Democrats of Pasadena Foothills announce endorsements in local political races
The Democrats of Pasadena Foothills (DPF), a chartered Democratic Club, announced its endorsements in several Pasadena races for City Council and Pasadena City College Board of Trustees, following five days of polling its members. Seventy-nine percent of members voted between April 9 and 13.
Endorsements from the DPF for City Council include Brandon D. Lamar (District 3), Jess Rivas (District 5) and Jason Lyon (District 7).
For the Pasadena City College Board of Trustees, the DPF endorsed four individuals: Sandra Chen Lau (Area 1), Steven Gibson (Area 3), Kristine Kwong (Area 5) and Alton Wang (Area 7). Notably, all PCC Board of Trustee endorsements went to the challengers, with the exception of Area 1 where Sandra Chen Lau is running unopposed.
The Board and membership of DPF heard a great deal of discontent from faculty and students in much of the incumbent board. As recently as April 11, the PCC Academic Senate voted 17 to 12, with 3 abstentions, to support a resolution of no confidence in PCC Superintendent-President Erika Endrijonas. The resolution also points the finger at the Board of Trustees.
Additionally, club membership considered recent revelations that District 2 City Councilmember Felicia Williams was a registered Democrat at the time of her 2019-2020 campaign, picking up key endorsements from Democratic institutions, including the LA County Democratic Party, the Arroyo Democratic Club, and Democrats of Pasadena Foothills.
Although Pasadena City Council is a non-partisan office, these endorsements would not have been available to Williams had she not been a registered Democrat at the time. Then, ten days before being sworn in, Williams changed her voter registration to No Party Preference (NPP).
“There is nothing wrong with being registered NPP, however Williams went to some lengths to present herself to her base and official party entities as a Democrat,” the DPF mentioned in a release.
The club referenced some “very unpopular and un-Democratic votes” in Williams’ first two years. For example, in March 2021 Williams joined three conservative members of City Council as the deciding vote that ended hero pay for grocery store workers. Last fall, Williams also served on a three-person ad hoc committee (including Mayor Victor Gordo and Councilmember Steve Madison) that recommended Pasadena lift the state-imposed $4,900 per person campaign contribution limits in the city.
“These and other decisions, combined with her less that transparent change of party affiliation led an overwhelming majority of DPF members to vote to retroactively rescinded our 2020 endorsement of Felicia Williams for Pasadena City Council,” they stated.
“While this move is only symbolic, I think the message from our membership is clear,” said Ryan Bell, President of Democrats of Pasadena Foothills. “We are not happy with her voting record or her decision to change her party affiliation after securing the Democratic endorsements she likely felt were crucial to her election.”