Author: anitavarghese

Four open seats on Santa Monica Community College District board of trustees to be filled

Six candidates are vying for four open seats on the Santa Monica Community College District board of trustees. The only incumbent in the election Tuesday, November 7th, is board chair Nancy Greenstein after longtime trustees Carole Currey, Dorothy Ehrhart-Morrison and Herbert Roney decided to retire from the board. Trustees serve four-year terms and are elected by voters in Santa Monica and Malibu. The board has seven members elected by the general public and an eighth member, a student trustee elected by Santa Monica College students. SUSANNA KIM BRACKE is a financial advisor with Citigroup and a former Lehman Brothers investment banker. She graduated from Harvard College magna cum laude and was a Phi Beta Kappa member before going on to Harvard Business School. “I am running for the college board to support high-quality, low-cost college education with a superior record of transferring students to four-year institutions,” Bracke says. “I will bring my liberal arts education and professional financial experience to the table to help keep Santa Monica College a great institution of higher education.” Bracke says the world has changed since she attended college. She is the daughter of an immigrant and went to San Francisco public schools. She asks herself whether she could attend Harvard today with her background. “The competition is fierce, both for college and for careers afterwards,” Bracke says. “I have interviewed high school students...

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Residents protest ad campaign against City Council member

More than 100 Santa Monica residents picketed Shutters on the Beach and Casa del Mar Sunday, October 29th, in Santa Monica demanding that the hotels’ owner stop a television and direct mailing campaign against Santa Monica City Councilman Kevin McKeown. The campaign against McKeown, who is seeking reelection to a third term Tuesday, November 7th, is financed by Beverly Hills-based Edward Thomas Management Company and its chief executive Tim Dubois, according to election filings. Westwood-based political consultant The Dolphin Group handled the $800,000 campaign, which features cable television advertisements and a year of sending direct mail to thousands of Santa Monica residents. The Dolphin Group also handled vice president George H.W. Bush’s “Willie Horton” commercial against Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis in the 1988 U.S. presidential election. “I was stunned when I saw the ads,” said John Petz, of Santa Monicans for Open Democracy, who was one of the organizers of Sunday’s rally. “It doesn’t matter if they are attacking Kevin McKeown or any candidate. This behavior has no place in Santa Monica. A Santa Monica resident wouldn’t behave this way and neither should out-of-towners.” The cable ads that have aired recently focus on the growth of the homeless population in Santa Monica. The year-long direct mail campaign singled out McKeown among six other City Council members on public safety and homelessness issues. Election filings report that $400,000 has been...

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Los Angeles has three city ballot measures

City of Los Angeles residents have the opportunity to vote for or against three citywide ballot measures Tuesday, November 7th. PROPOSITION H — Affordable Housing General Obligation Bonds. The question before voters is whether the City of Los Angeles shall issue $1 billion in bonds to “provide safe, clean affordable housing for the homeless and those in danger of becoming homeless, such as battered women and their children, veterans, seniors and the disabled; assist first time homebuyers; provide low income working families safe and affordable rental housing.” The issuing of bonds would be accompanied by independent citizen oversight, mandatory annual financial audits and prosecution for criminal misuse of funds. Those in favor of Proposition H, such as Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the Los Angeles City Council, say that affordable housing is scarce in Los Angeles. Other supporters include Erin Rank, president and chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles; Pat McOsker, president of United Firefighters of Los Angeles City; Robert Erlenbusch, executive director of the Coalition to End Hunger & Homelessness; Mary Leslie, president of the Los Angeles Business Council; David Fleming, of the San Fernando Valley Economic Alliance; retired minister Reverend Cecil L. Murray; Maria Elena Durazo, of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor; Maynard W. Brown, 2006 Junior Achievement Teacher of the Year; Marlene Savage; Jay H. Goldberg; LAPD police...

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College trustees gear up for elections this year and 2008

The Santa Monica Community College District board of trustees is looking ahead to one election a couple of weeks away and another election two years away. With the Tuesday, November 7th, election approaching, the trustees declared the week of October 17th to October 23rd Voter Registration Week. “We hope that all students, staff and faculty register to vote and vote,” said trustees chair Nancy Greenstein. “It’s very important.” The college district is working with the California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG), a nonpartisan organization that educates students on the political process and encourages students to vote. “We are working with Associated Students [the student council] and a number of volunteers to plan some events on campus,” said CALPIRG representative Sam Voorhies. CALPIRG and Associated Students set up a voter registration table on the Santa Monica College campus and encouraged professors to allow students to fill out voter registration forms in class. Voorhies said Santa Monica College students are also trying to bring a local candidate forum to campus. “Politicians don’t campaign much to students,” Voorhies said. “We are hoping to engage them [politicians] in this dialogue.” CALPIRG has received grant funding to work with students. The board of trustees also approved a resolution in support of Proposition 1D, The Kindergarten-University Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2006. Proposition 1D is a general obligation bond that would enable the $10.4...

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Wrap-up of candidates in election Tuesday, Nov. 7th

Democratic incumbents and candidates running for open seats on the Democratic Party ticket are expected to win local district races in the Tuesday, November 7th, general election. Local races in The Argonaut coverage area are not competitive because registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans by wide percentages and polls indicate Democrats are leading in the Westside. STATE ASSEMBLY: n DISTRICT 41 includes Santa Monica, the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area and the coastline from Santa Monica to the Santa Clara River beyond Oxnard. Julia Brownley, a Democrat and president of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District board of education, is running against Republican Tony Dolz and Libertarian Conrad Stefan Frankowski. Dolz is a national security analyst and founding member of the Minuteman Project. Frankowski is a human resources executive and past president of the Wall Street Employment Managers. n DISTRICT 47 includes a sliver of Del Rey from Centinela Avenue to the San Diego Freeway (405 Freeway) and an area from Culver City to South Los Angeles. Karen Bass, the incumbent Democrat, is running against Republican businessman Jeffers MacArthur Dodge. n DISTRICT 51 includes the southeast parts of Del Rey, Playa Vista, parts of Westchester and an area from Inglewood to Lawndale and Gardena. Inglewood City Councilman Curren D. Price, a Democrat, is running against Ross Moen, a Republican and retired police lieutenant, and Libertarian Carl M. “Marty” Swinney, a...

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