Sen. Bernie Sanders Endorses Steve Zimmer and Imelda Padilla for LAUSD School Board

LOS ANGELES — Sen. Bernie Sanders endorsed UTLA-backed candidates Steve Zimmer and Imelda Padilla.

It is unprecedented for a front-running presidential candidate to support a school board candidate, but shows the high stakes nature of the Los Angeles Unified School Board election.

“Billionaires should not make a profit off of public school children. That's why I'm supporting Steve Zimmer and Imelda Padilla for the Los Angeles School Board. They will fight against the Trump/DeVos agenda to destabilize and undermine public schools," said Sen. Bernie Sanders in a statement.

On Friday, UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl was canvassing in support of Steve when he heard the news.

“Bernie’s support underscores the consequences of this election,” Caputo-Pearl said. “Voters have a choice to make: Will our students have two pro-public education advocates in Steve and Imelda or two adversaries, bought and paid for by outside billionaires?”

Some of the key billionaire donors to Nick Melvoin and Kelly Fitzpatrick-Gonez include the usual suspects in the pro-privatizing world: Real estate mogul Eli Broad, Republican Richard Riordan, Gap founder Doris Fisher and the Waltons of WalMart. According to a new report, titled “Out of Town Billionaires and Trump Backers Attempt to Hijack School Board Elections” in addition to donations to elect Nick and Kelly, the Walton family has donated to conservatives such as Ted Cruz, Mike Pence and Jeff Sessions.

“Our elections should be determined by our communities, not outside money from billionaires with a sordid history of failed privatization schemes like Betsy DeVos, the Walton family and Eli Broad,” Caputo-Pearl said. “This election is about our students, parents and communities and deciding the best direction forward. That’s by voting for Imelda and Steve.”