SEIU Local 99 Education Workers Endorse Tanya Ortiz Franklin and Graciela Ortiz for LAUSD Board of Education

Los Angeles, CA – The custodians, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, special education assistants, and other dedicated education workers of SEIU Local 99 have voted to support Graciela Ortiz (District 5) and Tanya Ortiz Franklin (District 7) for the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education. Union members decided not to endorse a candidate in the primary election for the District 1 seat.  An endorsement town hall for Board District 3 will be held in October. The LAUSD primary election is on March 5, 2024.

The endorsement by the 50,000 members of SEIU Local 99, including nearly 30,000 at LAUSD, came after a comprehensive review of all candidates seeking the union’s endorsement which included extensive interviews with member leaders, a rigorous questionnaire completed by candidates, and a town hall meeting where rank-and-file SEIU Local 99 members interviewed and voted to endorse the candidates.

“The members of SEIU Local 99 enthusiastically support Tanya Ortiz Franklin and Graciela Ortiz for the LAUSD school board because these candidates have demonstrated that they truly understand and value the work of special education assistants, food service workers, bus drivers, custodians and so many other frontline workers who are essential to student learning. We are confident that these candidates will work with us to continue to address staffing shortages, school cleanliness, and improvements to special education in our schools,” said Elizabeth Thomas Parker, SEIU Local 99 Vice President and a Special Education Assistant at LAUSD.

“Tanya Ortiz Franklin and Graciela Ortiz share in our belief that equitable public schools are places where all students have access to a quality public education and all workers are treated with fairness and respect. They stand with SEIU Local 99 members in opposing the privatization of public education, including ensuring that special education, transportation, and other vital student services are strengthened within the school district. We are ready to begin mobilizing voter outreach efforts to elect Tanya Ortiz Franklin and Graciela Ortiz to the LAUSD Board, ” said Max Arias, SEIU Local 99 Executive Director. 

“I am humbled and grateful that SEIU Local 99 has endorsed my campaign,” said Graciela Ortiz. “I work everyday with members of SEIU Local 99 on our school campuses, I see their dedication and commitment daily. I am proud to have SEIU Local 99’s endorsement, it’s their confidence in me that fuels this campaign daily.”

“I’m so proud and grateful to earn the endorsement of SEIU Local 99, demonstrating our shared values of equity, justice, dignity and respect,” said Tanya Ortiz Franklin. “Together we can prioritize our students, employees and families who have been most historically pushed to the margins and instead we can center their needs and invest in their future for a better Los Angeles.”

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SEIU Local 99 represents 50,000 education workers in K-12 schools, early education homes and centers, and community colleges throughout Southern California, including 30,000 custodians, cafeteria workers, special education assistants, bus drivers and others providing essential student services at LAUSD. 

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