Just a Thought – When is an Election Not a Race?

There’s a tinge of irony. The School Board of the Culver City Unified School District took the step, last year, to consolidate their elections with the national election in November so as to foster a better voter turnout. Now, there’s even less reason to vote for the school board; it’s a completely non- competitive slate. Three candidates running for three seats means that no matter how many or how few votes they get, it’s a done deal.

Current board members Steve Levin and Summer McBride have both filed papers, as has candidate Tashon McKeithan, but with no one else running, it’s not a race.

While Culver City has collectively bemoaned the escalating ugliness of local elections, it feels like we are now seeing the results of the online attacks. the social media slurs and the us versus them mentality. No one wants to put themselves up as a target.

McKeithan announced her candidacy for the school board literally in the backyard of current board member Dr.Kelly Kent, supported by the crowd that succeeded in the city council elections. I’m not saying McKeithan wouldn’t have run a good campaign, but at this point there’s no need. Why put effort into a situation where none is required?

As all the politically minded people look forward to the midterms, maybe it will make a big difference if we put that energy into the state races and propositions. There are districts that could flip and laws that could pass. The need for volunteers is enormous., and the clock is ticking.

Perhaps while we are working to change the bigger picture, the time we might spend with other local political people could even lead to conversation? Dialogue? Some recognition that differing ideas don’t have to be ridiculed, slandered and shouted down?

I’m sure nothing would please the School Board more than if we took a ‘teachable moment’ and really learned something.

Judith Martin-Straw


The Actors' Gang


  1. It appears as though these three candidates may waltz into office without any elective competition. If that’s the case, then the only way voters will have to show their dissatisfaction in the way the board has mishandled our district’s finances is to vote “NO” on their proposed local bail out. By it not passing, it would clearly show them that their crazy spending does not warrant more of our money.

  2. The continued “rubber stamp” attitude and lack of any responsiveness to community concerns is exactly how the school board got into the financial mess they are in. Now they are coming to us with the second parcel tax in four years as a way to cover up their mis-management. That’s why I urge you all, especially those that believe in effective public institutions to vote no on Measure K this november

  3. I find this whole commentary rather odd. I, for one, am very glad that we have perfectly qualified candidates and I don’t have to choose between them. And especially, that they have agreed to work together to help fund our schools. People who have been on opposite camps are working together for all our kids, and this is something to complain about? Or is there someone who was going to run and was scared? If it is so scary to run, then more power to these three strong human beings who were willing to take the challenge on! Sometimes we are lucky in politics and get to cooperate instead of having to compete!

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