After talking to, Hayward council members rescind support for charter school candidate

Hayward Councilmembers Elisa Marquez and Francisco Zermeno

After receiving push back from some local labor unions, Hayward Councilmembers Elisa Marquez and Francisco Zermeno pulled their endorsement of Janevette Cole, a candidate for the Alameda County Board of Education whose campaign is supported by charter schools.

2020 march primary logo drop shadowMarquez told the East Bay Citizen that she rescinded the endorsement for “political reasons.”

Following a news story in the East Bay Citizen on Jan. 23 that detailed the endorsements by Marquez and Zermeno, local unions quickly applied pressure on both councilmembers, both of which are up for a tough re-election season later this year.

A posting on Facebook last month by a representative from the Service Employees International Union Local 1021 said the head of the Alameda Labor Council reached out to Marquez to discuss the matter. “Elisa has changed her mind, and has rescinded her endorsement of Cole,” according to the Facebook posting on Jan. 24.

Cole Janevette
Janevette Cole, one of three candidates running this March for the open Alameda County Board of Education seat in Ward 5. Current Hayward school boardmember Luis Reynoso and former Hayward school boardmember Lisa Brunner are also candidates.

Both Marquez and Zermeno have shown varying degrees of loyalty to the labor movement in Hayward over the years. Unions, especially teachers, view charter schools as a major threat to labor movement. Little slack is ever given to labor-friendly elected officials and candidates who veer from this orthodoxy.

Meanwhile, Zermeno’s decision to pull the Cole endorsement, however, is less clear. In the hours after labor leaders were seeking for the councilmembers to rescind their endorsements, Zermeno made a comment on Facebook in support of Cole.

“She is a very good candidate,” Zermeno wrote, and added the Alameda County Board of Education has approved charter schools in the past.

Zermeno FB charter schools Zermeno and Marquez’s names were subsequently removed from Cole’s campaign website. Hayward Mayor Barbara Halliday, whose endorsement of Cole was also announced at the same time as her council colleagues, however, is staying with Cole. Halliday’s endorsement was included on a recent campaign mailer sent on behalf of Cole by a charter schools organization funded by two of the heirs to Walmart fortune.