The Culver City Chamber of Commerce is in business to: …”promote the commercial and economic growth of Culver City, and to foster civic improvements that benefit the general welfare of those who live, work and visit here…” (copied from their website http://www.culvercitychamber.com) So wherein lies the motivation to endorse Steve Levin and Sue Robbins, or any candidate for that matter, for the upcoming school board elections? And how should we voting citizens weigh such an endorsement?
The Chamber members (over 800 stated on their website) probably has commercial businesses who do business with the district, but school board members only approve contracts, they do not place the bids or perform the evaluations, that falls to district staff. Nevertheless, a fair item to consider from an accountability perspective to insure there are no unfair advantages in purchases by the district. In my years as a school board observer I have never witnessed a local business being championed in the limited purchase order approvals conducted almost every meeting. Nope, it appears the sole purpose of a Chamber endorsement is to support those candidates that will best serve the school district as that would …”promote the commercial and economic growth of Culver City, and to foster civic improvements that benefit the general welfare of those who live, work and visit here…”
Hmmm. Our public unions endorsed three entirely different candidates. The motivation of unions is to promote the wages, benefits and working conditions of their members. That is necessary and good! And school board members decide those very items.
The Culver City Democratic Club use to listen to all candidates for non-partisan elections until Mr. Silbiger became president. Now only registered Democrats can speak. Clearly they can only endorse their own, yet in the past they would not endorse a candidate if a non-affiliated candidate was considered better. So clearly, the motivation of the Democratic Club is to support like-minded candidates. I predict our club will support the union selected candidates as I wrote previously. These two organizations have a long and rich history of mutual interests. That is good. But…how relevant is their endorsement?
Many voters in Culver City (and beyond) look to see who is endorsing whom, with good cause. But how often is the motivation behind those endorsements considered or even challenged? Politics is about who gets what, when, where, how and why as I recall from my Poli-Sci 101 course in college. Power, prestige, money, position…these are the motivations of political parties and unions, generally. Chambers of Commerce are motivated to promote local businesses. Our Chamber recognizes that a great school district requires good leaders and a GREAT School District like CCUSD promotes the commercial and economic growth of our community, increases home values and brings greater general welfare for all in our fair city.