Labor Council’s Election Work Gets Results
The efforts of San Mateo County Central Labor Council union members to get out the vote paid off with positive results in many races in the November 3 elections. The Labor Council was successful in winning 79 percent of endorsed local ballot measures and candidate races. Over 280 volunteers made phone calls, walked precincts, and talked to fellow union members to urge votes for labor-endorsed candidates and measures.
SMCLC Political Director Julie Lind reported that volunteers from 36 different locals worked 1,451 hours over 433 shifts to get out the vote. Voter turnout in San Mateo County’s first all-mail ballot election was higher than in 2011 and 2013, at roughly 29 percent.
Some important victories include:
• In Redwood City, School Board member Shelly Masur was elected to the City Council.
• In Belmont, Planning Commissioners Davina Hurt and Doug Kim were elected to the City Council.
• Parks and Recreation Commissioner Donna Colson was elected to the Burlingame City Council.
• In San Mateo, Mayor Maureen Freschet was re-elected and Diane Papan was elected to join her. Incumbent Rick Bonilla was unopposed and will serve a new two-year term on the City Council.
• Incumbent Carrie Du Bois and Georgia Jack were elected to the Sequoia Union High School District Board, and Audrey Ng won re-election in the San Mateo-Foster City Elementary School District.
• Dave Mandelkern and Karen Schwarz were re-elected to the San Mateo Community College Board of Trustees, along with Maurice Goodman, a member of the South San Francisco School District Board.
• Voters passed the Redwood City Elementary School District Bond Measure T, which will raise $193 million to fund upgrades and repairs of neighborhood schools. The San Mateo-Foster City School District School Bond Measure X also passed, and will provide the District $148 million in bonds to fund upgrades to school facilities.
Results were mixed in some of the other races:
• In the Jefferson Elementary School District, Clayton Koo, who had received an “open” recommendation from the Labor Council, defeated endorsed candidate Renato Beltran for the School Board.
• Incumbents Alisa MacAvoy and Dennis McBride were re-elected to the Redwood City School Board. The Labor Council’s third endorsed candidate, retired RCSD classified staffer Yolanda Padilla lost to Janet Lawson, who was given an “open” recommendation.
• Labor-backed candidate Andrew Mason lost his bid for a seat on the San Bruno Park Elementary School District Board; Incumbents Jennifer Blanco and Kevin Martinez were re-elected.
• Along with Shelly Masur, City Council members Alicia Aguirre and Ian Bain were re-elected in Redwood City; Planning Commissioner Janet B. Borgens defeated incumbent Rosanne Foust. Aguirre, Bain, Borgens and Foust were not endorsed by the Labor Council, but received “open” recommendations so individual unions could endorse them.
• Labor-endorsed candidate Nirmala Bandrapalli finished third in the Burlingame City Council election, losing out to Emily Beach.
• In the City of San Mateo, voters approved Measure S, the Transaction and Use Tax, that extends the existing voter-approved quarter-cent sales tax in San Mateo to fund essential services. South San Francisco’s Transaction & Use Tax, Measure W, also passed. It will levy a ½-cent sales tax to help fund city services.
• Measure Y was backed by the Labor Council and approved in the Menlo Park Fire District; it will increase the limit on appropriations to the Menlo Park Fire Protection District from the current $40 million to $50 million. Voters in San Carlos rejected Measure V, which was endorsed by Labor and would have raised $45 million in bonds to purchase Black Mountain Park.
“The Labor Council thanks all who made this possible, and congratulates each candidate, whether they won or lost. We truly appreciate community members who make the difficult decision to seek elected office in order to give back to the community,” said Kessler. “We stand in solidarity as the effort continues each day to defend the quality of life for working people, regardless of whether or not they belong to unions. We thank those political allies who work to ensure that our community provides, to all who live and work here, the benefits of a county that values these standards as the benchmark of civility.”
- Paul Burton