Gutierrez demands retraction of flyers calling her ‘extremist’
Craig Clough | May 13, 2015
Things are getting nasty in what had been a relatively quiet and peaceful race for the LA Unified school board seat in District 7.
Candidate Lydia Gutierrez, who is challenging incumbent and board President Richard Vladovic, responded sharply to several campaign flyers circulated by the political action committee for SEIU Local 99, a union of school workers that is supporting Vladovic.
She said in a statement the flyers include “outrageous statements that have nothing to do with the educational welfare of our children.”
Gutierrez, a school teacher at Long Beach Unified who has never held political office before, made a name for herself in the fall when she finished third in race for State Superintendent of Public Instruction and received nearly a million votes. Many of her voters were Tea Party backers.
The flyers accuse her of holding “extremist” views, describing her as someone who favors banning teaching the theory of evolution, opposes gay marriage and opposes abortion for any reason.
In a response, Gutierrez did not address issues individually but suggested that all of her views do not align with the flyers although the views do align with conservative positions. Gutierrez has expressed support of teaching creationism in the past. She also said in her statement, “Every child has the right to pray on school campuses and every parent has the right to bring up their children with their own family values according to their beliefs—this should be respected, not denigrated or ridiculed.”
Gutierrez said she had discussed the flyers with her advisors and “decided
“Everything that I have ever
Gutierrez also demanded an “immediate retraction” of the flyers, and questioned whether any member of the union should “be near children.”
“Every SEIU Local 99 member
SEIU did not respond directly to any of Gutierrez’s calls for a retraction but issued a statement, saying, “SEIU Local 99 members’ support for Dr. Richard Vladovic is based on his solid record of commitment to students and working families. There is a clear distinction between the candidates in this race and our literature reflects the facts of the candidates’ records and affiliations.”
The election is Tuesday, May 19.