California Educator

August / September 2018

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N E A R L Y 15 0 E D U C A T O R S attended CTA's Political Academy April 27-29 in Sacramento. Local chapters sent teams of teachers and college faculty to the event. The academy prepares chapter members to recruit viable candidates, organize and develop chapter and community resources, and successfully execute local school and college board campaigns. It of fered something for ever yone, said Lorraine Richard s, Mont eb el lo Teach ers A sso ci ation . " Ses- sions included precinct walking, phone banking, use of social media, how to understand all the required paperwork, and how to assess pro-public education candidates and voters." Par ticipants al so learn ed about CTA's political action c o m m i t t e e , t h e A s s o c i a - t i o n f o r B e tt e r C i t i z e n s h i p (ABC), of which Richards is a member. Through voluntar y d o n a t i o n s f r o m C TA m e m - bers, ABC provides financial re s o u r c e s t o s u p p o r t l o c a l s c h o o l b o n d , s c h o o l b o a rd and county elections. Educators are able to make sure their voices are heard through their contributions to ABC. First-time participant Karen Lord-Eyewe, Association of Pleasanton Teachers, took the treasurer's training and said she found it to be "scary " — mostly because she wants to do the job right. She said she now has a better understanding of why having a local PAC is import- ant, and of the whole endorsement process, including Always Prepared CTA's Political Academy helps chapters learn the tools of engagement By Cynthia Menzel researching candidates and what they stand for. Take the race for superintendent of public instruc- tion. Tony Thurmond, Lord-Eyewe said, is the logical choice because he supports public schools, while his opponent is more interested in charter schools. "Why elect someone who wants to take public money and put it into private charters? Why let someone get elected w ho wants to make mon ey of f public school s just because you don't want to be politically involved? We're all part of the process." Ruby Baker, Chula Vista Educators, said the good working relationships in her district is the result of a pos- itive election campaign. Her chapter worked hard walking precincts, phone banking, and supporting candidates who are "pro-student, pro-teacher and pro-community." E d u c a t o r s a l s o a c t i v e l y collaborate with the district. " We have a fantastic school board. If we email school board members, they respond. The superintendent is thrilled with the communication. Our teaching and learning condi- tions are more enjoyable." Keep an eye out for CTA's 2019 Political Academy and learn about other CTA conferences and events at The Mt. San Antonio College Faculty Association team at this year's academy. The team is now making plans to elect pro-community college board members. " Why let someone get elected who wants to make money off public schools just because you don't want to be politically involved? We're all part of the process." — Karen Lord-Eyewe, Association of Pleasanton Teachers 49 A U G U S T / S E P T E M B E R 2 018 A

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