The teachers union is dropping support for the LAUSD candidate due to offensive activity on social media

(Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times)

The teachers union is dropping support for the LAUSD candidate due to offensive activity on social media

LA Politics, 2024 Elections, Education

Howard Blume

March 4, 2024

United Teachers Los Angeles on Monday night revoked its endorsement of school board candidate Kahllid Al-Alim following revelations that he reposted or “liked” social media posts with content that was anti-Semitic, pro-gun or pornographic.

In a statement, the union said it “condemns all forms of oppression, including racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, anti-blackness, Islamophobia, xenophobia and homophobia.” On Monday evening, Al-Alim said he had no immediate comment. but he is expected to make a statement on Tuesday.

The decision was made by the union’s 250-member House of Representatives during an emergency meeting, an 11th blow to Al-Alim’s campaign to represent District 1, which includes much of South Los Angeles and southwest L.A. . The union had already suspended its action. -the ground campaign on behalf of Al-Alim, but had to follow a multi-step process, which took about two weeks, to officially withdraw the approval.

The withdrawal of support involved the union’s large support team, the Educators’ Political Action Council, the Board of Directors and ultimately the House of Representatives. “UTLA membership leaders took decisive action when information came to light,” the union said. As the union worked through this process,

Al-Alim continued to be touted in online union endorsements and in some materials distributed to voters in the final days of the campaign. The teachers union spent more than $690,000 on his behalf on an independent campaign, according to records filed with the LA City Ethics Commission.

Al-Alim issued a series of apologies that became increasingly detailed.

“There is a long history of both cooperation and conflict between Black and Jewish communities that we must learn from so that we can respect each other and continue to create a more just world together,” he said in one of them.

Then last week at a campaign forum, he took a slightly different stance, saying, “I’m not ashamed of anything.”

The union statement seemed to offer some appreciation for Al-Alim’s apology: “As educators, we recognize that people can learn and evolve through courageous conversations. Therefore, we view this situation as a valuable learning opportunity not only for UTLA, but also for the broader community. We look forward to engaging the diverse communities that make up Los Angeles.”

Al-Alim emerged with the support of UTLA after a months-long process. He was already known to many union leaders as an energetic education and community activist who could be counted on to side with the union on policy issues, including opposing the expansion of charter schools and promoting the abolition of school police.

Six other candidates are also vying for the seat, which is being vacated by George McKenna

who is retiring


The LA County Federation of Labor has also suspended campaign activities on behalf of Al-Alim. The union federation had reported spending no money on her behalf, but her action on behalf of the province’s union movement is symbolically notable.

A post from Al-Alim on In a post from October 2022, Al-Alim said the book should be required reading in LA schools: We not Burning or Banning Our Future! We are not playing, he wrote.

He also liked posts in support of basketball star Kyrie Irving and rapper Kanye West when they were under fire for anti-Semitic posts or comments.

After weeks of union-funded campaigns


and with elections underway since February 24, Al-Alim could make it to the second round. His own campaign had raised $31,736 in the last reporting period.

Other candidates in the race are:

Sherlett Hendy Newbill, a Dorsey High teacher, dean, department head and coach. She was endorsed by UTLA in previous elections and is backed by McKenna, the outgoing incumbent. Christian Flagg, a homeschooling parent who provides training for advocacy work at Community Coalition, a nonprofit organization in South LA. His policy views, such as eliminating school police, align closely with those of UTLA. DeWayne Davis, a former teacher and principal at LA Unified who held administrative positions in other school systems in the upper school district. Didi Watts, chief of staff to Tanya Ortiz Franklin, LA school board member, and teacher with previous leadership roles at traditional, charter, and private schools. John Aaron Brasfield, a longtime special education assistant and track and field coach. Rina Tambor, a lecturer and former teacher who runs sleepaway camps in the Northeast.

Outside of UTLA, the second largest independent funding effort on behalf of Watts was $520,493, with core funding


two Sacramento-based political action committees, both called Kids First, and a third, separate charter schools PAC.


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