising costs of pensions and benefits against the actual amount of revenues city governments can acquire. In addition, governments and businesses are taking aim at eroding or completely eliminating previous collective bargaining agreements.
But those aren't the only types of endorsements each candidate has received. On Monday, March 18, fellow Councilmember Paul Krekorian endorsed Garcetti. The following day, Councilmember Paul Koretz endorsed him.
Krekorian, whose San Fernando Valley-based council seat was once held by Gruel, said Garcetti was the best person to tackle the city's estimated $165 million budget deficit.
"Right now, more than ever, we need a mayor who will have the courage to deal honestly with the budget challenges we face," Krekorian told City News Service. "We need somebody who's going to think innovatively about new ways to deliver government services."
Garcetti also got an endorsement from former mayor candidate Emanuel Pleitez, who finished fifth in the March 5 primary. Pleitez promised he would be "campaigning hard" for Garcetti.
Two other candidates who lost in the primary – Jan Perry and Kevin James – have not yet endorsed a candidate.
On the same day, the Greuel campaign announced the support of former Assemblyman Mike Eng, now an elected trustee of the Los Angeles Community College District. Eng's wife, Rep. Judy Chu, D-Pasadena, endorsed Greuel earlier this month.
"Wendy has stood side by side with the (Asian Pacific American) community from her first job working for Mayor Tom Bradley to her work as a city councilwoman and controller," Eng said. "She is an experienced leader who will be a mayor for all of Los Angeles, and she will fight for people from every neighborhood and ethnicity."
Earlier this year, Greuel won the support of Planned Parenthood. She was endorsed Friday by national abortionrights political action committee EMILY's List, which recruits and fundraises for women politicians. Garcetti also has women supporters, namely the California National Organization for Women, according to his campaign spokesman, Jeff Millman.
City News Service contributed to this report.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 21 March 2013 05:34|