In its first meeting of the new term, UTLA’s governing body (called the House of Representatives) voted to endorse Eric Garcetti (pictured) for Mayor, by a 146 to 12 vote.
“We look forward to working with Eric Garcetti as Mayor. He listens to teachers,” said UTLA President Warren Fletcher in a statement (download it here).
As the LA Weekly‘s Gene Maddaus reported, Garcetti has been making pro-teacher comments lately. At a debate on Monday night at UCLA, Garcetti said, “I’m sick of us bullying our teachers… We’re so obsessed with firing the bad teachers, we forgot to lift up the good ones.”
One of Garcetti’s opponents, Wendy Greuel, has garnered the endorsement of most of the other public employee unions in the city, including the electrical workers, policemen and firefighters. However, several SEIU locals deadlocked on Tuesday, notes the LA Daily News.
The UTLA endorsement of Garcetti carries political and financial implications for the LAUSD School Board races. Every dollar that UTLA spends on the Mayor’s race is a dollar it won’t have to spend on the School Board races. In 2005, the teachers union spent $257,346 in support of Antonio Villaraigosa, a former UTLA organizer himself.