California Educator

December/January 2021

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A M E R I C A N S V O T E D in record numbers in November for experienced leadership to help guide us through unprecedented crises, electing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the next presi- dent and vice president of the United States. eir historic election capped a unique 2020 campaign that saw Americans dancing in the streets upon the announcement of Biden's election but brought disappointment here in Cal- ifornia. The fight to put schools and communities first came oh-so-close but fell just short, with Proposition 15 failing by a 2 percent margin. e bid for property tax fairness was closer than anyone expected, despite a deep-pock- eted misinformation campaign by opponents desperate to keep their tax loophole. Prop. 15 would have brought in nearly $12 billion annually for schools and essential pub- lic services. CTA President E. Toby Boyd thanked mem- bers for energizing the Prop. 15 campaign, making nearly 400,000 phone calls, sending a quarter-million texts, and fighting with the heart of 310,000 educators for the schools and services our students and families deserve. "CTA members were the wings of this campaign, powering Prop. 15 to within a couple hundred thousand votes of changing California schools for all students," Boyd says. "My pride for what we were able to accomplish together far outshines my disap- pointment in the result. We went toe-to-toe with the wealthiest corporations in the world in the midst of a global pandemic, showing that we can match their mountains of cash with grass- roots organizing, coalition building, and the inspiring fight of educators who believe that we can do better for our students and communities." Boyd notes the fiscal challenges ahead: "e fight for much- needed funding for equitable resources continues as our schools and communities face billions in devastating budget cuts." Other California results In other election results that defied California's progressive rep- utation, two high-profile initiative races ended with setbacks: the failure of Prop. 16, which would have repealed the ban on affirmative action, and the passage of Prop. 22, allowing the con- tinued exploitation of workers by gig companies like Uber and Lyft, which spent $225 million on their campaign. " We are never going to stop demanding fair wages, health care benefits, and rights for all workers on the job," Boyd says in response to Prop. 22's approval. CTA's other two initiative positions split, with voters rejecting Prop. 20's prison spend- ing scam, but also turning down Prop. 25's proposal to end cash bail. Nearly all of CTA's recommended state Assembly and Senate can- didates were victorious on Election Day. For a full list of results, go to CTA members running for school board seats were widely successful across the state. The winners (14 at press time) include Lucy Ugarte, who defeated the incumbent board president in Chula Vista; Ken Tang, who won a tight contest in Alhambra; Carolyn Torres, who came in first in a field of six in Santa Ana; and VanCedric Williams, who became the first teacher on the Oakland Unified school board in 20 years. "ank you to everyone who supported the campaign and everyone who voted, walked, phoned, texted and participated in our democracy," says Ever Flores, who won election to the Santa Rosa City Schools board. "I will continue to advocate for bet- ter, more equitable and more accessible education, and greater teacher support. We cannot let this slide. Our students need more from us. Our students deserve more from us." Looking ahead After four years protecting public education from what seemed like constant attack by Betsy DeVos, the election "We look forward to working with the Biden-Harris administration as we prioritize safely reopening schools for in-person teaching and learning." —CTA President E. Toby Boyd Voters Elect Biden to Move Forward Together The struggle continues for resources schools and communities need By Julian Peeples 43 D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 0 / J A N U A R Y 2 0 21 A

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