Political Director’s Report – June 2022

Register to Vote Because Every Vote Counts

By Antonio Sanchez 

I asked the members in the crowd of this month’s general meeting to raise their hands if they voted in the primary election. Proudly, it looked like over 80 percent of those members in attendance raised their hand. Thank you for voting! It was a great visual.  

Although the election is over, let me remind those of you who need to register to vote to do so now. Maybe you moved? You should re-register. Do you need to change your party registration? Yes, re-register. Maybe you’re up to date on your registration. Then you can help prepare the next generation and help them register to vote. In California, you can register to vote as early as 16 years of age. That young person will not have the ability to vote until they’re 18 years old, but the upside is that they’re pre-registered and will be ready to rock the vote. 

Please visit www.registertovote.ca.gov to register to vote online. 

Unfortunately, less than 25 percent of the voters in LA County voted in June. The good news is that most of our endorsed candidates won their election. Ricardo Lara, longtime friend of Local 11, won his primary with strong support. He’s well positioned to be re-elected as California’s State Insurance Commissioner. Our supporter Malia Cohen running for California State Controller also moves on to the primary and will be facing a Republican. Facing a Republican in a state-wide election is a good thing in California. Of course, Governor Gavin Newsom seems to be cruising to re-election with no Republican candidate being well funded or organized enough to properly challenge him. 

In local congressional races, Democrat Christy Smith is in a run-off against anti-union incumbent Mike Garcia (CA-27) in the Antelope Valley. Garcia votes against our union values every time the opportunity is presented to him. The other local competitive Congressional district Democrats can pick up is in Orange County. The incumbent Michelle Steel (CA-45) is being challenged by Jay Chen. Chen voted for project labor agreements while a board member at Hacienda La Puente USD and Mount San Antonio College Community College District. He’s a veteran, he is smart, and he has raised over $2 million. Both CA-27 and CA-45 are critical seats for Democrats to win which will help stop the Republican party from taking control of the House of Representatives in DC. 

We will see many new faces in elected office this year. Many of those new faces were supported by organized labor. The first districts and cities that come to mind are the Pasadena Community College District, Commerce City Council, and the La Verne City Council. 

Every vote matters. Let me share two races whose outcomes are being decided by razor-thin margins. The first is in Long Beach where Long Beach City Councilmember Mary Zendejas earned 50.26 percent of the vote. Staying above 50 percent avoids a run-off.  So yes, she’s s avoiding a run-off by a quarter of a percent of the vote. The other example I’ll share is in Compton USD Trustee Area G where Satra Zurita is currently winning her seat by three votes. Yes, three votes! Satra voted for a project labor agreement, I’m crossing my fingers hoping she makes it. 

As you can see, every vote counts, so please register to vote if you have the opportunity. 

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