The union that represents more than 10,000 city workers endorsed a proposed half-cent sales tax increase Tuesday, though the group declined to back a candidate in the mayor’s race.
Members of SEIU Local 721 voted to support Measure A, though a committee for the union urged opposition to the tax when it was proposed last fall. The Los Angeles Times reported that council President Herb Wesson, the architect of the tax, spoke to union members two weeks ago. A spokesman for Wesson was not available to confirm that, while representatives for the union said they decided to back Measure A after studying the impact of the tax. The measure appears on the March 5 ballot.
“The upcoming city elections are critical to the future of Los Angeles," said Bob Schoonover, president of SEIU Local 721. "We need champions of working families at City Hall who have a clear vision to move our city forward. Our members believe that these candidates have the energy and ideas to do it.”
SEIU declined to endorse in the mayor’s race. The union did interview leading candidates Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel two weeks ago. Members may endorse before the May 21 runoff, according to a spokesman.
In the two other citywide races, SEIU endorsed Mike Feuer for city attorney and Ron Galperin for controller. For the Los Angeles City Council, the union backed:
- Gil Cedillo, First District
- Bob Blumenfield, Third District
- Paul Koretz, Fifth District
- Felipe Fuentes, Seventh District
- Curren Price, Ninth District
- Mike Bonin, Eleventh District
- John Choi, Thirteenth District