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General Manager’s Report, Third Quarter of 2010

Election Update

MEA’s Political Action Committee had a busy election season in June, as half of the San Diego City Council seats were up for election. MEA made endorsements and, for the first time ever, independent expenditures on behalf of our endorsed candidates in each Council race. All MEA-endorsed candidates either won outright or finished in the top two and qualified for the November runoff elections.

In District 6, MEA-endorsed former State Assemblymember Howard Wayne finished second to Lorie Zapf, but both candidates received less than 50% of the vote in the crowded primary race, so there will be a November runoff. Shortly after the race, third place finisher (and chief of staff to incumbent City Councilmember Donna Frye) Steve Hadley endorsed Wayne. Councilmember Frye also endorsed Howard after the election, which is a powerful endorsement in District 6. The November campaign promises to be very expensive and perhaps a little bloody, but also a crucial race for all sides.

In District 8, MEA-endorsed David Alvarez finished first in another crowded primary, and will face Felipe Hueso in a November runoff. Hueso barely finished second, beating BD Howard and Nick Inzunza by a few hundred votes for the right to face Alvarez in the general election. David is going to continue to work hard to win the race in November, and MEA will continue to enthusiastically support this young, bright new face in San Diego politics with limitless potential.

As expected, MEA-endorsed Council incumbents Kevin Faulconer and Tony Young easily won re-election in Districts 2 and 4. MEA also endorsed two State Assembly candidates based on their records of support as City Councilmembers. Both Ben Hueso and Toni Atkins won their respective Democratic primaries in “safe” Democratic districts, meaning they will be elected to the State Assembly in November.

Shortly after her victory, Toni Atkins wrote MEA a very classy letter expressing her thanks not only for our support but also for the hard work of City employees. You can see the letter reprinted in the “election night coverage” on pages 12 and 13.

Looking ahead to November, the runoff elections in City Council Districts 6 and 8 will clearly remain our focus. These are critical races with very different choices and, like most every election, have a lot riding on the outcome. As we get past Labor Day, please look for notices from your Political Action Committee inviting volunteers to help with these races. We will be walking precincts and making phone calls, and those of you who actually live in Council Districts 6 and 8 will be asked to post a yard sign and tell your neighbors about Howard and David.

One ballot item we don’t have to focus on anymore is the DeMaio Outsourcing Initiative that was slated for the November election. As you can read about in the President’s Message on page 3, DeMaio and his supporters failed to qualify the initiative for the ballot, which will allow MEA to focus instead on our endorsed City Council candidates.

New MEA Budget

On June 16, MEA’s Board of Directors gave final approval to a new 2010/2011 budget. The new budget continues to cut costs at MEA, while at the same time refocusing expenditures on our priority areas of employee representation, contract negotiation, legal support, member communication and political action.

We are doing more with less by staying focused on our core activities and mission as a union, and we hope you have noticed the difference in the way your union supports and represents you. A big thanks to Treasurer Candi Mitchell, President Tony Ruiz, MEA Office Manager Dawn Kealaluhi, MEA’s Finance Committee and the Board of Directors for all of their hard work in developing and implementing MEA’s new fiscal year budget.

General Membership Meeting

Please mark your calendars for MEA’s General Membership Meeting beginning at 5:00 p.m. on July 29 at the Balboa Park Club.  Building on a great event last year, MEA’s Membership Committee (Chaired by Greg Woods) is planning another great event, with an abundance of good food, good information and good cheer.

Whether you are an annual meeting regular, or have never attended before, you won’t want to miss this year’s event.  For more information, visit MEA’s website at www.sdmea.org.  We hope to see you there!