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Political Landscape: Back Bay High and UCI host rallies for Prop. 55

Fred Glass, communications director for the California Federation of Teachers, speaks Monday in front of Back Bay High School in Costa Mesa during a rally supporting Proposition 55, a state ballot measure that would maintain the current income tax rates on the wealthiest Californians to help fund schools.
(Alex Chan | Daily Pilot)

Educators, elected officials, parents and students from across Orange County rallied Monday in front of Back Bay High School in Costa Mesa and at UC Irvine’s Aldrich Hall in support of Proposition 55, a measure on the state’s November ballot that would maintain the current income tax rates on the wealthiest Californians to help fund schools.

Supporters of the proposition say it would give school districts funding to hire teachers and other employees and reduce class sizes.

Opponents argue it would hurt small businesses and make it difficult for them to create well-paying jobs.

“Without Prop. 55, California will be taking nearly $4 billion a year from our public schools and giving it to the wealthiest Californians in the form of a huge tax cut,” Anaheim teacher Karen Ridley said at Back Bay, where more than 15 supporters of the measure gathered Monday. “Prop. 55’s strict accountability and transparency requirements ensure funds designated for education will go to classrooms, not to bureaucracy or administrative costs.”


Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen, a UC Irvine alumnus, attended the rally at UCI on Monday along with Irvine mayoral and City Council candidates.

Newport Beach PAC endorses 2 council candidates

Line in the Sand, a political action committee, has endorsed Jeff Herdman and Phil Greer for Newport Beach City Council.

Three council seats are up for grabs in the Nov. 8 election. Herdman, a retired educator, is running for the District 5 seat representing Balboa Island and the Fashion Island area. Businessman Lee Lowrey and businessman and activist Mike Glenn also are vying for the seat.


Greer, an attorney, is running against city Finance Committee member Will O’Neill and former Planning Commissioner Fred Ameri for the District 7 seat representing Newport Coast and Newport Ridge.

Line in the Sand, which champions less development in the city, wrote in a news release that it carefully considered the backgrounds and positions of all candidates and identified Herdman and Greer as those most aligned with its objectives.

Costa Mesa political cartoon contest rescheduled

A political cartoon contest organized by community activists critical of the Costa Mesa City Council’s current majority has been rescheduled and relocated after a conflict arose at the original venue.

Contest winners will be announced at a rally from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Oct. 30 at Estancia Park, 1900 Adams Ave. A similar event scheduled for Oct. 29 at The Harp Inn Irish Pub was canceled because of a scheduling conflict, according to Harp Inn owner John Joe Lyons.

A $300 prize is being offered for the “best cartoon showing how the current City Council majority is messing up Costa Mesa,” according to contest organizers.

The deadline to submit entries is 5 p.m. Oct. 27. For information on how to enter, visit

Sponsoring the event is the Alliance of Costa Mesa Taxpayers, a coalition that supports the council campaigns of Jay Humphrey, John Stephens and incumbent Sandy Genis.


Costa Mesa Brief releases council candidate videos

Costa Mesa Brief, a video service by Barry Friedland and Brandice Strotman, has released a series of interviews with Costa Mesa City Council candidates on its YouTube page.

The newest is with Councilwoman Sandy Genis, who is up for reelection. Friedland and Strotman also have interviewed candidates John Stephens and Jay Humphrey.