|(Feb. 11, 2020, 7:15 a.m.) -- The UniteHere! union (seeking to organize LB hotel workers) has added $50,000 to an independent campaign committee (not run by a candidate but supportive of a candidate) supporting 8th Council district candidate Tunua Thrash-Ntuk. .
The contribution provides a total of $125,000 to the "Committee on Behalf of Working Families To Support Tunua Thrash-Ntuk For Council," Sponsored By Labor Organizations" (which previously received $75,000 from "United Food and Commercial Workers Active Ballot Club (California)" ($50,000) and "Dignity California SEIU Local 2015 PAC ($25,000.)
Eighth district incumbent Austin, seeking a third term, faces challenges from Ms. Thrash-Ntuk as well as Reform Ticket candidate Juan Ovalle.
As previously reported by LBREPORT.com, the UniteHere! union has also contributed $30,000 to an independent campaign run by the L.A. County Federation of Labor to support electing challenger Suely Saro..
The common element in both races is that incumbents Austin (8th) and Andrews (6th) cast Sept. 19, 2017 votes against Council enactment of "Claudia's Law," a hotel-worker protective ordinance that would have assisted labor efforts to organize unrepresented LB hotel workers. The measure was opposed by LB hotel industry/hospitality interests, narrowly failed on a
Austin has long-time labor ties (he's currently a business agent for AFSCME, a government employee union) and his vote against Claudia's Law angered a number of his traditional organized labor allies. However like Andrews, Austin retains the endorsements by LB's politically active police and firefighter union PACs and Mayor Robert Garcia and his political allies.
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In addition to the $125,000 independent campaign by organized labor interests, Ms. Thrash-Ntuk, the executive director of an L.A. based non-profit that has facilitated affordable (subsidized) housing, reported (as of Jan. 18) $97,971 cash on hand in her own campaign.
As of Jan. 18, incumbent Austin's candidate-run campaign had $35,141 cash on hand. Mr. Ovalle, running as an independent challenging a number of City Hall practices, had $16,632 and his campaign says it received an estimated $8,000 from a Jan. 22 fundraiser that when combined with matching funds should deliver roughly $12,000 more for a competitive campaign.
Vote by mail ballots begin flying Feb. 3. If no candidate receives 50%+1 in the March 5, 2020 race, the top two finishers proceed to a November 2020 runoff.
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