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LA Mayoral Race 2013: Teachers union is backing Garcetti with words, but no money

Mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti and city attorney hopeful Mike Feuer were each endorsed by UTLA Thursday.
Mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti and city attorney hopeful Mike Feuer were each endorsed by UTLA Thursday.

The union that represents Los Angeles Unified School District teachers has weighed in on the city’s March 5 municipal election and backed Eric Garcetti for mayor.

The governing body of United Teachers Los Angeles voted 146 to 12 to back the councilman’s campaign. Unlike other big city mayors, such as New York and Chicago, the mayor of Los Angeles does not have control over the public school district. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa tried to change that during his tenure, ultimately with limited success. (An organization he created, the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, manages 22 schools.)

“We look forward to working with Eric Garcetti as mayor," said UTLA President Warren Fletcher. "He listens to teachers. He understands the importance of our expertise and our commitment to educating students.” 

Unfortunately for Garcetti, UTLA says it will not spend money on the mayor's race, instead using its resources on school board races. Garcetti's main opponent, City Controller Wendy Greuel, is the beneficiary of several independent committees that will spend money on her behalf. 

Los Angeles Unified is expected to evaulate the Partnership later this year and decide whether renew a memorandum of understanding. 

In a statement, Garcetti said: "If the Partnership is renewed I will fight for resources for these schools so that our teachers have the tools, so that students can be provided with the best teaching and technology in the classroom, and so that school sites can have the wrap-around services that will help our students graduate and succeed." 

Wrap-around services would include health care clinics, breakfast programs, job training and technology centers. 

The union endorsed Mike Feuer for city attorney. As for the Los Angeles City Council, UTLA endorsed: