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Teachers union drops support for LAUSD candidate, citing offensive social media activity

United Teachers Los Angeles announced Monday night the revelation that school board candidate Kafried Al Alim had reposted or “liked” social media posts with anti-Semitic, pro-gun or pornographic content. As a result, they withdrew their support for him.

“We condemn all forms of oppression, including racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, anti-Black racism, Islamophobia, xenophobia and homophobia,” the union said in a statement. ”

Reached Monday night, Al-Alim said he was not immediately available for comment, but said he planned to issue a statement on Tuesday.

The decision was made during an emergency session of the union's 250-member House of Representatives, an 11-hour campaign for Al Alim, who represents the 1st District, which includes South Los Angeles and much of Southwest Los Angeles. I got hit. The union had already ceased its activities. It campaigned locally on Al Alim's behalf, but had to follow a multi-step process lasting about two weeks to formally withdraw its support.

The revocation of support involved the union's large advocacy team, the Educators Political Action Council, the Board of Directors, and finally the House of Representatives.

“Once the information came to light, UTLA member leaders acted decisively,” the union said.

While the union worked through this process, Al Alim continued to be promoted in union endorsements online and in some materials distributed to voters in the final days of the campaign. The teachers union spent more than $690,000 on his independence campaign on his behalf, according to records filed with the Los Angeles Ethics Commission.

Mr Al Alim said: series of apologies It became more and more detailed.

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

And in last week's election debate, he took a slightly different position, saying, “I'm not ashamed of anything.''

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

Al Alim emerged with the support of UTLA after a months-long process. He is already well known among many union leaders as a tireless education and community activist who can be trusted to side with unions on policy issues such as opposing charter school expansion and supporting the abolition of school police. It was existence.

Six other candidates are vying for the seat vacated by George McKenna's retirement.

The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor also suspended its campaign on Al Alim's behalf. The move on behalf of the county's trade union movement was notable symbolically, although the union reported that it had not spent any money on his behalf.

Al-Alim's post on X (formerly Twitter) that drew particular criticism was from the Nation of America's “The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews: How Jews Gained Control of the Black American Economy.''・It praised anti-Semitic publications by Islamic organizations. In an October 2022 post, Al Alim said the book should be required reading in Los Angeles schools. “We will not burn or ban the future! We are not playing around,” he wrote.

He also liked posts supporting basketball player Kyrie Irving and rapper Kanye West, who came under fire for anti-Semitic posts and comments.

After weeks of campaigning funded by trade unions, Mr Al Alim could advance to a run-off as voting begins on February 24th. His own campaign raised him $31,736 as of the last reporting period.

Other candidates in the race are:

  • Charlette Hendy Newbill, Dorsey High School teacher, dean, dean, and coach. She was endorsed by UTLA in her past elections, and has also been endorsed by the retiring incumbent, Mr. McKenna.
  • Christian Flagg is a homeschooling parent who teaches advocacy training at the South L.A. nonprofit Community Coalition. His policy views, such as eliminating school police, align closely with those of UTLA.
  • Mr. DeWayne Davis is a former LA Unified teacher and principal who has held senior district administration positions in other school systems.
  • Didi Watts is Chief of Staff to Los Angeles School Board Member Tanya Ortiz Franklin and is an educator who has held leadership roles in traditional, charter, and private schools.
  • John Aaron Brasfield has been a special education assistant and track and field coach for many years.
  • Lina Tambor is a tutor and former teacher who managed overnight camps in the Northeast.

Outside of UTLA, the next largest independent funding effort was $520,493 on behalf of Watts, with core funding coming from two Sacramento-based political action committees, both called Kids First; from a separate charter school PAC.

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