California Educator

February / March 2019

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Below are campaign statements of candidates for CTA officers in the March 2019 State Council elections. The statements are unedited and limited to 400 words. Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed are those of the candidates and not necessarily those of CTA and NEA. My name is Kim Lawrence. I am running for Vice President of CTA. CTA wins! What does that mean? In statewide politics, CTA wins. In court case after court case, CTA wins. In statewide political contests candi- dates seek out CTA's endorsement and support because CTA wins. CTA wins because of its representative democratic structure, which places its members first, always. Our members' representatives, in the open, make all of CTA's policies. Some want to change CTA's structure, ending officers' term limits and, therefore, removing one of our greatest values, that rank- and-file members are in charge. This kind of power grab will not happen under my watch. Under OUR watch, CTA wins, our members win. I'm Kim Lawrence, a 32 year veteran of the classroom. My career began in a school with an extremely high pov- erty rate and a transiency rate of over 50% a year. My student advocacy work began immediately, becoming the voice for my students and their parents when they were denied services and treated unfairly due to their inability to access the system. Upon relocating to my current school, I found that along with my passion for teaching, I found a passion for my union. During my years in local leadership, both at the bargaining table and as local president for 11 years, I was able to build a strong relationship with my mem- bers and district administration. I worked alongside my administrators to oppose a charter petition from a poorly planned and discriminatory charter school. Speaking before the State Board of Education and listening to their biased comments in favor of ALL charters, I realized that my passions extended to issues that affect the broader community. I also learned that I can, indeed, speak truth to power. My experience as a teacher and local leader make me fully qualified to be your CTA Vice President. I am a strong advocate for our students and our members. I will con- tinue to fight for not only what is right for the students of California but also what is right for our organization. CTA is an organization that must be run by people who uphold our mission and values above all else. A leader who will listen to all members and will keep at the forefront what is good for the whole, so that we can still say that CTA WINS! I am Kim Lawrence and I am that leader. It has been one of the biggest honors of my life to serve as your Secretary Treasurer these last four years. I have learned so much from you as I traveled all corners of Cali- fornia. The love for our students and for each other that guides so much of our work together always inspires me. As the dust settles after the last election, it is clear that we have proven our ability to win over voters at the ballot box once again. Now it is up to us to continue to win over our col- leagues to becoming active members in our union. It is at our schools and worksites, after all, where our real power lies. It is the shared commitment to building collective power that brought together the Building Power Together Team. Theresa Montano (candidate for President), Leslie Littman (candidate for Secretary Treasurer), and myself (candidate for Vice-President) have each committed to a platform that puts our belief in member power at the center of our work. Over the last 4 years as your CTA Secretary Treasurer I have committed myself to using our resources to build on our collective power. Aligning our budget with the pri- orities that council laid out in our Strategic Plan was the first step. Working with the budget committee to estab- lish the Membership Engagement Grants as a new source of funding for local organizing helped us put our money where our mouth was. Talking to member leaders, espe- cially those in small and rural chapters that the grant was geared towards serving, about the deeper engagement the grant has meant for them, is what motivated me to increase the funding available to $660,000 for this year even as we were looking at a shrinking budget. The planks of our platform, Responsive Leadership, Strong Locals, Fighting for Improved Classroom Con- ditions, and Building Strong Community Alliances for Economic and Racial Justice was developed collectively with many of you from all parts of the state; from the smallest chapters to our largest urbans. It was also shaped by the examples set last spring by educators across this nation who believed in themselves as cata- lysts for creating the changes needed in education. By running on a platform we are making a pact with you, and each other, that no matter whatever comes our way as leaders of CTA, we will continue to retain our focus on our collective power. Candidate for CTA Vice President Kim Lawrence Member, Moreland Teachers Association; CTA State Council delegate; Santa Clara Service Center Council chair. Candidate for CTA Vice President David B. Goldberg Member, United Teachers Los Angeles; current CTA secretary-treasurer. 66 Lawrence Goldberg

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