The LET’S ACT! slate took down a campaign video for the undergraduate student government elections that featured L.A. mayoral candidates Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel at the Garcetti campaign’s request.
The video was put up by LET’S ACT! members on Tuesday afternoon and featured clips of Garcetti and Greuel, among images and text that advocated for the slate.
The video encouraged students to vote in the Undergraduate Students Association Council elections this week and in the L.A. mayoral election later this month.
In the video, Greuel said “Let’s act in Los Angeles. As a Bruin, it’s important to get people excited about government and public service, and no better place to do it than student council at UCLA. Go Bruins.” Garcetti said “UCLA, act for a better Los Angeles.”
Matt Abularach-Macias, a fifth-year political science and Chicana/o studies student and the member of LET’S ACT! who made the video, said he received permission to film both Greuel and Garcetti at different times last week. He said the slate saw the opportunity to highlight its commitment to the wider Los Angeles community by including both mayoral candidates.
“We never intended for it to come across as an official endorsement,” he said. “We’re not trying to misrepresent anyone at all.” Some people, however, said they thought the video implied that Garcetti and Greuel were endorsing Let’s Act! candidates.
Mary Hodge, deputy campaign manager for Garcetti, said the Garcetti campaign was unaware of the video until the office received several complaint calls. Hodge said she then called Abularach-Macias, asking him to take it down because it was misleading.
“We absolutely support students participating in student government elections, however, this video urges people to vote a certain way and (Garcetti) is not taking a position in the UCLA student government race,” said Yusef Robb, a senior adviser to the Garcetti campaign.
Aurelia Friedman, a campus representative for the Greuel campaign and a first-year political science and psychology student, said she was confused when she first watched the video.
“Why would either candidate want to endorse a slate right now when slate poltics and L.A. politics are completely separate?” she said.
Friedman then called representatives of the Greuel campaign who she said were also confused about the video.
Dan Loeterman, a spokesman for the Greuel campaign, said he had not seen the video, but Greuel does not endorse any USAC slate.