Santa Monica's Community for Excellent Public Schools—the advocacy group behind most of the local bond measures on ballots in the past decade—is endorsing incumbents Gleam Davis and Terry O'Day and Shari Davis and Ted Winterer in the November City Council election.
With few exceptions, CEPS has traditionally backed incumbents. There are four open seats in this year's race, but.
is a former CEPS chair. is a city Planning Commissioner.
CEPS Chairwoman Rebecca Kennerly said her group is backing candidates with records of being "true champions" for public schools. The endorsements were announced Sunday after public interviews with the candidates Aug. 30 and Sept. 4.
The 2006 election was the first year CEPS made endorsements,and is the only election cycle when it didn't throw support behind every incumbent. It criticized then-incumbent Pam O'Connor's support of public schools after she called the group "schoolyard bullies in 2004. As the Santa Monica LookOut reported on Monday,
[O'Connor] accused its leaders of using extortionist tactics when it threatened to place a charter amendment on the ballot that would force the City to give the district money.
Instead, the council voted to pass the Facilities Master Plan Use Agreement, which guarantees that the City will pay the School District between $6 to $8 million so that the public may use their facilities.
In 2006, Gleam Davis was the council incumbent to secure CEPS backing. At the time, then-CPES chairwoman Shari Davis said the councilwoman "understands the value of having excellent public schools." The together in June.
This year, CPES is also endorsing Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education incumbents Ben Allen, Jose Escarce and Maria Leon Vazquez.
It's also calling for the passage of statewide tax measures, Propositions 30 and 38, as well as the the .