SEIU 721 Members Put Candidates to the Test

On Jan. 29, members from six SEIU locals gathered at SEIU 721’s LA headquarters for an intimate town hall with LA City mayoral candidates Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti.
Members spent 45 minutes questioning each of the candidates. They asked about their records and pressed the candidates to clarify their visions for LA’s future. Members asked the candidates about pension “reform,” layoffs, raises, furloughs, cleaning up bank blight and more.
“It was great to hear from these candidates and be able to have a more in-depth discussion. Since I work for the city, issues like layoffs and questions about leadership are important to me. I don’t want the next mayor to continue the status quo.”
–Dale White, LA city Asphalt Plant Operator

Members also interviewed city controller candidates Ron Galperin and Dennis Zine.
“It was an honest and open meeting where we got to directly ask the candidates about city issues. We have to make sure we don’t get behind someone who is going to throw us under the bus. We need to know who will really support city employees.”
–Johnny Clark, LA city Reprographics Specialist, Dept. of Public Works

Robust discussion amongst the members of each local followed the candidate Q-and-A. Each local then voted on an endorsement recommendation and came together to tally the results.
When the votes were counted, the locals did not reach a consensus on the mayoral candidates. However, the locals did vote to recommend to their respective leadership bodies endorsing Ron Galperin for controller.
SEIU 721’s endorsement process isn’t over. There are several steps yet to go, including another town hall on Friday, Feb. 1, featuring city attorney candidates and a discussion of Measure A, the proposed sales tax hike.
All member recommendations must be adopted by the leadership bodies of each local before formal endorsements can be made.
For more information about this process, please contact James Johnson at (213) 368-8643 or
Click here for a related article on SEIU’s Election Town Hall featuring candidates for LA City Attorney and a discussion of Measure A.