City College’s Eloy Oakley Steps Into Political Arena

By Endorsing Trustee Archuleta For Reelection

Prefacing his remarks that he “normally” does not ask others to support a political candidate, Long Beach City College Superintendent-President Eloy Oakley issued a statement recently saying he is “compelled” to do so “because of the impacts of the race for Trustee . . . will have on the future” of LBCC. Long Beach elections are set for April 12, including for two of the five trustee seats.


Oakley wrote: “As you know, LBCC has been at the forefront of pushing for student-centered reforms and for championing the Long Beach College Promise. Our work has influenced the higher education landscape from the White House to Sacramento. The reason that we have been successful is in large part due to the support and long-term vision of the LBCCD Board of Trustees. The Trustees have allowed me, as the Superintendent-President, to exercise strong leadership locally, regionally and nationally. That support is severely threatened if Irma Archuleta is not able to continue to serve on the board. Her opponent, financed by special interest groups, would like to repeal many of the innovative programs that we have launched in Long Beach. Her opponents do not believe that the Long Beach College Promise is where we should put our energy. My appeal to you is not meant to protect my job at LBCC. More importantly, my appeal to you is for the purpose of protecting the work that has been done at LBCC and throughout the greater Long Beach community.”


Challenging incumbent Archuleta is Vivian Malauulu, an adjunct instructor in the college’s English Department, a longshore worker and a long-time union supporter and volunteer. According to the college’s website, Malauulu teaches one three-unit class, an Intro to Global Media Communications, that begins February 8. She has been endorsed by The Coalition, which, according to her website, “represents the college district’s three bargaining units,” consisting of full-time faculty, part-time faculty and classified staff. She also has the backing of the Teamsters union and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.


Among Archuleta’s endorsements are Mayor Robert Garcia, Long Beach Councilmembers Lena Gonzalez and Roberto Uranga, sitting college trustees Doug Otto and Jeff Kellogg and L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis.


State Senator Isadore Hall Not Taking Sides . . . We Think

Both the Archuleta and Malauulu camps claim that State Senator Isadore Hall, whose district butts up to Long Beach’s westside, has endorsed their campaign. A press release issued October 27 by Archuleta showed a lengthy list of endorsements, with Senator Hall at the very top. The next day, October 28, a press release from Malauulu’s campaign listed “State Senators Isadore Hall and Tony Mendoza” as endorsers. To add to the confusion, nine days later, on November 6, a press release from Malauulu’s office was headlined: “State Senator Isadore Hall Chooses Vivian Malauulu For Long Beach Community College District Board.” Maybe she doesn’t read her own press releases?


The Business Journal reached out to Hall’s office for clarification. When we asked the senator’s San Pedro office for the communications director, we were given a phone number to call. Since the area code was not Sacramento, we asked if this individual is on staff and were told yes. We called. No answer. So we called the senator’s Sacramento office and were directed to send an e-mail to Hall’s chief of staff. We did. In the meantime, the person at the first number we called turned out to be Hall’s campaign manager (Hall is running for U.S. Congress). The campaign manager asked for details and said he would check with the Sacramento office. Before the campaign manager could get back to us, the chief of staff sent an e-mail stating: “You would have to speak to Senator Hall’s campaign consultant.” Within minutes, the campaign manager e-mailed the following: “The Senator made a dual endorsement. Thanks.”


We wonder if Archuleta and Malauulu know that. We’re not even sure if Senator Hall is aware.


Follow The Money . . . Spinning Contributions

Campaign filing reports were due January 31 for the period ending December 31. How much one raises is important for a variety of reasons, but for the three individuals vying for the Long Beach City Council 2nd District seat, it’s more like, “who’s on top.”


First out of the box with a February 2 press release was Jeannine Pearce, who claimed she raised the most money since entering the race last July: $56,025.99 compared to Eric Gray’s $32,883.02 for that period and Joen Garnica’s $32,656.85. Pearce’s statement said: “Raising over $55,000 shows the power of grassroots organizing and the strong support I have throughout the district.”


The next day, Gray issued a press release with this headline: “Eric Gray Doubles In-District Fundraising Over Top Rival.” He pointed out that 56.5% of his money came from within Long Beach compared to Pearce’s 31.6%. And of those amounts, Gray raised 42.3% from within the 2nd District to only 22.1% by Pearce. Taking a poke at her “grassroots” claim, Gray said, “Pearce raised the majority of her funds outside the City of Long Beach.”


Not to be outdone by her opponents, on February 4, a Garnica press release said: “Joen Garnica Raises More Money In Less Time.” Using the date that each candidate entered the race, Garnica claimed that she averaged $10,885.67 per month in contributions to Pearce’s $9,337.67 per month average, with Gray’s average at $5.596.81.


By the way, the total amounts raised by each candidate through December 31 looked like this: Pearce – $56,025.99; Gray – $55,968.06; Garnica – $32,656.85.


The 2nd District race should prove the most interesting to follow. Pearce is a labor advocate while Garnica and Gray are small business owners. Most political observers expect the race to go to a June runoff.